leadership

Tips and calls to the Office of Congressional Ethics spiked last session
More than 13,300 private citizens reached out to group charged with reviewing misconduct allegations

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi receives the gavel from outgoing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in January. The pair announced Office of Congressional Ethics appointees for the 116th Congress on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Citizen outreach to the Office of Congressional Ethics more than doubled in the 115th Congress, but the agency’s pre-election blackout period means they didn’t take action on any cases in the last quarter of 2018.

More than 13,300 private citizens contacted the Office of Congressional Ethics during the 115th Congress, up from 6,285 in the 114th Congress, according to the OCE’s most recent quarterly report. The contacts fall into two categories: allegations of misconduct and requests for information about the OCE.

Isakson defends McCain after Trump attacks, but still doesn't support renaming Russell
Isakson says Schumer is playing politics with effort to rename Russell building after the Arizona Republican

Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., left, shakes hands with Disabled American Veterans National Commander Dennis Nixon before the start of the Joint Hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees to receive the legislative presentation of the Disabled American Veterans on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson is leading Republicans speaking out again against President Donald Trump’s bashing of the late Sen. John McCain, but the Georgia Republican reiterated Wednesday that he will not be joining the effort to put McCain’s name on the office building currently named for a favorite son of his home state.

“Lack of respect I would say is the right word,” Isakson said on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Political Rewind referring to Trump’s latest criticism of McCain.

Cory Booker explains why he is a reluctant filibuster warrior
The Democratic presidential hopeful might prefer to use budget reconciliation

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Presidential candidate and Sen. Cory Booker may have inched toward supporting elimination of the legislative filibuster, but the New Jersey Democrat shouldn’t expect the questions to stop.

In an interview for Wednesday’s episode of the “Pod Save America” podcast, Booker expanded on his long-held reservations about changing the Senate rules allowing contentious legislation to advance without needing 60 votes to get past procedural hurdles.

Trump: Mueller report illegitimate, because special counsel was not elected
President says ‘I don’t mind’ if Justice Department releases former FBI chief’s findings

President Donald Trump waves as he walks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to his motorcade at the Capitol after the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:14 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Wednesday took direct aim at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, saying his coming report is illegitimate because he was not elected by the American people.

“No collusion, no collusion. It’s interesting that a man gets appointed by a deputy he writes a report. Never figured that one out,” Trump said mockingly.

House GOP is down to 13 women. Will North Carolina special elections boost their ranks?
Of the 27 Republicans running in 3rd or 9th districts, seven are women

Women listen to candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 rally in Raleigh, N.C. Seven GOP women are running in the North Carolina special elections this year. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

With two special elections in North Carolina this year, Republicans have a chance to send to Congress some company for West Virginia Rep. Carol Miller, the only female GOP lawmaker in the House freshman class.

The number of Republican women in the chamber is at a new low with just 13 in the 116th Congress, down from 23 the previous session. About 100 GOP women ran for the House in the 2018 cycle, but many of them struggled to get through primaries. 

This isn’t Nancy Pelosi’s first impeachment rodeo
With their quest to impeach Trump, Democrats are only hurting themselves. The speaker understands this, even if many in her party don’t

Nancy Pelosi watched Republicans struggle to oust Bill Clinton back in the day. She’s trying to avoid a repeat, Winston writes. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Almost 21 years ago, on Sept. 9, 1998, I was in a room at the Library of Congress at a Republican House leadership meeting as they discussed the fall legislative agenda that would lead up to the congressional elections, less than two months away. The country was already divided as partisans took to their corners over the Lewinsky scandal and the possible impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Everyone was anticipating that the Starr report might be released in the next couple of days. As I stood next to a wall, I looked out over the long table where the leadership members were seated, with most of the senior leadership staff sitting along the far wall with the windows behind them. It was then that I saw two vans pull up in front of the Capitol. As 36 boxes of reports were unloaded, a Pandora’s box called impeachment opened and I remember thinking, “Everything is about to change.” And it did.

Trump warns Venezuela with new sanctions, won’t rule out military action
Trump spoke in a joint Rose Garden press conference with new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

President Donald Trump (R) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) shake hands during a joint news conference at the Rose Garden of the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump is hosting President Bolsonaro for a visit and bilateral talks at the White House today. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he may impose new strict sanctions on Venezuela in another attempt to force President Nićolas Maduro from office.

“I’m not being told any specific time,” Trump said on how long Maduro might hold on. But he did predict a “change” is ahead.

‘I was never a fan of John McCain,’ Trump again goes after the late Senator
President makes clear he holds grudge over vote to repeal 2010 health law

From left: Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., President Donald Trump, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., exit the Capitol after the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon on March 14. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump is not backing down from his attacks on the late Sen. John McCain, on Tuesday saying he was “never” fond of the Arizona Republican.

On Sunday, Trump fired off a tweet with several inaccuracies criticizing McCain for his role in getting a dossier allegedly containing negative information about then-businessman Trump. He erroneously tweeted that McCain was “last in his class” at the U.S. Naval Academy.

House Appropriations may start markups in April
Markups have to begin in April or May at the latest to have any chance of bills passing on the floor in June

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chair of the House Appropriations Committee walks across the Capitol from the House side for a meeting with House and Senate appropriators in an effort to revive spending talks and avert a second shutdown on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey and Democratic appropriators are looking at starting fiscal 2020 markups as soon as late April with the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education and Legislative Branch bills, people familiar with the process said.

The Military Construction-VA and Energy-Water bills also are on tap to be among the first five bills marked up, as part of an effort to begin advancing bills across the floor in June.

On the campaign trail, climate change can no longer be ignored
Democrats try to out-green each other as presidential race heats up

The Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County, California, destroyed 37,000 acres and more than 300 structures in August 2016. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The 2020 elections are still many months away, but 17-year-old Michael Minsk is already following it closely as more candidates enter the race. Eager to vote for the first time next year, the high school junior is looking for a candidate promising bold action on climate change.

“Climate change is definitely one of the issues I will be voting on along with other social and economic problems,” said Minsk, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “I am tired of corruption in government that prevents politicians from acting on it, so I want someone that will stand up and make changes.”