Congress

Tips and calls to the Office of Congressional Ethics spiked last session
More than 13,300 private citizens reached out to group charged with reviewing misconduct allegations

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi receives the gavel from outgoing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in January. The pair announced Office of Congressional Ethics appointees for the 116th Congress on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Citizen outreach to the Office of Congressional Ethics more than doubled in the 115th Congress, but the agency’s pre-election blackout period means they didn’t take action on any cases in the last quarter of 2018.

More than 13,300 private citizens contacted the Office of Congressional Ethics during the 115th Congress, up from 6,285 in the 114th Congress, according to the OCE’s most recent quarterly report. The contacts fall into two categories: allegations of misconduct and requests for information about the OCE.

Isakson defends McCain after Trump attacks, but still doesn't support renaming Russell
Isakson says Schumer is playing politics with effort to rename Russell building after the Arizona Republican

Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., left, shakes hands with Disabled American Veterans National Commander Dennis Nixon before the start of the Joint Hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees to receive the legislative presentation of the Disabled American Veterans on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson is leading Republicans speaking out again against President Donald Trump’s bashing of the late Sen. John McCain, but the Georgia Republican reiterated Wednesday that he will not be joining the effort to put McCain’s name on the office building currently named for a favorite son of his home state.

“Lack of respect I would say is the right word,” Isakson said on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Political Rewind referring to Trump’s latest criticism of McCain.

White House hasn’t provided ‘a single piece of paper’ to Oversight, despite 12 requests
Chair Elijah Cummings accuses Trump officials of ‘an unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay and obstruction’

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, wrote in an op-ed Tuesday that the White House is engaged in “an unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay and obstruction.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the top House Democratic investigators accused President Donald Trump’s White House on Tuesday of engaging in “an unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay and obstruction.” 

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that, despite sending a dozen letters to administration officials, the White House has not complied with the committee’s oversight probes, or made any employees available for interviews. 

This Republican plans to lash out at Trump over his attacks on John McCain
Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson will reportedly speak out against the treatment of McCain months after his death

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is not happy with President Donald Trump’s continued criticism of the late Sen. John McCain. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Johnny Isakson is fed up with President Donald Trump’s continued criticism levied at the late Sen. John McCain

The Georgia Republican, who is chairman of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee, will reportedly speak out against the President’s treatment of the McCain months after his death, The Bulwark reported Tuesday.

Navy routinely buys defective ships
Former shipbuilding executive: “There’s an old adage: ‘A ship so nice, we built it twice’”

The newest Littoral Combat Ship, the USS St. Louis, is launched in Wisconsin in December. The LCS class has been bogged down by defects. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

For the U.S. Navy, buying warships that are defective, unfinished or both has become the norm.

The habit is expensive, dangerous and leaves overworked sailors to deal with faulty ships in need of repair from day one — yet it has escaped sufficient scrutiny in Washington.

Banks seek Congress’ help to block fintech path to ‘industrial’ charters
Industry group expects efforts to have bipartisan support on Hill

A bank industry group accuses financial technology firms like payment processor Square Inc. of trying to exploit a banking law loophole. (Courtesy Shutterstock)

A bank industry group is lobbying Congress to block financial technology firms, such as online lender Social Finance Inc. and payment processor Square Inc., from obtaining an obscure form of a state bank charter that would let them operate nationally with little federal supervision.

The Independent Community Bankers of America last week distributed a policy paper around Washington calling for an immediate moratorium on providing federal deposit insurance to industrial loan companies, or ILCs, which are chartered by only a few states — most notably Utah.

Bannon, Papadopoulos, NRA complying with House Dems’ Trump corruption probe
House Judiciary Chairman Nadler has requested documents from 81 people and groups close to Trump

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is among the people who have provided documents to House Democrats as part of a Judiciary Committee investigation. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images file photo)

Steve Bannon, George Papadopoulos, and the National Rifle Association are among the eight people and entities who have provided documents to House Democrats as part of the Judiciary Committee’s investigation into alleged corruption and obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump and his inner circle, according to a Republican aide with knowledge of the situation.

