republicans

Shovels Down: White House Drives Dagger Into Infrastructure Bill
Administration ‘optimistic’ about a farm bill this year, Short says

Workers take a break near the presidential inauguration construction site on the West Front of the Capitol on Dec. 8, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House formally drove a dagger into the passage this year of the kind of massive infrastructure package called for by President Donald Trump.

What is on the White House’s legislative agenda for the rest of the year includes another tax package, a farm bill, more federal judiciary nominations — and possibly immigration legislation.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Green is watching; Flake is a grad dad; and new art to hang

From left, Reps. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., leave the Capitol after the last votes in the House before the Memorial Day recess on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Farenthold to Keep Lobbying Job After Board Deadlocks
After hiring disgraced former congressman in closed meeting, board holds public meeting to reconsider

The hiring of former Rep. Blake Farenthold as a lobbyist has divided the board of the Calhoun Port Authority in Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold will get to keep his job as a lobbyist for the Calhoun Port Authority after a board vote on whether to fire him ended in deadlock.

A vote by the authority’s board Thursday on whether it should fire the former Republican congressman was tied, with three members voting for the motion and three voting against it, the Victoria Advocate reported.

Trump Says MS-13, North Korea Show Democrats Have ‘Lost Touch’
President lashes out after Dems blame him for summit cancellation

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing for Dallas, Texas, where he made an appearance at at the National Rifle Association convention earlier this month. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday said congressional Democrats “have lost touch,” accusing the opposition party of rooting against his attempts to disarm North Korea and coddling members of the violent MS-13 gang.

The president on Thursday thanked a bipartisan group of lawmakers who helped pass a bill that eases financial regulations before he signed it at the White House. But the next morning, he tweeted that “Democrats are so obviously rooting against us in our negotiations with North Korea.”

Rohrabacher Says It’s OK to Not Sell Homes to Gay People
Assertion costs California congressman support of Realtors group, earns scorn from others

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said people should be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher lost the support of a national Realtors group after he said they should be allowed to refuse to sell houses to lesbian and gay people.

Rohrabacher made the comments to an Orange County Association of Realtors delegation in Washington, the Orange County Register reported.

Senators Ponder: How Forthcoming Should Judicial Candidates Be?
Republicans push back on Democratic concerns over responses to school desegregation question

Democrats say U.S. District Court nominee Wendy Vitter did not clearly endorse the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, but Republicans pushed back on that characterization. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced two judicial nominees Thursday amid an ongoing debate over how forthcoming candidates should be about their views on established Supreme Court decisions, particularly the landmark school desegregation ruling from 64 years ago.

All Democrats on the committee voted against Andrew Oldham to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit based in New Orleans, and Wendy Vitter to be a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Among their objections: They say the nominees did not clearly endorse the high court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education during their confirmation hearings.

House Democrats Rebuffed on Getting Census Documents
Quest to get answers on citizenship question blocked by party-line committee vote

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., says his resolution of inquiry was “about making sure we hold the administration accountable.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats tried this week to make the Commerce Department disclose documents about the decision-making behind a citizenship question on the 2020 census. But they were blocked by Republicans. 

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday voted 20-16 along party lines to reject the resolution of inquiry by California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez and unfavorably report the measure. The vote prevents the resolution from moving to the House floor.

GOP Senators Dislike Trump’s Threat of Tariffs on Car Imports
“Any time you start raising taxes and tariffs, I’m not very happy about it,” Hatch says

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says “a lot of people are upset” over President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators expressed unease Thursday about the president’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles during a Senate lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, amid a widening debate over contentious trade talks with a number of countries, including allies.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said the Commerce Department’s national security review of imported automobiles was “deeply misguided.”

Senate Passes Bill to Address Harassment on Capitol Hill
But critics say measure “may have unintended negative consequences”

Senate Rules ranking member Amy Klobuchar is one of the authors of the new anti-sexual harassment bill along with Rules Chairman Roy Blunt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill by voice vote that would crack down on sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and update the onerous process for employees to report harassment and discrimination.

The overhaul measure was quickly brought to the floor, after being released Wednesday with the backing of the Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders.

Immigration Discharge Petition Will Get Final Signatures, Deputy GOP Whip Says
Crafting immigration policy in an election year ‘is one of the biggest reaches of this Congress,’ McHenry says

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., predicts an immigration discharge petition that’s five signatures away from the 218 needed will get there after the recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry on Thursday said an immigration discharge petition that GOP leaders oppose will get to 218 signatures after the recess, and the only way they can stop it is finding legislation Republicans can pass — something he acknowledges is a big reach. 

The discharge petition, which is just five signatures shy of the 218 needed, would force a vote on a queen of the hill rule that would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above the required simple majority threshold prevailing. The process is likely to produce a bill that a majority of Democrats and a minority of Republicans support.