Congress | WOSU Radio

Congress

It is so common that it likely will have happened at least once somewhere in the United States by the time you finish reading this sentence. But it took more than 230 years for it to happen to a senator in office.

On Monday, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., became the first sitting senator to give birth, challenging Senate leaders to face just how ill prepared they may be to accommodate the needs of a new mother.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is appearing on Capitol Hill for a second day of hearings about protecting its users' data. Stream the hearing below, courtesy of PBS Newshour.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying on Capitol Hill to answer questions about protecting user data. Stream the hearing below, courtesy of PBS Newshour.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

For many elected officials, it's something of a rite of passage: After getting to Capitol Hill, bearing their constituents' hopes and fears on their shoulders, virtually every politician finally decides to take a stand — in front of a painter paid to make their portrait. Some even decide to sit for it.

But either way, for a long time many of those official portraits were paid for by the same patrons: U.S. taxpayers.

Not anymore.

Joyce Beatty / Twitter

Thousands marched in Columbus and across the country last weekend calling for gun control. Now one Ohio Democrat is hoping to turn that enthusiasm into legislation.

All 22 women in the Senate are calling for their fellow lawmakers to do something about sexual harassment.

In a letter written to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the 17 Democrats and five Republican senators ask that their chamber take up legislation to overhaul the sexual harassment complaint process on Capitol Hill.

Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET

President Trump signed a massive spending bill Friday, hours after threatening a veto that would have triggered a government shutdown.

Snollygoster is the new Ohio politics podcast from WOSU Public Media. Every week, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown dive into the week’s biggest stories in Columbus and around the state.

This week, while the state battles with cities over gun control, the race to replace John Kasich as governor has entered contentious territory. And as conservative Republicans call for more abortion restrictions, new reports find that some areas of Ohio are no longer safe swimming for the GOP.

Key federal funding for the Great Lakes has survived again thanks to Congress.

This is the second time President Trump proposed a big cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. And Congress restored it full: $300 million for the 2019 budget year. 

On Wednesday, Mississippi became the 49th state to choose its first woman to send to Congress.

The appointment of Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith as Mississippi's junior senator comes 101 years after the first woman, Montana Rep. Jeannette Rankin, went to Congress. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Thad Cochran, who announced that he would resign as of April 1 due to poor health.

Updated at 12:55 a.m. ET Friday

The Senate voted early Friday to pass a roughly $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 3. The move avoided a government shutdown.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Connor Lamb shocked the political world last week when he won a special Congressional election in a Pennsylvania district that President Trump carried by 20 points.

He might have also defeated a sense of invincibility for Republicans in two Central Ohio districts.

Congressional negotiators delayed the release of a $1.3 trillion spending bill Tuesday as the clock ticked closer to a Friday shutdown deadline amid battles over more than a dozen unresolved policy matters.

Leaders originally planned to release the details of the bill over the weekend but the spending talks remain mired in fights over immigration, gun control and health care.

Many advocates for the Great Lakes are in Washington, D.C., this week to push back against President Trump's proposal to slash funding for the region. They want Congress to continue its bipartisan support on issues such as cleaning up pollution and protecting drinking water.

Monday was supposed to be the day that DACA ended.

But court rulings have blocked President Trump from phasing out the program, at least for now, and negotiations have stalled out in Congress. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation.

DACA recipients and their supporters want to keep the pressure on the White House and Congress to come up with a program to replace DACA.

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