Library of Congress

Mast’s Independence May Be Best Path to Holding Florida Swing Seat
Democrats say it’ll take certain kind of candidate to defeat freshman Republican

Freshman Rep. Brian Mast salutes as he arrives for a town hall meeting in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Feb. 24. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Florida Rep. Brian Mast would have moved the fish tank into his Rayburn office differently.

“I would have gotten these guys a wheelie cart and sloshed it down the hallway, with whatever fish were still in there,” he said, nodding to a nearby aide.

Senate Intelligence Leaders Stress Bipartisanship in Russia Probe
Burr admits he voted for Trump, but emphasizes how big the moment is

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner hold a news conference Wednesday to provide an update on the panel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week’s Supreme Court nomination hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch likely weren't the most interesting Senate business on the second floor of the Hart Office Building.

That’s where the Senate Intelligence Committee conducts its meetings in a secure facility just around the corner from where the Judiciary Committee was meeting.

Black Republican Staffer Association Membership Has Doubled
Group’s president Ayshia Connors wants to get more black Republicans in politics

Ayshia Connors, president of the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association, works in Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Will Hurd, Mia Love and Tim Scott are the three black Republicans serving in Congress — Hurd and Love in the House and Scott in the Senate.

The Black Republican Congressional Staff Association wants to increase that number and it is starting at the staff level.

Group Strives to ‘Make Congress Great Again’
Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group has a bipartisan following

Lee Drutman, left, and Kevin Kosar are the founders of the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group, which is focused on bringing together congressional staff from all sides to brainstorm ways to improve Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Its name is a mouthful, but the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group has gained a following for its mission to strengthen a polarized and unpopular Congress.

The founders come from think tanks in different positions on the political spectrum. Kevin Kosar spent 11 years at the Congressional Research Service before leaving for the “free market” R Street Institute. Lee Drutman is a senior fellow at the more liberal New America.

Mnuchin's ‘Batman’ Flap is No Joke, Ethics Experts Say
“It reflects a lack of concern for the ethics rules.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin arrives in the House Chamber before President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress in the Capitol, February 28, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s disclaimer before promoting a movie he produced does not clear him of potential violations of ethics rules, experts said.

Mnuchin’s comments last week urging people to send their children to “The LEGO Batman Movie” prompted Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, to inquire this week on the Treasury secretary’s progress of divesting his financial assets. 

Over the Years, Capitol Shootings
Without access to open records, timing is unclear about particulars of incidents

Police mark shell casings on Independence Avenue near the U.S. Capitol after a woman nearly hit U.S. Capitol Police officers, which resulted in an officer firing shots on Wednesday morning, March 29, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By JASON DICK and GILLIAN ROBERTSCQ Roll Call

It was a jarring beginning to the workday when Capitol Police walkie talkies started blaring “shots fired” shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Armed Forces Say Yearlong CR Spells Danger
“This is lives and death and real consequences”

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry has said a full-year continuing resolution could have “real consequences” for the U.S. military. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

First posted March 28, 2017, 3:18 p.m. on CQ.com.

If Washington fails to send the Pentagon a new spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year, the U.S. military will take a major hit, according to new Defense Department reports to Congress obtained by CQ Roll Call.

DFA Endorses Democrats in Kansas, Montana Uphill Races
‘The only way we can win everywhere is if we run everywhere’

Musician Rob Quist, left, shown here with Montana Sen. Jon Tester in February, faces an uphill battle in the race for Montana’s open House seat. (Courtesy Rob Quist for Congress)

Liberal group Democracy for America has endorsed Democratic candidates in special congressional elections Kansas and Montana.

The group announced it would back musician Rob Quist in Montana, who is running against Republican Greg Gianforte for the state’s at-large seat, which was left vacant after Ryan Zinke left Congress to the serve as secretary of Interior in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Shots Fired Near Capitol Building
Traffic incident near Botanic Gardens involved gunshots

Capitol Police responded Wednesday morning to an incident on Independence Avenue SW in Washington, D.C. next to the Botanic Gardens and near the Rayburn House Office Building. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police walkie talkies started blaring “shots fired” shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, a jarring start to the workday as members of Congress, staffers and visitors arrived at the Capitol grounds. 

A Capitol Police source said there was a traffic incident that involved gunshots being fired. The source said no one was injured and the suspect was in custody as of 9:40 am. The source also said there was damage to a police cruiser.

Why Committee Chairmen Should Be Concerned About Trump
White House has sent veiled warnings to appropriators, tax writers and authorizers

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., holds a news conference in the Capitol last Wednesday. The embattled chairman’s recent actions offer a cautionary tale for his colleagues. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | For Republican committee chairmen, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has had a month that amounts to a cautionary tale.

One day, you can be the respected chairman of one of the last remaining bipartisan committees on Capitol Hill. A few weeks later, your ranking member is calling for you to step aside from the most important probe the panel has done in years. Such is life for Republican committee chairmen in the Trump era.