The World-Herald’s Washington Bureau rounds up news highlights from Capitol Hill and beyond.
Honoring a TV star
Dick Cavett will have to find room among his trio of Emmys for a new honor.
The Nebraska Society of Washington, D.C., recognized the longtime entertainer last week with its annual Distinguished Nebraskan Award.
Cavett, who grew up in Lincoln, had a television career covering five decades but is best known as the host of “The Dick Cavett Show.”
Cavett, 82, was ill and unable to attend Thursday night’s event at the National Press Club but sent a statement that was read to those who showed up.
“It’s just killing me not to be with you this evening,” Cavett said in the statement. “I hope I can see you all soon in person, somehow.”
Cavett said he was honored to count himself as a Nebraskan along with the likes of Johnny Carson, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando and Henry Fonda.
He described Nebraska as the perfect launching pad for his life.
“What a wonderful pedigree this great state has given all of us,” Cavett said. “There is an old saying: ‘There’s no place like Nebraska.’ But what I say is, there must be someplace like Nebraska, but it just hasn’t been discovered yet.”
He also included the poem “So This Is Nebraska” by Ted Kooser in his statement. A video of him reading the poem is available online.
WTO sides with United States
Sen. Chuck Grassley last week welcomed the latest World Trade Organization ruling in favor of the United States and against China’s system of tariffs on U.S. exports of rice, wheat and corn.
The Iowa Republican is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade issues.
The ruling is good news for American grain farmers, who depend on China as a key market, he said.
“I’m very happy about the outcome, and I look forward to the Trump administration holding China accountable,” he said.
Grassley said he’s been complaining for a long time about China refusing to deliver on the commitments it made when it joined the WTO years ago.
On another trade front, Grassley said he continues to press President Donald Trump to lift steel tariffs that Grassley says will stand in the way of a new trade pact replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“He knows it has to happen, and the sooner it happens, the better,” Grassley said.
Art on the hill
Lawmakers have started announcing the winners of this year’s Congressional Art Competition.
The winning artwork hangs in a hallway of the U.S. Capitol, and each House district gets a spot on the wall.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., recently announced that “Taste of Summer” by Abby Butler of Omaha Marian High School took first place and will be displayed in the Capitol.
The Nebraska Art Teachers Association handled the judging for his office.
The work of runners-up will hang in the congressman’s offices in Washington and Omaha.
“Each of these artists is communicating something through their artwork, and it is amazing to see it come to life,” Bacon said. “Congratulations to this year’s winners. I appreciate their participation, and I thank them for sharing their artwork with the community.”
End of recess
Lawmakers will return to Capitol Hill after a two-week recess. On the agenda: hearings related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference and continued debate about disaster relief funding.
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