infrastructure

Meet the New House Republican Committee Leaders
9 panels get new Republican leaders after 2018 cycle retirements

Texas Rep. Kay Granger will be the first woman to serve as top Republican on the Appropriations Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans last week selected their new committee leaders to replace nine retiring GOP chairmen. 

The new leaders, however, will serve as ranking members since House Republicans will be in the minority next year. 

Trump Firm on $5 Billion Border Wall Demand as Deadline Nears, Scalise Says
‘There’s a way to get this resolved,’ House majority whip says

GOP lawmakers say President Trump would veto any must-pass Homeland Security spending bill that would provide less than $5 billion for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump will only accept $5 billion of border wall funding in a must-pass spending bill due next week, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said after a meeting with the president.

That is the amount needed to “properly secure the border,” the Louisiana Republican said outside the West Wing, reiterating GOP senators’ contention that the President will accept nothing less than $5 billion.

Trump Threatens to Close U.S.-Mexico Border ‘Permanently,’ Dems Cry Foul
President mostly wants to sow ‘chaos,’ Rep. Maxine Waters says

A Honduran man waves an American flag while standing with other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico, where migrants made their way after evading a police blockade as they attempted to approach the El Chaparral port of entry. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has a new threat about the U.S.-Mexico border: If he doesn’t get his way, he might just shut down the whole thing.

The president appeared to contradict a deal his administration reached with the Mexican government under which allow asylum seekers could remain in Mexcio as a legal process about their request to enter the United States played out. But on Monday morning, Trump pressed Mexican officials to “move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries.”

Pelosi Moves Closer to Speaker’s Gavel After Higgins’ Abrupt Reversal
N.Y. Democrat is promised action on infrastructure, Medicare legislation

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., announced Wednesday he will support Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become speaker in January after the two struck a deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In an abrupt reversal after signing on to a letter Monday opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker, New York Rep. Brian Higgins announced he will support her after striking a deal with the California Democrat.

Higgins’ decision is a major blow to a group of House Democrats who want Pelosi to drop her pursuit of the speaker’s gavel so a new generation can emerge just as the party is returning to partial power in Washington. On Monday, Higgins was among 16 Democrats who signed a letter addressed to their colleagues, saying that the midterms showed voters “want to see real change in Washington” and that Democratic candidates “promised to change the status quo.”

Zinke Circles Back to Familiar Scapegoat for California Fires
Cost of combating blazes will be ‘well into the billions,’ Interior secretary says

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, right, seen here in Paradise, Calif., earlier this month with California Gov. Jerry Brown and FEMA Administrator Brock Long, center, is blaming the Golden State’s devastating forest fires on environmental groups. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As the dead and damage continue to be tabulated from California’s Camp Fire, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday continued the administration drumbeat that environmental groups are to blame for the devastation, saying they have prevented officials from forestry practices that reduce the risk of deadly blazes.

Forest experts, scientists and resource managers say a combination of factors, including drought exacerbated by climate change and urban and rural development patterns, have helped lead to the current situation. But Zinke on several occasions during fire season has put the blame squarely on environmental groups that are frequently at odds with Republican politicians. 

House Democratic Factions All See Gains After Midterms
Progressive Caucus, New Democrats, Blue Dogs tout their expanding ranks

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Pocan expects his group to see a net gain of 13 members, not counting the uncalled races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two largest ideology-based Democratic factions in the House — the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition — are both projecting they’ll have more than 90 members next year after the party picked up over 30 seats in last week’s midterms.

The growth comes at a time when numbers will matter for these groups, more than they have for the past eight years when their party has been in the minority. With the House in their hands next year, Democrats will get to set the legislative agenda and control what bills come to the floor.

Trump Predicts ‘Deal-Making,’ Many Fights Ahead With Democrats
First up, both sides face border funding test in lame-duck session

President Donald Trump talks to reporters Wednesday, the day after the midterm elections. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appears ready to make some deals — except when he’s threatening Democrats with “warlike” tactics.

Despite losing the House and several governorships in states that could be key for Trump’s 2020 re-election prospects, the president used a press conference last week to send widely divergent messages to lawmakers about just how much he wants to get done in the lame-duck remainder of the 115th Congress and after the 116th is seated in early January.

Pelosi Pumps Up Policy With a Side of Speakership Confidence
Leadership contests pile up but Pelosi, Hoyer insulated from challenges so far

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in the House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi wanted to focus on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership. 

Voters Send Mixed Signals About Trump with Split Decision
Uncertain how president governs with Dem House, GOP Senate

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Voters sent mixed messages Tuesday about Donald Trump’s chaotic and self-described “nationalist” presidency, handing Democrats control of the House while expanding Republicans’ Senate majority.

Democratic control of the House and Republican control of the Senate likely ends the latter’s push for additional tax cuts and opens a several months-long window for some kind of sweeping bipartisan deal on infrastructure or immigration somewhat possible.

Despite Losing House, Trump Declares ‘Big Victory’
President had mostly stayed out of close House races down the stretch

President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House on Oct. 31 with Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 8:21 a.m. Even though his party lost control of the House, President Donald Trump declared a “big victory” on Wednesday morning as he focused on Republicans picking up seats in the Senate.

The Associated Press projects the chamber will remain in Republican hands, with a Democratic takeover bid blocked after losses in Indiana and North Dakota. But Democrats, fueled by wins in key suburbs, will control the House come November.