Griffin Connolly

Here’s What Members Are Doing With Their Salary During Shutdown
Withholding, returning and donating, lawmakers say they’re refusing salary while government is shut down

A government shutdown always unleashes a cascade of political histrionics, and chief among those is lawmakers “refusing” their salaries.

Scores of senators and House members sent out news releases over the weekend defiantly proclaiming what they would do with their salaries while the government remains shuttered.

D.C. Stays Open This Time Around — Even If Federal Government Shuts Down
City shuttered during 2013 shutdown, before key provision

The Metro will still run. City offices will keep the doors open.

The District of Columbia will remain open and operational even if the federal government shuts down over ongoing failures to reach a budget deal.

F-Bombs and C-Word Prompted Cotton Cease and Desist Letters
Recipients of letters argue they can use coarse language if they want

Incessant phone calls and abusive language prompted Sen. Tom Cotton’s office to mail cease and desist letters to members of the liberal activist group Ozark Indivisible, in October.

One of those constituents, Stacey Lane of Fayetteville, Arkansas, told ArkansasOnline that she received the ultimatum after “an f-bomb or two” during phone conversations with Cotton staffers.

Federal Complaint Filed Against Former Takai Campaign Treasurer
Nearly 18 months after congressman's death, campaign treasurer still making almost $6,000 a month

A Washington, D.C., campaign finance watchdog group has lodged a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against the campaign treasurer of former Rep. Mark Takai.

In a 13-page complaint paper, the Campaign Legal Center alleged that Dylan Beesley “illegally converted the late Congressman’s leftover campaign funds to personal use.”

Women’s March Will Go On, Shutdown or Not
National Park Service has a contingency plan if it comes to that

The 2018 Women’s March in Washington will move forward as planned on Saturday despite a looming government shutdown.

An estimated 5,500 marchers will gather at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool at 11 a.m. for a series of speeches before winding their way east down Constitution Avenue and north to the White House gates to advocate for women’s inclusion in the political process.

Omaha Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Kill Joni Ernst
Suspect believed Iowa Republican was connected to ISIS

An Omaha man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to threatening the life of Sen. Joni Ernst, who he believed was in cahoots with Islamic State terrorists.

Robert W. Simet, 64, told employees at a motorcycle shop near the Nebraska-Iowa border last July that he might kill the Iowa Republican at a speech she was scheduled to deliver there, according to court documents obtained by The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Threats Force Raskin to Cancel Panel on How Trump Inspires Violence
Maryland Democrat has questioned president’s mental fitness for office

Rep. Jamie Raskin was forced to cancel an event with mental health experts on Donald Trump’s mental fitness to be president after the congressman’s office received a string of threats.

The event was scheduled for Thursday at a senior center in Maryland and intended to cover issues such as Trump’s perceived tendency to inspire violence.

Poll: 44 Percent of Americans Think Trump is a Racist
Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words

Donald Trump’s rough rhetorical style was thrust under the microscope (again) last week after he called Haiti and parts of Africa “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States, multiple lawmakers who were at the meeting with the president confirmed.

Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words, a new poll found.

Sinema Stalked for Years by New York Man, According to Court Document
Amos Olagunju entered a not guilty plea to federal stalking Tuesday in D.C. District Court

A New York man entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to a federal charge of stalking Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema after he was arrested last Friday outside her office on the seventh floor of the Longworth House Office Building.

Amos Olagunju of Brooklyn, New York, has been shadowing and attempting to make contact with Sinema since 2014, according to an affidavit from a federal agent obtained by NBC Washington’s News4 I-Team.

More Democrats Say They’ll Skip Trump’s State of the Union
Lawmakers cite president’s ‘racist’ comments, say they’ll have ‘state of our union’ event

Add two more Democrats to the list of House members catting on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.

Reps. Frederica S. Wilson and Pramila Jayapal announced over the weekend they will join three other lawmakers boycotting the event held in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol.

Soto Takes Heat for Telling Puerto Rican Evacuees to Say They’re Staying
Evacuees should say they’re staying in Florida to access Medicare or Medicaid, South Florida Democrat says

A Florida Democrat caught heat over the weekend for telling a group of newly arrived hurricane evacuees from Puerto Rico to say they intend to stay in the state so that they can access health care benefits.

