congressional-affairs

Reps Omar and Zeldin are beefing on Twitter... again
New York Republican, Minnesota Democrat have longstanding Twitter beef over terrorism, Middle East politics

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., speaks during the press conference calling on President Trump to declassify the Carter Page FISA applications on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Lee Zeldin and Ilhan Omar renewed their Twitter beef this week — this time, over a Coast Guard lieutenant caught using work computers to plan a sprawling domestic terrorist attack against Democratic lawmakers.

Zeldin, a New York Republican who is Jewish, and Omar, a Minnesota Democrat who is Muslim, accused each other over Twitter in January of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Donors to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s legal defense fund: His uncle, defense contractors
Longtime donors connected to Edison Chouest Offshore also contributed

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, walks down the House steps following a vote in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donors to a special fund established by Rep. Duncan Hunter to underwrite his legal defense include the board member of the company founded by his uncle and multibillion dollar defense contractors.

Hunter can tap $60,800 in donations to a piggybank separate from his campaign committee — called the Duncan D. Hunter Legal Expense Trust — to finance his legal case. Hunter faces trial in September on 60 federal charges related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as a family vacation to Italy and dental work.

Democrats introduce disapproval of Trump’s border emergency declaration
Rep. Joaquin Castro told reporters there was one Republican cosponsor — Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, is leading the resolution of disapproval. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An effort to disapprove of President Trump Donald Trump’s border security national emergency declaration is on the fast track through the House of Representatives.

Rep. Joaquin Castro told reporters that he filed the joint resolution of disapproval on Friday.

From silent to millennial, generations of the Democratic presidential field
The growing primary roster now ranges in age from 37 to 77

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, represent the range of generations making up the 2020 Democratic presidential field. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Say this for the Democrats, they are multigenerational. 

Their presidential field continued to swell as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who affiliates with Democrats, announced he was running and promptly raised millions of dollars to show his campaign apparatus was doing just fine. 

Rep. Steve King says he has been cyberbullied
Iowa congressman says New York Times, Washington Post and former NRCC chairman conspired against him

Rep. Steve King told reporters in Iowa that he has “nothing to apologize for.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve King was defiant in an interview with Iowa public television this week, insisting he won’t apologize for the racist remarks and actions that cost him all of his committee assignments and endangered his reelection.

“I have nothing to apologize for,” King told a roundtable of reporters on Iowa Public Television in a Thursday taping.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a ‘living wage’ starts in her office
New York Democrat will pay staffers no less than $52,000 a year

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, center, and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, third from right, arrive with staff members for a press conference on the Green New Deal outside the Capitol on Feb. 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Claudia Pagon Marchena, like so many Hill staffers, moonlighted at a Washington, D.C., eatery to pay her rent until she took a job with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She celebrated her last day at her coffee shop job that same week.

That’s because Ocasio-Cortez, who has called on fellow lawmakers to pay their staffs a “living wage,” is making an example out of her own office. The New York Democrat has introduced an unusual policy that no one on her staff will make less than $52,000 a year — an almost unheard of amount for many of the 20-somethings whose long hours make House and Senate offices run.

Lori Trahan got the band back together as she staffed up her office
Freshman Democrat was once a Hill aide herself

When Rep. Lori Trahan was a scheduler, she tried to be the first one at the office, if only for a little quiet time. Now that she’s the boss, she doesn’t want her staffers to burn the candle at both ends. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lori Trahan knows a thing or two about transferable skills. After climbing the Hill ranks from scheduler to chief of staff, she decamped to the male-dominated world of tech, where her congressional experience came in handy.

Now that she’s back as a freshman Democrat — in the same seat once held by her former boss, Massachusetts Rep. Marty Meehan — she’s trying to think like a consultant. That means being willing to say, “Wait a second, that’s crazy.”

A reporter’s homage to government auditors — unsung heroes of transparency
America needs information that presents an objective version of reality

Michael Horowitz, inspector general of the Justice Department, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Building in 2017. Government institutions such as inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office toil in obscurity but their work is critical for America, John Donnelly writes.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Whistle-blowers and internal documents are the lifeblood of journalism.

Without such sources, the full story of what’s happening in our country can’t come out.

Rep. Dan Kildee interviewed by Alec Baldwin for Flint documentary
Congressman met with actor for an upcoming documentary on the city’s water crisis

Rep. Dan Kildee, right, poses with actor Alec Baldwin on Wednesday in Flint, Michigan. Baldwin interviewed the Michigan Democrat for an upcoming documentary on the Flint water crisis. (Courtesy Rep. Dan Kildee)

Rep. Dan Kildee met with actor and “Saturday Night Live” Donald Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin on Wednesday for an interview in Michigan that will be featured in an upcoming documentary film about the Flint water crisis.

The untitled documentary, which has been in the works since 2015, is being directed by British filmmaker Anthony Baxter, The Detroit News reported. Baxter wanted to tell the story of Flint from the perspective of its residents, instead of politicians and celebrities, Variety reported in 2017. The film does not yet have a release window.

White House, North Korea still don‘t define ‘denuclearization’ the same way
Trump and aides downplay expectations for summit with Kim Jong Un next week

A ballistic missile during a "Victory Day" parade in 2013 in North Korea. President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next week in Vietnam. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Just days before President Donald Trump will be face-to-face again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the two sides remain divided on one of the biggest issues at the heart of their second summit.

Among the many unresolved issues as Trump and Kim prepare for another meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Hanoi, Vietnam is a common definition of what “denuclearization” would mean for the reclusive Asian country. A senior Trump administration official told reporters on a call Thursday morning that one of the top agenda items for the leaders’ second meeting is trying to agree to a “shared understanding of what denuclearization is.”