Georgia

Budget and Appropriations Members Rack Up Travel Time
Boots on the ground or paid vacation?

Staff travel makes up a significant chuck of the amounts spent on travel by the Appropriations and Budget committees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of the Budget and Appropriations committees have spent about $2 million on foreign travel since the start of 2016, including trips to Argentina, Tanzania, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to an analysis of congressional records.

Appropriations Committee members far outpace their colleagues on the Budget Committee in the number of trips and how much they've spent on travel outside the United States. From Jan. 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017, Appropriations Committee members and staff spent $1.9 million on foreign travel and Budget Committee members and staff spent $36,000.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters toured the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital in Ontonagon, Mich., on his bike ride. (Courtesy Peters via Twitter)

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

Rating Change: Alabama Senate Race No Longer Solid GOP
Polarizing potential nominee could give Democrats a shot at takeover

Alabama Republican Roy Moore finished first in Tuesday’s special election GOP Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Alabama Senate special election certainly isn’t a toss-up, but the possibility that former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore might become the Republican nominee creates the potential for a Democratic upset.

President Donald Trump’s polarizing persona is creating significant risk for congressional Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. But his decision to pluck Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions out of the Senate for his Cabinet created a special election this year that is turning out to be more adventurous than expected, considering Trump won the Yellowhammer State by 28 points less than a year ago.

Word on the Hill: Volunteers for Tiniest Opioid Victims
Smucker on Israel, and Murphy’s still walking

Ohio Rep. Michael R. Turner, center, is flanked by volunteers at a local hospital. (Courtesy Turner via Premier Health)

Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, recently visited volunteers who cuddle with infants going through opiate withdrawal in Dayton. 

The volunteer Infant Cuddle Program at Miami Valley Hospital was launched recently and Turner got to thank the cuddlers last week.

Moore, Strange Advance to Runoff in Alabama Senate Primary
Pair will face off on Sept. 26 for Republican nomination

Alabama Republican Roy Moore, center, was the top finisher in the special election GOP Senate primary on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Judge Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange will advance to a Republican primary runoff in the Alabama special election Senate race for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ seat.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Moore led Strange 39 percent to 33 percent, The Associated Press reported. Since neither candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, Moore and Strange, as the top two finishers in the nine-person field, will face off in a Sept. 26 runoff. 

Doug Jones Wins Democratic Primary in Alabama Senate Race
Republican contest heading for runoff between Moore and Strange

Doug Jones won the special election Senate Democratic primary in Alabama on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Doug Jones Facebook page)

Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones handily won the Democratic primary in the Alabama special election Senate race Tuesday night, while the Republican primary is heading into a runoff.

Jones, who successfully prosecuted two suspects in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church, won the primary outright. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, he led a seven-candidate field with 66 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. 

Health Care Backlash With a Side of Charlottesville Outrage at GOP Town Halls
Constituents ask senators to push Trump to fire Bannon, other aides

Sen. Cory Gardner said he wouldn't ask President Donald Trump to fire Steve Bannon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Coloradans pressed Sen. Cory Gardner on health care during the Republican’s first solo, in-person town hall in more than a year.

Gardner wasn’t the only Republican senator who faced angry constituents this week, as Sen. Johnny Isakson held a contentious town hall in Georgia on Monday. The two Republicans heard a similar tune from their respective crowds, as people voiced concerns over healthcare.

Tax Overhaul Path Unclear Amid Budget Chair's Expected Departure
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 28

House Budget Committee Chairwoman Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Action on the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that is key to a tax overhaul remains uncertain as House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black is expected to resign to run for governor of Tennessee, say CQ Roll Call's House leadership reporter Lindsey McPherson and budget reporter Jennifer Shutt.

Leading contenders to replace Black include GOP Reps. Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio. Meanwhile, Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia and Tom McClintock of California could also make the list if they decide to seek the post.

DCCC Ad Hits Gianforte Over Responsibility for Assault
Asks why congressman hasn’t addressed why he changed his story

A new ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee questions whether Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte has taken responsibility for his altercation with a reporter. (DCCC via YouTube)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an ad Friday criticizing Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for initially blaming a reporter he assaulted for their altercation and calling for him to resign.

The day before the special election in May to fill Montana’s open House seat, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted that the Republican candidate had “body-slammed” him. 

Opinion: Will Move to Purge Ohio Voting Rolls Kickstart Congressional Action?
Justice Department no ally on civil rights issue

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., recounts his experience in Selma, Alabama, to a group of students gathered on the House steps on April 15, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fifty-two years ago this week, John Lewis of Georgia was a young activist, not the Democratic congressman he is today. Yet he got a warmer welcome from the then-president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, than from today’s occupant of the White House.

On the Twitter feed of the longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, you can see a picture celebrating that time a few decades ago, when, with Democratic and Republican support, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed and then signed.