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Cory Booker bows out, Ben Carson backs off fair housing and issues of race recede in America
Latest Democratic debate was notable for what was not mentioned

With Cory Booker leaving the Democratic presidential race, following the exits of Kamala Harris and Julián Castro, issues of justice and inequality could get short shrift on the campaign trail, Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It doesn’t take a candidate of color on a debate stage to raise issues of justice and inequality. But that has been the way it has worked out, mostly.

For example, it was exhilarating for many when then-candidate Julián Castro said in a Democratic debate, “Police violence is also gun violence,” while naming Atatiana Jefferson, killed in her Fort Worth, Texas, home by a police officer who shot through the window without identifying himself. Castro’s words were an acknowledgment of the lived experiences of many in America. He has since dropped out of the race, as has California Sen. Kamala Harris, who chided her party for taking the support of black women for granted.

An agonizing dispute among terror victims
Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund splitting payouts under questionable rationale

Kenneth Feinberg, former administrator of the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, said he does not understand the rationale for paying out 9/11 victims from the fund. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four decades ago, William Daugherty, a former CIA operative, was held hostage in Iran for 444 days. His wait for the financial compensation policymakers had promised him will now be a lot longer than that.

A fund created in 2015 for the Iran hostages and other victims of state-sponsored terrorism has become a new source of cash for relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks waged by al-Qaida terrorists on New York and Washington. President Donald Trump in November signed into law a measure that divided the fund in half, splitting the revenue between two competing groups: victims of state-sponsored terrorism like Daugherty and the 9/11 families.

Pelosi picks reserved team of impeachment managers who didn’t seek the role
Diversity factors considered, unlike manager choices for Clinton trial

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference to announce impeachment managers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi picked impeachment managers who mostly didn’t seek out the job, opting for a reserved team over more boisterous members who wanted to be involved.

Although Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, the lead manager, and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler were picks who obviously wanted to serve, the other five managers — Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val B. Demings, Jason Crow and Sylvia R. Garcia — were not members who lobbied for the role. 

Republicans come out against Iran language they previously supported
Many House members who supported amendments on War Powers now opposed

Language from Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., on authorizing military force that Republicans previously supported is unlikely to have that same kind of support as the GOP shifts its stance since the recent hostilities with Iran. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In July, 27 Republicans voted for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to effectively prohibit the president from using military force against Iran without congressional approval. As the House readies to vote on a similar measure Thursday, few, if any, Republicans are likely to support it.

U.S. tension with Iran has escalated since July, resulting in recent attacks from both sides. President Donald Trump’s decision to kill Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani has drawn praise from Republicans who believe the administration line about the Quds Force commander and criticism from Democrats who say the intelligence does not support that claim.

GOP candidates seize on gun rights movement sweeping across Virginia
Opponents to Rep. Elaine Luria turn out to vocally support ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ movement

Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an event last January touting a bill the House later passed to expand gun background checks. Republican candidates this year are trying to put Democrats on the defensive using declarations by local governments that their cities are sanctuaries for the Second Amendment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A gun rights movement spreading across Virginia came to the heart of Democrat Elaine Luria’s swing district Monday night, when city officials voted to make Virginia Beach — the site of a 2019 mass shooting — a “sanctuary” for Second Amendment rights. 

The resolution is one of more than 100 similar measures passed in Virginia localities since Democrats flipped the state legislature in November on a platform that included gun control, prompting blowback from some conservatives who say it could be a rallying cry up and down the ballot in Virginia and other purple states in the 2020 elections.

Lessons for today from the fight over Prohibition
Trump loyalists find themselves in a similar boat as temperance proponents a century ago

There are many parallels between the supporters of Prohibition a century ago and supporters of President Donald Trump today, Rothenberg writes. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It’s hard not to see the obvious parallels with today’s political situation after only a few moments watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s terrific 2011 documentary “Prohibition.”

The three-part series, which initially aired on PBS and is now available on Netflix, traces the growth of the temperance and Prohibition movements in the United States, noting the people and organizations that laid the groundwork for — and ultimately brought about — the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act.

Customs and Border Protection denies targeting Iranian Americans at border
But Rep. Jayapal, others skeptical after hearing stories about hours-long detentions

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., cast doubt over CBP statements related to Iranian-Americans who said they were held at the U.S.-Canada border. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Customs and Border Protection has denied targeting American citizens and permanent residents of Iranian descent for additional scrutiny at U.S. ports of entry, but a Washington lawmaker who heard multiple accounts of such detentions happening in her district expressed skepticism of the claims.

“It appears that that was a result of some sort of directive,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said at a press conference Monday at her Seattle office. “The discrimination that we seem to be once against veering towards has a deep-rooted history.”

Facing political risks, Trump tries casting Iranian Quds leader as ‘terrorist ringleader’
Sen. Bernie Sanders: President ‘listened to right-wing extremists’ over national security advisers

President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a rally in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4. (Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump spent Friday defending an operation he ordered that killed a top Iranian military commander as his political foes pounced and polling data suggested he took a major political risk.

Trump and top Iranian leaders were in a volatile and potentially deadly standoff Friday afternoon, with the president sending nearly 4,000 additional American troops to the region and Tehran promising harsh revenge for a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, who had led the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Don’t go yet, John Lewis. We need you.
Atlantans take pride in their congressman. How many other Americans can say that?

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., stands near the statue of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Capitol Rotunda before a memorial service for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — When Rep. John Lewis  announced Sunday night that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, you could almost hear the country cry. Democrats and Republicans, Hollywood actors and people who had simply met the congressman in an airport, all went to Twitter to ask the 17-term Georgia Democrat to fight one more time.

“You are loved. You are respected. You are magnificent,” Ava DuVernay wrote. “Praying for you, my friend,” former president Barack Obama tweeted. “The Late Show” host Steven Colbert called Lewis “a leader, a teacher, an example for us all,” while Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lewis’ longtime friend who counts Lewis as a hero as he mounts his own fight against Parkinson’s disease, wrote, “They don’t make them stronger or braver.”

The top 10 Roll Call stories from 2019
Readers favored stories about Mueller, impeachment, AOC ... and weaponized ticks?

It was a busy news year in “the swamp,” including when a protester from Clean Water Action was seen wearing a Swamp Thing costume during the March confirmation hearing for David Bernhardt, nominee to be secretary of the Interior. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some may argue that calling 2019 a busy year on Capitol Hill would be an understatement.

The 116th Congress was sworn in amid the longest government shutdown in history, featured hearings on a bombshell report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, and ended with votes to impeach President Donald Trump and pass a spending package to keep the government running through next September.