district-of-columbia

Former Rep. John Sweeney is ‘optimistic’ amid cancer diagnosis
‘I’m a resilient guy and I’m not dying,’ New York Republican says of current battle

New York Rep. John E. Sweeney talks to reporters at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2001. The former congressman is battling cancer. (Jeff Wolfram/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former New York Rep. John E. Sweeney has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“I’m optimistic,” he told the (Albany) Times Union. “I have faced challenges in the past.”

Amtrak IG details Union Station security deficiencies
Report outlines car driving onto tracks, doors propped open, security guards not checking permits

Union Station has grave security vulnerabilities, according to a report by Amtrak’s inspector general. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Security shortcomings at Amtrak’s second busiest station, Washington Union Station, have allowed an unauthorized car to drive onto the tracks and continue to leave the transportation hub and its patrons at risk, according to a report by Amtrak’s inspector general.

The report found that an entrance to Union Station is vulnerable to trespassers; interior doors are not secure; video surveillance cameras are not operational; and the company’s incident reporting process and radio limitations hamper the Amtrak police force’s response to security incidents at the station that served more than 5 million riders in the 2018 fiscal year.

D.C. statehood hearing rescheduled for September
Hearing on bill introduced by Holmes Norton had been postponed to accommodate Mueller testimony

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Muriel Bowser at a May 30 news conference to announce a hearing would be held on making the District of Columbia, which they represent, a state. Originally set for July, the hearing has been rescheduled for September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A hearing on a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state has been rescheduled for September. 

A bill introduced by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton had been scheduled for July but was postponed to accommodate testimony from former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.  The hearing on Norton’s statehood bill — aptly named H.R. 51 — will be held by the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m.

Judge weighs New Hampshire work requirements for Medicaid
The requirements were delayed for an additional 120 days due to state outreach problems

Federal district court Judge James E. Boasberg heard oral arguments Tuesday regarding the Trump administration's approval of work requirements in relation to New Hampshire's Medicaid program. Boasberg will decide whether states can enforce 100-hour-a-month requirements. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal district court judge seemed skeptical during oral arguments Tuesday of whether the Trump administration’s approval of work requirements advances the mission of New Hampshire’s Medicaid program. The same judge ruled against two other state work requirements earlier this year.

The New Hampshire requirements, which could have resulted in thousands losing coverage in August, were delayed earlier this month for an additional 120 days due to state outreach problems in educating enrollees about the requirements.

USDA official says agencies can find new staff after they move to Kansas City
Research chief also disputes reports that USDA is burying climate science research

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced new homes for the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A top Agriculture Department research official told a Senate committee that two agencies slated for a contested move out of Washington can recover from an exodus of employees and denied media reports the department has hidden agency documents on climate change.

Scott Hutchins, deputy undersecretary for research, education and economics, said Thursday that many employees eligible to move to the Kansas City metropolitan area with either the Economic Research Service or National Institute of Food and Agriculture have notified USDA that they will stay in Washington. Employees who have agreed to move have until Sept. 30 to make the trek west, where the agencies will operate out of a temporary space until USDA finds a long-term landlord.

Del. Holmes Norton ‘sees good news’ in a poll finding a majority reject D.C. statehood
Gallup found 64 percent of Americans oppose making Washington, D.C., a separate state.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., left, and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser. A new Gallup poll found a majority of Americans do not support D.C. statehood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton “sees good news” in a new Gallup poll that found a majority of Americans reject D.C. statehood.

The Gallup poll, conducted in June and released Monday, found 64 percent of Americans oppose making Washington a separate state. It was released to coincide with a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Holmes Norton’s statehood bill, which has been postponed to accommodate testimony from Robert S. Mueller III.  

House Oversight Dems call on Trump to pay D.C. for Independence Day, inauguration
Cummings, Norton lead charge seeking to replenish D.C. security fund

Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., holds the gavel during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are calling on President Donald Trump to commit to paying the District of Columbia back for providing public safety support for federal events in the city after Mayor Muriel Bowser said that Trump’s “Salute to America” drained it.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, of Maryland, and D.C. Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote to the White House Friday asking Trump to reimburse the district’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund for his inauguration and Fourth of July celebration. Bowser has said the account is expected to not only be empty before the end of the year, but will incur overages of $6 million.

Heavy rains cause closure of tunnel between Rayburn and the Capitol ... again
Pedestrian walkway and one subway was closed temporarily

The pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn tunnel that connects to the Capitol floods due to heavy rain Monday. (Chris Marquette/CQ Roll Call)

As raindrops pummeled those walking to work on Capitol Hill, a heavy accumulation of water flooded the pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn House Office Building tunnel, causing it to be closed for about an hour.

The pouring rain overflowed into the pedestrian walkway connecting Rayburn to the Capitol and — although the subway furthest from the walkway experienced no interruption — the train closest to the flooding was not in service during the cleanup. 

DC to Trump: ‘Tanks but no tanks’
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton says president is trying to turn July Fourth into ‘Bastille Day’

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC, said modeling the Fourth of July celebration after France's Bastille Day is "not an American way" to approach the holiday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton forcefully pushed back on plans by President Donald Trump to include U.S. Army tanks in the Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall, saying that “can’t happen.”

Norton, along with D.C. officials, has expressed concern that the 60-ton armored vehicles could grind up the National Mall and restyle a patriotic “hometown celebration,” which attracts thousands of tourists each year and is broadcast live on national television, into a nationalistic presidential rally.

Lawmakers and a lawsuit bring new life to giving D.C. a vote in Congress
The bill would make D.C. the 51st state, and it calls for the election of two senators and one House representative

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., left, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on May 30 that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform would hold a hearing on D.C. statehood on July 24th. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers and a lawsuit with high-profile support are bringing renewed attention to something long sought by Washington, D.C., residents — a vote for the District in Congress. 

A lawsuit filed in federal district court in Washington last year offering a new legal theory for why voting rights should be granted has earned recent support from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the League of Women Voters.