Kansas

Wardrobe rentals may be just what staffers need
Cost, diversity and environmental impact all led to popularity of service

Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy, center, has been renting clothing from Rent the Runway since before she came to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The black bags pile up at the UPS drop-off spots across the Capitol’s campus, whether it’s the weekend after the White House Correspondents Dinner or the Monday that Congress is set to return from a long recess.

Filled with evening gowns, cocktail dresses, or a blouse or blazer that might have been worn to sit behind a boss during a high-profile hearing, the bags are en route back to a Rent the Runway facility. If the number of bags that pop up in Capitol office buildings are any indication, more and more women on the Hill are using the clothing rental service to supplement their work wardrobes.

New hearing on D.C. statehood, same old partisan lines
Effort to provide D.C. residents with full congressional representation gains steam in House

From left, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Mayor Muriel Bowser veteran Kerwin E. Miller, and Dr. Roger Pilon, attend the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing titled “H.R. 51: Making D.C. the 51st State,” in Rayburn Building on Thursday, September 19, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The first House hearing on D.C. statehood in nearly 26 years revealed old battle lines over giving the District of Columbia’s 702,000 residents full representation in Congress. House Oversight Committee Democrats applauded statehood as a long-overdue correction of an anomaly, while Republicans said corruption made D.C. unfit for full voting rights and claimed the whole thing was unconstitutional anyway. 

Thursday’s hearing grappled with HR 51, a bill that would admit the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, into the Union as the country’s 51st state, and provide it one House representative and two senators in Congress. The District is currently represented by a nonvoting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who introduced the bill.

Congress responds to an Olympic cry for help with oversight hammer
Sens. Moran and Blumenthal want legislative action this fall

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, a survivor of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, here at a July 2018 press conference on Capitol Hill, is among the abuse victims seeking action to protect future athletes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With less than a year before the world gathers to ignite the Olympic flame in Tokyo for the 2020 summer games, two senators are pushing legislation that would provide the most significant congressional oversight in a generation of the board governing U.S. participation.

Spurred by numerous allegations from Olympic athletes of sexual abuse, a bill by Sens. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, would make it easier for Congress to effectively fire members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, or to decertify a governing body like USA Gymnastics in response to future scandals.

List to replace fired national security adviser John Bolton grows to 15
Trump says he makes ‘all the decisions’ so senior advisers ‘don’t have to work’

President Donald Trump walks from the South Lawn to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews in July 2018. He took the executive helicopter to a GOP retreat in Baltimore on Thursday evening. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are now 15 candidates to replace John Bolton as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, but the president says it will not be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

There was talk around Washington that the former Kansas GOP congressman — rumored to be eyeing a Senate run in his home state next year — might do both jobs after increasingly becoming Trump’s go-to counselor on foreign affairs and national security. But the president put an end to such speculation Thursday evening.

Freshman Democrats to chairs: Follow PAYGO, get CBO scores before markups
Letter led by Rep. Sharice Davids asks House committee chairs to ensure legislation does not add to deficit

Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids and nine other House Democratic freshmen want committee chairs to adhere to PAYGO rules and offset legislation that would increase the deficit. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ten moderate Democratic freshmen are sending a letter Wednesday to House committee chairs asking that their panels better adhere to the chamber’s rule for offsetting legislation that would add to the deficit. 

Back in the majority for the first time in eight years, Democrats kicked off the 116th Congress by reinstating a pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, provision in House rules. Under the provision, legislation that would increase the deficit must be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases.

Guns of war no more?
Lessons on bipartisanship during Hill orientation could make something like gun reform happen

The late Florida Rep. Claude Pepper left behind a legacy of bipartisanship in Congress that current lawmakers would be wise to follow, Weiner and Whitmire write. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — The weekend mass shootings near Odessa, Texas, have only amplified calls for an overhaul of our nation’s gun laws. Last month, after horrific shooting incidents in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump urged Congress to work on gun legislation in a bipartisan fashion. “Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside,” he said, and suggested both “red flag” warning-signal laws and background checks “like we’ve never had before.”

But with the current gridlock in Washington, it’s hard to envision bipartisan anything — let alone gun legislation — passing Congress any time soon. It’s even harder with the president adjusting his positions every couple of days. That begs the question: What more can be done to foster bipartisanship and big achievements in Congress?

Former intern for Rep. Chris Smith to run against him
Incumbent is last Republican left in New Jersey delegation after Democrats flipped 4 seats in 2018

Rep. Christopher H. Smith’s 13-point win in 2018 was his smallest margin of victory in decades. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former intern for GOP Rep. Christopher H. Smith is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge him next fall.

Smith is the only Republican left in the 12-seat New Jersey congressional delegation after Democrats flipped four seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

Democratic star of 2018 takes low-key approach after flipping Kansas district
Sharice Davids, a self-described ‘policy nerd,’ is a top GOP target in 2020

Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids delivers UPS packages on July 2 at the Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kan.,  as part of her “Sharice’s Shift” outreach program. (Stephanie Akin/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Sharice Davids became one of the biggest stars of the 2018 midterms when she flipped a House seat in Kansas from red to blue. But when the Democrat passed through a suburban shopping mall here, with an entourage of aides one afternoon this summer, almost no one recognized her.

Davids didn’t seem to mind.

Where Is Amelia Earhart? Not at the US Capitol
The famed aviator was supposed to arrive in Washington years ago. What happened?

So far, Amelia Earhart is a no-show on Capitol Hill. (Harris & Ewing/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Explorer Robert Ballard discovered the wreck of the Titanic back in the day, but he can’t find Amelia Earhart. His search this month turned up nothing, unless you count some seaweed and a stray piece of metal. That means it’s back to the drawing board for fans of the missing pilot.

One place they won’t have to look is the U.S. Capitol, even though a statue of Earhart was supposed to be installed in the building two decades ago.

Her father just pleaded guilty to raping her. But Usha Reddi hopes that won’t define her Senate bid
Kansas Democrat enters race for Pat Roberts’ open seat

Usha Reddi is running for the Democratic Senate nomination in Kansas. (Courtesy Reddi for Senate)

Usha Reddi, a Democrat who launched her Kansas Senate campaign Thursday, never meant for her experience as a survivor of sexual assault to be central to her platform.

But when her father pleaded guilty this summer to raping her when she was a child, Reddi, a city commissioner in Manhattan, Kansas, decided she should be the one to make it an issue.