Sean Patrick Maloney

Democrats say they want to prioritize legislation over impeachment. Here’s their chance
Thursday release of prescription drug pricing bill provides opportunity for messaging shift

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairwoman Katherine M. Clark and Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries say House Democrats are most successful in communicating their policy messages directly to constituents in their districts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders’ plan to release a top-priority prescription drug pricing bill on Thursday presents the caucus with an opportunity to refocus its messaging on legislating over investigating — one that many Democrats say is desperately needed.

Moderate Democrats in particular are concerned that the caucus’s policy work isn’t breaking through the impeachment cloud that has overshadowed the 116th Congress.

Maloney has sharp Father’s Day message for gay adoption critics
The New York Democrat and his husband have three kids

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney takes a selfie with his daughters Daley, right, and Essie in New York in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sean Patrick Maloney doesn’t have any elaborate plans for Father’s Day.

“I’m gonna sit my butt in a lawn chair and hang out with my kids, something I don’t do very often,” he says. “Playing catch with my daughter, who’s a softball player, or going for a swim.”

A nice chunk of change: Commemorative coins benefit all involved
Coin bills are a surprisingly competitive affair as lawmakers race to get their bills approved

Coin bills are one of the last remaining ways for an individual member of Congress to bring home the bacon. (Courtesy the U.S. Mint)

Two weeks a month, Stephanie Keegan travels from her home in New York’s Hudson Valley to Washington to lobby Congress on a host of veterans’ issues. Of late, she’s spent much of her time working on what would seem like an arcane matter — getting lawmakers to co-sponsor a bill that would create a commemorative coin honoring a museum for Purple Heart recipients.

But it is serious business and she uses a variety of tactics: making constant phone calls, showing up at offices unannounced, provoking moist eyes.

Will Trump, Democrats’ agreement to do a $2 trillion infrastructure plan hold?
President has walked back promises before and lawmakers on both sides are skeptical about a deal to pay for it

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., says President Donald Trump could give both parties political cover if he advocates revenue-raising measures as part of an infrastructure deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An agreement between congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump to pursue a $2 trillion infrastructure package could be short-lived if the president walks back his position or if the parties fail to agree on how to pay for it. 

Both are familiar scenarios and ones lawmakers in both parties acknowledge could nullify the agreement top congressional Democrats say they reached with Trump during a White House meeting meeting Tuesday.

House recruiter to GOP: ‘Do a better job of looking like America’
Rep. Susan W. Brooks putting ‘significant’ emphasis on female candidates, people of color

Indiana Republican Rep. Susan W. Brooks is the head of NRCC recruitment this cycle. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks made a point of telling her Republican colleagues this week about several new candidates who are women and people of color.  

“It’s important that we, as a conference, do a better job of looking like America, and better representing the very diverse country that we have,” Brooks, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruitment chair, told Roll Call after Tuesday’s meeting of the GOP conference.

This Democrat wants free tampons and pads available in all federal buildings
Rep. Grace Meng’s push for access to menstrual products includes schools and prisons

Rep. Grace Meng proposed a measure to require all public federal buildings, including those on the Capitol campus, to provide free menstrual products. (Katherine Tully-McManus/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Grace Meng introduced a bill Tuesday that would require all public federal buildings, including those on the Capitol campus, to provide free pads and tampons in the restrooms.

The bill, called the Menstrual Equity For All Act of 2019, would give states the option to use federal grant funding to provide students with free menstrual products in schools, and it would require Medicaid to cover the cost of menstrual products for recipients. The proposal would also amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to require the Department of Labor to issue a rule requiring private employers, with not less than 100 employees, to provide free menstrual hygiene products for their employees.

O’Rourke gets early backing from former colleagues in Congress
Texas Democrat hits the campaign trail at Keokuk, Iowa, coffee shop

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke runs onto the stage at a campaign rally during his Senate race last year at the Gaslight Baker Theatre in Lockhart, Tezas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke gave a speech and took questions from supporters for the first time as a presidential candidate on Thursday in Keokuk, Iowa.

The 46-year-old Democrat spoke to supporters at a coffee shop just hours after he announced that he is seeking the party’s presidential nomination. His White House bid brings the number of Democrats running for the party’s nomination to a baker’s dozen.

Tampons to be stocked in House supply store; allowed for purchase with office funds
The feminine hygiene products will be stocked in the Longworth House Office Building

Tampons and other menstrual products will soon be available in the House office supply store for purchase with office funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers will soon be able to purchase and provide tampons to staff and constituents on campus with office funds, following an inquiry from three Democratic members pushing for wider access.

In a letter released late Monday night, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairperson of the House Administration Committee, instructed that menstrual products be stocked in the House office supply store for purchase with Members’ Representational Allowance funds.

House members want official office supply store to stock tampons
Three House lawmakers seeking clear guidance on using office funds for feminine hygiene products

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is among the members who want clarity on using official funds for feminine hygiene purchases. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three House lawmakers are asking the new leadership of the House Administration panel to clarify if tampons and other feminine hygiene products can be purchased with official office allowances.

It’s the latest development in a saga that started last summer when Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a New York Democrat, was denied permission to buy tampons for his office using his Members’ Representational Allowance.

Ilhan Omar called ‘anti-Semitic’ for tweet criticizing pro-Israel lobby
The spat spurred a conversation about the political influence of AIPAC

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted about the influence of AIPAC, received swift rebuke. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., received an onslaught of criticism Sunday night for her tweet that ascribed Republicans’ fierce opposition to boycotting Israel to the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, D.C.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar tweeted Sunday in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.