Congress

House to vote on equal pay, VAWA, net neutrality bills, in next 3 weeks
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the upcoming votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent Monday

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the major bills the House will consider over the next three-week work period in a dear colleague letter Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will vote over the next three weeks on bills to help reduce the gender pay gap, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and codify the Obama-era net neutrality rule.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter Monday outlining plans for the three-week House work period beginning March 25.

Some voters labeled AOC the biggest ‘villain’ in loss of NYC’s HQ2, poll says
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was outspoken in opposition to locating the company’s second headquarters in Queens

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. seen during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some New Yorkers see Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others as “villains” in Amazon’s decision to cancel its planned New York City headquarters, a new poll released Monday shows.

“Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists,” said Siena College Pollster Steven Greenberg.

Some climate change panel members are literally invested in the issue
Panel members have investments in fossil fuel companies, and at least two have ties to clean-energy industries

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., attends a House Oversight and Reform Committee business meeting in the Rayburn Building in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One member of the House committee created to address climate change stands out for what he owns: hundreds of oil and gas wells in North Dakota oil fields worth millions of dollars.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a Republican from North Dakota, received at least $400,000 from those wells and as much as $1.1 million in the previous year, as well as $75,000 in salary from Armstrong Corp., his family’s oil and gas business. He also owns at least 289 wells, worth between $2.9 million and $11.5 million, though in a recent interview Armstrong said he owns more than 300 wells.

Rep. Steve King posts meme bragging red states have ‘8 trillion bullets’
Post theorizing a hypothetical civil war comes at a time when leaders have called for more thoughtfulness

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, posted a meme to Facebook Saturday about a hypothetical civil war. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Steve King posted a meme Saturday about a hypothetical civil war between “blue states” fighting over which bathroom to use and “red states” with trillions of bullets.

The post is an image of two figures composed of traditionally Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning states in fighting postures with text superimposed over top. The caption reads: “Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”

Graves sees a positive role for GOP in new select climate committee
Louisiana Republican is optimistic some bipartisan ideas can come out of the panel

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., right, here in May 2018 with Reps. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., is the ranking member on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Garret Graves says he wasn’t keen on joining the select committee to address climate change formed by the new Democratic House majority in January.

But on Feb. 28, weeks after the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis had been formed and long after the Democrats had announced their roster, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed the Louisiana Republican as co-chairman.

Ph.D. student faces deportation to Liberia, where she has never lived
Trump administration has announced DED program will end March 31

Yatta Kiazolu has never lived in or visited Liberia, but she could be deported there if the Trump administration is successful in ending the DED program for Liberians. (Courtesy Yatta Kiazolu)

Yatta Kiazolu moved to Los Angeles from Delaware to pursue her dream of obtaining a Ph.D. in history at UCLA.

But as she approaches her final year of the program, her dreams of walking across the stage with her degree in hand seem further and further away as her temporary visa status will expire at the end of this month. And she could be deported to Liberia, a country in which she has never lived, or even visited.

Not green with envy: People who missed Friends of Ireland lunch

From left, Massachusetts Rep. Richard E. Neal, President Donald Trump, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Speaker Nancy Pelosi follow Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving down the House steps after the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Regardless of how you spend your St. Patrick’s Day, it’s not likely to be as awkward as the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol this year.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar found himself Thursday in close quarters with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump, one day before the president vetoed a resolution Congress passed to terminate his national emergency declaration on the southern border. Amid all that, Trump found time to discuss Brexit, which the Irish are concerned will erect a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

Utah bill would give primary voters less say on who appears on special election ballots
Measure is latest development in yearslong struggle over party nomination process

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, right, with his wife, Sue, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at his mock swearing-in ceremony in November 2017. Curtis won his special election after successfully petitioning to get on the GOP primary ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah voters would have fewer opportunities to weigh in on candidates to fill certain congressional seats under legislation that quietly passed the state Legislature this week. 

