Budget

Photos of the Week: Rain, National Police Week and Smokey Robinson
The week of May 14 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen through rain drops on the skylight of the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A rainy week in Washington is coming to a close (though the rain seems intent on sticking around through the weekend). Some of the events this week on Capitol Hill included: a presidential visit to the GOP policy lunch, testimony from singer-songwriter legend Smokey Robinson, the premiere of Sen. John McCain's HBO documentary and oh, more rain.

Here's the entire week in photos:

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
We found your badge, Shaun; Virginia commuting woes; and royal wedding prep

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., arrives for a Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the FBI’s 2019 budget featuring testimony by director Christopher Wray on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Conyers’ Son Fails to Make the Ballot
Former congressman’s great nephew challenges signatures on son’s application to run to replace him in the House

The son of former Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and his great nephew hope to replace him in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The family feud to replace former Rep. John Conyers Jr. took another turn Wednesday when the Michigan Democrat’s son failed to qualify for the ballot.

The Wayne County Clerk’s elections staff said John Conyers III, the former congressman’s son, was ineligible because he fell short of the number of valid signatures on his application to run, the Detroit News reported.

Opinion: Is It Too Early for North Carolina Democrats to Get Their Hopes Up, Again?
After years of dashed dreams, progressives are back to seeing blue

The Rev. William Barber hosts a “Moral Monday” in Raleigh in 2016. With efforts like Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign gaining steam in North Carolina, progressives are once again seeing blue at the end of the tunnel, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In 2008, Barack Obama’s slim North Carolina victory in his first presidential run had Democrats in the state celebrating in the present and dreaming of a blue future in what had been considered a (relatively) progressive Southern state. Boy, were those dreams premature.

But 10 years later — after new redistricting and voting rules solidified GOP control in both the state and U.S. House delegations and a bill on LGBT rights made the state a poster child for conservative social policies — Democrats are again seeing light at the end of a deep-red tunnel.

FBI Director Raises Concerns about Chinese Tech Giant Trump Wants to Help
Wray defends agency, responding to political attacks from Congress and White House

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the bureau’s FY2019 budget Wednesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday reaffirmed concerns about Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that President Donald Trump wants to help — and defended the agency from political attacks coming from the White House and Congress. 

At a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing about the FBI’s fiscal 2019 budget request, Wray used a question about the agency’s responsiveness to congressional oversight to highlight the importance of protecting people who provide agents information.

EPA’s Pruitt Faces Bipartisan Criticism at Senate Spending Panel
Discussion of agency’s budget takes back seat to scandals

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt faced some hard questions when he appeared before a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt faced a bipartisan lashing at a Senate Interior-Environment Appropriation Subcommittee hearing where agency scandals largely eclipsed discussion of the fiscal 2019 budget.

“I am concerned that many of the important policy efforts that you are engaged in are being overshadowed because of a series of issues related to you and your management of the agency,” Subcommittee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said as she kicked off a hearing on the EPA’s fiscal 2019 budget.

Threats Away From Capitol Worry Senators
Capitol Police have requested additional funding

FBI personnel gather outside the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., last June to gather evidence where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were shot at the GOP baseball practice. Senators on Tuesdays raised concerns about inadequate protection at events away from the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators on Tuesday cited fears about inadequate protection at events outside the Capitol campus and in their states, and urged the Capitol Police chief and the new Senate sergeant-at-arms to re-evaluate the threat assessment process for lawmakers.

At a Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, lawmakers pushed Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger to justify requested funding and personnel increases for Capitol security while also ensuring protection for lawmakers elsewhere — particularly in their states and at gatherings in Washington away from Capitol Hill.

For GOP, Death of Manufacturing Loan Program Finally in Sight
Unspent money dating back years makes it an easy, yet still elusive, target

Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is no fan of the loan program for energy efficient vehicles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One way or another, the Energy Department’s direct loan program for fuel-efficient car manufacturers looks destined for the chopping block.

Once viewed as a lifeline for Detroit’s “Big Three” manufacturers facing economic headwinds even before the onset of the Great Recession, the program is now little more than a kitty of untapped funds appropriated a decade ago. The last major Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program loan was approved conditionally in 2015, but Arconic Inc., whose former parent Alcoa secured the loan to produce lightweight vehicle materials at its Tennessee plant, turned the money down last year.

Women Reaching New Levels in Political Donations
Rise parallels similar surge in female candidates for public office

Demonstrators rally outside the Capitol on March 8, 2017, in support of “A Day Without a Woman” protests across the country to coincide with International Women’s Day. There has been a surge in female donors to federal candidates this election cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

An unprecedented rise in female donors to political campaigns, fueled largely by opposition to President Donald Trump, continues to grow in the run-up to the 2018 elections.

The number of women donating to federal candidates has surged by 182 percent when compared with this time in the 2016 cycle, according to new data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Much of the activity has been among Democratic donors, a trend that first began to appear after the Women’s March on Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration.

Farm Bill Gets Two Days of House Rules Committee Consideration
Work requirements for SNAP among contentious topics on tap

House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway, will continue to make his case for the GOP-drafted farm bill this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Rules Committee will devote Tuesday and Wednesday to the 2018 farm bill as members plow through a long list of amendments, raising the possibility of heated debate before it faces a floor vote later this week.

At the Tuesday afternoon session, the panel has scheduled a general discussion from House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway of Texas and ranking member Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota on the five-year farm bill, which would set policy for nutrition, conservation, crop insurance and other programs. The current farm bill expires Sept. 30.