Shawn Zeller

Unchecked power
CQ on Congress, Ep. 184

Survey reveals wide split among aides on impeachment
Dems overwhelmingly favor Trump’s removal from office; Republican staffers confident of election boost

The impeachment that has so divided lawmakers and the public has also split congressional aides.

The latest Capitol Insiders Survey, conducted by CQ Roll Call as President Donald Trump’s lawyers made their case to the Senate, found Democratic staffers in favor of removing Trump from office by a margin of 86 percent to 1 percent, with 13 percent unsure.

Senate says no to witnesses, as final vote is set for Wednesday
CQ on Congress, Ep 183

The Senate rejected, 49-51, a bid by Democrats on Jan. 31 to call witnesses in President Trump's impeachment trial and will now move to closing arguments and votes on Feb. 5 on the two articles of impeachment, accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. CQ Roll Call White House reporter Niels Lesniewski explains why Republicans objected to witnesses and why they will vote to acquit.

Some senators from trade-heavy states opposed US-Mexico-Canada pact
Most opponents put environmental concerns ahead of economic benefits

Democrats felt comfortable supporting President Donald Trump’s renegotiated trade agreement with Canada and Mexico because labor unions, mostly, did.

The unions said the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would be an improvement over its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

What's in an impeachment trial?
CQ on Congress, ep 183

Curbing unexpected medical bills has bipartisan backing in Congress
CQ on Congress, Ep. 179

Many Americans have been to the hospital in an emergency, or for a procedure, only to get a huge bill after because a doctor treating them doesn’t take their insurance. Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on legislation to ban so-called surprise billing. CQ Roll Call reporter Mary Ellen McIntire joins the podcast to explain the likely outcome of this bill. Claire McAndrew, Director of Campaigns and Partnerships at FamiliesUSA, which advocates for health care consumers, also joins the show.

Hill leaders get high marks from Hill staffers
But aides aren’t happy about lack of legislative accomplishments, survey finds

As Democrats prepared to take control of the House in 2019, some plotted against Nancy Pelosi, the presumed speaker. Lawmakers like Tim Ryan of Ohio and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts argued that it was time for new blood at the top and a generational shift in the Democratic Party.

Pelosi deftly squelched the revolt and a year’s worth of polling of congressional staffers by CQ Roll Call shows that she has consolidated her power. CQ Roll Call surveyed aides five times in 2019, in January, March, April, September and October, and Pelosi received glowing reviews from Democratic staffers for her job performance.

Hill Democratic aides remain conflicted between Warren and Biden
But latest staffer survey finds plenty of agreement across the aisle over 2020 outcome

A year’s worth of polling by CQ Roll Call on politics reveals that congressional aides are just as bewildered by the Democratic field and its prospects as anyone else.

They’re pretty sure, at the same time, that control of the House and Senate won’t change. And both sides are feeling confident about winning the White House.

New witnesses emerge after first week of public impeachment hearings
CQ on Congress, Ep. 175

House Democrats made the case for impeachment public this week. Three witnesses, Foreign Service officers in charge of U.S. relations with Ukraine, confirmed that President Trump pressured that country to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden. Republicans pushed back to discredit the testimony as ...
Hill staffers in both parties overwhelmingly believe Trump headed for impeachment
But both sides also agree the Senate won't remove the president from office

If Donald Trump’s presidency feels like a roller-coaster ride, with each hair-raising turn of events quickly giving way to a new one — and opinions about him constantly in motion — the results of CQ Roll Call’s Capitol Insiders Survey in 2019 buttress that view.

Few congressional staffers thought, at the beginning of the year, that Trump was headed for impeachment. But the results of CQ Roll Call’s October poll are unambiguous: Staffers in both parties overwhelmingly believe Trump will become the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

Colleges squawk over endowment tax
Universities push to reduce impact — or scrap levy altogether

A provision in the 2018 budget law aimed at shielding a college in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky from new taxes hasn’t actually done that.

In comments filed on a Treasury Department-issued guidance on the new endowment tax last month, Berea College said it believed Treasury’s interpretation of the tax would force it to pay $1 million a year. The college is asking Treasury to reconsider before finalizing the rules.

Closed-door impeachment inquiry irks the GOP
CQ on Congress, ep. 173

Gary Abernathy, a former staffer for Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, assesses the impeachment inquiry from the GOP heartland and finds it wanting. And CQ Roll Call reporter Katherine Tully-McManus describes how House Republicans protested the inquiry in dramatic fashion this week. They find the closed-door style of the inquiry unsavory. 

Polling impeachment and remembering Elijah Cummings
CQ on Congress, Ep. 172

Polls now show a majority of Americans favor impeaching President Donald Trump and removing him from office. Democratic pollster Brad Bannon explains how people should read the rush of new surveys coming in. We also remember Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who passed away this week, by reprising his 2017 interview with CQ Roll Call.

‘We’re trying to protect children’: Donna Shalala on e-cigarettes
Florida Democrat touts bill that would raise the age to buy e-cigarettes from 18 to 21

Hundreds of Americans have become sick and eight have died after using electronic cigarettes, prompting a bipartisan response in Washington. President Donald Trump last month called for a ban on the flavorings believed to attract young people to the devices.

But Florida freshman Rep. Donna E. Shalala says Congress needs to do more. Shalala, who was Health and Human Services secretary under President Bill Clinton, has teamed with a fellow House Democrat, Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, on a bill that would raise the age to buy e-cigarettes, and any tobacco product, from 18 to 21, and add other restrictions aimed at keeping young people from getting hooked on nicotine.

White House staff on the hot seat
CQ On Congress episode 171