Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall
As DHS waives its way across Texas, Congress is rethinking a thirteen-year-old law

Barriers at the southern border hem in more than people, environmentalists say. Wildcats, tortoises and other animals can get trapped. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

When rains pushed the Rio Grande River to flood stage in 2010, an existing border wall acted as a flood barrier, protecting some lowlands but also trapping some animals. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club noted the discovery after the flooding of shells from “hundreds” of Texas tortoise, which that state lists as a threatened species.

“Animals caught between the river and the flood wall that could not escape around the edges of the floodwalls likely perished,” said the report. Endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, both small wildcats, also might have died, according to the report.

New Bill Would Hold HHS Feet to Fire for Unaccompanied Minors
Whereabouts of nearly 1,500 undocumented children are reportedly unknown

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., says the Department of Health and Human Services has a responsibility to ensure the safety of unaccompanied minors even after they’re placed with a sponsor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill designed to ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services takes full responsibility for, and keeps better track of, unaccompanied children who come to the border seeking entry to the United States and then are placed with U.S. sponsors.

The legislation follows a new report that revealed that the government could not determine the whereabouts of nearly 1,500 children that HHS had placed with sponsors this year.

Power, Confirmation & Lies
High court confirmation battle comes to a head, and the midterms loom, kind of

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., hold a press conference with Holton-Arms alumnae in support of Christine Blasey Ford in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

After what seems like a nonstop election cycle since Nov. 9, 2016, with several special elections since then and a president that never seems to tire of political events, it’s safe to say even politics junkies are looking forward to Nov. 6, the day of the congressional midterms. Except … it might not even be over then, according to Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, who says the number of close House races and likely runoffs might preclude us from knowing who will be in control of Congress for maybe weeks to come. Thanks, Nathan. 

Trump Calls Heller a ‘Champion,’ Slams Opponent ‘Wacky Jacky’ Rosen
Nevada Democrat is ‘bought and paid’ by her ‘out-of-state donors,’ he says

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in Montana in July, campaigned in Nevada on Thursday (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Aiming to boost vulnerable Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on his home turf amid a fierce re-election bid, President Donald Trump dubbed the Republican a “champion” of conservative causes and called his Democratic foe “wacky.”

“There’s been no better friend — we started off slow — but I’ve had no better friend in Congress than Dean Heller,” Trump said Thursday at a campaign rally in Las Vegas.

Trump to Senate Judiciary on Kavanaugh Hearing: ‘Get On With It’
President says no further delays should be allowed by panel’s GOP leaders

President Donald Trump returns to the White House Wednesday  after visiting the storm-ravaged Carolinas. He was in Las Vegas on Thursday night for a campaign rally. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has a message for Senate Democrats and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser about an upcoming hearing to discuss the sexual assault allegations against the judge: “Get on with it.”

“I don’t think you can delay it a little longer,” Trump said of that session during a Thursday interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I have been accommodating,” he added, saying Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, should be allowed to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Romanian Cyberattack Targeted Security Cameras Ahead of Inauguration
Eveline Cismaru pleaded guilty to wire and computer fraud

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty to a cyberattack on surveillance cameras ahead of the 2017 inauguration. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty in connection with a cyberattack against the D.C. police department that disabled two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras operated by Metropolitan Police Department, just days before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Eveline Cismaru, a Romanian citizen, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges related to her role in the cyberattack.

Waltz Fixes Financial Disclosure After Consulting Company Omission
Florida Republican’s company led group of defense manufacturers to Libya in 2013

(Courtesy Michael Waltz for U.S. Congress)

Florida congressional candidate Michael Waltz originally did not divulge on his financial disclosure form to run for office that he owned a 50 percent stake in a consulting firm that led U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturers on a trip to Libya in 2013 to meet with government officials there.

Waltz, the Republican candidate for Florida’s open 6th District seat and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, has since filed an amendment to his financial disclosure form listing himself as a partner in the defense consulting firm, Askari Associates, LLC.

