Washington lobbyists spent $3.34 billion trying to influence Congress in 2017—the highest level in seven years—as corporations, trade groups, and other interests sought to shape tax-cut legislation, regulatory issues, and other policies during President Trump’s first year. “Lobbyists appear not to have gotten the memo about draining the swamp,” said Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics.
America’s opioid epidemic is on track to claim 1 million lives by 2020. Every day, more than 175 Americans die from drug overdoses—the equivalent of a 737 crashing and killing all the passengers on board every single day.
A photojournalist took a photo of then–Sen. Barack Obama smiling as he stood side by side with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting in 2005, but kept it hidden for more than a decade to protect Obama. The photographer, Askia Muhammad, said a Black Caucus staff member called him to say “we have to have that picture back,” because they knew any association with Farrakhan—who has made racist and anti-Semitic comments—might hurt Obama’s chances of making a future presidential run. Muhammad kept a copy of the photo for himself.
Twelve lawmakers have resigned from office since the 115th Congress began on Jan. 3, 2017—the most for any congressional session since 1901. New presidents always lead to some resignations, as lawmakers quit to join the administration. But three of the four most recent members to resign did so over sexual misconduct allegations.