congressional-affairs

Feeling Dissed, Puerto Rico Governor May Skip House Hearing
Governor is ‘demanding’ an ‘explicit, public apology’ from Natural Resources chairman over tweet

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop is facing pushback from the governor of Puerto Rico over a tweet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The governor of Puerto Rico is threatening to withdraw from a scheduled appearance before the House Natural Resources Committee after the panel posted a tweet his office said was “shameful,” “hostile” and “condescending.”

The committee deleted a tweet from its Twitter account July 19 about its invitation for Gov. Ricardo Rossello to testify at a July 25 hearing, following a request from the governor to have it removed. Rossello is a member of both the New Progressive Party and the Democratic Party.

Democrats Press GOP for Quick Legislative Response on Russia
Several measures in both chambers designed to push back on Putin

Protesters participate in a candlelight vigil in front of the White House Wednesday to protest President Donald Trump in the wake of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Congress could consider several bills in response to concerns about Russian meddling in the upcoming election. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House and Senate Democrats are pressuring their Republican colleagues to bring to the floor legislation introduced in response to President Donald Trump’s comments — and revisions to those comments — this week on Russian interference in U.S. elections.

Democratic House leaders released a bipartisan package that includes 17 previously introduced bills that would further restrict the White House’s foreign policy and economic options when it comes to Moscow.

Can You Tell August Recess (Kinda Sorta) Is Almost Here?
Messaging votes, floods in the Capitol, stinky gas and boatloads of cash

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., leaves the House after the last votes of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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It’s almost time for the kinda-sorta August recess (with the House leaving after next week for a month, and the Senate, not so much) and that means there will be no shortage of messaging votes set up by Republican leaders so their members can head back to the hustings and brandish their votes before November’s midterm elections. 

Oath Keepers Cancel Waters Protest Over Safety Concerns
Counter-protesters showed up in force to confront far-right group

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., above, urged her supporters not to confront protesters at a planned rally outside her office Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An anti-government group that known for dressing in military gear and carrying military-grade weapons at events abruptly canceled a protest outside Rep. Maxine Waters’ South-Central Los Angeles office Thursday, citing safety concerns.

Dozens of counter-protesters showed up in force to confront the Oath Keepers, the far-right group that claims 35,000 members nationwide.

GOP Rep. Hurd says Trump is Being Manipulated by Putin
Texas congressman served in the CIA before getting into politics

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said President Donald Trump is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Will Hurd wrote in a New York Times op-ed that that President Donald Trump is participating in a disinformation campaign by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Texas Republican served as an undercover CIA officer before winning his first House race in 2014.

‘Worst Enemy’: Trump Warns Putin Even as Second Summit in Works
U.S. president breaks with predecessors, criticizes Fed over rate hike

President Donald Trump warned Vladimir Putin and criticized the media and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in an interview with CNBC. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:51 a.m. | President Donald Trump continues to defend his Monday summit with Vladimir Putin and says he wants a second meeting soon — while also warning the Russian president he could become Putin’s “worst enemy.”

A day after his top spokeswoman announced Trump wants a follow-up summit in Washington this fall, the president said this of what would be a controversial visit by the Russian strongman who U.S. intelligence officials say led an interference operation in the 2016 presidential election: “I would say it’s in the works.”

Clarke Knows the ‘Tricks of the Trade’ From Her Internship
New York Democrat interned in the mid-1980s for her predecessor

Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., got to work on trade issues affecting the Caribbean region during her Hill internship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former New York Rep. Major R. Owens may not have known he had an intern who was going places when he assigned college student Yvette D. Clarke to work on trade legislation in the mid-1980s.

Clarke was studying government and public policy at Oberlin College and was eager to learn more about the mechanics of Congress. About two decades later, she ended up challenging Owens in a 2004 Democratic primary — and lost. When Owens retired two years later, Clarke ran again — and won.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show — Summer Edition
Our favorite visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(Courtesy @FloorCharts, Screenshot/C-SPAN)

Cheesin’ photos, safety precautions and tiny charts — watching the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it  worthwhile.

Lawmakers like these oversize and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Charlie Palmer Steak, Men’s Wearhouse – When PACs Pick Up Lawmaker Tabs
Report: Congress members and Candidates spend megabucks in predictable places

Charlie Palmer’s, a white-tablecloth steakhouse steps from the Senate office building, was the favorite D.C. dining destination for politicians using money from leadership PACs, according to a watchdog report. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Want to know how to live like a Washington insider? You could do worse than peruse the latest report on improper spending in Congress. 

One takeaway: From dining to hotels to shopping, D.C. politicians do not opt for adventure, at least when someone else is paying the tab. 

Rick Nolan Retained Staffer on Campaign Payroll After Harassment Allegations
Three former female employees have alleged former legislative director Jim Swiderski sexually harassed them

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., above, retained former legislative director Jim Swiderski on his campaign payroll in 2015 even after Swiderski resigned from his congressional office amid sexual misconduct allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just months after dismissing his top legislative aide in 2015 for multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Rep. Rick Nolan hired the aide to work on his 2016 re-election campaign.

Three former women employees for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor congressman told MinnPost, which originally reported this story, that Nolan’s legislative director, Jim Swiderski, repeatedly harassed — and in some cases groped — them in the early- and mid-2010s.