Oklahoma

Ethics Committee Orders Markwayne Mullin to Pay Back $40,000
Oklahoma Republican instructed to pay back family business

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., must pay back income received from his family business following a House Ethics investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee has called for Rep. Markwayne Mullin to return $40,000 to his family business, Mullin West, following a review that concluded the money was paid out to him in a manner that is out of compliance with House rules and the committee’s recommendations.

The report released Friday by the House Ethics panel determined that Mullin made a “good faith” effort to seek informal guidance on issues related to his family businesses, but he didn’t take action on the guidance he received. The committee determined that an accounting error led Mullin to “inadvertently fail to fully follow part of the Committee’s advice,” according to the report.

Other Politicians Held, Recently Sold Stock That Got Chris Collins Arrested
Tom Price, Doug Lamborn among those who hold or sold Innate Immunotherapeutics stock

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, testifies at his Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building on January 24, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least six other politicians have recently owned or sold stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics, the Austrailian company at the center of New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins’ recent arrest.

In 2017, Tom Price sold between $250,001 and $500,000 of Innate Immunotherapeutics stock on one occasion and between $15,000 and $50,000 on another, according to the Office of Government Ethics.

Wyden to Delay Treasury Nominee Amid Tax and Oversight Fights
Oregon Democrat wants information on Trump lawyer Cohen and Russian operatives

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is holding up the nomination of Justin Muzinich to be deputy Treasury secretary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden said Wednesday he will place a hold on President Donald Trump’s nominee for a top Treasury Department post because Democrats have been stymied by the department in their oversight efforts.

The Oregon Democrat, ranking member on Senate Finance, said at a committee meeting that he’ll hold up the nomination of Justin Muzinich, tapped for deputy Treasury secretary, but he will support Michael Desmond’s nomination for chief counsel at the IRS and assistant general counsel at Treasury.

Senate Sends Trump a Defense Authorization That Could Rein In His Parade
Measure boosts troop size, adds to arsenal, bans the Pentagon from sapping deployable forces for parade

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has managed the defense authorization bill this year. The measure is on its way to the president for his signature earlier than usual. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Wednesday adopted the conference report for the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill, sending the massive Pentagon policy bill to the White House one day earlier than expected.

The measure easily cleared the Senate on a 87-10 vote, marking the 58th straight year that Congress has passed the Pentagon policy bill.

Senate Passes Spending Package, Rejects Trump’s Proposed Cuts
Chamber has now passed seven of the 12 annual spending bills

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., has shepherded a largely bipartisan appropriations process, pushing forward a four-package spending measure on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate approved a $154.2 billion, four-bill fiscal 2019 spending package Wednesday as a continuing bipartisan effort in the chamber pushed it ahead of the House in the appropriations process.

The vote was 92-6. Republicans cast the opposing votes: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Durbin Blasts Removal of Myanmar Sanctions From Defense Bill
Signs point to McConnell not allowing language targeting country also known as Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar, has been a guest at the Capitol, including in Sept. 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A legislative effort to punish officials responsible for atrocities committed against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar appears to have stalled thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin gave a speech ahead of floor consideration of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization conference report in which he decried, “the irresponsible removal of provisions related to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.”

Senators Working to Reinstate Mandatory Cyber Training
House mandated all staff training in 2015, while Senate lapsed in requirements

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt and his colleagues on the panel are working to reinstate mandatory cybersecurity training for the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate staffers are not required to undergo information security or cybersecurity training, even as hackers target Congress.

“The cybersecurity threat is very real, and frankly we haven’t stepped up and done what I think we should do to deal with it — which should be an all government response,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said when asked Tuesday about attempted hacks of Senate networks.

Congress to Trump: We Don’t Want Another Shutdown
Some Republicans worry shuttering government would hurt chances of keeping control of Congress

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s staff sets up a “#TRUMPSHUTDOWN” poster at January news conference while President Donald Trump was threatening a shutdown. Over the weekend, Trump threatened a shutdown for fiscal 2019 unless Democrats assent to more funding for his proposed southern border wall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have spoken loud and clear in response to President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the government over funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border: We don’t want another shutdown.

Republicans are worried that such an occurrence just a month before the November elections could compromise their congressional majorities in a midterm year that historically swings back to the party that does not control the White House.

It’s National Talk in an Elevator Day, Lawmakers Do a Lot of That
Proof: 10 photos of members of Congress talking in elevators

Republican members, including from left, Reps. Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, John Carter and John Boehner, crowd onto an elevator on the 5th floor of the Longworth House Office Building following the House GOP's conference meeting on May 20, 2008. The elevator door would not close until Reps. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and John Carter, R-Texas, got off. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the weather, the morning commute, how happy you are that it’s Friday. But mostly in the elevator, it’s awkward silence.

Not today!

NDAA Races Through Congress at Historic Pace
Only twice in the last 33 years has the defense authorization wrapped before Oct. 1

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, credits the two-year budget deal for this year’s speedy adoption of the defense authorization bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Advancing a defense authorization bill was as painless this year as it has been in decades, according to the people who wrote the measure.

The House adopted the fiscal 2019 NDAA conference report in a lopsided 359-54 vote on Thursday just before that chamber’s members left town for the August recess.