Katherine Tully-McManus

House effort on Steve King censure fizzles
Matter referred to Ethics Committee as some Democrats express disappointment

An effort to further punish Rep. Steve King for racist comments fizzled Wednesday when the chamber voted to instead refer the Iowa Republican’s case to the House Ethics Committee.

On a voice vote, the House referred a censure resolution from Illinois Democrat Bobby L. Rush to the Ethics panel, instead of censuring him directly.

New Inspector General named for Capitol Police
Michael A. Bolton has been serving as acting IG since last March

The Capitol Police Board announced Wednesday the selection of Michael A. Bolton to be the department’s inspector general. Bolton has been serving in the role in an acting capacity since March of last year and previously served as assistant IG for investigations.

“Mr. Bolton’s more than 30 years of law enforcement and auditing experience, and 16 years in the OIG community have been an asset to the USCP Office of Inspector General and the Department. I look forward to our continued partnership in ensuring that the USCP continues to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of its programs and operations,” Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa said in a statement.

Protesters disrupt EPA confirmation hearing, held despite shutdown
The group objected to the activating of furloughed staff to help the acting administrator prepare for the hearing

Two demonstrators were removed Wednesday morning from the confirmation hearing of Andrew Wheeler —President Trump’s pick to lead the EPA.

Protesters in the hallway and hearing room objected to the business in front of the Environment and Public Works Committee, because the EPA remains closed as part of the partial government shutdown. The group of over a dozen protesters included people representing Code Pink and The Moms Clean Air Force, some with strollers and their children in tow.

For Steve King, colleagues continue calls for censure, resignation
Pelosi to rule Wednesday on two censure proposals

Rep. Steve King has already faced two reprimands this week from his colleagues for his racist comments, but there could be tougher punishment ahead. Some Democrats are calling for an official censure, and a few fellow Republicans are calling for King’s resignation.

The clock is ticking down on two measures to officially censure King, offered Monday by Democratic Reps. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Disapproval resolution on Steve King passes, but will not likely be the last word
Iowa Republican disputes racist remarks, but urges chamber to disavow them anyway

Steve King voted “yes” on a resolution meant to rebuke him for making racist comments, a strange turn of events as the House voted, 424-1 to disapprove of the Iowa Republican.

“I’m putting up a ‘yes’ on the board here because what you say is true, is right and is just,” King said on the House floor before the vote.

House moves to protect federal interns from harassment and discrimination

The House took action Tuesday to protect the youngest members of the federal workforce, interns, from workplace harassment and discrimination.

The House passed by voice vote a measure from Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, that would extend certain federal employee protections to unpaid interns in the federal government. Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and a version of his measure also passed in the 115th Congress.

Sledders cheer up Capitol Hill while shutdown stalemate continues

When up to a foot of snow walloped Washington over the weekend, it gave joyful kids a reason to play, sledding down Capitol Hill and cutting the rancorous mood over the partial government shutdown. 

Furloughed federal workers have been stuck at home for weeks, and those required to work are going without paychecks. But many found that sledding down the massive slope on the West Front under the Capitol Dome is a great way to blow off steam. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

How the House rebuke of Steve King would work
Whether reprimand or censure, a formal ding from the chamber comes with few consequences

House Democratic leaders are planning to hold a vote Tuesday on a resolution of disapproval against Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King for racist comments, while two rank-and-file members are pushing for a stronger rebuke.

Democratic Reps. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio introduced separate measures on Monday to censure King, setting into motion votes on one of Congress’ formal means of punishing members.

Rep. Alcee Hastings undergoing cancer treatment
‘I feel hopeful about survival and about my ability to continue serving my constituents,’ Florida congressman says

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is undergoing treatment in Washington.

The Florida Democrat said in a statement released Monday that he is being treated at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has served in the House since 1993.

Amid shutdown and snow, DMV lawmakers reach out to federal workers

Lawmakers across the Washington region spent the weekend touching base with federal workers affected by the government shutdown at roundtables, town halls and potlucks.

Rep. Anthony Brown held a town hall meeting in Largo, Maryland, on Saturday, where he took questions from constituents about the government shutdown.

