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Trump admits he was a liability in 2018
New books states president deliberately hindered Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen’s reelection

President Donald Trump might have more of a nuanced self-awareness of his political standing than he advertises, according to a behind-the-scenes moment captured by Tim Alberta for his new book "American Carnage." (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump still won’t publicly admit he was a significant factor in Republicans’ loss of the House in 2018. But a behind-the-scenes moment captured in a new book suggests he is more politically self-aware than he leads on.

We know that Trump doesn’t admit mistakes or commit sins. It’s not in his personality or good for his brand to acknowledge any weakness. But, according to Politico’s Tim Alberta, the president endorsed a vulnerable member of Congress in an intentional effort to weaken his candidacy.

House demands to see Trump’s cyberwarfare directive
But senators who oversee the Pentagon are not as concerned

Rep. Jim Langevin chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He’s part of a bipartisan group asking the Trump administration to share its secret cyberwarfare directive. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

A small but significant quarrel is emerging between a bipartisan team of lawmakers in the House and the Trump administration over how the Pentagon is going about using its newly minted authority to strike back against adversaries in cyberspace.

Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee and its emerging threats subcommittee — in a rare instance of bipartisan pushback against the White House — have repeatedly asked administration officials for a still-secret memo issued by President Donald Trump that lifted earlier restrictions on U.S. Cyber Command’s operations against adversaries.

‘His plan to pit us against one another:’ Progressive ‘squad’ responds to Trump attacks
Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar and Tlaib say they won’t let president distract from Democrats’ agenda

From left, Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center responding to negative comments by President Donald Trump that were directed at them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The “squad,” as four progressive Democratic freshman minority women call themselves, responded Monday to President Donald Trump’s repeated calls for them to leave the country by calling it a “distraction” — even as they said the House should impeach him. 

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York,  Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and  Rashida Tlaib of Michigan said they will not let Trump’s attacks — “a continuation of his racist, xenophobic playbook” as Omar called it — distract them from Democrats’ agenda.

Democrats renew impeachment inquiry calls after Trump’s racist tweets
Reps. Al Green, Madeleine Dean among House Democrats who resumed impeachment chatter on Monday

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, resumed his call to impeach President Donald Trump on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Al Green has promised to force a vote "this month" on impeaching President Donald Trump after the president fired off a series of tweets on Sunday, widely condemned as racist, in which he told four minority Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to the countries of their ancestry before trying to fix America’s problems.

Other House Democrats renewed their pleas to party leadership Monday to open a Judiciary Committee impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Democrats condemn Trump’s racist tweets, congressional Republicans mostly silent
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern calls his GOP colleagues ‘cowards’

Democratic Reps. Ayanna S. Pressley, from right, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Veronica Escobar  testify about their trip ICE detention facilities at the southern border last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:59 p.m. | While Democrats were united in their condemnation of President Donald Trump’s call Sunday for four members of Congress to “go back” to “the crime infested countries from which they came,” Republicans on Monday were slow to publicly comment on the president’s tirade. 

On the Republican side of the aisle, condemnations of Trump for calling four of their colleagues unworthy to serve in Congress because of their non-European heritage were slow to materialize. Even as conservative pundits decried the president’s targeting of four progressive lawmakers — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — as an ugly attack rooted in racism, not a political critique. 

Make your favorite mistake (but don’t inebriate the animals): Your Hill Horoscope
What to do in D.C. the week of July 15-21

It’s Brew at the Zoo on Thursday, but you’ll have to choose between that and Sheryl Crow. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Washington Kastles kick off their season this week with matches against the Las Vegas Rollers, San Diego Aviators and Orange County Breakers. The team opens Monday in their brand-new venue at the top of Union Market. Special guests this season include Frances Tiafoe (July 15-17) and Venus Williams (July 25-26).

It’s Amazon Prime Day … or rather “days.” Burn a few extra holes in your pocket on Monday and Tuesday, because #deals and #whynot?

Road ahead: Pressure rising for debt limit deal
Lawmakers face deadline on debt even as other priorities come to floor

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other congressional leaders and the administration only have a few legislative days to strike a deal  on raising the debt limit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is set to consider several high-profile measures this week, including holding two Cabinet officials in contempt, raising the minimum wage and ratifying tax treaties, but lawmakers will be unable to avoid the contentious issue of raising the federal debt ceiling. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been speaking by phone, trying to reach agreement on avoiding a potentially calamitous debt default.

Senators mount pressure on equal pay for World Cup champs
More lawmakers introduce measures pushing equal pay for U.S. women's soccer team

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are leading an effort in the Senate to make salaries for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams equitable. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the U.S. soccer women’s team embarks on a whirlwind victory lap from its recent World Cup domination, more lawmakers are joining the four-time champions in calling for pay equity.

A group of senators led by Robert Menendez, Susan Collins and Dianne Feinstein introduced a resolution congratulating the team for winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and asking U.S. Soccer to provide the players with pay comparable to their counterparts on the men’s team.

Competitive Tennessee Senate primary likely after Haslam decision not to run
Hagerty and Kustoff could run, while Green and Black have passed on the race

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will not be running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday he will sit out the race for Senate this cycle, teeing up a competitive Republican primary in the contest to succeed retiring GOP incumbent Lamar Alexander.

Haslam, 60, described his choice to forgo another bid for public office as “the hardest vocational decision of my life” in a letter published in The Tennessean

Can the billion-dollar esports industry get some respect?
Members of Congress can help — or at least that’s what lobbyists are hoping

From left, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Florida Reps. Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy battle it out in a Rocket League tournament on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress fought to the (virtual) death Wednesday night while their staffers, drinking beer and scarfing down cheeseburger sliders, watched. Don’t worry: It was live-streamed.

The setting was a dimly lit reception room on Capitol Hill. The occasion was a video game tournament, put on by the Entertainment Software Association, that ran on the streaming site Twitch. As some huddled intently around screens to play their own side games, a battle for Florida or New York supremacy was unfolding — a Rocket League showdown between Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Hakeem Jeffries.