Richard Blumenthal

Word on the Hill: Party Time
Burgers in Cannon today

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks with her husband, Paul, center, and Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey at an Atlantic/CBS News pre-party before the 2016 White House Corespondents’ Association Dinner. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is a day away. But Friday is a big night for parties to start the weekend off.

RealClearPolitics, the Distilled Spirits Council, the National Restaurant Association and the Beer Institute are joining for the first annual Toast to the First Amendment. It is from 7 to 10 p.m. at the National Restaurant Association, 2055 L St. NW.

Photos of the Week: Cherry Blossoms and Intelligence Chaos as Gorsuch Awaits Vote
The week of March 27 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, takes a photo with his phone during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian intelligence activities on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the cherry blossoms reached full bloom in Washington this week, so did the congressional investigations into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. After the House investigation faced obstacles, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s query began to ramp up, with the leaders conducting a bipartisan news conference and the entire panel holding its first full hearing on the matter. 

Next week, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch is expected to receive a vote on the Senate floor. Demonstrators both for and against the nominee made appearances in the capital this week.

Feinstein Issues Warning After Abused Gymnasts Tell Their Stories
‘It’s a new day,’ says California Democrat after Senate Judiciary hearing

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., shakes hands with Dominique Moceanu,1996 Olympic gymnastics gold medalist, before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Protecting Young Athletes From Sexual Abuse" on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein displayed some anger on Tuesday when she warned the U.S. Olympic Committee, “You’re going to hear from us,” about allegations of abuse of its gymnastics team members.

The California Democrat introduced a bill that would require amateur athletics governing bodies to immediately report sexual abuse allegations to law enforcement. The bill would also make failure to do so a crime.

Yesterday’s US Attorneys May Be Tomorrow’s Congressional Candidates
Abrupt ouster by Trump administration provides incentive

Dana Boente could be a plausible challenger to Republican Scott Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd District. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s abrupt ouster of almost half the country’s U.S. attorneys has done more than create yet another tempest for his nascent administration. It’s also created a new and potentially potent Democratic political class.

Campaign consultants in both parties have long identified prosecutors — especially those confirmed by the Senate to act as the chief federal law enforcement officers in the nation’s 93 judicial districts — as top-flight congressional recruiting opportunities. But, for reasons that aren’t all that obvious, the Republicans have propelled many more crime busters onto Capitol Hill than the Democrats in recent years.

Senate Democrats Preview Their Case Against Gorsuch
Supreme Court nominee cast as foe of workers

Gorsuch is Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are preparing for next week’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and previewed their case Wednesday that Judge Neil Gorsuch’s rulings have favored corporations over individuals. 

“Judge Gorsuch may act like a neutral, calm judge,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “But his record and his career clearly show he harbors a right wing, pro-corporate, special interest agenda.”

Senators Ask White House: Where Are the Nominees?
Vice President assures GOP lawmakers names are coming

Rod Rosenstein, nominee for deputy attorney general, and Rachel L. Brand, nominee for associate attorney general, faced the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican senators are eager to continue pushing through President Donald Trump’s executive branch nominees, but they are increasingly concerned about the slow pace of nominations being sent to the Capitol for the people who will be tasked with much of the nitty-gritty work of government. 

“I continue to ask for additional names to come forward, and I’m assured that they will be soon,” Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso said Tuesday.

Word on the Hill: Carlson to Push Forced Arbitration Clauses
New military families program

Gretchen Carlson, seen here in 2013 when she was still on “Fox & Friends” with co-hosts Steve Doocy, left, and Brian Kilmeade. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images file photo)

Journalist Gretchen Carlson is on Capitol Hill today to push for legislation to stop the use of unfair forced arbitration clauses.

The former Fox News anchor is teaming up with Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., as well as three Democratic congressmen.

Democrats Ask Secret Service About Background Checks at Mar-a-Lago
Also want president to release White House visitor logs

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and seven other Senate Democrats say President Donald Trump’s conduct of official business at his private properties “appears to be unprecedented in recent times.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several Senate Democrats want to know if the Secret Service is running background checks on visitors to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

The eight Democrats led by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are asking Secret Service Deputy Director William J. Callahan about the procedures in place at Trump properties when the president is there and apparently conducting business.

Last of Trump Nominees With Russian Ties Set to Sail Through Confirmation
Vote on Commerce secretary-designee Wilbur Ross comes amid new questions

Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross is expected to sail through a Senate confirmation vote Monday, in spite of questions about his business ties to influential Russians. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross was a top shareholder in a Cypriot bank with deep Russian ties when he met with the principal Russian investor. 

That meeting lasted only an hour, according to a cursory account Ross provided to the Senate. What he discussed during the encounter and the identity of the investor are among a number of unanswered questions about Ross’ potential connections to influential Russian figures as he awaits a vote on his confirmation Monday.