Laura Castro Lindarte

Senate Democrats to force vote on Trump health care rule
Resolution looks to block rulemaking on short-term health insurance

Senate Democrats unveiled plans Wednesday to force a vote on Trump administration health insurance guidance that could make it easier for states to get waivers from the 2010 health care law's requirements.

“What we're talking about today is granting waivers to states to offer junk insurance plans,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a press conference. “These plans let the insurance companies get away with everything, even murder, figuratively speaking.” 

They left Congress. Where are they now?
Ex-members are ‘recovering,’ ‘diving back into reality-land’ after 115th Congress

Ryan A. Costello, a 42-year-old Pennsylvania Republican who retired after the 115th Congress following a court-ordered redistricting that made reelection difficult, does “a lot of Legos” now with his two children, ages 2 and 5.

Luis V. Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat who stepped down after 13 terms, is learning to swim and play the guitar, and hopes to be able to perform a Beatles song by Christmas.

A closer look at what the alumni of the 115th Congress have been up to
Some have moved on to other offices, consulting or punditry. Some are plotting their way back

One hundred and fifteen former House members and senators, who served full or partial terms in the 115th Congress, are newly adapting to life after Capitol Hill. CQ Roll Call finds them in a wide variety of roles, ranging from the expected to the unusual.

Three lawmakers from the last Congress have died, either while serving or since leaving office. Here’s what the rest of the alums have been up to. 

Former GOP staffer running for Virginia delegate knows not to knock the ‘swamp’
Hill experience isn’t a liability for D.J. Jordan on the campaign trail

When D.J. Jordan was a Hill staffer, his drive into the city took an hour and 15 minutes, and that was on a good day. He turned to the fine art of slugging — picking up fellow commuters at designated parking lots to reach a quorum for the HOV-3 express lanes.

“It has literally been my personal nightmare,” Jordan said. “I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve missed family dinner and missed my son’s football practice and missed my daughter’s dance rehearsal or recital because I’m stuck in traffic.”

Presidential hopeful Jay Inslee says Trump’s immigration policies will ‘end his presidency’
As he did in Democratic debate, Washington governor mocks presidential threat to send refugees to his state

Presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee replayed his greatest hit from last month’s Democratic debate, telling a rally against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies Friday that he sees refugees arriving at the border differently.

“He has tried to threaten me, saying, ‘Well we are going to send our refugees to Washington’ and my response was, ‘Send them,’” Inslee said outside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s headquarters, echoing a similar comment he made in a televised debate. “We like refugees, we welcome immigrants in our state.”

Lawmakers push new bills to deter call centers from leaving the US
Measures adds to ongoing legislative efforts at the state level

Anyone who’s had to call customer service in recent years knows the current reality: A vast majority of companies have moved their call centers overseas to save money.

But states, urged on by advocates for U.S. workers, have been fighting back. Two dozen have considered or are considering legislation to deter the moves, and a few have passed bills.

Nearly $10 billion will be spent on political ads in 2020
U.S. spending is expected to rise a whopping 59 percent to about $10 billion in 2020

Political ad spending in the U.S. is expected to rise a whopping 59 percent to about $10 billion in 2020 compared to the 2016 presidential election year, according to estimates by media agency GroupM. That sounds like a lot, and it is.

About $6.3 billion was spent on political ads in the 2016 U.S. election. That’s more than double what was spent in the 2004 campaign.

No one argues for keeping marijuana illegal, but next step divides House panel
As Democrats focus on racial impact, Republicans argue for incremental steps

At a hearing on marijuana Wednesday, no one on the House subcommittee who helps write the criminal code spoke out in clear support of continuing the prohibition that has been part of federal law for decades.

“Personally I believe cannabis use in most cases is ill advised, but many things are ill advised that should not be illegal,” said California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, the panel's acting ranking member.

Graham: tech companies should ‘earn’ liability shield
Graham said he wants to work with tech giants and others to create a list of “best business practices” for protecting minors online

Changes may be coming to the provision in communications law that limits web platforms, like Facebook and Google, from being sued for user content, if Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has his way.

Following a hearing on protections for children from internet predators before his committee Tuesday, Graham said he wants to hold big tech companies more accountable by making them “earn” liability protections. Those “were given to make sure the industry would flourish, mission accomplished. However, the liability protections now have to be modified so that you earn them,” the South Carolina Republican said.

Democrats propose tuition help to boost AmeriCorps
Legislation aims to increase volunteer ranks to 1 million

House Democrats hope to attract more volunteers to AmeriCorps and other federal service programs by cutting college costs.

Legislation introduced Tuesday, dubbed the ACTION for National Service Act, would award those who work in federal service at least two years with up to four years of in-state tuition where their college is located. The awarded money would be exempt from federal taxes.

Meet some of the former pros who’ve played in the Congressional Baseball Game
Bunning, Largent, Ryun and Shuler all had varying degrees of success on the diamond

Reps. Colin Allred and Anthony Gonzalez won’t be the first former professional athletes to compete in the Congressional Baseball Game. Over the decades, Republicans and Democrats have looked to other ex-pros turned congressmen and their athletic talents in hopes of scoring on the diamond.

The late Sen. Jim Bunning is the only baseball Hall of Famer to come to Washington. Over a 17-season pitching career from 1955 to 1971, the Kentucky Republican won 224 games and had an earned run average of 3.27. Bunning won election to the House in 1986 and made his Congressional Baseball Game debut the following year. He was part of the winning GOP team at least three times as either pitcher or pitching coach. After two terms in the Senate, Bunning opted against re-election in 2010. He died in 2017 at age 85.