Oklahoma

House Republicans Bolster Member Security Funding
Funding will extend to lawmakers’ districts

Members will get a boost in security as part of a deal reached between appropriators and the House Administration Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Word on the Hill: House Men’s Workout
Vegan cooking and snacking

Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, seen here with his daughter Larra at the Capitol on Wednesday, is a host of the annual men's workout. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As if you haven’t had enough bipartisan congressional athletic events, the annual Men’s Health Caucus workout is this morning, hosted by Reps. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., and Donald M. Payne Jr., D-N.J.

It’s at 7 a.m. in the park across from the Longworth House Office Building. Samantha Clayton, director of Global Fitness at Herbalife Nutrition, and Clifton Crosby, former NFL player, will also be there.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

Natives on the Hill Aims to Be an Antidote to Homesickness
Three staffers launch new group for fellow Native Americans

Natives on the Hill co-founders, from left, Renée Gasper, Catelin Aiwohi and Kim Moxley. (Courtesy Sen. Tom Udall’s office)

A new staff association hopes to help Native Americans feel at home in D.C.

“A lot of us are away from home, and so there’s a community element to it. It’s harder to feel Indian sometimes in D.C. because you’re disconnected from ceremonies, cultural events,” said Kim Moxley, co-founder of Natives on the Hill. “It’s like a ‘battling homesickness’ mechanism.”

Prospect of Repeat Budget Failure Puts Pressure on Republicans
Budget needed for GOP to get to tax overhaul, possibly mandatory spending cuts

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, seen here at a committee hearing last month with ranking Democrat John Yarmuth, is confident Republicans will pass a budget this year, despite GOP divisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans face the possibility of failing to pass a full budget resolution for the second year in a row, despite making progress on their goals for a fiscal 2018 budget resolution.

The stakes are much higher than last year as the budget, through the reconciliation process, has become a tool for Republicans to advance legislation without Democratic support, something they lack on nearly all of their top priorities.

Obamacare in Alaska: Cost-Control Plan Is Challenging but Working
Might be difficult to duplicate in other states

(Photo illustration by Marilyn Gates-Davis and Erin Mershon/CQ Roll Call)

JUNEAU, Alaska — It’s hard to get excited about a health insurance premium spike.

But for Lori Wing-Heier, Alaska’s blunt but friendly state insurance commissioner, the decision by the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan to raise its rates by just 7 percent was a moment of joy.

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.

Baseball Shooting Raises Lawmaker Protection Questions
Incident prompts discussion of security at practices and the Capitol

Alexandria Police line the street with police tape across the street from Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during baseball practice. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress know they could be targets of violence, but they didn’t see it coming at their early morning practice for the Congressional Baseball Game.

“It was absolutely a safe space. We get up at 5:30 in the morning, just to go play baseball,” said Rep. Mike Bishop. “It does rattle your sense of what’s safe and what isn’t.”

Word on the Hill: The Game Must Go On
Taste of Hawaii huge success

Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton, left, the Republican’ baseball team manager, is accompanied to a meeting by Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan after Barton spoke to reporters about the shooting Wednesday as his team practiced in Alexandria, Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a gunman rattled Washington on Wednesday by opening fire at the Republicans’ morning baseball practice, coaches from the two teams with the backing of House Leaders Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., decided the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game must go on.

Just a week earlier, HOH was at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., where the shooting took place. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was one of five people wounded in the shooting, shared his thoughts with us going into the game.

Corn State Lawmakers Get Ethanol Hearing

Sen. Deb Fischer’s legislation would ease restrictions on the sale of ethanol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowing to pressure from corn state lawmakers, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso allowed a hearing on legislation that would ease restrictions on the sale of gasoline blended with at least 15 percent ethanol, a measure he opposes.

The bill (S 517) sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., would order the EPA to waive its rule prohibiting the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent corn-based ethanol, also known as E15, during the summer months. The prohibition was based on findings that tied the mixture to smog-causing emissions during warm weather.