EXBR

From poverty to power: Staffer for Rep. Darren Soto reflects on childhood
23-year-old Clarissa Rojas is communications director for the Florida Democrat

A chance encounter at a Chick-fil-A drive-thru helped turn Clarissa Rojas toward a career in government. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“My mom would be upset that I’m doing this interview,” Clarissa Rojas said softly inside the lively Longworth House Office Building cafeteria. “I’m doing it because I think it’s important that people know what Capitol Hill is made of.”

Rojas, the new communications director for Florida Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, didn’t find herself in one of the nation’s most expensive cities because her parents could afford it. After all, her father didn’t even pay the child support she and her older brother could’ve used growing up.

Candidate’s ex-senator dad lobbies for Chinese tech firm. That could be a problem
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman advising son Matt, and China’s ZTE

Matt Lieberman, son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman, is running for Senate in Georgia.  (Screenshot/Lieberman for Senate/YouTube)

U.S. national security experts of all political stripes agree: Chinese tech behemoth ZTE is a threat.

The company is a leading candidate to provide new markets with 5G networks, a lightning-fast wireless service that will support advanced technological applications.

Road ahead: House to take up Turkey sanctions while Senate turns to appropriations
Election security bill also on House floor amid impeachment inquiry; Cummings’ services Thursday and Friday

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff make their way to the floor Friday for the last House votes of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

This week the House will consider a package of sanctions against Turkey and an election security measure, while the Senate will finally bring some fiscal 2020 appropriations bills to the floor.

Meanwhile, the House’s impeachment inquiry marches on, with five witness depositions scheduled for this week. 

Florida GOP Rep. Francis Rooney not seeking reelection
‘I’ve done what I came to do, and I want to be a model for term limits’

Florida Rep. Francis Rooney says he’s not seeking a third term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, who broke with many of his Republican colleagues when he said he wouldn’t rule out supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, announced he will not seek reelection next year. 

The two-term Republican grew more receptive this week to the House impeachment inquiry after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said in a televised briefing that seeking help to investigate Democrats was part of the reason military aid to Ukraine was temporarily withheld. 

Campus Notebook: Idahoans in Africa highlight congressional travel
The latest travelogue and interesting disclosures

Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo, left, and James Risch  traveled to a well-known national park in Mozambique. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

This week’s Campus Notebook highlights senators who recently jetted off to Mozambique, Israel and France and a staffer who sold a bunch of stocks, including from the tech industry. 

Idahoans in Africa: Sen. Mike Crapo and his wife Susan joined Sen. Jim Risch and his wife Vicki for a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa and Mozambique. Crapo and his wife’s trip, paid for by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation, cost $14,113. Risch and his wife’s trip, paid for by the same group, cost $13,758.

Elijah Cummings to lie in state in Statuary Hall ahead of Friday funeral
Memorial services set for Thursday in Washington and Friday in Baltimore

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. listens to testimony before Select Committee on Intelligence hearing involving allegations of CIA involvement in the crack cocaine epidemic on Oct. 23, 1996. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will lie in state in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall Thursday before a Friday funeral in his home district of Baltimore. 

Many lawmakers are expected to attend the memorial service for the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman, which will be held Thursday morning. The ceremony will be held Thursday morning and will be open to members of Congress, the Cummings family and invited guests. 

Some Republicans inch closer to Trump impeachment after Mulvaney comments
Possible support for the ongoing probe comes as 2016 presidential candidate Kasich supports impeachment outright

Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, who is weighing retiring from Congress, has broken with his Republican colleagues on impeachment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several Republicans grew more receptive this week to the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump after acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday said in a televised briefing that seeking help to investigate Democrats was part of the reason military aid to Ukraine was temporarily withheld.

While Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have signaled they’re eager to learn more from the impeachment investigation led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, 2016 GOP presidential candidate and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Friday that he is “across the Rubicon” and Trump should be impeached.

Trump announces Brouillette as Energy nominee to replace Perry
Brouillette worked at DOE during the George W. Bush administration and has followed Perry’s lead on policy

Secretary of Energy Secretary Rick Perry arrives to testify during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee in March. President Donald Trump said Friday he is nominating Dan Brouillette to succeed Perry at Energy, a day after he resigned. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump said Friday he is nominating Dan Brouillette to be the top official at the Energy Department, replacing Secretary Rick Perry, and the department said it would not comply with a congressional subpoena for records about Perry’s contacts with officials in Ukraine.  

Trump made the announcement about Brouillette on Twitter a day after Perry told the president he would resign from the post this year.  

Whose rules? Your rules!
Vigorous impeachment inquiry debate on House floor

Reps. Steve Scalise, left, and Steny H. Hoyer debate impeachment inquiry on the House floor. (Screenshots/House Recording Studio)

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, and Minority Whip Steve Scalise spent more than an hour on the House floor Friday afternoon engaged in a spirited debate over the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The two lawmakers meet on the floor weekly to discuss their caucuses’ legislative agenda. Friday’s exchange was a stark departure from the more congenial tone in their fly-out day conversations.

Turkey sanctions bills likely to move despite ceasefire
Shaky ceasefire agreement halting Syrian Kurd attacks appears to not appease lawmakers, who may still vote to impose sanctions

This picture taken on October 18, 2019 from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa shows fire and smoke rising from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain on the first week of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces. The shaky ceasefire agreement with Turkey to halt its attacks on the Syrian Kurds does not appear to have done much to slake lawmakers’ appetite for imposing sanctions on the longtime NATO ally. (OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

A shaky ceasefire agreement with Turkey to halt its attacks on the Syrian Kurds does not appear to have done much to slake lawmakers’ appetite for imposing sanctions on the longtime NATO ally.

President Donald Trump was quick to declare victory Thursday after Ankara agreed to a five-day ceasefire in its attacks on Kurds in northern Syria. Kurdish fighters are supposed to use that window, which the Turkish government is describing not as a ceasefire but as a “pause,” to withdraw to roughly 20 miles south of the Turkish border.