rhode island

Lawmakers Eye Cyber Bounties to Fix Bugs in Federal Networks
House panel approves Senate bill to set up pilot program at DHS

The House Homeland Security Committee approved a Senate bill last week that would set up a bug bounty program at the Department of Homeland Security. Above, Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., at a 2014 hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers last week moved closer to mandating that the Department of Homeland Security start a bug bounty program that will pay computer security researchers to spot weaknesses in DHS’s computer networks. That requirement would bring the department in line with other U.S. agencies with similar cybersecurity programs.

The House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday by unanimous consent approved a Senate bill that would set up a pilot program at the department. The Senate passed the bill on April 17. The Pentagon, the IRS and the General Services Administration already operate such programs, and lawmakers have proposed legislation that would launch similar efforts at the departments of State and Treasury.

Senate Scrambles for Next Move With Kavanaugh Nomination in the Balance
Growing number of senators say accuser, judge should be able to have say

The Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh hung in the balance on Monday as senators sorted out the chamber's next move in light of sexual assault allegations against the judge. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The most important of those voices was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who said Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor, deserves to be heard after coming forward publicly with the allegation over the weekend.

“So I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner,” Grassley said in a news release.

All Eyes in Congress on the Hurricane, and Beto and Willie
Religion, mother nature cut week short in Washington, so it’s back to the campaign trail

First Ted Cruz had to deal with Beto O’Rourke. Now he has to deal with Willie Nelson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Thanks to the weather and religion, Congress had one short work week. Due to Rosh Hashanah, neither chamber was in Monday or Tuesday, and didn’t get back into town until Wednesday afternoon. Then Hurricane Florence’s approach to the Atlantic seaboard brought with it worries of flight cancellations.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show — September So Far
Our favorite garish visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(Courtesy of @FloorCharts, screenshot of C-SPAN)

When it’s all Kavanaugh, all the time, watching the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it all worthwhile and a lot of them over the last month have been about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help them get their point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Kavanaugh Set to Advance Amid Democratic Objections
Supreme Court nominee mostly evasive in follow-up answers to Judiciary panel

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, is on track for a Judiciary Committee vote next week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to hold a committee vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh at a specific time, 1:45 p.m., on Sept. 20. The vote was 11-10 along party lines over the objections of committee Democrats who said it would prematurely cut off debate.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee still had a lot of questions for Kavanaugh after last week’s confirmation hearing — they asked more than 1,200 written follow-up queries. But the nominee didn’t provide many revealing answers late Wednesday when he turned in 263 pages of responses in which he tried to provide more thoughts on one of the more dramatic moments of his confirmation hearing, brush aside questions about his finances, and clean up answers about abortion, his independence from political pressure and other topics.

Electronic Campaign Filing and McCain Gratuity Included in Spending Package
First-time pay for interns, boost for Capitol Police are also included

Requirements for Senate candidate campaign filing and a payment to late Sen. John McCain's family are included in a spending deal struck Monday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Appropriators are making a move to boost transparency for the historically opaque Senate with a provision to require candidates to file their campaign disclosures electronically.

House and Senate appropriators came to an agreement Monday on a roughly $147.4 billion fiscal 2019 three-bill spending package that includes a $4.8 billion Legislative Branch title to fund Congress, the Capitol Police and other Capitol Hill agencies. The package also includes the Energy-Water and Military Construction-VA titles.

Kavanaugh Would Not Be Trump’s Justice, Experts Testify
Despite high marks, Sen. Blumenthal again raises ‘judicial independence’ concerns

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn in during his confirmation hearing. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

American Bar Association officials told the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh received the highest possible marks in an assessment of his qualifications for the job, including keeping “an open mind.”

After studying his record and conducting a list of interviews, the organization determined the nominee would be an independent justice even as Democratic senators worry about his ties to the Trump White House.

3 Takeaways From Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony
Americans ‘rightly’ will have ‘dimmer view of the Senate,’ Graham says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Wednesday before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent two days jousting with Senate Democrats over his views on executive power and abortion rights. But he appeared mindful that his top job was to keep all 51 Republican senators firmly in his corner.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rarely flustered the 12-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and by midday Thursday several complimented his knowledge of the law and character. Republican Judiciary members began Thursday in a huddle called by Chairman Charles E. Grassley and spent the second day of questioning refuting Democrats’ criticisms of the nominee and defending him.

Harris Lands First Blow on Kavanaugh — But It Only Grazes Him
Senator accuses nominee of remembering conversation but not wanting 'to tell us'

From left: Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., confer during the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:14 a.m. | ANALYSIS — It took almost 12 hours Wednesday before a Democratic senator, Kamala Harris of California, landed more than a glancing blow on the Teflon chin of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And even then, she wasn’t able to put President Donald Trump’s second high court pick on the canvas.

The late-night exchange lasted nearly 10 minutes, left Kavanaugh with a dumbfounded facial expression several times, and led Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee to break in with a helping hand.

House and Senate Interns Set to Receive Pay in Legislative Branch Spending Package
House to receive $8.8M, Senate $5M

An intern for House Administration Committee chairman Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., works a sign-in table outside of an Intern Lecture Series event in Russell Building on July 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Interns in both the House and Senate are on track to get paid as work wraps up on the fiscal 2019 Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch spending package.

The Legislative Branch portion of the package has been locked, according to an aide to Rep. Tim Ryan. The final version includes $8.8 million to pay interns in the House and $5 million for intern pay in the Senate. The Senate funding is included in the accounts that lawmakers use to pay staff salaries, official travel and office expenses. In the House the funds will exist in a newly created account for each member office, according to House Appropriations Committee staff.