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Dems Want to Know if Bolton Told White House About Contact With Alleged Spy
National security adviser appeared with Butina at gun rights roundtable when he worked for NRA

National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly appeared with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina when he was a top official with the National Rifle Association. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee want to know if National Security Adviser John Bolton told the White House about his reported contact with alleged Russian spy Maria Butina before he was appointed by President Trump. 

Bolton appeared with Butina in a video roundtable discussion about gun rights, reportedly sponsored by the Russian organization Right to Bear Arms, in his previous position as a top National Rifle Association official, Democrats Elijah Cummings and Stephen Lynch wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly delivered Monday. 

On Their Pre-Election Checklist? Getting Married
Heller and Heinrich staffers tied the knot Saturday

Scarlet Doyle and Tony Samp met in 2013 through work. (Courtesy of Samp)

Aides from the offices of Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican Sen. Dean Heller did more than reach across the aisle Saturday. They walked all the way down it.

Tony Samp, 34, Heinrich’s senior policy adviser, and Scarlet Doyle, 27, Heller’s senior legislative assistant, got married at City Winery in D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood.

Trump Administration Hears Day One of China Tariff Pleas
Six public hearings on import duties began Monday amid worries, hopes

President Donald Trump departs the White House on July 31. His administration kicked off six days of hearings on proposed tariffs on imports from China. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

Importers told government officials Monday that very little product manufacturing will return to the United States, saying Chinese manufacturers have the expertise to produce at high volume and lower prices.

The comments came as the Trump administration began public hearings on proposed tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China. While business leaders in some industries are hopeful that the tariffs will offer protection against competitors using cheaper imported Chinese goods, others worry about potential financial hardships.

Brennan Fracas Could Rip Through Senate’s Defense Spending Debate
Security clearances, abortion among amendment topics floated

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, here with Chairman Richard Burr, says he plans to introduce an amendment to the 2019 defense spending bill that would block the president from revoking security clearances. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is ready to start voting on amendments to the fiscal 2019 Defense spending bill, possibly including several that could stir spirited debate.

Senators have only agreed so far to vote on two relatively uncontroversial amendments to the the two-bill package that includes both the $675 billion Defense bill and the $179.3 billion Labor-HHS-Education measure. Those first two votes are scheduled for Monday evening.

Report: Farenthold Tried to Steer Contract to Businessman Who Later Got Him Lucrative Job
Disgraced congressman complained of ‘f-tards’ who drove him out of office amid #metoo scandal

Former Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, continues to attract controversy months after he resigned in disgrace amid a sexual harassment scandal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Blake Farenthold, who resigned from Congress in disgrace amid a sexual harassment scandal, tried to steer a federal contract to a business owned by the chairman of a Texas port authority who donated almost $20,000 to his campaign and later gave him a job, according to a local newspaper investigation published Monday. 

The Calhoun Port Authority’s secret decision to award Farenthold that  $13,333-a-month lobbying gig shortly after his May ouster from Congress has sparked local controversy and is at the center of a lawsuit filed by The Victoria Advocate. 

Trump Essentially Dares Brennan to Sue Over Stripped Clearance
President wants former CIA director’s ‘records, texts, emails and documents’

President Trump and his legal team are essentially daring former CIA Director John Brennan to sue the president over a terminated security clearance. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump on Monday essentially dared former CIA Director John Brennan to sue him over the security clearance the president revoked last week.

Trump ordered Brennan’s security clearance turned off after the former Barack Obama aide and Cabinet official harshly criticized the sitting president, even dubbing his performance last month alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin as “treasonous.”

Republicans Won’t Probe Influence of Trump Friends at Veterans Department
Dems have questions about trio named in lawsuit

Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a hearing of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert Wilkie in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Top Republican lawmakers have no plans to examine the alleged influence that a trio of President Donald Trump’s friends have at the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as Democrats call for an investigation.

The controversy peaked in recent weeks after reports that Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and D.C. lawyer Marc Sherman hold undue sway with VA leadership, including senior adviser Peter O’Rourke, who formerly served as acting secretary. Liberal veterans group VoteVets filed a lawsuit against the administration last week, claiming the VA is violating federal protocol related to private influence in matters of federal policy.

Podcast: Senators Rebuke Trump on Education Funding
CQ Budget, Episode 74

Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and ranking member Patty Murray, D-Wash., could lead debate on education policy. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Steve Bannon’s Bleak Message for GOP: Blue Wave=Trump’s Impeachment
Not a typical midterm year, former WH political strategist warns

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist to Donald Trump, warns that if Republicans don’t stop the blue wave, the president will face impeachment. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images file photo)

Former White House chief political strategist Steve Bannon has a bleak message for Republicans looking to retain control of the House in the 2018 midterms: If you don’t stop the blue wave, your heads won’t be the only ones that roll — President Donald Trump’s will, too.

Last week, Bannon announced the launch of his initiative, Citizens of the American Republic, to help the GOP keep its House majority by tying a Democratic victory in November to impeachment.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Joe Walsh’s wife enters politics, Huffman’s book choice, Noem's #oops, and a hometown hero

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.