Louisiana

‘Taking off the gloves’: Pelosi ripping SOTU draws parties into their corners
House Democrats give speaker standing ovation, as she describes being ‘liberated’ after tearing copy of Trump’s speech

Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds up the copy of President Donald Trump’s speech that she ripped up at the conclusion of his State of the Union address on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi “is taking off the gloves.” The California Democrat “did what she needed to do,” and “she knew exactly what she was doing.”

That’s how House Democrats reacted Wednesday to Pelosi’s decision the night before to tear up her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech on national television. 

Lobbyists donate to presidential contenders, who then reject it
Democrats have policies against lobbyist cash

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shown speaking at the Iowa State Fair in August 2019, does not accept lobbyist campaign donations. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic presidential contenders — including Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren — have official policies of rejecting campaign donations from registered federal lobbyists, but lobbyists still donated to all of them in recent months, new disclosures show. 

Some of the K Street cash has already been refunded to the contributors, lobbyists told CQ Roll Call. Other donations may be on their way back, as some of the campaigns said they would return any newly identified contributions from registered federal lobbyists. 

State of the Union: Democrats, Republicans brace for a hostile Trump
GOP lawmakers urge POTUS to move on from impeachment, but admit they do not know how he will approach speech

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is “expecting the worst” from President Donald Trump at Tuesday’s State of the Union address as the Senate impeachment vote looms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats and Republican lawmakers are bracing for a whole new level of partisan belligerence from President Donald Trump at the State of the Union on Tuesday, less than 24 hours before the Senate is expected to vote to acquit him of both articles of impeachment he faces.

“I’m expecting the worst,” Sen. Chris Murphy told reporters Monday, saying that he would not be surprised if Trump made pointed remarks about the press, Democratic lawmakers, and the impeachment managers presenting the case against him over the last two-and-a-half weeks.

View from the gallery: Impeachment trial end in sight, senators fight common cold
Outside the chamber and in galleries, much talk of the “Senate plague”

Artists Art Lien, left, and William J. Hennessy Jr. sketch scenes from the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the Capitol on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood up to send a question to President Donald Trump’s defense team around 6:45 p.m. Thursday, but first he suggested an upcoming 45-minute break for dinner.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., instead of his usual response of “without objection,” changed it to a phrase that resonated with the haggard senators and others in the chamber. “I’m sure there’s no objection,” Roberts said, causing a murmur of laughter to spread even to the page delivering the paper card with McConnell’s question to the rostrum.

In Florida, Democrats aim to wrap Trump in his offshore drilling plan
Plan to open Florida’s coast to oil and gas drilling was put on hold, but it wasn’t killed

People hold hands on a beach in Pensacola, Fla., in June 2010 to protest offshore oil drilling. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

After the Trump administration proposed opening Florida’s coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, even elected Republicans in the state sent a loud message to Washington: Stay away from our coasts.

The proposal was set aside by the White House, but not disposed of. And Democrats plan to keep voters in the battleground state reminded that the plan remains on a shelf at the Interior Department, ready to be put into effect in President Donald Trump’s second term if he is reelected.

View from the gallery: Senators swap notes and jockey for questions at Trump trial
Aides hold office hours in the back of the chamber while Senate pages log their steps for the day

Alan Dershowitz, left, an attorney for President Donald Trump, greets Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., in the Capitol before the continuation of the impeachment trial Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mississippi Republican Roger Wicker approached a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team on the floor Wednesday and loudly asked: “You’re not packing up to leave, are you?”

Former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz had gathered a small crowd of Republican senators around the desk of Mike Lee of Utah during the dinner break, and Wicker wanted to elbow in when the impeachment trial restarted.

Senators engage in ‘political ventriloquism’ during Trump trial questions
Impeachment Q&A used more to make points than clarify or obtain new information

California Sen. Kamala Harris arrives at the Capitol on Wednesday before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday tried to score political points, press their argument or knock down the other side’s claims — they just couldn’t use their own voice to do so.

Instead, Republicans and Democrats wrote down questions on a white card, directed to either Trump’s legal team or the House managers, for presiding officer Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to read aloud.

Watch: Roll Call is tired of Congress’ weak sports bets
Clyde McGrady has had enough

LSU and New Orleans Saints helmets on display in the Hart Building office of former Sen. David Vitter on September 6, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional ‘gambling’ is out of control
These friendly wagers have gotten stale and could use some new energy

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchange gifts in June as they settle a wager over an NBA basketball championship game between her Golden State Warriors and his victorious Toronto Raptors. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Politicians have a gambling problem.

Mayors do it. So do governors and even prime ministers. But members of Congress are the worst offenders, and they’re getting out of control.

Key Votes 2019: Amid partisan acrimony, legislative wins in Congress were hard to come by
House and Senate veered in opposite directions

The House and Senate veered in different directions in 2019, as CQ Roll Call’s analysis of key votes shows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All throughout 2019, Democrats sang from the same hymnal: We sent hundreds of bills with bipartisan support over to the Senate, where they went to die.

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken pride in referring to himself as the “Grim Reaper” presiding over a legislative graveyard, arguing that he is serving as a bulwark against “radical, half-baked, socialist” legislation being churned out in the House.