If the evacuees do not check that box on a federal form for Medicare and Medicaid, they will be ineligible to be recipients of those programs.

Scalise ‘Resting Comfortably’ and in Fair Condition After Surgery
Timetable for House majority whip’s return to Hill uncertain

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was “resting comfortably” and in fair condition on Wednesday after a planned surgery in Washington, D.C., hospital officials reported.

The Louisiana Republican will likely remain in the hospital for several days before continuing his recovery at home, according to a press release from MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where doctors performed the operation.

U.S. Needs More ‘Idiot Control,’ Not Gun Control, Kennedy Says
Louisiana senator pans bipartisan bill to strengthen background check system

Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday took a stand against bureaucratic incompetence in the name of the Second Amendment.

“I don’t think we need more gun control; I think we need more idiot control,” the Louisiana Republican told NOLA.com, blasting a new bipartisan gun control bill that appears to be aimed at preventing more of those so-called idiots from purchasing firearms.

Joe Arpaio Senate Candidacy ‘Won't Last Long,’ Flake Says
Former sheriff fires back, saying Flake didn’t have the ‘guts’ to run again

Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake on Wednesday dismissed Joe Arpaio’s bid for his Arizona Senate seat in 2018, laughing off the controversial former sheriff as a fringe candidate whose campaign will quickly fizzle.

“You’d better write about it and talk about it fast because it won’t last long,” Flake said in an interview with CNN.

Scalise to Undergo Planned Surgery Related to Baseball Shooting
Recovery timetable unclear

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will undergo a planned surgery Wednesday as part of his recovery from injuries sustained last June from a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball team practice.

The operation will take place at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C.

Northeastern Lawmakers Unite Against Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
Republicans and Democrats from region join Florida and West Coast colleagues blasting plan

Lawmakers in the Northeast united across party lines on Monday to hazard against President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling plan to re-open more than 90 percent of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas companies.

Roughly 94 percent of the coastline, including the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts, remains off limits to oil and gas drilling. But Trump’s Interior Department revealed a five-year plan proposing 47 potential lease sales to energy companies through 2024, including two in the North Atlantic region from Maine to New Jersey.

O’Rourke Backs Off ‘Mandatory Year of Service’ Idea After Criticism
‘I made a mistake,’ Texas Democrat challenging Sen. Ted Cruz says

Rep. Beto O’Rourke blew out his own match on the idea to introduce a bill making a year of service mandatory for all Americans just days after floating the possibility.

At a town hall outside Dallas last week, the Democratic Senate hopeful proposed a “national service bill” that would require every young person to spend at least a year of service “in a military unit, conservation corps unit, in a medical unit, in a teaching unit — in some way that they’re going to help make this country better and stronger.”

Democrats Push Back Against Graham, Grassley Dossier Criminal Referral
Graham looks like a ‘man possessed’ over dossier obsession, Swalwell says

A Democrat on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham “looks like a man possessed” as he and other Republican lawmakers amp up pressure on the main actors behind the Trump dossier alleging the president is compromised by ties to Russia.

Graham and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa recommended a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele, the dossier author, for making false statements to federal investigators.

Trump Adds ’Sloppy Steve’ Bannon to Nickname Repertoire Amid Feud
POTUS’ bullying pattern off to alliterative 2018 start

At some point before 11 p.m. on a Thursday in early January 2018, President Donald Trump pulled out his phone and started typing.

He hurled a lexical spear across the internet at his former chief political strategist Steve Bannon, adding another barb to his ever-growing repertoire of schoolyard nicknames.

DeSantis Touts Trump Endorsement in Announcing Florida Governor Run
Florida rep is 10th GOP House member to announce run for higher office

Rep. Ron DeSantis will run for Florida governor in 2018, the third-term Republican announced Friday morning.

Appearing on the morning cable show “Fox & Friends,” DeSantis touted his strong relationship with President Donald Trump — who endorsed the 39-year-old lawmaker for a governor bid in recent weeks — before revealing his intention to run.