Tammy Duckworth

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.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social calendar for the week

The Court of Neptune, the fountain at the front of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, got a cleaning in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back from recess!

Your daily Word on the Hill is returning now that Congress is back.

Gallagher Steals Fastest Lawmaker Title From Cotton
Blumenauer staffer first overall finisher

Texas Sen. John Cornyn runs in the ACLI Capital Challenge, a three-mile team race in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Mike Gallagher is the fastest lawmaker in Washington, beating Sen. Tom Cotton, who held the title for four years.

The 33-year-old Wisconsin Republican was the first member of Congress to finish the 36th annual ACLI Capital Challenge in Anacostia Park on Wednesday morning.

ACLI Capital Challenge in Photos: Gallagher is First-Place Member, Cotton Close Behind
The annual three-mile run in Anacostia raises money for the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., prepares for the ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race in Anacostia Park on Wednesday. He was the first member to finish the overall race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The 36th annual ACLI Capital Challenge is officially in the books for 2017. The 3-mile run at Anacostia Park raises money for the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, which pairs guide dogs with people with disabilities, often war veterans. Members of Congress, staffers and press join teams to raise money for the cause.

Duckworth Leads Capital Challenge Wheelchair Team to Keep Promise to Herself
Illinois Democrat pledged to do more after losing legs in Iraq

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth competed in her first marathon four years after losing her legs in Iraq. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Serving as captain of the wheelchair team in the 36th annual ACLI Capital Challenge on Wednesday is part of a pledge that Sen. Tammy Duckworth made to herself after losing her legs while serving in Iraq.

“When I was in the hospital, I made a promise to do more than I could before I was wounded,” the Illinois Democrat said. “My recovery goal wasn’t just to get by — it was to go beyond what I thought I could ever do.”

Word on the Hill: Semi-Recess Week
Your social calendar for the week

A television monitor at the TV stakeout shows proceedings on the floor as the House votes to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House staffers get a bit of a break this week.

While the Senate is in session, the House is on recess following a long and stressful week that culminated with the passage of the Republican health care bill. 

Trump Will Need Democratic Cooperation to Replace US Attorneys
Judiciary Committee process, plus scarce floor time, could leave career lawyers in charge

Preet Bharara is one of 46 former U.S. attorneys whose posts the Trump administration now has to fill. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Under normal circumstances, senators might act quickly to advance and confirm a president’s nominees to be U.S. attorneys across the country.

But with President Donald Trump in office, nothing is proving to be ordinary.

Word on the Hill: Is It Spring Yet?
Dates for baseball, softball games announced

It’s time to get into the cherry blossom spirit. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, when we spring our clocks forward an hour at 2 a.m.

Although a couple of days last week felt like spring, it’s forecast to cool down this weekend and only be in the mid-30s on Saturday in Washington.

Franken Returns Donations from Controversial Law Firm
Thorton Law Firm is being investigated for possible campaign finance violations

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., received about $41,000 in contributions from Boston law firm being investigated. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., returned $40,822 donated to him from a Boston law firm currently being investigated for potentially illegal campaign contributions.

An investigation into the Boston-based Thorton Law Firm by The Boston Globe and the Center for Responsive Politics revealed that Thorton essentially reimbursed employees for political contributions through bonus checks that totaled the exact amount of the donation.

Senate Democrats Plan All-Nighter Over EPA Nominee
But Scott Pruitt is likely to be confirmed despite objections

Scott Pruitt is the current attorney general of Oklahoma. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are planning to once again stage a series of overnight speeches on the Senate floor, this time in opposition to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA. 

“We intend to stand our ground,” said Delaware Sen. Thomas R. Carper, the ranking Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. While Pruitt appears poised for confirmation, Carper said Democrats were not going quietly into the night.