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Congress: Panel says Ensign broke the law

The Washington Post front-pages, “The Senate ethics committee on Thursday took the rare step of asking federal agencies to investigate a former colleague, saying it found “substantial and credible evidence” that Nevada Republican John Ensign broke federal laws while trying to cover up an extramarital affair with a political aide.”

“The US House of Representatives passed legislation … to expand offshore gas and oil exploration to New England coastal waters and other areas where drilling is now banned,” The Boston Globe writes. “The measure, which passed 243-179, is unlikely to advance beyond the House and would garner a veto from President Obama regardless. But the legislation highlights how energy and fuel prices have become one of the biggest political battlegrounds in the sharply divided Congress.”

“Senate Democrats peppered the executives of the five Big Oil companies with uncomfortable and politically loaded questions Thursday — but the CEOs didn’t buckle,” Roll Call reports.

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was pleasantly surprised by the candid private meeting Senate Republicans had with President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss the upcoming vote to raise the debt ceiling,” Roll Call writes. McConnell said, “I was skeptical as to whether this meeting was worth having,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters during a Capitol Hill news conference. “I thought the meeting was really constructive and worth everybody’s time.”