Congress

Congress Has to Deal With Its Own #MeToo Issues Post-Kavanaugh

Now that Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, senators have some unfinished #MeToo business. They have to get together on a policy for dealing with harassment of their own staffs and must update the soon-to-expire federal law that helps states combat stalking, date rape, sexual assault, and other violence against women.

Lawsuit to Reveal Conservative Group Donors Can Proceed

A campaign finance watchdog group can proceed with a lawsuit seeking disclosure of donors to the conservative nonprofit American Action Network, which has spent almost $65 million aiding Republican candidates.

A federal judge in Washington gave the go-ahead Monday to the case filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. It is among the first “citizen suits” allowed to enforce federal campaign finance laws, according to the group.

Border Wall, Census Citizenship Query Among Lame-Duck Fights

The deal to avoid a shutdown ensures that some of the most contentious debates in the fiscal 2019 spending process will take place later this year. Among them: disputes over border wall funds, asylum seekers, the Census Bureau’s proposed citizenship question and climate-change programs.

Panel Eyes Punishment if Lawmakers Don’t Pass Spending Bills

Two-year budget resolutions, punishment for when Congress fails to pass spending bills, and an endorsement of “minibus” appropriations packages are among the measures lawmakers are considering in an effort to change the way the federal government spends money.

Government Reorg Bill OK’d by Panel With Democrats’ Support

A bill that would give President Donald Trump the ability to consolidate government agencies under a fast-track congressional procedure was approved today by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Reforming Government Act (S. 3137) was approved by voice vote after a compromise amendment drafted by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) was adopted.

New VA Chief Declares Agency is ‘Headed in the Right Direction’

Things at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs are “better” new Secretary Robert Wilkie told a Senate panel Wednesday, during questioning about overhauls to health-care services and the agency’s broader direction.

“The state of VA is better— I didn’t say good or excellent,” Wilkie told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

Outside Funds Flood into Pivotal Senate and House Races

Outside political groups have spent more than $350 million to augment the cash spent by congressional candidates in pivotal contests. Conservative political action committees and other independent groups have targeted seven states won by President Donald Trump where Republicans have a chance to unseat Democratic Senate incumbents.

Leaked Sex-Assault Draft Could Raise Bar for Accusers in College

College students accused of sexual harassment, but not their accusers, would be permitted to appeal a school’s decision about the responsibility for the assault, under a draft rule being considered by the Education Department. However, victim’s advocates say that could be a violation of law.

Compromise Aviation Legislative Language Possible Friday

The House and Senate transportation committees are aiming for a Friday release of legislative language on a compromise aviation bill, according to three congressional aides with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations.

Lawmakers Take Wait-and-See Approach on Florence Relief Funding

Lawmakers aren’t rushing yet to pass a Hurricane Florence disaster spending bill before the House recesses in October.

Florence’s landfall today, in the peak of hurricane season, comes as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s war chest is about seven times higher than it was in 2017. That gives lawmakers more runway before needing to rush out any FEMA supplemental funding bills, which totaled almost $50 billion last year.