The bill, which has yet to be signed by the governor and has so far received little attention from local media, would change the process by which candidates appear on primary ballots in special elections to replace House members who resign in the middle of their terms. For those elections, only candidates nominated by delegates from either party would be able to run. Candidates would not be able to make the ballot by petitioning voters. 

Gohmert trashed on Twitter over his reaction to New Zealand massacre
Texas GOP rep said there are alternatives to ‘resolve controversies’ instead of ‘cold blooded murders’

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert holds a news conference on border security outside of the Capitol in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Louie Gohmert was skewered Friday for his statement after a white supremacist shot Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 people.

“There are courts, dispute resolutions, and legislatures to resolve controversies — there is no place for cold blooded murder,” the Texas Republican said in his statement.

Some House Democrats say New Zealand massacre a reminder of hate at home
Congress reacts to terror attack at two mosques in Christchurch

People in front of the Masjd Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, as they await news on relatives after at least 49 people people were killed in a terror attack on two mosques. (Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

U.S. lawmakers grieved for New Zealand on Friday after a terror attack at two mosques there killed 49 people — and some House Democrats said the episode served as a reminder that Congress must stamp out hate at home.

Mass shootings have plagued the U.S. in recent years, with minority and religious groups often the targets.

Capitol Police arrest Rayburn projection protester, confiscate equipment
Equality Act protest projection results in arrest by Capitol Police

Capitol Police arrested a man who was projecting the words "Discrimination is Wrong" onto the Rayburn House Office Building. (Photo: Robin Bell)

Capitol Police arrested a man projecting the words “Discrimination is Wrong” onto the Rayburn House Office Building Wednesday night. Robert Diesu, a collaborator of projection artist Robin Bell, was arrested and USCP seized a laptop computer, battery, projector and stand as evidence.

Capitol Police told Roll Call in a statement that Diesu was arrested at about 8 p.m. for “unlawful demonstration on Capitol Grounds by projecting an image on the Rayburn House Office Building.”

Conservatives back proposed gray wolf delisting as green groups howl
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said gray wolf populations recovered significantly after nearly disappearing

Crystal, a female gray wolf, roams the new wold enclosure during a sneak peak of the new American Trail at the Smithsonian National Zoo August 29, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

The Department of Interior moved on Thursday to remove gray wolves from federal protection, pleasing congressional Republicans and rankling environmental organizations that plan to fight the decision in court.

“Glad to see it,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines who like many western Republicans supports less federal control over at-risk species, told CQ. “Any time we can move a species off the endangered species list should be a victory.”

Disaster aid vote is expected after recess, but what’s in it is still in the works
Several issues, including Puerto Rico, continue to be sticking points

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., conduct a news conference in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate leaders are teeing up a vote after the weeklong St. Patrick’s Day recess on an as-yet-undefined disaster aid package for victims of major storms and other natural disasters during the last two years.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Thursday filed a motion to limit debate on proceeding to a $14.2 billion disaster aid bill the House passed in January.

Ebola outbreak response slowed by security fears, distrust
The current outbreak is posing problems that might not be solved by investments alone

A water tank for washing hands stands in front of a municipal center in the West Point slum on Feb. 10, 2016, in Monrovia, Liberia. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Congress in recent years has pumped billions of dollars into health preparedness to handle infectious disease outbreaks like Ebola, but the current outbreak in an unstable part of Africa is posing problems that might not be solved by investments alone.

Top Trump administration health officials on Thursday told the Senate appropriations panel overseeing discretionary health funding that the biggest challenges to controlling the Ebola outbreak underway in the Democratic Republic of Congo are a lack of security and a lack of trust for health care workers and government within the local population.

Gardner burned by hometown paper for upholding Trump’s emergency declaration
The Denver Post’s 2014 endorsement of Gardner was viewed as a boon to the candidate

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., was the target of a scathing editorial in The Denver Post on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Denver Post ripped Sen. Cory Gardner’s Thursday decision to side with President Donald Trump on his national emergency declaration, calling the lawmaker “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”

“Our endorsement of Cory Gardner was a mistake,” reads the headline of the Denver Post’s biting editorial published Thursday night. “Thursday’s vote was the last straw.”