independents

Inspired by #MeToo, Some Staffers Are Telling Congress’ Secrets
Beneficiaries of confidential settlements challenge code of silence

A former staff member of Oregon Rep. Greg Walden says he was inspired by the #MeToo movement to release documents outlining a $7,000 workplace discrimination and disability settlement with Walden’s office in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Cody Standiford is not exactly saying #MeToo.  He’s never been a victim of sexual misconduct.

But he may end up helping congressional staffers who have. The Iraq War veteran recently defied a legal agreement to shed light on how Congress handles harassment and discrimination complaints.

Why Congress Won’t Touch the 25th Amendment
Authors intended it for total incapacity and vice president needs to lead any move

President Donald Trump isn’t likely to face an attempt to remove him, using the 25th amendment. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Pushing toward the pinnacle of defensive hyperbole by proclaiming himself “a very stable genius” has done more than anything to subject Donald Trump to speculation at the Capitol about how psychologically fit he is for the presidency.

Trump’s first comprehensive medical exam on Friday after a year in office, when his sedentary lifestyle and junk food habits have only been enabled, did not dispel worries by many congressional gym rats about the 71-year-old’s ability to withstand the job’s bodily strain.

U.S. Needs More ‘Idiot Control,’ Not Gun Control, Kennedy Says
Louisiana senator pans bipartisan bill to strengthen background check system

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy could be the lone opponent to a bill aimed at strengthening enforcement of national background check system policies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday took a stand against bureaucratic incompetence in the name of the Second Amendment.

“I don’t think we need more gun control; I think we need more idiot control,” the Louisiana Republican told NOLA.com, blasting a new bipartisan gun control bill that appears to be aimed at preventing more of those so-called idiots from purchasing firearms.

Opinion: The Perils of Impeachment
Democratic refrain may seem like shrill partisan rhetoric

Talk of impeachment seems as far from voter concerns as President Donald Trump’s TV viewing habits, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington is beginning to resemble a political version of TMZ — sensational headlines and “breaking news” alerts, blockbuster behind-the-scenes books that tell all or nothing depending on your point of view, and messy political divorces that rival Hollywood for backstabbing and jaw-dropping tweet wars.

On-air political interviews turn into verbal Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, and the media’s race to scoop the competition has further damaged the credibility of a profession already held in low esteem. This week kicked off with questions like “Will Oprah run?” and “Is Trump watching too much TV?”

Northeastern Lawmakers Unite Against Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
Republicans and Democrats from region join Florida and West Coast colleagues blasting plan

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, penned a joint letter on Monday to resist the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans off their state’s coast. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers in the Northeast united across party lines on Monday to hazard against President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling plan to re-open more than 90 percent of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas companies.

Roughly 94 percent of the coastline, including the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts, remains off limits to oil and gas drilling. But Trump’s Interior Department revealed a five-year plan proposing 47 potential lease sales to energy companies through 2024, including two in the North Atlantic region from Maine to New Jersey.

Crimes and Bombs, Not Bills, Likely to Dominate Hill Attention
Election year begins with catch-up legislating but will soon be about waiting on Mueller and Kim

Robert S. Mueller III and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could shape the year ahead. (Illustration Chris Hale/Photos Getty Images)

The people with the most power to drive the 2018 congressional agenda, especially after the tumultuous several weeks ahead, are neither members of the Capitol leadership nor the occupant of the Oval Office.

Whatever President Donald Trump wants to get done, however hard Paul D. Ryan and Mitch McConnell work to assist him, whether Nancy Pelosi and Charles E. Schumer decide to collaborate on or confront the Republican program — none of that will matter as much as the actions of just two folks who’ve never even run for federal office.

Doug Jones Now Faces the Red-State Democrat’s Dilemma
He joins a small cadre of Senate Democrats representing GOP states

Sen.-elect Doug Jones of Alabama, center, is set be sworn in Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Doug Jones will enter the Senate on Wednesday as the Democrat who did the impossible — he won his seat in Republican-dominated Alabama. He will now join a small cadre of red-state Democrats who have to navigate an increasingly divisive political environment.

Jones said he was elected because he emphasized finding common ground and working across the aisle. He will now have to prove it — especially if he has any hope of keeping his seat in 2020.

Doug Jones Officially Wins Alabama Senate Race
Officials certified results as Roy Moore continues to challenge outcome

Doug Jones officially won the special Senate election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:45 p.m. | Alabama officials certified the special Senate election results Thursday, declaring Democrat Doug Jones the winner.

Jones is expected to be sworn into office on Jan. 3, his spokesman confirmed. He will be the first Democratic senator to represent Alabama in 25 years.

Summing Up 2017 With 17 Graphics
Roll Call’s data reporters spent the year breaking down the breaking news

President Donald Trump speaking at the Capitol in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After one of the most politically charged presidential campaigns in many Americans’ lifetimes, a new administration swept into town at the beginning of 2017, and the Roll Call graphics team got to work reporting, investigating and explaining the new Washington.

As we all close the books on 2017, Roll Call dug through our work and put together a year in review, starting at the beginning:

Tax Bill Becomes Law as Trump Heads to Mar-a-Lago
President secures legislative win as he closes out 2017 at White House

President Donald Trump signed a tax overhaul and stopgap government funding bill into law on Friday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump secured his first major legislative victory as president Friday, signing a sweeping Republican tax measure into law as he closed out a turbulent 2017 at the White House.

After a raucous celebration with Republican lawmakers Wednesday on the White House’s South Portico — during which senior GOP members lavished him with effusive praise — Trump opted to sign the bill in the Oval Office rather than hold another signing ceremony.