INSIDE THE BELTWAY

Virginia House delegation splits on party lines on revamped Violence Against Women Act

BY: - April 5, 2019

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Thursday voted to renew and expand legislation that aids victims of domestic violence, setting the stage for a battle in the Senate. House lawmakers voted 263-158 to reauthorize the 1994 legislation that funds programs like rape crisis centers, shelters and legal services to victims of domestic abuse. House Democrats […]

Luria splits with Democratic colleague on sexual assault prosecutions

BY: - April 3, 2019

WASHINGTON — Freshman Democrat Elaine Luria, 2nd District, is at odds with a senior member of her party over the role commanders should play in handling military sexual assault cases. “We trust our commanders to take our sons and daughters into war,” said Luria, a former commander in the U.S. Navy. “We trust them to […]

Va. pipelines set off ‘an alarm bell’ for skeptical energy regulator

BY: - April 1, 2019

WASHINGTON — Most Americans have no idea who Cheryl LaFleur is. The wonkish attorney, a Massachusetts native and electricity expert, has spent nearly a decade as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a federal agency that regulates the transmission of oil, electricity and natural gas pipelines, among other responsibilities. It’s not often that […]

Senators decry administration’s ‘lack of urgency’ on toxic chemicals

BY: - March 28, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has failed to act swiftly enough to protect the public from harmful contaminants present in drinking water throughout the country, U.S. senators told senior administration officials Thursday. Democrats and Republicans alike expressed frustration over the federal government’s response to the widespread drinking water contamination by chemicals known as per- and […]

Both sides seek political leverage from Mueller’s findings; Virginia Democrats call for report’s release

BY: - March 25, 2019

WASHINGTON — The conclusions of the long-awaited report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller have Republicans declaring victory for President Trump, as Democrats demand more answers and pledge further investigations. The four-page summary of Mueller’s report into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was submitted to lawmakers Sunday by Attorney General William Barr. According […]

U.S. Supreme Court weighs arguments in Virginia’s redistricting case

BY: - March 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided over a high-stakes political gerrymandering case that could affect control of Virginia’s legislature. The justices heard oral arguments Monday in the case of Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, in which the House of Delegates is appealing a lower court’s ruling that 11 districts in Virginia had […]

Two very different Virginia congressmen will be key players in climate fight on Capitol Hill

BY: - March 13, 2019

WASHINGTON — Two Virginians with starkly different views on climate change have landed seats on a new U.S. House committee set up to tackle the hot-button issue. Reps. Donald McEachin, D-4th, and Morgan Griffith, R-9th, are two of the 15 members selected to serve on the new House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Virginia […]

Asbestos in cosmetics: ‘a tragic case study’

BY: - March 13, 2019

From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary. WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th, on Tuesday called the presence of asbestos in cosmetic products an important lesson in the value of government regulation. Connolly, a member of the U.S. House Oversight […]

Trump again proposes to slash Chesapeake Bay cleanup funds

BY: - March 12, 2019

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday issued his latest proposal to dramatically scale back the funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs. In his fiscal 2020 budget request, Trump suggested cutting federal spending for the Chesapeake Bay Program from its current level of $73 million to $7.3 million. This isn’t the first time the Trump […]

Democrats want answers from Trump administration on FBI headquarters plan

BY: - March 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — Five senior House Democrats are demanding that the Trump administration fork over documents regarding the decision to scrap the plan to relocate the FBI headquarters from downtown Washington, D.C., to the suburbs. The Democrats — Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Gerry Connolly of Virginia, Dina Titus of Nevada, Peter DeFazio of Oregon and […]

‘Men without a country:’ Virginia leaders urged to step aside as 2019 battle for control of the Capitol approaches

BY: - March 4, 2019

WASHINGTON — With top officials in Richmond hobbled by allegations of racism and sexual assault, Democrats in Virginia’s congressional delegation are already looking for ways to curtail the political fallout back home in November. As the controversies piled up, many worried that the Democratic majorities that seemed within reach in the state legislature were in […]

Can Warner and Burr stick together on Russia inquiry?

BY: - February 21, 2019

WASHINGTON — Virginia Sen. Mark Warner’s political legacy could be defined by how he navigates a high-stakes Senate investigation into Russian election meddling. As the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Warner is working to shepherd through a bipartisan Russia probe in a Congress that’s bitterly divided. That involves maintaining a civil relationship with […]