Thomas R Carper

What’s Going On in the Senate This Week
Chamber to take up Coast Guard reauthorization and Federal Reserve nominee

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., led negotiations on the Coast Guard bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators return to Washington on Tuesday with plenty of housekeeping to take care of before the 115th Congress comes to close.

Before getting to leadership elections and greeting incoming Senate colleagues, the current class has some legislating left to do. First up is a long-stalled reauthorization of the Coast Guard.

Democrats Renew Pressure on FBI for Trump‘s Influence on Headquarters Move
Six Dem senators pen letter to FBI Director Wray asking for documents about decision to keep headquarters across from Trump Hotel

The J. Edgar Hoover FBI building in Washington as seen on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators on Thursday stepped up their pressure on the FBI to provide more answers on President Donald Trump and his administration’s involvement in the scrapped FBI headquarters move.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Democratic senators demanded that he compile and hand over any documents and communications related to the FBI’s and General Services Administration’s decision to keep its headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., on Pennsylvania Avenue — adjacent Trump Hotel.

Senate Clears Big Aviation, Opioid Legislation Under Shadow of Brett Kavanaugh and FBI
Pending water resources deal could be last major legislative item before Election Day

A reauthorization of the FAA will be among the final pieces of big-ticket legislation to pass before Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate’s never-ending Supreme Court drama continued to overshadow a pair of bipartisan legislative wins — with at least one more expected before Election Day.

As senators awaited a supplemental report from the FBI about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, they cleared for President Donald Trump a big bipartisan bundle of bills to combat the opioid scourge and a long-awaited reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Republicans Push Back Against States Seen as Too Pro-Regulation
GOP favors independence by state governments unless they don’t like a state’s decision

Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming and ranking Democrat Tom Carper of Delaware talk before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hears from acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in early August, the energy and environment community was watching.

It was Wheeler’s first appearance since his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, resigned after months of ethical, spending and personnel scandals. Washington was eager to see how Wheeler would right the agency.

New Bill Would Hold HHS Feet to Fire for Unaccompanied Minors
Whereabouts of nearly 1,500 undocumented children are reportedly unknown

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., says the Department of Health and Human Services has a responsibility to ensure the safety of unaccompanied minors even after they’re placed with a sponsor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill designed to ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services takes full responsibility for, and keeps better track of, unaccompanied children who come to the border seeking entry to the United States and then are placed with U.S. sponsors.

The legislation follows a new report that revealed that the government could not determine the whereabouts of nearly 1,500 children that HHS had placed with sponsors this year.

EPA Watchdog to Step Down as Scott Pruitt Probes Continue
Arthur Elkins had contradicted the former administrator’s account of his security detail

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies during a hearing in May. The inspector general who led multiple investigations of his spending habits is retiring this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA’s inspector general, who led multiple investigations into former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s spending and management practices at the agency, will leave in October, his office announced Tuesday.

Arthur A. Elkins Jr., who has been EPA inspector general since 2010, said in a news release that he will retire on Oct. 12, but did not indicate whether his departure is related to issues at the agency. Before becoming inspector general, Elkins worked as associate general counsel in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel.

Postal Service Investigating Release of Brat Challenger’s Security Clearance Form
Virginia’s 7th District seat is expected to be a close contest between Brat and Democrat Abigail Spanberger

Former CIA officer and Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger accused Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC linked to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, of “trafficking in possibly illegally obtained documents” after it obtained her security clearance application through a Freedom of Information Act request. (Steve Helber/AP file photo)

The U.S. Postal Service inspector general has launched an investigation into the improper release of U.S. congressional candidate Abigail Spanberger’s full, unredacted official personnel file, including a highly confidential national security form known as Standard Form 86.

USPS public relations manager David Partenheimer previously said the USPS was looking into how America Rising, a conservative opposition research group, had obtained the Democratic candidate and former CIA officer’s SF-86, and was still conducting a review, but that the lapse occurred “because of human error” at the postal service.

Sen. Tom Carper Beats Back Primary Challenge in Delaware
Carper was the latest incumbent facing a progressive challenger

Delaware Sen. Thomas R. Carper won his primary Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Delaware Sen. Thomas R. Carper comfortably won his Democratic primary Tuesday night, fending off a challenge from his left that had drawn some national attention in recent days. 

With 72 percent of precincts reporting, Carper led Air Force veteran and community activist Kerri Evelyn Harris 64 percent to 36 percent when The Associated Press called the race. 

Senators Get Informal as FAA Deadline Nears
Reauthorization didn’t make the summer cut. Now senators are looking for a pre-conference shortcut

Sen. John Thune says negotiating with the House before Senate passage is the best option to avoid a lapse of authorization Sept. 30, even if process questions remain. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Staff members on both sides of the Capitol are trying to work around obstacles in the Senate by negotiating “pre-conference” versions of Federal Aviation Administration authorization and water infrastructure bills, according to lawmakers.

Despite the stated goals of the bills’ sponsors, the Senate did not consider either the FAA or water infrastructure measure over the summer, preventing a true conference committee from hashing out differences with the House-passed versions of the FAA and water infrastructure bills.

Tom Carper Seeks to Avoid Castle-Like Upset in Delaware Primary
Longtime senator faces Democratic challenger Kerri Evelyn Harris on Thursday

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., faces a Thursday primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Thomas R. Carper is the latest longtime Democrat facing a competitive primary, but he insists he won’t be caught by surprise.

Carper is universally known in Delaware, having served in the House and then as governor before arriving in the Senate in 2001.