Delaware

Word on the Hill: National Wine Day
Dusty Baker on the Hill and Dana Rohrabacher in a sling

Celebrate National Wine Day before the weekend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You may be pleasantly surprised to hear about a very special, perhaps unknown, holiday. Today is National Wine Day.

It’s nearly Friday, which means it’s almost recess, so pick up a bottle of wine on your way home from work to celebrate.

Trump Budget’s Chilly Reception Will Be Nothing New
Congress routinely rebuffed Obama budgets too

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, center, and GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks, right, reviewed production of the fiscal 208 budget proposal at the Government Publishing Office’s plant on North Capitol Street last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s budget request finally gets its full release Tuesday morning, but the stories of its inevitable rejection on Capitol Hill could have been written weeks ago.

There has been ample bipartisan skepticism of the proposed cuts to domestic programs coming out of Trump’s budget office for fiscal 2018, but overall, the reaction and follow through on it will not likely be much different than it ever was under President Barack Obama.

Opinion: Montana Special Election Unlikely to Predict Larger Political Trend
But get ready for a barrage of talking points

Democrat Rob Quist, right, is vying with Republican Greg Gianforte in the race for Montana’s at-large House seat. (Courtesy Greg for Montana, Rob Quist for Montana)

Sometime after 10 p.m. Thursday in Washington, everyone in politics will feign being an expert on Montana or, as they will call it with an insider’s flourish, Big Sky Country. The returns from the first statewide race of the Trump era will inevitably trigger the type of frenzied over-analysis reserved for special elections at moments of political turmoil.

If the Republicans hang on to the House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the sighs of relief from imperiled GOP incumbents may set off every wind chime in the D.C. area. Greg Gianforte, who ran 47,000 votes behind Donald Trump in a losing 2016 bid for governor, brings to the race two decided advantages — he is rich (he sold his software company for $1.5 billion in 2011) and he is a Republican.

EPA Sets Aside $12 Million for Employee Buyouts in FY 2017
Democrats have criticized plans for deep cuts to the agency

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, has been critical of the Trump administration's plans for the EPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The EPA is setting aside $12 million of its fiscal 2017 budget allocation for a previously announced plan to offer employee buyouts and incentives for early retirements as part of a Trump administration effort to cut the agency’s workforce, according to a memo from its chief financial officer, David A. Bloom.

The $12 million comes from a pool of $24 million in unused money from fiscal 2016, according to the memo.

White House Turmoil Ramps Pressure on Vulnerable Republicans
Some are speaking out, others still waiting for more facts

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, said she cannot defend the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

No matter what he did or how much he tweeted during his first four months in office, President Donald Trump has mostly held on to the loyalty of congressional Republicans — even those who might have the most to lose at the ballot box next year. 

Senators React With Alarm, Caution to Report That Trump Revealed Classified Info
President's top security adviser: ‘I was in the room, it didn’t happen’

A Washington Post report alleges that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT, NIELS LESNIEWSKI and JOE WILLIAMSCQ Roll Call

Some senators expressed shock — while others reacted cautiously  — to a report Monday evening alleging that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State plots gleaned by a U.S. ally to senior Russian officials. 

Word on the Hill: Weekend for Moms
Today is the annual memorial service honoring the four Capitol Police officers

Political moms will be celebrated on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sunday is Mother’s Day and we talked to some senators about lessons they learned from their mothers.

Sens. Tim Scott, Debbie Stabenow, Lisa Murkowski and Ron Wyden paid tribute to their moms and shared with us some stories.

Word on the Hill: Seen on the Hill
Ben Franklin in plastic

Swan Lake at the Reflecting Pool? (Courtesy anonymous Heard on the Hill reader)

It’s been a busy week, but it appears the ducks who live on the Capitol grounds haven’t yet gotten the memo.

Two ducks were either practicing “synchronized duck diving” or “bipartisan water ballet,” in the Capitol Reflecting Pool on Monday, a Heard on the Hill reader said.

Crowdpac Helps Candidates Test the Waters
Company helped would-be challenger raise more than Chaffetz

A company that specializes in political fundraising helped a virtually unknown candidate bring in more money than House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Before Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced last month that he would not run for re-election, a virtually unknown challenger had already raised three times as much money as the Utah Republican. 

Democrat Kathryn Allen, a suburban Salt Lake City physician who’d never run for office before, relied heavily on a company that specializes in political fundraising to rake in the cash.

Comey Defends Pre-Election Actions on Clinton Investigation
But FBI director says he wouldn’t change decision to release info

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

FBI Director James B. Comey vigorously defended his actions ahead of the 2016 presidential election when it came to criminal investigations about candidates, as senators from both political parties warned him at a hearing Wednesday that the agency’s reputation was on the line.

Comey testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee the day after Hillary Clinton blamed him in part for her election loss, since he told Congress just 11 days before the election that the agency was reopening a criminal probe into her use of personal email to improperly send classified information when she was secretary of State.