Rodney Davis

House modernization leaders seek consensus despite hurdles
Select committee is a long way from solving institutional problems

Reps. Derek Kilmer, right, and Tom Graves, leaders of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, are seeking ways to improve congressional operations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With 2019 half done, so is the lifespan of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. 

And the panel is still a long way from solving some of the big-scope institutional problems that House leaders asked it to. When it comes to some of the thornier political items — such as lawmaker pay raises and resurrecting earmarks — the panel is unlikely to agree.

End Citizens United names first 12 Republican targets for 2020
Liberal PAC is going after GOP incumbents in House and Senate

End Citizens United has named Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, right, as two of initial targets for 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

End Citizens United, a liberal PAC that was a major player in last year’s midterms, announced Wednesday its top targets for 2020. 

The initial list of targets, dubbed the “Big Money 20” and obtained first by CQ Roll Call, includes 12 Republican incumbents — five senators and seven House members. 

Varsity baseball, scooters and debate food fights: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of June 24, 2019

Rep. Ed Perlmutter collides with Rep. Rodney Davis at the plate during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday June 26, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol is “a lot like high school,” Sen. Thom Tillis once observed.

Photos of the Week: SCOTUS finale, congressional baseball and recess
The week of June 28 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Umbrellas shade the TV news crews waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down decisions on the census and gerrymandering cases Monday, as the court wraps up its term this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This week saw the Supreme Court wrap up its term, aide and daughter to the president Ivanka Trump visiting Capitol Hill, lunching with GOP senators, a head over heels baseball game and another an empty chair.

After all that action, it’s time for recess. 

House passes election security measure requiring cybersecurity safeguards, paper ballots
Republicans, in split with Democrats, call it federal overreach and are pushing their own proposals

Speaker Nancy Pelosi at an event with House and Senate Democrats on Thursday before a House vote on the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed an election security measure Thursday that would require voting systems to use backup paper ballots in federal contests, while also mandating improvements to the higher-tech side of the polls.

The full chamber voted 225-184 to send the bill to the Senate where it faces stiff opposition from Republicans. House Democrats fast-tracked the bill to the floor after it cleared the Administration Committee by a party-line vote. 

Our 10 best photos from the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game
Roll Call photographer Caroline Brehman covered it from start to finish

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise walks out to the field before the start of the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday night. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Democrats’ 14-7 win at the Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday night was the their eighth in nine years, behind another complete game effort from MVP pitcher Rep. Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana — and solid hitting from the lineup.

Here are the photos that defined the evening at Nationals Park:

Democratic domination continues in Congressional Baseball Game
Lawmakers take a break from border funding, debate buzz to compete on the field

Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado collides with Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois at home plate during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. Perlmutter scored on the play. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Ask any dad and he will tell you: Defense wins championships. But when Republicans ask themselves what went wrong Wednesday night, they might point to a sloppy defensive effort that resulted in four errors and their third straight loss to the Democrats.

The 14-7 win at the Congressional Baseball Game was the Democrats’ eighth in nine years, behind another complete game effort from MVP Cedric Richmond and solid hitting from the lineup.

Pay debate raging on Capitol Hill ignores lowest-earning staffers
Boosting MRA would do most to address pay woes, Hill aides say

Boosting member pay could translate to higher salary caps for staffers, as House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer has pointed out. But what about those who make the least? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While Congress tussles over whether a legislative spending bill should allow a salary boost for lawmakers, their staffers agree that the Members’ Representational Allowance — which pays House staff salaries — needs more funding.

House Democrats this month pulled the Legislative Branch appropriations bill amid backlash from Republican campaign strategists and members of their own caucus.

Legal pot makes it harder to recruit truck drivers, industry leader says
Companies find applicants withdraw when they learn of hair sample tests for drug use

Cannabis plants grow in the greenhouse Johnstown, N.Y. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

As the trucking industry struggles with a driver shortage, the president of a major lobby placed part of the blame on wider acceptance by states of marijuana use.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told lawmakers at a Wednesday hearing that legalization of recreational marijuana by states is making it harder for the industry to find drug-free drivers. Still, low pay and poor working conditions are also hurdles to industry recruitment, according to a union leader.

Photos of the Week: Congress is back from recess, and we’ve got photos to prove it
The week of May 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A poster of President Donald Trump and the wax figure of singer Whitney Houston are on display as a window washer cleans the windows at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Washington on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is back from recess, and we have the photos to prove it.