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January 25, 2015

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January 23, 2015

U.S. Conference of Mayors Moving Past Congressional Gridlock

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowser, left, was among the mayors discussing policy at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mayors from across the nation have a message for Congress: Gridlock means mayors have had to pick up the slack.

Nearly 300 mayors from across the country, and from both parties, descended on the District of Columbia following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address for the 83rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting. Up for discussion in particular were new ways federal and local governments can get things done. Full story

January 13, 2015

D.C. Marijuana Initiative Transmitted to Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Day one of the standoff between the District of Columbia and Congress over marijuana legalization in D.C. kicked off Tuesday, as the initiative legalizing possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana was transmitted to Congress for review.

The office of the secretary to the D.C. Council confirmed Tuesday that the initiative was sent to Congress. Under the Home Rule Act, Congress has 30 days to review District laws, during which time Congress can reject the law by passing a joint resolution of disapproval. Full story

January 8, 2015

Pollster Thomas Riehle Dies at 58

Thomas Riehle, an admired Democratic pollster, died unexpectedly on Jan. 3 at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 58.

While the cause of his death is unclear, Riehle’s friend and fellow community activist Janice Gordon said in a phone interview that Riehle’s wife, Barbara, said her husband was not feeling well and was tired the day he died. Riehle was also grieving his only son, Peter, who died at age 22 in Bethesda, Md., on Jan. 2, the day before Riehle’s death. Full story

Ahead of D.C. Marijuana Legalization Standoff, Group Calls Out Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Washington, D.C., leaders gear up for a legal fight over marijuana legalization, one advocacy group is calling out members of Congress from both parties for not protecting the will of District voters.

DC Vote, a group advocating for District autonomy, launched a digital project Wednesday called “30 Days of Disapproval.” The group is urging D.C. residents to vote online to disapprove of members of Congress who voted for the year-end spending package, which included a policy rider aimed at blocking an initiative legalizing small amounts of marijuana in the District. Each day, the group will spotlight one lawmaker and residents will vote for the member that deserves the most disapproval at the end of the week. Full story

January 2, 2015

Muriel Bowser, D.C. Reps Focused on Statehood Despite GOP Congress

Norton and Bowser called for a renewed D.C. statehood effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Norton and Bowser called for a renewed D.C. statehood effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The District of Columbia has a new mayor, and she is redoubling the effort to make sure D.C. becomes the 51st state.

“I said we’d forge a new path for statehood and full democracy in the District of Columbia – and today we launch an amped up federal and regional presence from the mayor’s office,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said after she took the oath of office Friday. Full story

December 18, 2014

Capitol Hill Commissioner Concerned About 2024 D.C. Olympics Bid

Supporters of DC2024 point out that Washington is the nation's fittest city. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser and representatives from Washington 2024 made their pitch for D.C. to host the 2024 Summer Olympics Tuesday, but one Capitol Hill neighborhood representative is raising concerns about the bid.

“D.C. residents should have a say in this because certainly we’re going to be paying for it. There’s no question about it,” Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Brian Flahaven said in a Wednesday phone interview. Flahaven’s district includes the southeast Capitol Hill neighborhood, which could be affected by the Olympic plan. Full story

December 17, 2014

From ‘Printing’ to ‘Publishing': The GPO Has a New Name

GPO not just for printing anymore. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The GPO is not just for printing anymore. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Government Printing Office has officially become the Government Publishing Office, after President Barack Obama signed the year-end “cromnibus” spending package late Tuesday night.

The name change was a provision in the legislative branch portion of the bill, which allocated $120 million to the publishing office, an increase of $1 million from 2014. In the bill, the GPO provision notes that the title change was instituted “to acknowledge that the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public have evolved beyond print.” Full story

December 16, 2014

Norton Asks GOP Leaders for House Voting Privileges

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., sent a letter to House Republican leadership Tuesday asking that she be granted a vote on the House floor in the 114th Congress.

Currently, Norton can vote in committee, but she does not have a vote on the House floor or Committee of the Whole. The District of Columbia delegate, other delegates and Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner were granted floor votes in the 103rd, 110th and 111th Congresses, when Democrats had the majority. They could vote in the Committee of the Whole, as long as their votes were not decisive.  Full story

December 12, 2014

D.C. Activists Make Last-Ditch Senate Lobbying Effort

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Activists are making a final lobbying push Friday to rally senators to oppose a rider targeting marijuana legalization in the District of Columbia that was attached to the year-end spending package “cromnibus.”

“As the attention moves to the Senate, it is important that supporters of D.C. democracy let senators know that we will not accept an act by Congress that reverses the will of the people,” DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry wrote in an email to supporters. Perry was referring to a rider that could block an initiative passed by nearly two-thirds of D.C. voters in November, which legalizes possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana. Full story

December 10, 2014

GPO Name Change, Dome Restoration in Legislative Branch Funding

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.,  discusses the dome restoration project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoeven discusses the Dome restoration project. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislative branch spending in the year-end spending bill includes a slight increase from fiscal 2014, allocating $4.3 billion to agencies and instituting a number of policy changes, including changing the name of the Government Printing Office and developing online sexual harassment training for staffers.

Under the bill, the GPO would be re-named the Government Publishing Office “to acknowledge that the information needs of Congress, Federal agencies, and the public have evolved beyond print.” GPO spokesman Gary Somerset said Wednesday the office is pleased with the change and hopes Congress will pass the bill. Full story

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