Ron Wyden

Photos of the Recess: A Tax Protest, Special Election and 4/20 Event
The weeks of April 10 and April 17 as seen by Roll Call's photographers

A Hill staffer reads a book during the lunch hour on the East Lawn of the Capitol on April 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Warm weather punctuated the spring recess in Washington. As congressmen took two weeks back home in their states and districts, some Hill staffers were able to enjoy the sun on lunch breaks and head early to happy hours.

But it wasn't all that quiet on the congressional front. A Tax March on Saturday, April 15 brought protesters to Capitol Hill to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns. CQ Roll Call hit the road to Atlanta for the special election to fill Tom Price's seat. And back in Washington, the recess neared its end as a 4/20 event resulted in seven arrests for marijuana possession and possession with intent to distribute near the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Protesters in D.C. Demand Trump Release His Tax Returns
April 15 event on the National Mall coincides with others across U.S.

People gather for the Tax March on the West Lawn of the Capitol to call on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Tax Day approaches on Tuesday, April 18, protesters organized a Saturday demonstration in front of the Capitol to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns.

He’s the first president in nearly 40 years to not disclose such information. Similar protests were held across the country.

Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Ease Tax Burdens, Criminal Penalties on Pot
Proposal comes amid continued confusion about Trump administration stance

Two of Congress’ biggest proponents of marijuana legalization redoubled their efforts Thursday with a package of bills to “pave the way” for federal regulation of the burgeoning pot industry. 

Mnuchin's ‘Batman’ Flap is No Joke, Ethics Experts Say
“It reflects a lack of concern for the ethics rules.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin arrives in the House Chamber before President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress in the Capitol, February 28, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s disclaimer before promoting a movie he produced does not clear him of potential violations of ethics rules, experts said.

Mnuchin’s comments last week urging people to send their children to “The LEGO Batman Movie” prompted Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, to inquire this week on the Treasury secretary’s progress of divesting his financial assets. 

Opinion: And Now for Something Easy, Like Tax Reform
Legislation will need Democratic votes to succeed

UNITED STATES — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants to get tax reform passed and signed by August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Health care reform did not go well for the White House last week. OK, it blew up. But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is still bullish about getting tax reform passed and signed by August. 

“Health care and tax reform are two very different things,” he told Mike Allen of Axios last Friday, hours before the Obamacare vote was canceled amid GOP infighting. “Health care is a very complicated issue … in many ways, [tax reform] is a lot simpler. It really is.”

Trump Claims Vindication on Surveillance News
But information was collected legally, according to top Republican

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, makes his way from the committee’s offices to the microphones to hold a news conference in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump expressed a sense of vindication Wednesday after House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said that Trump campaign associates may have been caught up in a surveillance net.

“I somewhat do. I must tell you I somewhat do. I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found, I somewhat do,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Orrin Hatch Leaning Toward Running for Eighth Term
Utah Republican previously said current term would be his last

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch says President Donald Trump has leaned on him to run for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said Thursday he’s continuing to edge toward seeking an eighth Senate term in 2018.

Hatch had earlier told CNN, “I’m planning on [running] right now.” The octogenarian is the longest serving Republican senator and had previously said his seventh term would be his last. 

Cabinet-Level Nominees Play the Waiting Game
Politics, paperwork and holdings slowing things down

Four Cabinet-level nominees remain to be confirmed. Clockwise from top left, Dan Coats for director of national intelligence, Alexander Acosta for secretary of Labor, Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative and Sonny Perdue for secretary of Agriculture. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call, Alan Diaz/AP, Chambersandpartners.com, Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Farm groups thought they’d have a new Agriculture secretary by now after a long wait to find out who would be the nominee. But they’re growing anxious again over the delayed confirmation of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. 

President Donald Trump has accused Democrats of keeping him from filling his Cabinet, but Perdue’s nomination appears to be on hold because the Senate Agriculture Committee has yet to receive his paperwork.

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.

Sanford, Jones Split With GOP on Trump’s Taxes
Two House Republicans essentially sided with Democrats on the issue

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford voted ‘present’ on a Democratic resolution aimed at obtaining President Donald Trump's tax returns for the last 10 years. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:30 p.m. March 3 | Republican Reps. Mark Sanford and Walter B. Jones have occasionally bucked their party, so their stance on a procedural question this week about President Donald Trump’s tax returns is noteworthy. 

Sanford of South Carolina and Jones of North Carolina voted “present” on Monday night as the House decided along party lines, 229-185, to effectively block a vote on a resolution by New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell Jr. aimed at directing the Ways and Means Committee to obtain Trump’s tax returns for the past 10 years.