Louisiana

Donors to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s legal defense fund: His uncle, defense contractors
Longtime donors connected to Edison Chouest Offshore also contributed

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, walks down the House steps following a vote in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donors to a special fund established by Rep. Duncan Hunter to underwrite his legal defense include the board member of the company founded by his uncle and multibillion dollar defense contractors.

Hunter can tap $60,800 in donations to a piggybank separate from his campaign committee — called the Duncan D. Hunter Legal Expense Trust — to finance his legal case. Hunter faces trial in September on 60 federal charges related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as a family vacation to Italy and dental work.

Will members of Congress ever drug-test themselves? They’ve certainly tried
From the Gingrich era to the present, lawmakers have toyed with peeing in a cup

Last year Rep. Clay Higgins became the latest member to call on Congress to drug-test itself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress has a long history of trying to drug-test itself. But has it ever succeeded?

Back in 1997, House Republicans got close. They changed the rules to let the speaker develop a sweeping program to test members and staff.

There was just one thing missing from this voter reform hearing — a Republican
In a state like Georgia, the GOP will have to both acknowledge voter suppression and lead the effort to end it

When Stacey Abrams described a “systemic breakdown” in the electoral process, there were no Republicans around to hear her, Murphy writes. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — What are the chances that Republican lawmakers will work with Democrats to make changes to restrictive voting systems in the United States that have benefited Republicans in recent elections, either deliberately or accidentally?

That’s going to be the question going forward for the House Administration Elections Subcommittee, which is holding a series of field hearings around the country to examine the 2018 elections and the fundamental question of whether all U.S. citizens have equal and unfettered access to the right to vote, no matter their income or ethnicity.

Joe Crowley, Bill Shuster decamp to K Street
Former members setting up at Squire Patton Boggs

Former Reps. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., seen here, and Bill Shuster, R-Pa., are joining promiment K Street firm Squire Patton Boggs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ex-Reps. Joseph Crowley, the New York Democrat who lost his primary race to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Republican Bill Shuster, who retired after the 115th Congress, are setting up shop on K Street.

The bipartisan duo is joining the global public policy practice at lobbying and law firm Squire Patton Boggs — home of other former lawmakers including House Speaker John A. Boehner and Sens. Trent Lott and John Breaux. The firm also had a now-severed strategic affiliation with Michael Cohen, the former attorney to President Donald Trump, who has since pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.

Aide to Rep. Clay Higgins arrested on pandering charges
Jerod C. Prunty worked as a field representative for the Louisiana congressman

Jerold Prunty, a field representative for Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Louisiana, faces two charges of pandering and has been placed on administrative leave. (Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office)

An aide to Rep. Clay Higgins was arrested this weekend in connection to a bust at massage parlors and residences in Louisiana that might have involved human trafficking, according to local media reports.

Police in Lafayette Parish arrested Jerod C. Prunty Saturday and charged him with two counts of pandering, The Advocate reported. His arrest is related to those of eight other people in Lafayette Parish last week, officials said.

The dead earmarks society
Congress gave up pork years ago. Now it could be making a comeback

Steny Hoyer says he’s working to restore congressionally directed spending, with “reforms to ensure transparency and accountability.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

From the outside, they looked like a collection of political misfits akin to the characters from “The Breakfast Club.” This peculiar little crew of lobbyists, ethics watchdogs and government spending hawks included the likes of Public Citizen’s Craig Holman and former House member-turned-lobbyist Jim Walsh.

Instead of serving Saturday detention, like the high schoolers of the 1985 hit movie, they spent their meetings nearly a decade ago seeking compromise on one of Congress’ most politically fraught but powerful tools: earmarks. “It was a strange group, an eclectic group,” concedes Holman, whose liberal Public Citizen is best known for taking on K Street, not working with the lobbyists and lawyers in the sector. “We identified what the real problem with earmarks is — and earmarks do pose a serious problem with corruption.”

Trump will sign spending bill, declare national emergency
Mitch McConnell made the announcement on the Senate floor

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The big bipartisan government funding deal is going to become law, but it will be far from the end of the border security battle between President Donald Trump and members of Congress.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Thursday that Trump intends to sign the spending conference report, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had indicated earlier.

Barr nomination to get votes on the Senate floor next week
Comes after 12-10 committee vote, which reflected concerns from Democrats about how he would handle the Justice Department’s special counsel investigation

William P. Barr, left, nominee for attorney general, greets former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, upon arriving for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Hatch introduced Barr to the committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:18 p.m. | William P. Barr is on track to be confirmed as the next attorney general next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to limit debate and cut off any filibuster threats against the Barr nomination Thursday, setting up votes as soon as the Senate finishes work on a bipartisan package of public lands bills.

Democrats are right to be wary of Howard Schultz
Coffee mogul’s independent run could complicate Electoral College math

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is considering running for president as an independent.(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — The frenzy over businessman Howard Schultz’s announcement that he is considering an independent run for president is understandable.

Democrats think President Donald Trump is headed for defeat in a one-on-one general election contest, and anything that changes that trajectory improves his re-election prospects.

It’s still the year of the woman, if this pizza chef has her way
Every week Ruth Gresser will offer up a cheesy, saucy concoction inspired by female politicians

Ruth Gresser, right, is bringing back her pizza promotion celebrating women who lead. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

After last year’s elections swept a record number of women into office, they’re finally getting some dough. Literally.

“I’m sure there would be many people who would say that there shouldn’t be any politics in pizza,” said chef Ruth Gresser, who owns D.C. mainstay Pizzeria Paradiso. But that hasn’t stopped her from creating a yearlong homage to women who lead.