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Educating K Street: Colleges and universities seek influence in Congress, executive branch
Schools are in the midst of heated immigration, health care and technology debates

Stu Van Scoyoc is president and CEO of Van Scoyoc Associates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lobbyist Stu Van Scoyoc began working for the University of Alabama system three decades ago, helping the school smooth over a problem the 1986 tax overhaul created for its pension program. It’s still a client.

Lobbying on behalf of colleges and universities has been a mainstay of K Street work for years for firms like Van Scoyoc Associates. And many of the biggest spending university systems maintain their own lobbying outposts in Washington with in-house employees who monitor Capitol Hill and executive branch debates and look for federal funding opportunities, relying often on home-state and alumni connections.

Elijah E. Cummings in Congress, 1996-2019
Take a look back at his career

Rep. Elijah Cummings in 1996 (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Thirteen-term Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., died Thursday at the age of 68, after complications arising from longtime health issues, according to a statement from his office. He found himself in the national spotlight frequently in his role as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, but most recently as a strong voice in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. 

Rep. Elijah Cummings, key Democrat in impeachment investigation, has died
House Oversight chairman had battled health issues in recent years

Rep. Elijah Cummings presides over a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in July. The longtime Maryland Democrat died early Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a key player in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, died early Thursday of complications from longtime health issues, his office said in a statement. The Maryland Democrat was 68.

Cummings had missed roll call votes since Sept. 11 and said in a Sept. 30 statement that he expected to return to the House by mid-October after having a medical procedure, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Graham abruptly leaves hearing during official's testimony

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., questions a witness at a hearing in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., abruptly left a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Wednesday during the testimony of a senior administration official.

The moment came after nearly three hours of testimony by Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran. Most of Hook's statements defended the Trump administration's recent troop withdrawal from northern Syria.

House Republicans aim to force vote on Schiff censure
Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs is leading the effort, with GOP leadership backing

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., backed by House Republicans, will attempt to force a vote on a censure of House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff.

Rep. Andy Biggs will attempt to force a vote on his resolution to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff on the House floor this week, having initiated the process Wednesday.

Biggs’ censure effort has the backing of House Republican leaders — an uncommon alliance between the party’s establishment and the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 15
Trump accuses Democrats of selected leaks, and Democrats provide an impeachment update

Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump’s former Russia adviser, arrives at the Capitol to testify before Congress as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, and Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday they would not comply with congressional subpoenas.

“If they enforce it, then we will see what happens,” Giuliani told ABC News.

Watch: Four indicted on campaign finance charges

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, arrives for a press conference in New York on Thursday. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, were arrested on campaign finance charges. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sondland’s hotel business getting backlash over his role in Trump-Ukraine affair
US ambassador to the EU did not show up for testimony this week, prompting Oregon Rep. Blumenauer to call for boycott of his Portland-based chain

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, addresses the media at the US embassy in Romania in September. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images)

The attorney for Gordon Sondland, a top Trump administration diplomat at the heart of the House's impeachment investigation into the president, criticized Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer for urging people to boycott the diplomat’s Portland-based hotel chain.

“Congressman Blumenauer’s irresponsible attempt to hurt a homegrown business that supports hundreds of jobs in our local economy is just shameful and ought to outrage all Oregonians,” Jim  McDermott, Sondland’s lawyer, said in a statement to multiple local news outlets this week.

Owner of Capitol Hill ‘fundraising’ townhouse abandons zoning fight
Neighbors complain the residence serves as a D.C. outpost for Virginia-based firm

Jamie Hogan, owner of the house at 224 C St. NE, talks about his plans for his garage on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Facing neighborhood opposition, Hogan has dropped his plans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The owner of a Capitol Hill townhouse that has sparked controversy about the commercialization of residential zones near Congress has withdrawn his application for a project that prompted opposition from neighbors.

But that may not be the end of the matter. 

Impeachment looms large in House Democrats’ town halls over recess
Vulnerable freshmen face protests as safe-district incumbents explain process, Trump's offenses

Rep. Max Rose was one of the last Democrats to endorse the Trump impeachment inquiry. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has been a central concern at town halls for House Democrats across the country, with both safe and vulnerable members of the caucus fielding questions from Trump’s defenders and voters who want him removed from office.

While recent polls suggest that support for impeaching the president has grown over the last three months — 58 percent of respondents to a Washington Post/Schar School poll this week approved of the House’s decision to launch an inquiry — Democrats have used feedback at town halls over the two-week October recess to assess how their constituents feel about the matter.