Illinois

Hackers eye the factory floor
Manufacturers are turning to internet-connected devices. That’s bringing new risks

Manufacturers of consumer goods, including car makers and those that make dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines, are adopting internet-connected devices on shop floors.(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images file photo)

Factories across the world are increasingly switching to internet-connected sensors, monitors and other devices to operate and supervise their manufacturing operations more intensely. But the proliferation of such equipment is posing new cybersecurity risks.

Shop floor devices such as programmable logic controllers, remote terminal units and human-machine interface equipment have been in use for nearly half a century, said Sean Peasley, a partner at Deloitte who specializes in internet of things and cybersecurity.

Colorado joins effort to elect presidents by popular vote, go around Electoral College
Colorado is the latest state to join a group pledging to elect presidents based on who wins the national popular vote

Trump's election in 2016 boosted interest in the national popular vote — at least among Democrats. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call file photo)

Colorado has become the latest state — and the first swing state — to join a group pledging to elect presidents based on who wins the national popular vote.

Eleven other states and the District of Columbia have signed onto the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement that requires those states to select their presidential electors based on who wins the most individual votes nationwide, regardless of which candidate wins in the state.

Photos of the week: A budget, Marie Antoinette and St. Patrick’s Day
The week of March 11 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., holds a copy of the president's budget proposal during a news conference after the Senate policy luncheons on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration’s budget for fiscal year 2020 was released at the beginning of this week with little fanfare. And President Donald Trump attended the annual St. Patrick's Day reception on the Hill on Thursday. Lawmakers then headed out of town for their March recess next week.

Here's the entire week in Washington in photos:

Dan Lipinski demurs on LGBTQ bill, Marie Newman pounces
Illinois congressman is only House Democrat not co-sponsoring Equality Act

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., hasn’t signed on to the Equality Act because he says it conflicts with his position on religious liberties. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When House Democrats introduced a signature measure this week that would extend civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, only one from their ranks was missing from the long list of co-sponsors — Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski. His likely primary challenger was watching. 

Marie Newman, who is exploring another progressive bid to unseat the eight-term lawmaker, drew attention to Lipinski’s apparent lack of support for the measure, dubbed HR 5, in a fundraising email Thursday. 

Trump acknowledges ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy ‘hurts people’
President also signals that he thought about Boeing’s export business before grounding jets

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally for the president during his visit to see the controversial border wall prototypes on March 13, 2018, San Diego, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday admitted his immigration policies are “hurting people,” and signaled he mulled Boeing’s export business before he bowed to pressure and grounded two models of its 737 airliners after a second deadly crash.

The president’s comments came in response to an Irish reporter in town with his country’s prime minister for annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities at the Capitol and White House. That reporter asked Trump in the Oval Office if he sees his own immigration policies as “cruel.”

Jim Jordan seeks to block increased funds for Oversight panel he helps lead
Chairman Elijah Cummings wants to rebuild staffing, but his GOP counterpart does not

Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, right, and ranking member Jim Jordan are the only House committee leaders to disagree about funding levels for their panel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As House Democrats ramp up their oversight investigations into President Donald Trump’s administration, businesses, and 2016 campaign, at least one Republican has found a new battleground to push back: funding for the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

That panel’s chairman, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, asked the House Administration Committee on Tuesday for a funding increase of 4 percent this year and 10 percent next year over funding levels from the previous, GOP-controlled 115th Congress.

Spectrum auction could boot weather forecasting back to the 1970s, lawmakers warn
Appropriators call for delay of auction set for Thursday

The Federal Communications Commission, led by Ajit Pai, plans to go ahead with a spectrum auction aimed at securing American leadership in 5G. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senior House members, citing a potential threat to the safety of millions of people, urgently asked a federal agency Wednesday to delay an auction of radio frequency spectrum that is slated to occur Thursday.

If that spectrum is used for 5G wireless communications, as planned, it could interfere with government satellites’ ability to collect data in a nearby band — information on which accurate weather forecasts hinge, three House Appropriations subcommittee chairmen said in a letter obtained by Roll Call.

FBI HQ investigation ‘closer to the beginning than the end’
GSA delivers 2,500 documents near midnight Tuesday in partial response to House Committee request

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., prepares to chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An investigation into whether President Donald Trump was involved in the decision to keep the FBI on prime Pennsylvania Avenue property is still far from over, lawmakers said Wednesday.

“We’re closer to the beginning than the end of the investigation,” said House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Mike Quigley following a Wednesday hearing.

No caucus, no problem? Some freshman Democrats avoid ideological groups
Six new Democrats have not joined caucuses with an ideological focus

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., center, is one of six freshman Democrats who is not in an ideological caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Joining a caucus with like-minded colleagues is a typical ritual for House freshmen, a chance to form alliances with lawmakers in similar wings of their respective parties. 

But it’s not for everyone. A handful of freshman Democrats have opted not to join any of the party’s ideological groups: the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, and the centrist New Democrat Coalition.

‘Shooting with real bullets,’ Democrats change tune on impeachment vote
Rep. Al Green prepared to force third vote on impeaching Trump but has lost some support

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., left, said she now agrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that Democrats should not go down the path of impeaching President Donald Trump after supporting two efforts to bring articles of impeachment to a vote last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An intransigent proponent of impeaching President Donald Trump plans to force his Democratic colleagues to go on record on the issue again this year — after twice doing so last Congress. But the vote tally may look a lot different than in 2017 and 2018 when roughly five dozen Democrats wanted to debate and vote on impeachment.

Democrats, then in the minority, were eager for any forum to debate the president’s alleged crimes since Republicans weren’t investigating them. But now that they’re in the majority and have multiple congressional committees probing Trump, most Democrats want to avoid rushing to judgement or action.