Mazie K Hirono

With Expectations Low, Select Budget Panel Prepares to Meet
Committee has broad mission, but few hard deadlines

Rep. Steve Womack, the new House Budget Committee chairman, is head of the select budget panel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The select committee tasked with overhauling the budget and appropriations process is mandated by law to meet for the first time this week. But what they plan to talk about remains a mystery.

The law establishing the committee instructs the 16 members to provide “recommendations and legislative language that will significantly reform the budget and appropriations process” before Nov. 30, with an initial meeting to be held by March 11.

Senate Democrats Picked for Select Budget, Pension Committees

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer picked his choices for the bipartisan committees looking for solutions to budget and pension issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Monday named eight senators to the select committees tasked with overhauling the budget and appropriations process as well as providing recommendations for restoring the solvency of multiemployer pension plans.

The New York Democrat selected Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Brian Schatz and Mazie K. Hirono, both of Hawaii, for the budget panel.

Blumenthal Dubious of White House Interim Security Clearance Trend
Between 30 and 40 White House staffers have not been issued full security clearance

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned — and frustrated — over the White House’s position on matters of security confidentiality.

Last week, President Donald Trump withheld the release of a Democratic House Intelligence Committee memo rebutting one from the Republican side, citing the need for heavy redaction to protect national security interests.

Gosar Asks Capitol Police, DOJ to Arrest ‘Illegal Aliens’ at State of the Union
At least 27 Democratic lawmakers have invited ‘Dreamers’ as guests

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar has asked the Capitol Police to arrest any “illegal aliens” at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar has asked the Capitol Police and the Department of Justice to “consider checking identification” of everyone attending President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and “arresting any illegal aliens in attendance,” the Arizona Republican announced Tuesday on Twitter.

The move is presumably aimed at so-called Dreamers who will be in attendance.

Schumer Told Franken Wednesday Morning That He Needed to Go
Calls by Senate Democrats for Franken to resign came after new allegations

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer told Minnesota Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday morning that he needed to resign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer knew it was time for Minnesota Democrat Al Franken to leave the Senate even before the public calls for his resignation Wednesday.

The New York Democrat told Franken in a phone call that he needed to resign after Wednesday morning’s publication of further allegations of sexual misconduct by the senator, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

Cascade of Senate Democrats Call on Franken to Resign
Messages for Franken’s departure appear coordinated

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.,is facing new calls for his resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly simultaneously, a series of Senate Democratic women issued calls for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday morning including Patty Murray, a trusted lieutenant to Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and rising star Kamala Harris.

They were followed quickly by several Senate Democratic men and the head of the national Democratic Party.

Word on the Hill: Dine With the Presidents
Cummings sends off grads, and honoring veterans

“Dads of Democracy.” (Courtesy District Winery)

This weekend, why not eat with all the presidents watching you? District Winery’s new restaurant, Ana, has unique artwork in its dining area featuring 44 presidents.

Ana is located in Navy Yard on Water Street SE.

Word on the Hill: Darkest Hour
Free lunch, Bison day, Hirono’s health update, new D.C. book and Christopher Nolan at LOC

(Screen shot of “Darkest Hour” trailer)

The new movie “Darkest Hour” will be screened in D.C. this evening, followed by a panel that includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.

NBC’s Chuck Todd will moderate the panel at the United States Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) at 7:15 p.m. The movie’s star, actor Gary Oldman, is also scheduled to attend.

Democrats Face Messaging Hurdles on GOP Tax Plan
Condensed timeline, dissension complicate strategy

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, followed by Hawaii Sen. Mazie K. Hirono and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons walks to the microphones in the Capitol after the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats and their supporters had a unified message when it came to standing against Republican efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But when it comes to resisting President Donald Trump and the GOP on tax legislation, it might get more complicated.

Democratic leadership is sending signals it is not willing to negotiate on the GOP tax bill until the current partisan effort fails, but some members of the conference appear ready to buck that message, if need be.

In Congress, Not Many Want to Say #MeToo
Appeals to Hill staffers to speak out mostly unanswered

California Rep. Jackie Speier plans to introduce legislation that would transform how Congress’ Office of Compliance treats cases of sexual misconduct. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jackie Speier went first, divulging for the first time in public her experience with what she and others have described as rampant sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

But the California Democrat’s appeal for others to share their stories has, so far at least, been met with silence.