2019

PAC would return contribution tied to Trump impeachment probe — if it only could
Donors helped Giuliani push for Ukraine investigation into Joe Biden and his son

A PAC that supported West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s failed 2018 Senate bid discovered Thursday that it had received a contribution tied to two men who helped President Donald Trump's private lawyer push for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When a PAC that supported a failed West Virginia Senate candidate found out it may have received an illegal contribution tied to two men at the center of the Trump impeachment controversy, the first reaction was to give it back.

There’s just one problem: It’s broke.

Democrats need to stop playing politics with our nation’s pipeline safety
Reauthorization bill should not be a partisan issue

Sections of steel pipe lie in a staging area in June before being inserted underground as part of the ETP-Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline in Exton, Pa. Reauthorizing the pipeline safety bill is something both parties can get behind, as they have done in the past, Upton writes. (Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — In 2012, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I worked with my good friend and fellow Michigander, the late Rep. John Dingell, to reauthorize our nation’s pipeline safety laws. This was in response to a pipeline burst that spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into the Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River near my district.

It didn’t matter that I had an ‘R’ next to my name and John had a ‘D’ next to his. What mattered was getting a final bill that could advance through a Republican House and a Democratic Senate and be signed by a Democratic president — a dynamic similar to the one we face today, with a Democratic House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president. Back then, we needed legislation that would make critical safety improvements to our nation’s vast pipeline infrastructure — and that’s exactly what we did, cutting down on incident reporting times and increasing financial penalties for violations.

Impeachment committees subpoena Perry for records
Democrats want Energy secretary to turn over files about interactions with Ukrainian officials

House Democrats have issued a subpoena for records of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s interactions with Ukrainian officials. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday, demanding records about his interactions with Ukrainian officials, including the president, a central figure in their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

In a letter, Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot L. Engel requested Perry turn over files about his knowledge of a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy and his activities in and business connections to Ukraine, including with a state-run natural gas company, Naftogaz.

Charleston mass murderer got his gun because of background check gaps, internal report shows
Four years later, Congress and White House have made little progress on gun legislation

Mourners enter Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015 after a mass shooting by Dylann Roof, a self-declared white supremacist, left nine people dead. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images file photo)

Dylann Roof got the pistol he used to kill nine people in a historic black church in South Carolina without a completed background check because of gaps in FBI databases, legal restrictions on how long the FBI can keep data on gun purchasers and other breakdowns in the system, according to an internal report obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Four years after the 2015 attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston — and several more high-profile mass shootings — a bipartisan group of senators is still trying to hammer out a deal with the White House on background check legislation. 

Justice Department slow to answer Congress on gun background checks
House Appropriations has asked Attorney General William Barr to clarify April testimony

The House Appropriations Committee has asked Attorney General William Barr to clarify testimony he gave Congress in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House lawmakers are still waiting for Attorney General William Barr to answer written questions after he misstated key data about gun background checks during testimony in April.

The questions revolve around a controversial provision in federal law that lets gun dealers sell firearms before a background check is completed if that takes longer than three business days.

When celebrity luster gives cover to how America judges its own
Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll remind us of the unfair burden placed on icons of color

People who hold up the late Jessye Norman, left, or Diahann Carroll as exemplifying America’s promise, that hard work will inevitably lead to reward, ignore the women’s own struggles , Curtis writes. (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images file photos)

OPINION — I am not one of those folks who see celebrities as larger-than-life icons to be worshipped and admired. Usually. But the recent deaths of Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll hit me in the gut because those two amazing women were at once larger than life and so very real. The reactions to their accomplishments also illustrate an American or perhaps universal trait — the ability to compartmentalize, to place certain citizens of color or underrepresented citizens on a pedestal, at once a part of and apart from others of their race or gender or religion or orientation.

It allows negative judgment of entire groups to exist alongside denials of any racist or discriminatory intent. There are a lot of problems with that way of thinking. It places an unfair burden on the icons, a need to be less a human being than a flawless symbol. And it uses them as a rebuke to others who never managed to overcome society’s obstacles.

Fintech Beat examines Block.one's settlement with the SEC
Fintech Beat, Ep. 22

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at the SEC in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Uncertainty is the bane of the crypto industry, with limited predictability about the scope of securities laws. That's because there is little agreement on when a cryptocurrency is considered a security. Block.one found out the hard way. Fintech Beat explores what the company's settlement with the SEC means.

Local newspapers wait anxiously for pension funding relief
Crucial retirement savings package appears stuck in the Senate

Washington Sen. Patty Murray blames Republicans for holding up the retirement savings package that includes pension relief for local newspapers. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Local newspapers serving communities from Tampa, Florida, to Walla Walla, Washington, say they’re under the gun from a pension funding “cliff” they face next year that will make them have to rapidly catch up on required contributions, exacerbating their well-documented financial decline.

When relief for some 20 publishers passed the House in May on a 417-3 vote as part of sweeping retirement savings legislation, it seemed like a slam dunk that lawmakers would ride to the rescue in time.

The women trying to impeach Trump — and the men making it so damn hard
From Lindsey Boylan to Nancy Pelosi, women are proving to be the president’s most formidable obstacles

New York Democrat Lindsey Boylan, left, with her spirited primary challenge likely pushed House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler into publicly supporting an impeachment inquiry, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last month, Murphy writes. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Women's Forum of New York, Tom Williams/CQ RollCall)

OPINION — Not all heroes wear capes, but lots of them wear high heels. If you’re a Democrat watching the impeachment saga unfolding in Washington right now, nearly all of your superheroes are wearing heels today. That’s because when you look carefully at the pressure points in the widening impeachment inquiry against the president so far, women have been at the center of nearly all of them.

First, there was Lindsey Boylan, 35, a mom and former public housing advocate in New York City. Her name is probably unfamiliar to people outside New York, but Boylan is challenging Rep. Jerry Nadler in a Democratic primary next June. Not only has she absolutely hammered Nadler for what she says has been his failure to produce results for their district, she’s been relentless in calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment since February and criticizing Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee responsible for drafting articles of impeachment, for not doing more sooner to remove him from office.

Supreme Court to hear Louisiana abortion law case
Joins other high-profile issues for the fall term, including immigration, LGBT rights and gun control.

The Supreme Court will hear its first major abortion case since the departure of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and the arrival of President Donald Trump’s newest appointee, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will decide this term whether Louisiana can require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a case watched closely by advocates on both sides of the abortion debate.

The politically explosive topic joins a slew of other high-profile issues for the court’s new term, including immigration, LGBT rights and gun control.