Ken Calvert

Republicans Considering Funding Stopgap, Ryan Says
Extra time puts December holidays at risk

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts his weekly news conference in the House studio on November 9, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

GOP leaders are considering a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government funded beyond December 8, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday.

The stopgap measure is likely needed to buy leaders and appropriators more time to finalize an omnibus spending measure, which they are behind in negotiating. Leaders have yet to strike a deal on topline spending levels for fiscal 2018, which appropriators need before they can draft the omnibus.

Eisenhower Memorial Given the Final Go-Ahead to Begin Construction
Groundbreaking date tentatively set for early November

An artist’s rendition of the vista from the Eisenhower Memorial looking toward the Capitol. (Courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

After 17 years of bickering among lawmakers, U.S. Fine Arts commissioners, National Capital Commission planners, and a family with the last name Eisenhower, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission finally has the go-ahead to break ground on an ambitious four-acre park to enshrine the supreme allied commander in World War II and 34th United States president.

EPA Continues to Get a GOP Beating in Interior-Environment Bill
Calls for massive reductions rebuffed, but criticism continues

Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., has had some harsh words for the EPA amid the debate over appropriations for the agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Although Republicans appeared to have rejected the White House’s call for sharp cuts to the EPA, their disdain for the agency has reappeared as the House debated amendments to the often contentious Interior-Environment spending bill on the House floor last week.

The 80 amendments House lawmakers sifted through consisted of Democrats’ attempts to remove what they described as harmful environmental riders from the measure, and Republicans’ measures to further reduce spending on environmental programs and give the Trump administration more authority to advance its deregulatory agenda. The Democratic amendments were mostly thwarted by the GOP majority.

What 10 Hours of House Amendment Votes Look Like
How the ‘minibus’ process unfolded on the floor Wednesday and Thursday

California Rep. Ken Calvert on the House floor during debate Thursday on the minibus appropriations package. (C-SPAN screenshot)

The House on Thursday passed a nearly $790 billion security-themed, four-title spending package, marking the first set of must-pass appropriations measures to be cleared on either chamber floor this year.

But before they could take the final vote on the so-called minibus, House rules — which are agreed to in committee — set debate parameters that allowed for votes on amendments to the bill. Lots of amendments.

EPA Budget Cuts Won't Fly, House Appropriators Tell Pruitt

House appropriators, both Republicans and Democrats, were opposed to the cuts to the EPA budget defended by its administrator, Scott Pruitt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s defense of the administration’s proposal to his agency’s budget by 30 percent are falling short with House appropriators, who are making clear that they’ll toss it aside when they write their Interior-Environment spending bill.

The sharp cuts proposed in the President Donald Trump’s budget are “untenable,” Interior-Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert told Pruitt at a hearing, a sharp rebuke from a key appropriator.

Word on the Hill: Comey Time
Seersucker Thursdays begin

D.C. will be watching as former FBI director James B. Comey testifies today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former FBI director James Comey is heading to Capitol Hill this morning and D.C. is preparing in many different ways.

The Capitol will be hectic leading up to the 10 a.m. hearing. For those outside of the Capitol complex, or able to leave work for a couple of hours, there are a handful of bars in D.C. opening early, pouring cleverly titled drinks, and taking advantage of some great TV.

Agriculture Secretary Says He’ll Push for More Wildfire Funding
Lawmakers dismayed at proposed U.S. Forest Service cuts

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has told lawmakers  concerned about proposed U.S. Forest Service cuts that he would push for more funding for wildfires. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has assured House appropriators that he would press the White House for more funding and flexibility to address wildfires across the nation as lawmakers from both parties expressed dismay at proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Forest Service.

President Donald Trump’s proposal for fiscal 2018 released on Tuesday suggests cutting the Forest Service’s budget to $5.2 billion from the $5.6 billion allocated in the fiscal 2017 omnibus. Trump’s budget would direct $2.5 billion of that toward the Forest Service’s wildland fire management budget, compared to the $3.2 billion in the omnibus.

Massive Eisenhower Memorial Could Break Ground as Early as September
Congressional support among the last barriers after 20-year dispute

An artist’s rendition of the vista from the Eisenhower Memorial looking toward the Capitol. (Courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

Construction could begin as early as September on a proposed memorial for President Dwight D. Eisenhower that has been mired in controversy for almost 20 years. 

That’s according to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission and the chairman of the House committee that oversees the funding for the project.

California’s Dana Rohrabacher Attracts Early Democratic Challengers
Laguna Beach businessman launches campaign against 15-term Republican

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has been criticized by his own party for being too cozy with Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a California district Democrats are targeting this cycle, Laguna Beach businessman Harley Rouda is now the second candidate to announce a challenge to 15-term Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.

“We need new leadership that is willing to put country over party, and put service above self,” Rouda, 55, said in a statement Thursday. The first-time candidate founded the national real estate company Real Living and is working with a fundraising veteran of Hillary for America.  

House GOP Report: Intelligence Officials Pressured to Alter Reports on ISIS
Analysis skewed to make U.S. campaign against ISIS look more successful, report says

A Republican report on U.S. intelligence on the Islamic State said that the Central Command was painting a more optimistic picture than intel suggests. (Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images file photo)

Defense Department officials were pressured to skew their reports on the military campaign against the Islamic State, making it appear more successful than "was warranted by facts on the ground," and "consistently more positive than analysis produced by other elements of the Intelligence Community," according to a report by a House Republican task force released on Thursday.

The report, issued by a joint task force on the U.S. Central Command, largely backed up the allegations of a "whistleblower" who claimed that analysts at the agency were pressured to "manipulate" their work after management changes in 2014, the report said. A Daily Beast story published in September cited 50 intelligence analysts who said their reports were altered to offer a rosier picture of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.