Virginia

Trump again endorses immigration changes for seasonal migrant farm workers
‘You need people to help you,’ he says. ‘I’m not going to rule that out’

Farmland is watered by a large irrigation sprinkler in the desert near Palmdale, California, in May. President Donald Trump wants changes to make it easier for seasonal migrant farm workers to enter the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the third time this week, President Donald Trump on Friday signaled support for immigration policy changes that would make it easier for seasonal farm workers to enter the United States.

Trump pleaded in a Friday morning tweet for someone to inform Speaker Nancy Pelosi that “her ‘big donors’ in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!”

Government shutdown pushing Metro off the rails to the tune of $400K every weekday
Issues could get worse if benefits are not transferred after January 21

Metro is facing $400,000 in lost revenue each business day that the government is partially shut down . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Metro, which operates trains buses and parking garages in and around Washington, D.C., is losing roughly $400,000 from its receipts for every business day that the partial government shutdown persists.

That revelation from WMATA General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld came in a letter to the Democratic senators from Maryland and Virginia who represent many users of the Metro system, including federal employees.

House voice vote to end government shutdown sows confusion, anger and eventually reconciliation

Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., right, and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., right, was presiding over the chamber when the back and forth over the voice vote on ending the shutdown went down.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It seemed simple: The House on Thursday passed a continuing resolution that would reopen nine Cabinet departments through Feb. 28 on a voice vote, a result that devolved into partisan sparring on the floor as Republicans sought to vacate the vote and Democrats said, in effect, too bad. By the end, both sides hugged it out, vacated the initial vote, voted by voice again, and postponed a roll call vote until Wednesday. 

It all started with passage, via voice vote on the resolution. Then the gavel came down, ending the vote. 

This time House Democrats might support D.C. statehood
Attitudes have changed since the chamber last voted on the issue in 1993

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D- D.C., has introduced a bill that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s delegate to Congress, is hoping attitudes have changed in her own Democratic caucus about making Washington, D.C., a state.

She introduced a bill on Jan. 3 that would make the District the 51st state, entitled to a representative and two senators, and she now has 178 co-sponsors. But back in 1993, the last time the House voted on such a proposal — also put forward by Norton — 105 Democrats voted no, along with almost every Republican. The bill failed 153-277.

Democrats cry foul as GSA inspector condemns Trump Hotel contract
GSA lawyers knew government lease to Trump Hotel might violate Constitution, but ‘punted’ on legal concerns

The Trump International Hotel's lease with the General Services Administration is in possible violation of the Constitution, the GSA inspector general said in a report Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers were outraged Wednesday after the General Services Administration inspector general suggested in a report that a contract between the agency and the Trump International Hotel could be in violation of the Constitution.

In 2016 and 2017, the GSA decided to maintain its lease of the Old Post Office Building to the Trump International Hotel after Donald Trump was elected president — even though a government-issued lease to the real estate organization headed by the president of the United States represents an obvious and serious conflict of interest, the report details.

House moves to protect federal interns from harassment and discrimination

The House voted on a measure by Rep. Eijah Cummings, D-Md., to protect federal interns from workplace harassment and discrimination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House took action Tuesday to protect the youngest members of the federal workforce, interns, from workplace harassment and discrimination.

The House passed by voice vote a measure from Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, that would extend certain federal employee protections to unpaid interns in the federal government. Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and a version of his measure also passed in the 115th Congress.

Amid shutdown and snow, DMV lawmakers reach out to federal workers

Lawmakers across the Washington region spent the weekend touching base with federal workers affected by the government shutdown at roundtables, town halls and potlucks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers across the Washington region spent the weekend touching base with federal workers affected by the government shutdown at roundtables, town halls and potlucks.

Rep. Anthony Brown held a town hall meeting in Largo, Maryland, on Saturday, where he took questions from constituents about the government shutdown.

Virginia senators concerned that shutdown could jeopardize security clearances
Furloughed workers cite compounding problems, such as health insurance lapse

Brian Uholik, right, a furloughed Justice Department employee, holds his infant daughter Wynnie while discussing with his wife Jamie how the government shutdown has impacted their family during a roundtable discussion with government employees and Sens. Mark Warner and Sen. Tim Kaine. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Brian Uholik is a proud father of a new baby daughter, but he’s also a furloughed trial attorney at the Department of Justice.

Uholik was among the federal employees from Northern Virginia who met Friday morning with Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats who have been pushing for a quick end to the partial government shutdown.

No ethics issues for federal workers shutdown deals
Restaurants, bars and more offering help for feds not getting paid

Deals and discounts popping up around the DC region during the shutdown aren’t risking ethics violations. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Federal workers must adhere to strict ethical guidelines for accepting meals and favors, but the deals and discounts popping up around the D.C. region during the shutdown aren’t risking violations.

As the partial government shutdown stretches toward being the longest in modern history, dozens of restaurants are offering free and discounted meals to federal workers, many of whom are either furloughed or working without pay. Bars are offering drink discounts and happy hour specials. 

Raiding military budget for wall would contradict previous Trump administration statements
Mulvaney complained last year of key military projects being underfunded

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter flies over a piece of border fence on Nov. 7 in Mission, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

If President Donald Trump uses emergency powers to tap the military’s construction budget to bankroll a border wall, it would contradict his administration’s previous statements that the so-called milcon programs need more money, not less.

While the president signed into law last September legislation that allocated about $8.1 billion for military construction projects in fiscal 2019, that figure was nearly $800 million less than Trump proposed. And it was almost $1.5 billion less than the military services had wanted at that time.