congressional-affairs

Trump White House Goes With Saudi Story in Jamal Khashoggi Murder
CIA reportedly said Mohammad bin Salman was responsible

President Donald Trump is siding with Saudi royal family. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump again broke with U.S. intelligence Tuesday, this time siding with senior Saudi leaders and their denials they ordered the killing of a Washington Post journalist.

It came in a most unusual written statement from the White House, issued as the press corps on duty ahead of Thanksgiving gathered in the Rose Garden for the generally light-hearted turkey pardoning.

Zinke Circles Back to Familiar Scapegoat for California Fires
Cost of combating blazes will be ‘well into the billions,’ Interior secretary says

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, right, seen here in Paradise, Calif., earlier this month with California Gov. Jerry Brown and FEMA Administrator Brock Long, center, is blaming the Golden State’s devastating forest fires on environmental groups. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As the dead and damage continue to be tabulated from California’s Camp Fire, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday continued the administration drumbeat that environmental groups are to blame for the devastation, saying they have prevented officials from forestry practices that reduce the risk of deadly blazes.

Forest experts, scientists and resource managers say a combination of factors, including drought exacerbated by climate change and urban and rural development patterns, have helped lead to the current situation. But Zinke on several occasions during fire season has put the blame squarely on environmental groups that are frequently at odds with Republican politicians. 

Ethics Committee Cites ‘Recent Experience’ as Need for Sexual Harassment Overhaul
Panel suggests difficulty obtaining information from the Office of Compliance

The House Ethics Committee is urging quick passage of legislation to address sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The 10 members of the House Ethics Committee are urging the top four congressional leaders to quickly pass anti-sexual harassment legislation to overhaul the Congressional Accountability Act, noting the House bill would provide solutions to problems the panel has encountered this year. 

In a letter dated Monday that all members signed, they cite the House bill’s provision that would require the Office of Compliance, which would be renamed the Office of Workplace Rights, to refer certain matters to the committee, providing the panel access to any records regarding investigations, hearings, decisions, settlements or claims.

Pelosi Rebel Seth Moulton Gets Pushback at Massachusetts Town Hall
Crowd at Amesbury event dotted with pro-Pelosi protesters

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., heard from protesters who aren’t happy with his opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Seth Moulton, one of a handful of Democrats leading the crusade against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s bid to reclaim the speaker’s gavel when Democrats take back the majority in January, caught heat at a town hall in his district on Monday.

“The majority of Americans want this change. The majority of Democrats want this change,” Moulton told constituents at a town hall in Amesbury, Massachusetts, to loud jeers of “No.”

Top Trump Aide Denies Recession Rumbles as Stocks Tumble
Kudlow: ‘I don’t even remotely agree’ with downturn warnings

Lawrence Kudlow, President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser, says there is nothing to worry about with the economy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

U.S. stock markets continued to drop sharply on Tuesday, but the chief economic adviser to President Donald Trump insists the economy is not headed for a recession.

“I don’t even remotely agree with that,” Lawrence Kudlow told reporters when asked if he agrees with some top financial firms that the American economy is primed for a major slowdown after steady growth under President Barack Obama and faster growth under the Trump administration.

Ben McAdams Claims Victory Over Mia Love
Incumbent GOP rep hasn’t conceded; votes in the Utah’s 4th District to be certified Tuesday

Ben McAdams, Democratic candidate for Utah's 4th Congressional District, said his lead after the latest ballot tally is insurmountable. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Having secured a 739-vote lead as ballot counting in Utah finally draws to a close, Democratic challenger Ben McAdams declared victory over Republican Rep. Mia Love in a news conference Monday night. 

“We have looked at the numbers and the number of votes that are outstanding and we are confident at this point in the results of this election,” McAdams said.

On ‘Medicare-for-All,’ Democrats Tread Lightly
It polls well. But Dems say the proposal isn’t ready for floor action

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., founded the Medicare-for-All Caucus earlier this year. She pushed back on the idea that single-payer health care is unpopular in suburban parts of the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives in the House are calling for a vote on a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill in the next Congress, but the expected chairmen who will set the agenda for next year say they have other health priorities.

Still, the progressives’ push could earn more attention over the next two years as Democratic candidates begin vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. A handful of potential presidential candidates expected to declare interest have already co-sponsored “Medicare-for-all” legislation, an issue that was also a flashpoint in Democratic primaries over the past year.

Pelosi Endorses Hoyer, Clyburn for Nos. 2 and 3 Leadership Positions
“House Democrats must show … we are prepared to govern and get the job done”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is endorsing Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., to be majority leader and James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., to be majority whip. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday endorsed her top two deputies, Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, to remain in their respective Nos. 2 and 3 leadership positions in the majority. 

Hoyer, the current minority whip, is running for majority leader and Clyburn, the current assistant Democratic leader, is running for majority whip. Both are running unopposed after Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette dropped out of the whip race Monday.

Buck Stops Here? Not So Much for President Trump
Fox interview shows how he practices the art of distance and wiggle room

President Donald Trump leaves after chairing a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council meeting on September 26, 2018 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | Most of Donald Trump’s predecessors endorsed the notion of the buck stopping “here,” meaning on their desks. But for the 45th president, the buck often stops elsewhere.

Trump sat down with Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace for a 15-minute interview that aired Sunday. Even though the sit-down in the White House’s Roosevelt Room was relatively brief, the president showed several times how just about everything political is fungible — especially when the stakes are high for himself.

Diana DeGette Drops Out of Whip Race, Clears Way for Clyburn
'Many of my supporters have expressed concern about pressure they are receiving to return the three senior leaders to their posts without opposition,' she said

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., has withdrawn from the race for majority whip, leaving Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., running unopposed. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette has dropped out of the race for majority whip, leaving South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn running unopposed to retain his No. 3 position in Democratic leadership. 

“Many of my supporters have expressed concern about pressure they are receiving to return the three senior leaders to their posts without opposition,” DeGette said in a statement.  “We have enough work to do without this internal pressure. Therefore, I am withdrawing my bid for Whip at this time.”