Illinois

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. 

Johnson Asks if Illinois Should Share Burden of Foxconn Subsidies
Says workers from across state line will benefit from billion dollar facility that Trump touted

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said that workers from Illinois will also benefit from the $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said Illinois should bear some of the burden of economic incentives to lure electronics company Foxconn to his state.

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan have both touted the jobs that will be created from the company building the $1o billion plant, which would be built in Ryan’s southeastern Wisconsin district.

Could There Soon Be Another Pence in Washington?
Vice President’s older brother likely to run for Congress in Indiana

Denise and Gary Pence attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Courtesy Denise Pence/Facebook)

Greg Pence starred in a recent candidate announcement video, but it wasn’t for his own campaign — at least not yet.

The older brother of Vice President Mike Pence is the finance chairman of Indiana Rep. Luke Messer’s Senate campaign, and on the day Messer tweeted he was getting in the race, Greg Pence was the one who addressed the camera.

House Sends Veterans' Appeals Bill to Trump's Desk
Measure aims to pare down backlog appeals for disability benefits

House Veterans Affairs Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn., right, seen here earlier this year with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., applauded passage of the veterans' measure Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House during a pro forma session Friday cleared a bipartisan bill aimed at paring down a massive backlog of appeals for veterans’ disability benefits.

Passage of the measure brings to three the number of major veterans’ bills that now await President Donald Trump’s signature. In addition to the appeals bill, Congress before leaving for the August recess cleared a $2.1 billion funding patch for a private medical care access program, and the “Forever GI Bill,” which extends education benefits to future veterans for an entire lifetime instead of the current 15-year window.

Obama Alumni Jump Into Congressional Races Across the Country
Many motivated by Trump’s election and desire to move ex-boss’ policies forward

Democrat Sam Jammal is challenging California Rep. Ed Royce in the 39th District. (Sam Jammal for Congress Facebook page)

Alumni of the Obama administration are heeding their former boss’ call to get in the game themselves and run for office in response the election of President Donald Trump and to continue what the former president started.

Sam Jammal, an Obama appointee in the Commerce Department who is running in California’s 39th District against Republican Rep. Ed Royce, said he was heeding those words.

Lawyers Say Investigators Asked Witnesses About Schock’s Sexuality, Exploits
Ex-Illinois GOP congressman’s legal team says feds overstepped

Former Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock has been indicted on 24 charges regarding his personal finances and misuse of public funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawyers for former Rep. Aaron Schock on Tuesday accused federal investigators of misconduct for asking witnesses about whom the Illinois Republican slept with and if he was gay.

Schock’s defense team filed a memo in court alleging the prosecutor and federal agents “have dug into every aspect of Mr. Schock’s life by any means necessary,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

Flake Reflects on the Rise of Trump in New Book
Arizona Republican regrets his 2008 vote against bank bailout

The crux of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s new book “Conscience of a Conservative” is criticism of President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In Donald Trump’s America, you might never expect a Republican senator to freely admit to a history of harboring undocumented immigrants.

But that’s effectively what Sen. Jeff Flake has done, recalling his pre-political life in farming and ranching in northern Arizona in a new book “Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle” released Tuesday by Random House.

Lobbying After Congress Declines in Popularity
Roll Call looks at what alums of the 114th Congress are up to

Clockwise from top left: former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, former Reps. Janice Hahn of California and Candice S. Miller of Michigan, former Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland and David Vitter of Louisiana, former Rep. Steve Israel of New York, former House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and former Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

By KYLE STEWART and GRIFFIN CONNOLLY

Whether it was the ascension of Donald Trump, the endless vitriol of today’s politics or other factors, former members of the 114th Congress departed Washington in droves, a marked difference from previous Congresses when the most popular destinations for former members were D.C. lobbying firms.

GOP Unified Control Still Means Divided Congress
Flameout of health care reveals dissension, but some accomplishments obscured

Neil Gorsuch's confirmation stands out as a big achievement for the GOP Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The demise of the Republican effort to repeal the 2010 health care law put an exclamation point on what has become obvious in Washington: The GOP, for all its enthusiasm following its election win last year, is too riven with dissension to meet ambitious goals it set out for itself.

And President Donald Trump seems to have oversold his skills as a deal-maker.

Word on the Hill: Week Wrap Up
Tennis tournament results, Baby Desk report, bossy staffers

A Capitol employee pushes a cot towards Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s suite of offices in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the end of a very long congressional week.

Senators spent the night in the Capitol and I’m sure many of you reading this now are running on little — or no — sleep.