John Lewis

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.

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. 

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.

John Lewis Staffer Under Ethics Inquiry
Chief of staff may have been improperly paid as campaign treasurer

Michael Collins, left, chief of staff for Georgia Rep. John Lewis, center, is under the House Ethics Committee scrutiny. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A probe into whether a longtime aide for Rep. John Lewis was inappropriately paid as his campaign treasurer while also serving as chief of staff has been taken up by the House Ethics Committee, the panel announced Wednesday.

An inquiry by the Office of Congressional Ethics found the Georgia Democrat’s chief of staff, Michael Collins, also made slightly more in outside income as a senior staffer than House rules allow.

Word on the Hill: Staffer Corrects 200-Year Mistake
Religion, soccer, cats and dogs as sharks

Staffer Ryan Martin and his family check out the Utah flag before it goes up in the Kennedy Center's Hall of States. (Kennedy Center)

House staffer Ryan Martin noticed at The Kennedy Center that the Utah flag in the Hall of States display wasn’t quite right. A manufacturing error on the flag showed 1647 as the year Mormon pioneers settled in the state, 200 years off from the actual year.

Martin informed the center and a new flag was ordered. The new flag, with the correct year, was raised Monday at a ceremony in the Hall of States. 

Opinion: Demanding Dignity From Leaders Comes With a Complicated History
But it’s worth a try...

Our slave-owning third president, Thomas Jefferson, is a reminder that our leaders have always been flawed, Curtis writes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The room — 14 feet, 8 inches wide and 13 feet long — has no windows. It had been a restroom at the Monticello home of Thomas Jefferson in Virginia. But now, the small room adjacent to Jefferson’s, the one historians believe once belonged to Sally Hemings, will be restored and given its due, as will the enslaved woman who evidence indicates was the mother of six children of the third president of the United States.

As the current president, Donald Trump, is often lambasted for lowering the dignity and honor of the office, the news coming out of Monticello — where the role of its enslaved people is belatedly a part of the historical presentation to visitors — is a bracing reminder that our leaders have always been flawed. Founding Father Jefferson wrote stirring words of equality while owning fellow human beings.

Voting Rights Battle Just Getting Underway
Two Democratic bills introduced before Trump commission’s sweeping request to states

New Orleans voter Albertine Reid leaves the booth at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology in the city’s Lower Ninth Ward on Election Day last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even before the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity raised alarms with its sweeping requests for state voter data, House Democrats rolled out legislation they hope will ensure the voting process is fair.

One measure, introduced at a news conference on Capitol Hill on June 22, would restore voter protections across 13 mostly Southern states. Sponsored by Alabama’s Terri A. Sewell and Georgia’s John Lewis, a civil rights icon, the measure is a response to the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision. That ruling struck down provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required those states to seek federal approval before changing voter laws and also set a formula for determining which states would be subject to the law. 

Ethics Committee Investigating Luján, Conyers and House Staffer
House panel reveals it took up matter from OCE in May

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee along with Ben Ray Luján and a House staffer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Ethics Committee acknowledged Monday it is investigating Reps. Ben Ray Luján, John Conyers and House staffer Michael Collins.

The panel did not disclose details of its inquiry. Since the probe was referred to the House committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics, details of the OCE’s reports are expected to be made public August 9.