The many ways members of Congress can make a stink
Yes, they can donate pay, but they can also get arrested or wear hoodies

No ethics issues for federal workers shutdown deals
Restaurants, bars and more offering help for feds not getting paid

Federal workers must adhere to strict ethical guidelines for accepting meals and favors, but the deals and discounts popping up around the D.C. region during the shutdown aren’t risking violations.

As the partial government shutdown stretches toward being the longest in modern history, dozens of restaurants are offering free and discounted meals to federal workers, many of whom are either furloughed or working without pay. Bars are offering drink discounts and happy hour specials. 

Fake Rep. Tom Malinowski account suspended, but House website still links to it
Capitol Police are searching for the impersonator

A fake Twitter account claiming to be New Jersey Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski is under investigation by Capitol Police. But the account, which was set up as recently as Wednesday, is featured on the freshman congressman’s official House website.

The @CongMalinowski account sparked confusion, because it popped up right when other newly sworn-in lawmakers were creating their official House accounts, which clearly identify their position in Congress and must adhere to official rules.

Ready to manage a world-famous building and grapple with a billion-dollar backlog? This job’s for you
Hunt for new Architect of the Capitol underway

Do you like historic buildings? Are you undaunted by the prospect of working with tenants who are also your bosses and can’t seem to agree on much of anything? 

Then this job is for you.

Cindy Hyde-Smith to lead Senate Legislative Branch spending panel
Mississippi Republican takes over from Montana’s Steve Daines

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will take the gavel of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee for the new Congress. The Mississippi Republican is a relative newcomer to the panel, which she joined in April of last year, taking the slot left open by her predecessor Thad Cochran’s resignation.

The subcommittee’s previous chairman, Montana’s Steve Daines, received a waiver to join the Senate Finance Committee, becoming among the first senators to serve on Appropriations and Finance since 1944. (Oklahoma’s James Lankford was given a similar waiver.)

Florida’s Ted Deutch to lead House Ethics Committee
Panel has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years

Florida’s Ted Deutch will be the new chairman of the House Ethics Committee, which has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years.

“House Democrats are thrilled to welcome Congressman Ted Deutch as Chair of the Ethics Committee, where his towering integrity and firm commitment to fairness and justice will be invaluable to our mission to restore transparency, ethics and accountability to the Congress,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday. As leader of her party, Pelosi appoints the chair of the Ethics panel, along with other committees such as House Administration and Rules. 

Other DC spots are closed. But Capitol tourism is booming
The Capitol Visitor Center is open, partial shutdown or no — and tourists are taking note

Other attractions on the National Mall are locked up tight, but one tourist spot is seeing a traffic boom.

More visitors than usual have come to the Capitol so far this month, even as a partial government shutdown puts a damper on the best-laid plans of D.C. vacationers. 

Hello Congress, goodbye Twitter followers
Official member accounts must follow different set of guidelines than campaign ones

As new House members say hello to their new life on Capitol Hill, they’re also saying goodbye (for now) to their campaign social media accounts and the hordes of followers they’ve amassed.

Newly elected members have been sharing their experiences on social media, giving their followers a look at what it’s like to transition into Congress. But some of their social media fluency will be reined in to conform with strict guidelines on how officials can use their platforms.

&pizza, Au Bon Pain coming to the Capitol complex
The East Coast pizza company confirmed the move via text

Update 5:58 p.m. | Heads up hungry Hill staffers: &pizza will set up shop on the House side of the Capitol this month, and an Au Bon Pain will open later this year.

House Chief Administrative Officer Philip Kiko, who oversees food service on the House side of the Capitol, confirmed the news Monday evening. Kiko told HOH that &pizza will be opening in the Rayburn Building, and Au Bon Pain will open in the Cannon Building in the spring. The "pop-ups" from restaurants like Mission BBQ and Hissho Shushi that began in 2018 will also continue.

Zoe Lofgren takes up House Administration gavel
So-called mayor of Capitol Hill oversees multiple aspects of Congress, voting and security

Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California will be the new “mayor of Capitol Hill,” as the chair of the House Administration Committee is sometimes called.

Unlike many other committees, the top spot on House Administration is not determined by seniority. Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially appointed Lofgren to lead the panel Friday. The nomination must be approved by the full Democratic caucus, which is expected to act next week.