Democratic Women in Congress Launch Campaign to Recruit More Female Candidates
Elect Democratic Women would raise money for pro-choice women in potential swing districts

Lois Frankel, D-Fla, center, shown here with, from left, Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  will chair a new organization geared toward recruiting pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A group of female Democratic lawmakers launched an effort Thursday to recruit pro-choice women to run for office, a campaign they tied to efforts to peg 2018 as the second “Year of the Woman.”

Elect Democratic Women will be chaired by Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel and raise money for female candidates within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees “Red to Blue” program, which seeks to identify and funnel support to candidates with a strong shot of unseating Republican incumbents.

56 Arrested Demonstrating Support for Christine Blasey Ford
Protesters rally against nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Capitol Police arrested 56 protesters who were demonstrating support for Christine Blasey Ford.(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police arrested 56 protesters Thursday who flooded Senate office buildings  to voice opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and express support for his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

Thirty-three protesters were arrested outside of Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley’s office in the Hart Building on Thursday afternoon. The demonstrators were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.” Earlier in the day, Capitol Police arrested 23 protesters outside the Dirksen Building office of Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker for “unlawful demonstration activities.” They faced the same charges.

GOP Congressman Jokes Ruth Bader Ginsburg Groped by Abraham Lincoln
Joke did not go over well amid controversy that Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted someone as a teenager

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., joked during an election debate that Abraham Lincoln groped Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina GOP Rep. Ralph Norman opened an election debate Thursday by cracking a joke that attempted to play off the controversy over the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

It did not go over well, according to a report from The Post and Courier.

Former Hill Staffers Who Were Victims of Sexual Harassment Call for Leaders to Act
Differences still being worked out between House bill passed bill in February and Senate version passed in May

Seven former Capitol Hill staffers penned a letter Thursday urging action on sexual harassment policies in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seven former congressional staffers who experienced sexual harassment or assault while working on Capitol Hill sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday urging them to enact changes to harassment and discrimination policies. 

“We write to remind you, and every member of the 115th Congress, not only of the pain we suffered, but also of the shame and humiliation that current staffers must bear when they too are victimized by harmful and discriminatory actions from a member of Congress, a supervisor, or a colleague,” wrote the seven women.

Judiciary Staffer’s Tweets Fuel Fight Over Kavanaugh Accuser
‘Unfazed and determined. We will confirm Judge Kavanaugh,’ committee’s chief staffer says.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, walks to the floor for a vote after a meeting in Majority Leader McConnell's office in the Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid a pitched partisan battle over how the Senate handles an allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman decades ago as a teenager, liberal groups on Thursday seized on comments from a Judiciary Committee staffer to paint the process as a sham.

Mike Davis, the committee’s chief staffer for nominations, tweeted twice overnight about his key role in the committee’s review of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation, as well as criticism of Ford’s attorneys and his desired outcome of the process.

Protesters to Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Descend on Senate Offices
Those objecting to SCOTUS nominee reach out to Republicans Susan Collins, Jeff Flake

Protests of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court erupted in the Senate on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Protesters occupied the office of Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday, voicing their belief in Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Protesters wore pins reading “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford” and filed silently into the Maine Republican’s office. Once inside, a few of them implored Collins’ staff not to rush the Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings, citing how long other nominees’ confirmations took.

Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Clarifies That There Was Incident ‘Buzz’
‘That it happened or not, I have no idea,’ former schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has denied claims that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, clarified Wednesday that she has no first-hand knowledge of the alleged attack.

“I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That’s it. I don’t have more to say on the subject,” Cristina King Miranda tweeted Wednesday.

Suspect Caught in Logan Circle Stabbing of Wendy Martinez
Northwest D.C. resident charged with first-degree murder, police chief says

Wendy Martinez

Twenty-three-year-old Anthony Crawford of Northwest has been arrested for the fatal stabbing of FiscalNote’s Chief of Staff Wendy Martinez.

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she feels “very confident” it is the right suspect at a press conference Thursday morning.