congressional-operations

Ex-Staffer Launches Petition to Save Cups
‘Cups is very life-giving’

(Courtesy “Save Cups”/actionnetwork.org)

The Capitol Hill Twitterverse was not pleased to see the news that Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office building could lose its contract and have to end services. One woman is taking action.

All the way from New York, where she now lives, Rebecca Christopher has started a petition. She left Capitol Hill in 2009 where she most recently was a press assistant to Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin.

Inside the Library of Congress’ Reading Room Just for Members
The history of the Thomas Jefferson Congressional Reading Room

A view from the balcony of the Congressional Reading Room. (Alex Gangitano/Roll Call)

Down a corridor inside the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, a code just for members of Congress guards a special room.

Even lawmakers’ spouses can’t walk into the Congressional Reading Room alone. But when a member of Congress unlocks the door, it opens to a private space staffed by a Congressional Research Service employee, there to answer questions and assist members seeking materials. The room is stocked with periodicals, books, desks and computers.

Cups Could Be No More
AOC studying whether to give the beloved Hill coffee shop the heave-ho

Cups & Company is located in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The beloved Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office Building, a favorite on Capitol Hill, could lose its contract and end services.

Charles and Kathy Chung have been operating Cups since 2001 and their contract has to be renewed every four years. But this time around, they are competing with other companies and will find out in November if Cups will still be operating.

House Tradition of Opening Legislative Day with Prayer Upheld
Court rules against atheist who wanted to deliver a secular invocation on the floor

Patrick Conroy, chaplain of the House of Representatives, left, leads both teams in a moment of prayer before the start of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in June 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy and Paul D. Ryan got a win on Wednesday when the U.S. District Court upheld Congress’ right to open with a prayer.

In the case of Barker v. Conroy, the plaintiff, Daniel Barker, an atheist and the founder of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, filed a federal discrimination and free speech lawsuit against Conroy and Ryan in June 2016 after his request to offer a secular invocation on the floor was declined.

Diane Black, Prepping Gubernatorial Bid, Takes Victory Lap
Tennessee Republican finally shepherded budget resolution through House last week

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black has had an undeniable impact on this year’s budget process, thanks to her efforts to forge a compromise package. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

The first woman to chair the House Budget Committee finally shepherded the fiscal 2018 resolution through her chamber Oct. 5, a traditionally thankless task that she took on after President Donald Trump tapped the former chairman, Tom Price, to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Diane Black is now preparing to hand in her gavel after 10 months on the job, so she can focus on her campaign to become Tennessee’s next Republican governor, she announced in early August.

Former Brady Challenger Admits to Accepting Bribe Money to Drop Out of 2012 Race
Former Philadelphia municipal court judge has been cooperating with federal investigators for months

Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., walks down the House steps following a series of votes on Thursday, April 19, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A former primary challenger to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady has agreed to cooperate with a federal investigation into $90,000 he says he received from Brady's campaign to drop from the 2012 race.

Former Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore has said he accepted $90,000 in concealed bribe money from the Democratic congressman’s campaign. He has been mum on whether his testimony could implicate Brady directly.

Bera’s Father Released From Prison
California congressman’s dad caught illegally funneling $270,000 to his son’s campaign

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., has maintained he didn’t know about his father’s illegal campaign funding scheme.. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ami Bera’s father has been released from federal prison seven weeks before the end of his full sentence of a year and a day.

Babulal Bera was given credit for good behavior, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Prisons told The Associated Press, but will still check in with a probation officer for three years.

Republican Group Ready to Spend Big on Redistricting
Operatives to raise $35 million for GOP efforts after 2020 Census

The National Republican Redistricting Trust will channel most of its resources to helping Republicans currently in office use data and the law to mold districts in 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Republican group launched a campaign Thursday to counter the efforts of an organization chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder to redistrict Congressional boundaries more favorably to Democrats after the 2020 U.S. Census.

The National Republican Redistricting Trust announced it would raise $35 million by the 2021 redistricting to combat Holder’s group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, or NDRC, and assist the GOP in future redistricting cases.

Scalise Gets Emotional Welcome Back to the House
Thanks colleagues for their ‘outpouring of love, of warmth, of prayer’

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., walks with his wife Jennifer from the House chamber to his office in the Capitol on his first day back in Congress on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the Capitol Thursday to a standing ovation from his colleagues as he walked out on the House floor on crutches to deliver an emotional speech announcing his plans to officially return to work. 

“You have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people’s house,” the Louisiana Republican said.

Hurricane Irma Forces House Vote Cancellations
Citing absences, leadership postpones votes until Tuesday

Hurricane Irma has prompted the House to cancel Monday votes. (Wikimedia Commons)

The House has canceled Monday votes, with leaders citing the large number of absences by lawmakers who are staying home in their districts because of Hurricane Irma.

The chamber will instead begin debating suspension bills on Tuesday and then resume debate on an omnibus appropriations package for fiscal 2018, according to a release from the office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy