Mississippi

Democrats back Pelosi decision to delay State of the Union as Republicans cry politics
Pelosi can prevent joint session from occurring Jan. 29 since Congress has yet to pass a concurrent resolution setting date

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., here with Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., right, and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., wants the State of the Union delayed until the government is reopened. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats lined up behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to delay the State of the Union until the government is reopened, even as Republicans decried the California Democrat for playing hardball politics, saying the speech should occur Jan. 29 as scheduled.

Pelosi jolted Washington on Wednesday when she sent a letter to President Donald Trump seeking to postpone a joint session of Congress to receive his annual address. While she offered it as a suggestion, it’s ultimately her call.

The many ways members of Congress can make a stink
Yes, they can donate pay, but they can also get arrested or wear hoodies

Members including, from left, Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez, D-Ill., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., John Lewis, D-Ga., Judy Chu, D-Calif., Al Green, D-Texas, Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and others march to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices last June in protest of the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children at the border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fireworks and presidential threats send shutdown talks careening into chaos
Sides trade vicious barbs, allegations after Trump abruptly leaves Situation Room meeting

President Donald Trump, flanked from left by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S. D., Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stops to speak to reporters in the Capitol Wednesday following his lunch about the shutdown with Senate Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Talks toward ending the partial government shutdown hit a new low Wednesday when fireworks broke out at the White House, with President Donald Trump abruptly leaving a meeting with congressional leaders after yet another flap over his proposed southern border wall.

The shutdown enters its 20th day Thursday with no end in sight after another round of fruitless talks and blunt warnings from Trump about his next possible move if he cannot secure a deal with congressional Democrats over his border wall demands — even as 800,000 federal workers and their families wonder about future paychecks.

Cybersecurity may suffer as shutdown persists
Congress remains in the dark about how the spending stalemate has affected DHS’ anti-hacking mission

Members of the House Homeland Security panel, led by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., are concerned that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the DHS is running with significantly fewer staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The partial government shutdown may be making some key federal departments and agencies running with skeletal staffs more vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches, experts said.

Meanwhile, the House Homeland Security Committee, which oversees the Department of Homeland Security, said it remains in the dark about how the shutdown has affected the department’s mission to safeguard critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

Senators clash over abortion fee rule
Proposal would change how individuals are billed for abortion coverage

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., joined 13 other Republican senators in a letter urging the HHS to move forward with a rule that would change how individuals are billed for abortion coverage. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats and Republicans at odds over a proposed rule that would change how individuals are billed for abortion coverage sent two competing letters to Health and Human Services this week.

The public comment period for the rule closed Tuesday, amassing over 74,000 comments.

Cindy Hyde-Smith to lead Senate Legislative Branch spending panel
Mississippi Republican takes over from Montana’s Steve Daines

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., will chair the Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee for the new Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will take the gavel of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee for the new Congress. The Mississippi Republican is a relative newcomer to the panel, which she joined in April of last year, taking the slot left open by her predecessor Thad Cochran’s resignation.

The subcommittee’s previous chairman, Montana’s Steve Daines, received a waiver to join the Senate Finance Committee, becoming among the first senators to serve on Appropriations and Finance since 1944. (Oklahoma’s James Lankford was given a similar waiver.)

Donald Trump Signs Overhaul of Anti-Harassment Law for Members of Congress, Staff
Update to Congressional Accountability Act will be in effect for new Congress

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., right, has been among the key advocates of improving the process for handling sexual harassment claims at the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has signed legislation overhauling the process for responding to claims of harassment on Capitol Hill.

The measure signed Friday night updates the reporting and resolution process established as part of the 1995 law that governs workplace harassment and discrimination claims in Congress, dubbed the Congressional Accountability Act.

The Criminal Justice Bill Shows Where the GOP Is on Race
It wasn’t always this way for the party of Lincoln

Sen. Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, may have gotten his party’s backing for the criminal justice bill, Curtis writes. But where were his GOP colleagues when he tried to block the confirmation of Thomas Farr? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Sen. Tim Scott, Republican from South Carolina, was optimistic after the Senate passed an amended bill this week that makes bipartisan progress on an issue — criminal justice reform — that has divided lawmakers for years.

Scott, an original co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement: “By cutting recidivism, encouraging job training, education and mental health and substance abuse treatments for incarcerated individuals, and making our criminal justice system both smarter and tougher, we have taken a positive step forward.”

Poll: Democrat Leads GOP Governor in Kentucky
Republican Matt Bevin is unpopular and trails potential challengers

Polling shows Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, right, is potentially vulnerable in his 2019 re-election bid. That could affect the 2020 re-election bid of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll of next year’s gubernatorial race in Kentucky shows Democrats in position to extend their nationwide winning streak beyond the 2018 midterms.

Aside from taking back the House majority, Democrats also gained seven governorships around the country. And the party could pick up two more next year with wins in Kentucky and Mississippi, while re-electing Gov. John Bel Edwards in Louisiana.

Bonds and Blockchain: These Republicans Want to Crowdfund the Wall
‘An alternative way to safely invest in border security’

Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., has proposed using Treasury bonds to finance an expansion of the Southern border wall. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the government on the brink of a shutdown due to a demand by the White House for $5 billion in taxpayer funds to lengthen the barrier along the Mexican border, a Mississippi congressman has introduced legislation to fund an expansion of the wall through savings bonds.

Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo proposed leveraging special U.S. Treasuries called “border bonds” to finance an expansion of the Southern border wall on Monday, the Sun Herald reported.