democrats

House Republicans Increase Messaging Votes Ahead of August Recess
GOP leaders prepare for break by seeking contrast with minority party

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., sees value in some of the messaging votes the House will take up before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House floor is seeing an uptick in messaging bills as Republicans prepare for a monthlong district work period in a midterm year when they are defending most of the seats in play.

Case in point was a resolution the House adopted Wednesday expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency — a stance some progressive Democrats are pushing.

At Trump White House, One Russia Controversy Breeds Another
What did POTUS mean? No one is sure, but he declares Putin summit a ‘success’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, was among those who were confused by the president’s statements about Russia on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump White House on Wednesday returned to a familiar pattern, fighting through multiple self-imposed controversies and confusing even its own allies.

President Donald Trump didn’t personally walk anything back, unlike on Tuesday. He left the mopping up to his top spokeswoman a day after he — in a rare move — admitted a mistake by amending one word of a 45-minute Finland press conference with Vladimir Putin that rattled both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

The Great Outdoors Threatened by a Funding Battle
Congress is divided on reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Stony Man Trail, part of the Appalachian Trail, winds through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The $887 billion outdoor recreational economy is a massive economic engine for rural areas. (Courtesy National Park Service)

Sen. Richard M. Burr’s sinking of the $14 billion rescissions package last month was not about saving the Energy Department loan guarantee program or children’s health care contingency funding — which represented the vast majority of the money on the chopping block.

The North Carolina Republican voted against the package because it would rescind $16 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund — which represented approximately 0.1 percent of all the funding in the bill.

House Passes Pro-ICE Resolution With Most Democrats Not Taking a Stance
Messaging vote provokes accusations back and forth across the aisle

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., wants people to notice how Democrats voted on the ICE resolution . (By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Wednesday adopted a resolution expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency with primarily Republican support as most Democrats voted “present.” The final vote was 244-35, with 133 Democrats voting present. 

Republicans readily acknowledged the vote was about putting Democrats on record as calls from left-wing members of the party have been dismissed by more moderate and establishment Democrats as unproductive. 

Democratic Staff of Most Powerful Senate Committees Have the Least Racial Diversity
But Senate Republicans have not published their own statistics

Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick Leahy appears in the Capitol last year. Three of the four Senate committees with the least diverse Democratic staffs this year are also the most powerful. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate committees with the whitest Democratic staffs are also some of the chamber’s most powerful.

Appropriations, Finance and Armed Services are three of the four least diverse panels, according to a Roll Call analysis of data released by the Senate Democrats. Just 5 percent, 6 percent and 13 percent of their respective staffs are non-Caucasian.

State Department Nominees Could Be In For Procedural Headache
Robert Menendez warns of making life difficult if questions go unanswered

Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., attend a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on the nominations of Brian J. Bulatao and Denise Natali for State Department positions on July 18, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey has made a thinly veiled threat against pending State nominations if the Trump administration is not more responsive to questions about their interactions and agreements with foreign leaders.

“If the administration is unwilling to consult with this committee in a meaningful fashion on vital national security issues, then we must consider all appropriate responses with regards to nominees before this committee,” the Foreign Relations ranking member said at a Wednesday hearing.

Democrats Line Up on Floor to Call Attention to Election Security
Maneuver has been used before on other hot-button issues

Rep. Mike Quigley is among the House Democrats trying to restore election security funding to a key program. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats took turns Wednesday requesting a vote on an amendment to fund election systems protection, saying the money is needed to “prevent Russian interference” in future elections.

The procedural moves from Democrats come ahead of a vote on a Republican-led spending bill (HR 6147) that would zero out election security grants that help states to fortify their systems against hacking and cyber attacks. The Election Assistance Commission is funded at $380 million under the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill enacted earlier this year. 

‘The Hawk’ Boosts Celebration of Baseball Integration Anniversary
Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, members honor players who broke the color barrier

From left, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, and Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., talk before a news conference Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Baseball legend Andre Dawson was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, helping to get an early start on marking the 75th anniversary of the integration of Major League Baseball. 

He joined lawmakers at a news conference to talk about legislation that would create a commemorative coin in the shape of a baseball home plate depicting baseball pioneers Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby. 

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Hot dogs or lobster rolls for lunch, rising stars, and prehistoric past lesson

(CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Democratic Leaders Urge ‘Present’ Vote on ICE Resolution
Republicans want to divide Democrats, but it might not work

Hundreds of women crowd the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building to protest Trump’s immigration policy on June 28. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats know Republicans are looking to divide their caucus by holding a vote Wednesday on a resolution that rejects calls to completely abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. They say they aren’t going to play the GOP’s political game.

Democratic leaders are not formally whipping for or against the resolution, but are urging their members to reject what they say is a political stunt by Republicans and vote “present,” according to a Democratic leadership aide.