Chris Van Hollen

Harriet Tubman Statue May Come to Capitol
Maryland wants to add abolitionist to the halls of Congress

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen is working to place a statue of Harriet Tubman in the Capitol (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The state of Maryland is moving closer to having a statue of abolitionist Harriet Tubman built for display in the United States Capitol.

The state’s junior senator, Democrat Chris Van Hollen, said at a recent hearing that his staff has been working with the Architect of the Capitol to plan for the creation and donation of the sculpture.

Democrats Stick to Health Care Message Amid Russian Intrigue
Party sees health care as more salient campaign issue

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., says health care is the issue that concerns her constituents the most, adding that she has gotten “zero questions about Russia.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite the daily drip about Russia and the Trump administration, national Democrats who hope to exploit Republicans’ vulnerabilities in 2018 are focusing their messaging squarely on health care before the July 4 recess.

Just minutes after former FBI Director James B. Comey concluded his testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee — in which he said the president lied to the America people — the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee blasted out a release.

Photos of the Week: Just Another 5 Days in D.C. — Not
The week of June 5 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A crowd gathered at The Partisan bar watches as former FBI Director James B. Comey arrives to testify during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The week was dominated by the anticipated appearance, actual appearance and analysis after the appearance of former FBI Director James B. Comey in front of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Thursday. One day before that, Washington also watched current intelligence officials testify before the same congressional panel — the probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election and what the president might have asked of his officials dominating the news cycle. 

Since the next steps of the investigation are in the hands of the special counsel and could take years to resolve, this week could go down as one of the most prominent in 2017.

Democrats Wary of GOP Health Care Hedging
Minority party not inclined to let up on criticism

From left, Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, Chris Van Hollenof Maryland and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts kept up their attack on the GOP health care plan Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are increasingly cautious about handicapping their quest to repeal the 2010 health care law, but their Democratic colleagues have no intention of letting up on criticism of the GOP’s goal of gutting former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

Democrats have been holding near-daily press conferences outlining concerns they have with the legislation that narrowly passed the House last month.

Bill Dauster Caps Decades of Senate Service
Longtime Democratic aide retired last week

Bill Dauster, seen here to the right of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, retired from Senate service last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There aren’t many Senate aides who get multiple floor speeches recognizing their retirement, but then again, there are not many with as much influence on policymaking as Bill Dauster.

With the arrival of Memorial Day recess, Dauster retired after spending the bulk of the past three decades as a top Democratic staffer to senators, committees and leadership.

2018 Senate Recruitment: Too Early to Talk About It?
Challengers in tight races typically take their time to announce

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2018 midterm elections about 18 months away, attention is shifting to the battle for the Senate — and who could emerge as potential challengers.

But history shows that prospective contenders have a few more months before they typically announce their candidacies.

Word on the Hill: Sinema and Curbelo Work for the Future
Congressional Soccer Game tonight

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo will co-chair the Congressional Future Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Future Caucus, a bipartisan group for members under 45, has two new co-chairmen: Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla.

The caucus will also have vice chairmen for the first time: Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.

Congressional Women’s Softball Prepares to Lose a Staple
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has played since game was started in 2009, announced retirement earlier

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is expected to play her final Congressional Women’s Softball Game next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After an election, there are always comings and goings from the Congressional Women’s Softball Game rosters. But the biggest news of the offseason this year was that the game will soon be losing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

The Florida Republican has played in the charity event pitting female lawmakers against members of the media since the first one in 2009. But she announced last month that she will be retiring after her current term. 

Democrats Cheer Centrist Victory in France, Republicans Mostly Silent
Many saw French election as extension of centrist vs. right wing ideological fight in the U.S.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron waves to the crowd on Monday as he attends a ceremony to mark the Western allies’ victory in Europe in World War II with outgoing President Francois Hollande. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

France’s presidential election drew more attention in the U.S. than normal because many saw it as an extension of the ideological fight between centrism and the far right that characterized the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

French voters elected centrist Emmanuel Macron president, resoundingly rejecting far-right white nationalist Marine Le Pen, 66-34 percent.

Health Care Will Determine Progress of Rest of Agenda
Spending debate, tax code rewrite all interrelated

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, whose panel has jurisdiction over much of any health care package, says the chamber will take a more deliberative approach aiming at 51 votes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Last week’s legislative victories — finishing an omnibus spending bill and getting the rollback of the 2010 health care law through the House — are the foundation for the months of battles to come on Capitol Hill. 

Appropriators can begin to turn their attention toward the first full fiscal year of Donald Trump’s presidency, but their Senate colleagues will also have to deal with the procedural morass that comes with trying to reinvent the health care system through budget reconciliation.