staffers

Members’ Dining Room Sheds Exclusivity, Welcomes Staffers
Further changes might be in store for the storied eatery

The painting and quote in the hallway where the previously members-only dining room is located on the House side. Starting on Tuesday, staff were welcomed in. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Members’ Dining Room in the House is getting much less exclusive. Starting Tuesday, the eatery is now open to Capitol Hill staff, not just House members and their guests.

“Beginning today … the [Bennett] Room of the Members’ Dining Room will open to all congressional staff. This includes employees of the House, Senate, Architect of the Capitol, Congressional Budget Office, and Library of Congress,” House Chief Administrative Officer Philip Kiko wrote in a letter.

Manafort Strikes Deal With Special Counsel Ahead of DC Trial
Former Trump campaign chairman crucial link in Mueller’s Russia probe

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort will plead guilty in court on Friday as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Paul Manafort has reached a deal with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to plead guilty ahead of his criminal trial in Washington, D.C., where he was slated to appear Friday.

Manafort’s reported guilty plea comes a month after an Eastern Virginia jury found him guilty on eight charges related to tax evasion and bank loan fraud in August.

Senators Help Raise Money for Harris Staffer’s Cancer Battle
Former colleague from Clinton campaign running Chicago marathon to fundraise

Tyrone Gayle, right, talks with Hillary Clinton at her campaign HQ in New York. (Barb Kinney/Clinton campaign file photo)

One former Hillary Clinton campaign press aide is running the Chicago Marathon money to help another’s battle against cancer.

And the effort is getting a little help from some prominent senators.

Virginia Supreme Court Keeps Third Candidate out of Scott Taylor Race
Four Taylor campaign staffers accused of forging signatures to get independent on November ballot

Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., will face Democrat Elaine Luria in a head-to-head matchup for Virginia's 2nd District seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Virginia's 2nd District ballot will feature just two names this November: Scott Taylor and Elaine Luria. The state elections board is printing them today, and that’s final.

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled Wednesday to dismiss independent candidate Shaun Brown’s appeal that her name remain on the ballot, putting a nail in the coffin of a bizarre scandal in which four staffers for Taylor, the Republican incumbent, allegedly forged dozens of signatures on ballot petition sheets for Brown to include her in the election.

Democrats Call Bologna on Meadows’ Strzok-Page Theory
Strzok, Page were not talking about leaking to the press, Democrats say — they were talking about combatting leaks

Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok’s text messages with Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page have been scrutinized for months by House Republicans. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats attempted to refute point-by-point a letter from GOP Rep. Mark Meadows to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in which Meadows claims text messages between a former FBI agent and a Justice Department lawyer recently released to Congress show there is a “systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials” at the agencies.

But the fired FBI official Peter Strzok and DOJ lawyer Lisa Page were not texting about leaking information to the press — they were texting about combatting leaks, Democrats said Tuesday.

Meadows: New Strzok Texts Show ‘Culture of Media Leaking’ at FBI, DOJ
Texts offer behind-the-scenes look at how FBI officials knew of media leak to WaPo, others

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., wrote a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decrying a “culture of media leaking” at the FBI and DOJ. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mark Meadows has identified what he called a “systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials” at the nation’s top law enforcement agencies, he wrote in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday.

The allegations that higher-ups at the FBI and Justice Department stem from yet more unmasked text exchanges between two officials Meadows and other House Republicans have criticized for months as they try to root out political bias at the agencies: the FBI’s recently fired Peter Strzok and DOJ lawyer Lisa Page, his former alleged mistress.

What Congress Wants to Study and ‘Explore’ About Itself
Dunkin’ Donuts, horse mounted police and leaky Cannon tunnel all will get consideration

Congress wants studies on police horses, flooding in the Cannon Tunnel, Senate child care and more. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What to do with some basement ambience, Horse-mounted police and Dunkin’ Donuts are but a few questions appropriators want answered as they look to fund Congress and its agencies to the tune of $4.8 billion.The fiscal year 2019 appropriations conference committee report released Monday includes reporting requirements and requests for studies and explorations. Here are just a few: 

Conferees had some real talk about the tunnel that connects the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol:“The current condition of the Cannon tunnel is that of a basement ambience,” said the report, “Furthermore the tunnel is subject to leaks which have recently caused the tunnel to be closed.”The report directs the Architect of the Capitol and the  Clerk of the House to develop a comprehensive plan to “enhance the tunnel,” including cost estimates, timeline, and renderings.

Electronic Campaign Filing and McCain Gratuity Included in Spending Package
First-time pay for interns, boost for Capitol Police are also included

Requirements for Senate candidate campaign filing and a payment to late Sen. John McCain's family are included in a spending deal struck Monday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Appropriators are making a move to boost transparency for the historically opaque Senate with a provision to require candidates to file their campaign disclosures electronically.

House and Senate appropriators came to an agreement Monday on a roughly $147.4 billion fiscal 2019 three-bill spending package that includes a $4.8 billion Legislative Branch title to fund Congress, the Capitol Police and other Capitol Hill agencies. The package also includes the Energy-Water and Military Construction-VA titles.

Scott Taylor Opponent Appeals Court Decision to Kick Her Off Ballot
Virginia elections board wants state Supreme Court to conduct expedited review

An independent candidate challenging Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., appealed a court’s decision to remove her name from the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Third-party candidate Shaun Brown is appealing to the Virginia Supreme Court to reverse her removal from the ballot for Virginia’s 2nd District, where her opponent, GOP Rep. Scott Taylor is entwined in ongoing litigation.

A circuit court judge last Wednesday tossed out every ballot petition sheet Brown submitted to the elections board after finding she listed an incorrect address for herself on each document.

Ryan, Bipartisan Group Decry NYT Op-Ed Writer
‘Proper guardrails on any president isn’t staff subterfuge, it’s elections and our constitutional checks,’ Rubio says

Paul Ryan joined a handful of bipartisan lawmakers in knocking the author of an anonymous op-ed critical of President Donald Trump published Wednesday by The New York Times. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan joined a handful of lawmakers from both parties who have decried a New York Times op-ed author for publishing a Wednesday criticism of the president anonymously.

The Wisconsin Republican called for the author to vacate his or her job.