Oklahoma

Budget and Appropriations Members Rack Up Travel Time
Boots on the ground or paid vacation?

Staff travel makes up a significant chuck of the amounts spent on travel by the Appropriations and Budget committees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of the Budget and Appropriations committees have spent about $2 million on foreign travel since the start of 2016, including trips to Argentina, Tanzania, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to an analysis of congressional records.

Appropriations Committee members far outpace their colleagues on the Budget Committee in the number of trips and how much they've spent on travel outside the United States. From Jan. 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017, Appropriations Committee members and staff spent $1.9 million on foreign travel and Budget Committee members and staff spent $36,000.

Man Charged With Breaking Into Congressman’s Office, Stealing Items From Desk
Markwayne Mullin’s Longworth office subject of allegations

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., leaves the House GOP caucus meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Edgardo Javier Ramon has been charged with breaking into Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s Longworth office and stealing items from his desk.

The items stolen were decorative coins known as “challenge coins” that were given to Mullin and a “decorative container”. Ramon’s lawyers have not responded to the charges of unlawful entry and theft, though Ramon pleaded not guilty to the theft charges.

Opinion: Forget the Moderates, Only the Die-Hards Can Get Health Care Back on Track
Kennedy and Hatch a great example of working across the aisle

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, left, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts at a 1997 press conference introducing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the failure of health care reform taught us anything last week, it’s that somebody somewhere in Washington is going to have to start compromising if anything is ever going to get done.

But if you’re thinking a successful compromise is going to come from moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., think again. Although those senators’ roles will be important, all of the moderates from both parties together still don’t have enough votes to pass legislation.

Senate Gives House Republicans Little Cover on Health Care in 2018
Some House GOP lawmakers trusted Senate to improve legislation

Rep. Carlos Curbelo said Friday he has no regrets about voting for the House version of the health care repeal and replace bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo voted for the Republican health care bill this spring, he did so believing the Senate would make it better. 

“I received strong assurances that major improvements would be made in the Senate,” the two-term congressman wrote in a May Miami Herald op-ed explaining his vote. 

House Republicans Not Ready to Abandon Obamacare Repeal
Hope springs eternal in chamber that Senate GOP can still get something done

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy want the Senate to keep alive the effort to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY MCPHERSON and REMA RAHMAN

House Republicans on Friday said they’re not planning to abandon their effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, but their current plan for how to achieve that goal is to simply hope the Senate gets its act together.

Mullin Not Getting Much Heat Over Breaking Three-Term Pledge
Callers to telephone town hall mention plenty of things, but promise isn't one of them

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., recently announced that he would seek a fourth term in the House despite an earlier pledge that he would serve only three. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Markwayne Mullin might have expected some negative attention on his decision to seek re-election in spite of a 2011 promise to serve only three terms. But in a telephone town hall, he found his constituents had other concerns, like the Veterans Administration, insufficient support for Russia, and privatization of air traffic controllers. 

Earlier in July, the Oklahoma Republican released a video explaining his decision to run for a fourth term, saying he understands people will be upset that he went back on his promise. 

House to Vote on CBO Staff Cuts
Appropriations amendment would eliminate budget analysis division

Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith, who led the effort to reintroduce the Holman rule, took the first crack at using it by offering an amendment to cut Congressional Budget Office staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House this week will vote on whether to eliminate the positions of 89 Congressional Budget Office employees in what will be its first vote under the so-called Holman rule that Republicans in the chamber reinstated on a trial basis earlier this year.

The Holman rule allows members to offer amendments to appropriations bills designed to reduce the scope and size of government.

Word on the Hill: ADA Anniversary
Little Lobbyists and staffer shuffle

Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin speaks during a news conference as part of a series of events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2010. (Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images file photo)

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Office of Compliance is commemorating the occasion with online training for Capitol Hill staffers.

Training videos entitled “Preventing Disability Discrimination in the Congressional Workplace” are available on the agency’s website, featuring introductions from Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., for Senate staffers, and from Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., for House staffers.

Sessions on the Cusp of Martyrdom or Oblivion
If he’s fired, will former Senate GOP colleagues draw a line against Trump?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been the target of almost daily taunting from President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Jeff Sessions was preparing last fall to begin a third decade in the Senate, his future as a rock-ribbed conservative legislative force looked limitless, but just three seasons later, he’s been pushed to the precipice of his career.

The almost daily taunting he’s taking from President Donald Trump points toward one of two probably quick endings to his brief run as attorney general, quitting or getting canned.

House GOP Push to Reverse Course on Spending Strategy Fails

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., don’t appear to have the votes to pursue a 12-bill omnibus spending package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House GOP appropriators’ and other rank-and-file members’ last-minute push to vote on a full 12-bill spending package before the August recess has failed to garner enough support for leadership to reverse course.

The now twice-made decision to proceed with a four-bill minibus package of national security-related appropriations bills instead of a 12-bill omnibus is a blow to those in the Republican Conference who saw pursuing a 12-bill strategy a win.