Jim Sensenbrenner

Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own
Only a handful willing to release documents to Roll Call

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján has called on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján — like many in Congress — wants President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Transparency, the New Mexico Democrat said recently in a Facebook post, “is a cornerstone of democracy.”

Word on the Hill: Mai Tais Flowing on the Hill
LOC movie series lineup announced

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono prepare to sample Spam musubi at last year’s Taste of Hawaii. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The fourth annual Hawaii on the Hill begins today. The itinerary includes the Taste of Hawaii reception this evening, hosted by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.

It’s a 21+ event, which means guests can enjoy mai tais from Koloa Rum, beer from Maui Brewing Company, and food from the 69 different companies showcased. If you received tickets beforehand, you can get in an hour early. General admission opens at 6 p.m. in Russell’s Kennedy Caucus Room.

Opinion: Trump Policies on Voting and Criminal Justice Quietly Move Country Backward
Plans proceed despite chaos in the White House

President Donald Trump’s policies threaten voting rights and criminal justice reforms, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While the Trump administration is in a state of perpetual turmoil, some of its promised policies are proceeding as planned. Support from a Republican Congress is softening with each cringe-worthy headline about slips, leaks and feuds; still, its members, mindful of the president’s loyal base, are proceeding with caution.

And when you step back from the chaos, don’t expect to see any progress on other issues — such as voting rights and criminal justice reform — that once promised a bit of bipartisan cooperation. 

Have Gavel, Will Travel
Wisconsin’s Jim Sensenbrenner has held the most town halls this year

Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner hosts a town hall meeting in his district in February. (Courtesy Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s office)

Congressional recess was dominated by news of angry constituents in town hall meetings around the country, seemingly more and more disgruntled with what they’re hearing from their representatives.

Some members of Congress have refused to hold such events while others have imposed new rules on attendance and conduct.

Town Hall Winners and Losers So Far
If lawmakers can’t meet with constituents, why do they have a job?

Voters don’t always need to be agreed with, but they always want to be heard — and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., delivered on that, Patricia Murphy writes. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re halfway through the Presidents Day recess, the first during President Donald Trump’s first term in office. Coming after early stumbles from Trump, and with major legislative changes looming for health care and immigration, and the ascendance of a national effort to protest the president’s agenda, it’s no surprise that town halls would become a focal point for the anger swirling on the left. 

[It’s Not “AstroTurf” if the anger is real]

Report Shows ‘Untapped Power’ of Constituent Advocacy
Showing the local effects of legislation can better influence lawmakers

People react to Rep. Jason Chaffetz as he speaks during a town hall meeting at Brighton High School, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Hundreds of people lined up early for the town hall with Chaffetz on Thursday evening, many holding signs criticizing the congressman's push to repeal the newly-named Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Sensenbrenner Admonishes Town Hall Audience To Be Respectful
Also hints at possible punishment for national security adviser

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told one angry woman that she could go out in the hallway if she wouldn't be respectful. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Rep. Jim Sensnenbrenner, R-Wis., urged his constituents to be respectful during heated exchanges at town hall meetings in Pewaukee and Elm Grove over the weekend.

Sensenbrenner frequently scolded the audience that included Democratic activists, and banged a gavel to bring the town hall to order, WITI-TV in Milwaukee reported.

Cramer Gets Closer to Constituents on the Radio
North Dakota Republican held the most town halls in 2016

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer goes on the air multiple times a week to hear from his constituents. (Courtesy Rep. Kevin Cramer’s office)

North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer held the most town halls among members of Congress in 2016 — 164 to be exact.

Cramer has held 412 since August 2013, when LegiStorm started tracking town halls,  a little short of double the amount of the second place-holder, Wisconsin GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Republican Members Hear from Obamacare Supporters
Democrats hold rallies to defend Obama’s signature law

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., called a swarm of Obamacare supporters at a constituent event "partisan activists." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican members of Congress heard from constituents supportive of the Affordable Care Act over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend as they take steps to repeal the law.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., saw hundreds of people at a constituent meeting event at a library in Aurora, according to one eyewitness account to 9News.

Ron Johnson on Going It Alone in 2016
Wisconsin Republican was written off as a certain loser

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, fresh off his re-election to a second term, is looking forward to working closely with the incoming Trump administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Johnson is entering his second Senate term as something of a free agent.

Other than Sen. Mark S. Kirk in neighboring Illinois who lost his re-election bid, the Wisconsin Republican was the incumbent most of the GOP establishment had written off as a lost cause. Polls, as late as October, found Johnson’s opponent, former Sen. Russ Feingold, up by as much as a dozen points. And while campaign money did pour in late, Johnson seemed to spend much of the cycle in the wilderness.