In February, Chairman Jerrold Nadler set a deadline for March 18 for the 81 people and entities to provide documents for the probe. That deadline passed with less than 10 percent in compliance, the GOP aide said.

How Congress might rewrite Trump’s budget
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 103

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Nadler: White House can’t claim executive privilege on Mueller report
Judiciary Committee chairman says administration waived that privilege ‘long ago’

House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler said Tuesday it would be “unacceptable” for the White House to “edit” any of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report before it is released. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top House Democrat in the impending fight between the executive branch and Congress over the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report to the public indicated Tuesday that he will strongly oppose White House lawyers’ efforts to redact some information.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler claimed Tuesday that the Trump administration waived any claims of executive privilege over Mueller’s eventual findings “long ago” when it agreed to cooperate with the probe.

House Appropriations may start markups in April
Markups have to begin in April or May at the latest to have any chance of bills passing on the floor in June

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chair of the House Appropriations Committee walks across the Capitol from the House side for a meeting with House and Senate appropriators in an effort to revive spending talks and avert a second shutdown on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey and Democratic appropriators are looking at starting fiscal 2020 markups as soon as late April with the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education and Legislative Branch bills, people familiar with the process said.

The Military Construction-VA and Energy-Water bills also are on tap to be among the first five bills marked up, as part of an effort to begin advancing bills across the floor in June.

Rep. Devin Nunes says he’s suing Twitter, parody account pretending to be his mom
California congressman is seeking more than $250 million for emotional distress and damage to his reputation

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., filed a suit against two parody accounts Monday impersonating his mother and a cow. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Devin Nunes says he filed suit in Virginia state court on Monday against Twitter, a conservative political operative and two anonymous Twitter accounts, alleging a conspiracy to defame him and oust him from political office.

The California Republican seeks $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages for “pain, insult, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress and mental suffering, and injury to his personal and professional reputations,” according to the complaint, which was first reported by Fox News.

On the campaign trail, climate change can no longer be ignored
Democrats try to out-green each other as presidential race heats up

The Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County, California, destroyed 37,000 acres and more than 300 structures in August 2016. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The 2020 elections are still many months away, but 17-year-old Michael Minsk is already following it closely as more candidates enter the race. Eager to vote for the first time next year, the high school junior is looking for a candidate promising bold action on climate change.

“Climate change is definitely one of the issues I will be voting on along with other social and economic problems,” said Minsk, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “I am tired of corruption in government that prevents politicians from acting on it, so I want someone that will stand up and make changes.”

Democrats expecting to receive ’tens of thousands’ of documents from Trump associates
Some of the people Judiciary panel sent requests to want to be subpoenaed before responding

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., says he’s “encouraged” by the responses the panel has received in response to its investigation into alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuse of power by President Donald Trump and his associates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary Committee has been promised “tens of thousands” of documents from “a large number” of the 81 associates of President Donald Trump that it sent information requests to two weeks ago, according to a status update from Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

The New York Democrat’s update on the document requests comes on the due date the committee provided to the individuals and entities it contacted. The document requests represent the initial step in a House Judiciary investigation into alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuse of power by Trump and his associates. 

House to vote on equal pay, VAWA, net neutrality bills, in next 3 weeks
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the upcoming votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent Monday

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the major bills the House will consider over the next three-week work period in a dear colleague letter Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will vote over the next three weeks on bills to help reduce the gender pay gap, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and codify the Obama-era net neutrality rule.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter Monday outlining plans for the three-week House work period beginning March 25.

Some voters labeled AOC the biggest ‘villain’ in loss of NYC’s HQ2, poll says
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was outspoken in opposition to locating the company’s second headquarters in Queens

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. seen during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some New Yorkers see Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others as “villains” in Amazon’s decision to cancel its planned New York City headquarters, a new poll released Monday shows.

“Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists,” said Siena College Pollster Steven Greenberg.