Blake Farenthold

Photos of the Week: Taxes Dominate, Bible Museum Opens and Trump Visits
The week of Nov. 13 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor sits on the House steps to shoot a selfie video about his vote on the tax overhaul Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Taxes once again dominated action on the Hill, with the Senate Finance Committee marking up its plan while the House passed its version of a tax overhaul by a 227-205 vote Thursday. 

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol
Kellyanne sighting, Congressional Baseball Game date set, and be on the lookout for John Cleese’s diary

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, takes a picture during a Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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

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.

Congress Took Three Decades to Come This Far, Sexual Harassment Victim Says
Dorena Bertussi filed Hill’s first successful harassment complaint in 1988

Dorena Bertussi, a former House staffer, filed a  successful sexual harassment complaint against a congressman in 1988. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Shortly after Dorena Bertussi’s name was published in one of the first major sexual harassment scandals in the House of Representatives, she came home to the sound of a ticking clock on her home answering machine.

The police told her she might want to find someplace else to stay for a while.

Cornyn: Next Hurricane Supplemental May Be Delayed
Concerned about an effort to roll it into the December omnibus

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

 

Even as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the rounds on Capitol Hill Tuesday outlining a request for an additional $61 billion in hurricane recovery funds, lawmakers were getting word there may be no aid package forthcoming next month, according to a senior Texas GOP lawmaker.

Word on the Hill: Gifts for McCain
Partnership for Public Service awards, and staffer shuffle

A banner for Sen. John McCain flew over the University of Phoenix stadium. (Courtesy UltraViolet)

You would think it was Sen. John McCain’s birthday again. Since the Arizona Republican announced his opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, liberal groups have given him a cake, sent him cupcakes and flown a banner over the site of an NFL game.

UltraViolet delivered a cake to McCain’s Phoenix office Tuesday, and the women’s advocacy group also delivered one to the Portland office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. The group chartered a plane to fly over the University of Phoenix Stadium before Monday’s Cardinals vs. Cowboys NFL game, thanking McCain for his opposition to the bill. Tailgaters and those preparing for the game were able to spot it, including reporter Ryan Haarer.

Harvey Aid Bill Creates Dilemma for Texas Republicans
Most oppose move to tack debt and CR to disaster relief

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer struck a rare deal with Republican President Donald Trump on Thursday (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A measure that would provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief to Texas has politically perplexed members of the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation, some of whom plan to vote against it.

That’s because it includes a debt ceiling extension and only three months’ worth of government funding — a deal struck by President Donald Trump with House and Senate Democratic leaders.

In the Courthouse: Cases Affecting Congress Work Way Through System

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., faces a corruption trial in Newark, which could affect some Senate votes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several high-profile cases affecting Congress are making their way through the federal court system, including how congressional districts are drawn in Texas and Maryland, as well as a criminal trial affecting a sitting U.S. senator. 

On Friday, Texas asked the Supreme Court to stop a court-ordered redrawing of the state’s congressional districts ahead of the 2018 election, or risk “chaos” in the state’s election timeline for a second time this decade.

Texas Members Respond to Hurricane Harvey
Others send best wishes and prayers to those in the path of the storm

Water churns from approaching Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday. The storm has the potential to drop up to 3 feet of rain with 125 mph winds. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While Texans stocked up on food and water, filled their gas tanks, boarded up their homes, and left the area ahead of Hurricane Harvey, their members of Congress were passing along the latest news and advice.

Some said they would ride out the storm in their districts.

Farenthold to Run for Re-Election Despite Redistricting Issues
A court ruled Tuesday that his district was illegally drawn

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he would run for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold said Wednesday that he would run for re-election in 2018, even though his southern Texas district might need to be redrawn.

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the boundaries for Farenthold’s 27th District and the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The court ruled that the districts were drawn primarily on the basis of race. The Republican-controlled state government signaled it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.