New Jersey

Bipartisan Immigration Bill Greeted by Big GOP Meh
Gang of Six measure shunned by White House, GOP leaders

Demonstrators with United We Dream and others rally in the atrium of Hart Building on January 16, 2018, to call on congress to pass the Dream Act, that protects young immigrants from deportation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite its bipartisan pedigree, an immigration bill from the Senate’s “Gang of Six” appears unlikely to advance amid backlash from congressional Republicans and the White House.

GOP lawmakers are now placing all their hopes on a coalition of four House and Senate leaders to come up with a solution to address the pending end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that covers immigrants who come to the country illegally as children.

Poll: 44 Percent of Americans Think Trump is a Racist
Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words

President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s rough rhetorical style was thrust under the microscope (again) last week after he called Haiti and parts of Africa “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States, multiple lawmakers who were at the meeting with the president confirmed.

Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words, a new poll found.

Opinion: White People in Norway? Who Knew?
Kirstjen Nielsen displays the rhetorical contortions necessary to serve under Trump

Kirstjen Nielsen might want to stay away from categories on Norway or basic geography if she ever appears on “Jeopardy” — especially if the answer is, “What’s a Scandinavian country with lots of white people?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the conclusion of more than four hours of testimony Tuesday before an often hostile Senate Judiciary Committee, Kirstjen Nielsen, the new secretary of Homeland Security, slowly gathered up her papers, shared a few laughing words with Arizona Republican Jeff Flake (the last senator in the room) and confidently exited surrounded by an armada of aides.

Depending on her level of self-awareness and the degree of flattery from her staffers, Nielsen may have nurtured the belief that she aced her Capitol Hill exam. After all, the loyal Cabinet secretary avoided saying almost anything controversial, even when pressed by Democrats over Donald Trump’s doubly confirmed reference to “shithole countries” during last Thursday’s White House immigration meeting that she attended.

Why Democrats Don’t Want to Talk About Legalizing Marijuana
Still stinging from being called soft on drugs a generation ago

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is one of a few Democrats in the Senate who vocally support legalizing marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the Trump administration begins to crack down on states that legalized marijuana, advocates for legalization hope Democrats will take their side.

But many Democrats are still squeamish about fully embracing the drug. 

Photos of the Week: Ice Cold to 60s, a Happy Alabama Fan and More as Full Congress Returns
The week of Jan. 8 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A visitor from Vietnam poses for a picture on the frozen Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool on Monday. A member of the National Park Service subsequently told people to leave the ice and said that 12 people had recently fallen through. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House returned to Washington this week (after the Senate gaveled in last week), officially kicking off the second session of the 115th Congress. Temperatures were frigid as the week began, but the city thawed out by Friday, when highs hit around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

GOP Judiciary Members Complain They’re in the Dark on Russia Probe
Kennedy says his access has been ‘zero, zilch, nada’

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy requested a status update on the Judiciary Committee’s Russia investigation Thursday, saying he and other panel members are being kept out of the loop. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voiced frustration Thursday that they weren’t being kept in the loop on the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana summed up his access to information from the panel investigation this way: “I’ve seen nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.”

At the Races: Senate Challengers — One In, One Out
Our weekly newsletter with the latest on House and Senate races

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think. Email attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings and sign up for the newsletter here. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Political Football, Donald Trump-Style
Podcast: Political Theater, Episode 1

A cardboard cut-out of President Donald Trump stands outside a souvenir store at the entrance to the McPherson Square Metro subway station near the White House on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome to Political Theater, Roll Call’s podcast and newsletter on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

President Donald Trump loves football. He played in high school. He owned a USFL team, the New Jersey Generals. He tried to buy the Buffalo Bills. He inserted himself into the NFL imbroglio over players kneeling during the National Anthem. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise he attended part of the College Football Championship Game in Atlanta on Monday between the University of Alabama and University of Georgia. 

What’s Cory Booker Doing Back in Alabama?
Democratic senator will be keynote speaker at the National Baptist Convention USA’s winter meeting

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., campaigned for Sen. Doug Jones in the closing days of the special Senate election in Alabama last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Cory Booker will return to Alabama on Wednesday for the first time since campaigning for Sen. Doug Jones in the state’s Senate election last month.

The New Jersey Democrat is slated to the give the keynote address at the National Baptist Convention USA’s winter meeting in Mobile.

Booker, Harris Add Historic Diversity to Senate Judiciary
2020 hopefuls are second and third black senators to serve on panel

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is the first black man to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The addition of Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday gave the two potential 2020 presidential hopefuls a big platform, but also a spot in the panel’s history.

Booker becomes the first black man to sit on the committee, which oversees civil rights, voting rights, housing discrimination and other Justice Department enforcement efforts that are seen as crucial to African-Americans. Harris, who is biracial, becomes the second black woman to serve on the panel, after Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who left the Senate in 1999.