Virginia

Trump nominates director of Government Publishing Office
If confirmed, Hugh Halpern would be first permanent director since 2017

Copies of President Donald Trump's budget for fiscal 2020 run through the binding process at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. Trump nominated Hugh Nathanial Halpern to be director of the agency Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The agency responsible for producing U.S. passports has been plagued by leadership instability since 2017, but President Donald Trump’s move to nominate Hugh Nathanial Halpern of Virginia to be the Government Publishing Office’s director Tuesday could end that streak.

Halpern worked as the director of floor operations for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan before Halpern retired in January. He was the staff director for the House Rules Committee and worked on several other committees, including the House Financial Services Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee over the course of 30 years.

Get to know these new congressional caucuses
Agritourism not your bag? Try the Air Cargo Caucus!

Let’s hear it for the Agritourism Caucus! Virginia Rep. Jennifer Wexton hopes it will spur more visits to places like wineries in her district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are dozens of caucuses in Congress. Here’s a roundup of a few new ones formed this year.

Money generated by vineyards, orchards, breweries, distilleries and farm markets totaled $949 million in 2017, according to Virginia Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton, who formed this caucus to “strengthen the agritourism industry” and “highlight the positive impacts they have.” Wexton recently touted on Twitter a visit to a winery and farm in her suburban D.C. district. North Carolina Republican David Rouzer serves as caucus co-chair. 

Photos of the Week: Not really recess week
The week of Oct. 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Alison Malone, right, and Marco Ruiz dance while waiting in line to enter the Supreme Court on first day of the new session of the court on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Campus Notebook: Lawmakers to Prague, staff to Fargo, plus million-dollar trades
Lawmaker travel, stock trades, ethics complaints and other updates

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Campus notebook this week highlights where a former top law enforcement official went after he retired from the Capitol Police, international travel by members, domestic travel of staffers and substantial stock trades.

PAC would return contribution tied to Trump impeachment probe — if it only could
Donors helped Giuliani push for Ukraine investigation into Joe Biden and his son

A PAC that supported West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s failed 2018 Senate bid discovered Thursday that it had received a contribution tied to two men who helped President Donald Trump's private lawyer push for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When a PAC that supported a failed West Virginia Senate candidate found out it may have received an illegal contribution tied to two men at the center of the Trump impeachment controversy, the first reaction was to give it back.

There’s just one problem: It’s broke.

Denver Riggleman and Ben Cline call impeachment effort ‘frustrating’

Virginia Reps. Ben Cline, left, and Denver Riggleman hold a joint town in Bedford, Va., on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has been a recurring topic for members of Congress holding town halls in their districts over the two-week October recess. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have faced questions about it, and Virginia Republican Reps. Denver Riggleman and Ben Cline were no exceptions. Asked about the impeachment effort at a joint town hall in Bedford, Virginia, on Wednesday, they responded with similar sentiments. Almost word for word at times.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 10
The latest on the impeachment inquiry

The Capitol dome is frame by a protest sign as a coalition of progressive activist groups rallies at the Capitol for Congress to impeach President Trump. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Public opinion polls have shifted toward impeachment, with recent ones for the first time showing a majority favors it.

A Fox News poll released Wednesday showed 51 percent of Americans feel Trump should be impeached and removed from office. That’s up from 42 percent who felt that way in July.

Senate Intelligence Committee in focus on C-SPAN and the big screen this fall
Don’t mess with the intel panel

Annette Bening plays former Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein in the upcoming political thriller “The Report.” (Courtesy MovieStillsDB)

It’s going to be a big couple of months for the Senate Intelligence Committee, both on Capitol Hill and at the box office.

Chairman Richard M. Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner find themselves once again at the epicenter of the biggest political story in Washington, tasked with leading the Senate’s review of President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine that seem all but certain to result in impeachment by the House.

Charleston mass murderer got his gun because of background check gaps, internal report shows
Four years later, Congress and White House have made little progress on gun legislation

Mourners enter Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015 after a mass shooting by Dylann Roof, a self-declared white supremacist, left nine people dead. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images file photo)

Dylann Roof got the pistol he used to kill nine people in a historic black church in South Carolina without a completed background check because of gaps in FBI databases, legal restrictions on how long the FBI can keep data on gun purchasers and other breakdowns in the system, according to an internal report obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Four years after the 2015 attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston — and several more high-profile mass shootings — a bipartisan group of senators is still trying to hammer out a deal with the White House on background check legislation. 

Virginia GOP representatives' town hall heavy on policy, light on impeachment
Cline, Riggleman said they oppose impeachment, were more at home fielding policy questions

Reps. Ben Cline, left, and Denver Riggleman, both Virginia Republicans, hold a joint town hall meeting at Central Virginia Community College in Bedford, Va., on Wednesday, Oct. 9. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BEDFORD, Va. — The House’s impeachment inquiry, which has engulfed Washington politics and dominated national news coverage, barely got a mention at a town hall here Wednesday night hosted by Republican Reps. Ben Cline and Denver Riggleman

The topics on constituents’ minds included an array of policy topics, such as President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, the trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, climate change, infrastructure and immigration.