Florida

House Republicans Increase Messaging Votes Ahead of August Recess
GOP leaders prepare for break by seeking contrast with minority party

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., sees value in some of the messaging votes the House will take up before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House floor is seeing an uptick in messaging bills as Republicans prepare for a monthlong district work period in a midterm year when they are defending most of the seats in play.

Case in point was a resolution the House adopted Wednesday expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency — a stance some progressive Democrats are pushing.

Democrats Call On Trump-Putin Interpreter to Testify, Republicans Say No
Marina Gross may be the only one with answers to what happened in the Trump-Putin summit

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats looking for information about what happened during the private meeting between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin want the U.S. interpreter to testify.

New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell called Wednesday on Reps. Trey Gowdy and Elijah Cummings, chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight committee, to ask Marina Gross to testify publicly before the committee.

‘The Hawk’ Boosts Celebration of Baseball Integration Anniversary
Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, members honor players who broke the color barrier

From left, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, and Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., talk before a news conference Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Baseball legend Andre Dawson was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, helping to get an early start on marking the 75th anniversary of the integration of Major League Baseball. 

He joined lawmakers at a news conference to talk about legislation that would create a commemorative coin in the shape of a baseball home plate depicting baseball pioneers Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby. 

Trump Helsinki Remarks Expose GOP Divide on Foreign Policy
Security hawks and presidential loyalists split on significance of Finland summit

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., has defended President Donald Trump in the wake of the Helsinki summit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s much-maligned performance at Monday’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin has deepened the Republican Party’s divide between traditional security hawks who want to stand up to Russia and conservatives who want to stay loyal to the president.

Democrats and several high-ranking Republicans condemned Trump’s comments in Helsinki, saying he accepted Putin’s assertions there was no Russian government-ordered campaign to swing the 2016 election in his favor, despite assessments to the contrary by the U.S. intelligence community.

In Reversal From 2016, Carlos Curbelo to Vote Against Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution
Scalise, author of resolution, admits goal is to put members on record

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., said he will oppose an anti-carbon tax resolution the House is scheduled to vote on Friday, changing his position from 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders have scheduled a Thursday vote on an anti-carbon tax resolution in hopes of putting vulnerable Democrats on record in favor of the tax, but they’re going to put some of their own members in a tough spot too.

“I’m voting against that,” Florida GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, said of the resolution, which expresses the sense of Congress that “a carbon tax would be detrimental to American families and businesses, and is not in the best interest of the United States.”

Bilirakis Campaign Accused of Inflating Local Donor Support
Said 90 percent of contributions came from Floridians

The campaign of Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., is accused of inflating the percentage of campaign contributions he said came from Floridians. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ campaign  is being accused of inflating the percentage of campaign contributions he’s touting as from Floridians.

In a news release, Bilirakis said almost 90 percent of support he received during the second quarter, from April through June, came from Floridians.

Farenthold Spends Leftover Campaign Funds On Lawyers
Disgraced former congressman also spent on hotel, cocktail party

Former Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, has yet to pay back the $84,000 in taxpayer money he used to settle a sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Since leaving office in April, Former Rep. Blake Farenthold has used a substantial amount of his leftover campaign money on legal expenses.

An analysis of Farenthold’s Federal Election Commission report by the Houston Chronicle found the Texas congressman spent more than $100,000 in legal fees

Blue Dog Democrats Vote With GOP More in 2018
Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider had biggest drop in party unity score

Illinois Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider saw his party unity score drop in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Blue Dog Democrats tend to move to the right in election years, which is understandable given that they typically represent swing districts.

And lately no district has swung more than Illinois’ 10th, in the affluent suburbs north of Chicago. Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider is currently serving his second, nonconsecutive term, having defeated Republican Robert J. Dold in 2016.

‘I Owe Everything to Judy’: She’s Schooled the Hill for 40 Years
Congressional Research Service veteran reflects on Steve Scalise, sledding

Congressional Management Foundation president Brad Fitch awards Specialist on the Congress Judy Schneider the Staff Lifetime Achievement Award on July 13. (Courtesy CMF/Twitter)

Hundreds of members of Congress know how to legislate because Judy Schneider taught them.

The specialist tasked with explaining procedural rules to lawmakers, she received a lifetime achievement award from the Congressional Management Foundation on Friday.

Wilson Said He Was Duped Into Suggesting He Supports Arming Toddlers
Sacha Baron Cohen disguised himself as an Israeli anti-terrorism expert to get interviews with GOP lawmakers

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., says he was was targeted by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen because of his support for Israel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Joe Wilson got the Sacha Baron Cohen treatment Sunday night in a segment on the British comedian’s new show where he tries to convince lawmakers to back a made-up lobbying effort to arm American toddlers.

During a sit-down interview with Baron Cohen, who is well-known for conducting interviews with unwitting suspects while he role-plays as foreign characters with controversial views on race, politics, and sexuality, the South Carolina Republican appeared to suggest he supported the lobbying effort to help “Kinderguardians” by arming preschoolers with guns.