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Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s Corporate Donors Want Their Money Back
Companies say contributions made before lynching comments became public; law makes that unlikely

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s re-election campaign has been marred by comments the NAACP has said call back to Mississippi’s bloody history of lynchings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Half a dozen corporations have asked Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith to reimburse their contributions to her runoff campaign.

The companies have been under intense scrutiny in recent days for their financial support of the senator in the wake of her remark that she would be “on the front row” of a “public hanging” at a campaign stop earlier this month. The NAACP has said her comments evoke Mississippi’s bloody history of lynchings. 

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?

(Bill Clark/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 it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see, too.

Corker: White House Like a ‘Public Relations Firm’ for Saudi Arabia
Top foreign relations senator has invoked Magnitsky Act for answers on journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

Retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker was critical of President Donald Trump’s response to U.S. intelligence agencies assessment of the killing of a Washington Post journalist by Saudi Arabian officials. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was “really astounded” by President Donald Trump’s apparent dismissal of U.S. intelligence assessments that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month.

“I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” Corker said in statement on Twitter Tuesday, in response to a statement put out by the White House casting doubt on the Saudi government’s involvement in the journalist’s slaying.

Cicilline Drops out of Assistant Democratic Leader Race
Rhode Island rep says he’ll instead run for new position in caucus’ messaging committee

Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island said he is dropping out of the race for assistant leader in deference to Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who helped marshall the party’s takeover of the House in his role as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline is dropping out of the assistant Democratic leader race to run for a new leadership position on the caucus’ messaging committee.

Cicilline sent a letter to colleagues Wednesday saying he is running to be chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a position that Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi suggested in a letter Tuesday night that the caucus create.

Challenger Brindisi Claims Victory Over Top Trump Ally Claudia Tenney
New York GOP rep ran one of the most pro-Trump campaigns of 2018 cycle

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., lost her re-election bid to Democrat Anthony Brindisi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the most outspoken defenders in the House of President Donald Trump has apparently lost her bid for re-election after a lone term in office.

Democrat Anthony Brindisi claimed victory Tuesday in New York’s 22nd District over Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, who ran one of the most pro-Trump campaigns this past cycle. 

Saudi Leader Got Slap on Wrist, Trump Got Lower Oil Prices
Saudi and American leaders both get what they wanted after Khashoggi’s murder

Saudi officials arrive ahead of the visit by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the White House for meetings with President Donald Trump in March. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman got nary a slap on the wrist and President Donald Trump got lower oil prices he contends will give a jolt to a slowing U.S. economy.

At least that’s what the U.S. leader signaled anew on Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after he issued an exclamation point-riddled statement siding with KBS over his own intelligence apparatus over the murder of a Washington Post journalist at a Saudi diplomatic facility in Turkey.

Indicted Rep. Chris Collins Declares Victory
‘Enough condolences,’ Nate McMurray tells supporters. ‘You’d think I was indicted and going to jail or something’

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., declared victory Tuesday night. Election officials indicated the incumbent had  maintained his seat despite an August indictment on insider trading charges. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indicted New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins declared victory Tuesday night in his bid to hold onto his Buffalo-area district.

“Congressman Collins has already returned to work and looks forward to continuing to do the work of the people of the 27th District,” Collins campaign spokeswoman Natalie Baldassarre said in a statement.

The Lone Leadership Hopeful Not Yet Backing Pelosi for Speaker
Most leadership candidates have made sure to let the press know they support Pelosi

Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., who is running for one of the three Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair slots, is the only leadership candidate who has not yet committed to supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All but one House Democrat running for an elected leadership position is supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. 

The lone candidate who hasn’t yet backed the California Democrat in her quest to retake the gavel is Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright

These Planes Will Fight Fires, If You Can Wait 10 Years
Stalled Air Force conversions show how a seemingly straightforward job can take years in the arcane federal acquisition system

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., spearheaded the recent legislative mandates to convert the transport planes into fire tankers. It’s taking too long, she says. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In 2013, Congress ordered the Air Force to convert seven Coast Guard transport planes into firefighting tanker aircraft, but now the first of the planes may not be ready to fight fires for several more years, nearly a decade after the initial plan was launched. 

The story of the seven planes illustrates how a seemingly straightforward job can take years in the arcane federal acquisition system, even when the equipment is a matter of life and death. 

Hyde-Smith Says Her Public Hanging Comments Were ‘Twisted’
Mississippi senator and Mike Espy debated a week before special election

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith did not address the media after Tuesday’s debate, instead sending fellow Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker onstage in her place. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With less than a week to go until a special election in Mississippi that’s attracted outsize national attention, both Senate candidates in Tuesday’s debate at times looked unaccustomed to the spotlight.

Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the open Senate seat earlier this year, didn’t even bother taking press questions after the debate concluded. Mississippi’s other GOP senator, Roger Wicker, came onstage in her place.