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Proposals Would Help Homeowners, Make Ex-Presidents Pay for Office Supplies
Financial Services spending bill amendments also could affect local post offices

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., wants to bar the U.S. Postal Service for expanding its offering of financial services. Other proposed amendments to the Financial Services spending bill would help homeowners with bad foundations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Local post offices would be barred from offering most banking services, homeowners with crumbling foundations would get some help and ex-presidents would have to pay for their own office supplies under proposals to amend the House’s fiscal 2019 Financial Services spending bill.

Proposed amendments also include some of the usual suspects: keeping the District of Columbia from enforcing certain local laws, allowing federally insured banks to take deposits from companies in the marijuana industry, and barring federal funds from being spent at properties owned by President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers React to Trump-Putin Press Conference in Helsinki
GOP Sen. Jeff Flake on Trump performance: 'This is shameful'

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Helsinki International Airport on Sunday ahead of Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

As President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged for a press conference in Monday in Helsinki, Finland, lawmakers back home in Washington watched closely and offered their thoughts on the two leaders’ high-stakes summit.

Trump and Putin talked alone behind closed doors for more than two hours, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. The one-on-one with Putin was “a very good start for everybody,” Trump told reporters at a working lunch after the initial meeting.

Senate Democrats Target Michael Cohen for ‘Selling Access’ to Trump
Former personal attorney to POTUS is key subject in Mueller investigation

Democratic senators criticized former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen for what one called his “side hustle as influencer-in-chief.” (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images file photo)

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, is the target of a new report from Democratic senators who on Friday accused him of “selling access” to the White House through a shell company he formed during the 2016 election campaign.

The senators’ report is based on emails they obtained from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which signed a $1.2 million contract with Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, for “consulting and advisory services.”

When Things Get Heated in the Hearing Room
Strzok shouting match is hardly the first time emotions have erupted in the paneled recesses of the Capitol

Posters depicting the men who have pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe are displayed alongside Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as he gives his opening statement Thursday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

FBI agent Peter Strzok felt the heat at Thursday’s House Oversight and Judiciary hearing, as tempers flared and points of order flew.  

Chairman Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, brought the interrogative theatrics. “I don’t give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok,” the South Carolina Republican told the witness, who was removed from the bureau’s Russia probe last year over politically charged texts.

Opinion: Dems to African-American Women: This Time We Mean It
Party hopes to ‘rebuild relationships’ and ‘restore trust’ ahead of the midterms

When DNC Chairman Tom Perez showed up at the Essence Festival in New Orleans this month, it wasn’t for the Janet Jackson concert, Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

So why was Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, making an appearance at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, an event known for its high-powered mix of music, culture and empowerment, geared to engage black women globally? Did he see and enjoy “Girls Trip,” the 2017 mega-hit about the reunion of four black female buddies, set against the backdrop of the festival, and decide to get in on the fun, maybe take in a Janet Jackson concert?  

Or was he connecting with his party’s most loyal base, which has carried the electoral load for years, and has also expressed dissatisfaction when that contribution was downplayed or overlooked?

DHS: Russia Not Targeting Election Systems Like 2016
No evidence of a robust campaign aimed at tampering with midterms

DHS official Christopher Krebs says he has yet to see a robust election tampering effort aimed at the midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security are not seeing evidence so far of a concerted effort by Russia to hack or penetrate American election systems during the 2018 midterms, top Homeland Security officials told lawmakers Wednesday.

Although the 2018 “midterms remain a potential target for Russian actors,” the intelligence community has yet to see evidence of a robust campaign aimed at tampering with our election infrastructure along the lines of 2016 or influencing the makeup of the House or Senate races, Christopher Krebs, the top DHS official overseeing cybersecurity and elections security, told the House Homeland Security Committee.

For Stormy Daniels, Monday Was Not Her First Dance in Washington
Stephanie Clifford partook in advocacy campaign in 2008 and explored Senate run in 2009

Adult film star Stormy Daniels appeared at a news conference to tout the success of the Restricted to Adults (RTA) website and other efforts by the adult film industry to protect children from inappropriate material held at the National Press Club, May 29, 2008. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Monday’s performance at the Cloakroom DC strip club was not Stormy Daniels’ first trip to Washington.

In May of 2008, Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection invited Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. adult film actress and director Stormy Daniels) to the National Press Club to speak about efforts by the adult film industry to protect children from inappropriate material and encourage using a “Restricted to Adults” label on certain websites.

House Panel Advances Bills Aimed at Helping Small Businesses
Rep. Maxine Waters calls bills approved Wednesday an example of “true bipartisanship”

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and ranking member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., have hailed the bipartisan group of bills the panel approved Wednesday. Also pictured, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday approved a group of bills designed to make it easier for small companies to raise capital and relax regulations for investors, or potentially set the stage to make it easier.

Four of the bills would call for studies or reports.

House Appropriators Back Indefinite Detention of Migrant Kids
DeLauro: ‘It creates a false choice: Either we take the kids away or we jail everyone together’

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, joined all the Appropriation Committee’s Republicans in backing language overturning the Flores agreement in a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the southern border dominated the first few hours of Wednesday’s House Appropriations Committee markup of a spending bill for the Labor, Education and Health and Human Services departments.

As of midafternoon, committee members had gotten through only eight of up to 50 expected amendments to the fiscal 2019 $177.1 billion spending measure.

California Prosecutor Suggested Someone Might Shoot Waters
Deputy DA on leave after allegedly calling Waters the c-word, among other things

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was the target of social media posts by a federal prosecutor in Southern California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal prosecutor in Southern California was placed on administrative leave for social media posts in which he slurred Rep. Maxine Waters and suggested someone might shoot her.

San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Michael Selyem also insinuated former first lady Michelle Obama had male genitals and said a man shot and killed by police “got exactly what he deserved.”