Politics

Confidence Abounds Among Pelosi Supporters and Opponents — But One Side Will Lose
Anti-Pelosi contingent claims they have numbers to block Pelosi from becoming speaker

Nancy Pelosi is confident she will be the next speaker. Her opponents are confident they can block that. Someone is going to lose. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two big questions surround the contingent of House Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker: Are they bluffing when they say there are enough members prepared to vote against the California Democrat on the floor? And if they’re not, will that opposition hold until the Jan. 3 vote?

Leaders of the contingent, including Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Filemon Vela of Texas and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, have all said they’re confident that when the 116th Congress begins on the third day of January, there will be more than enough Democrats ready to vote against Pelosi on the floor — not “present” or abstaining from voting — to prevent her from claiming the speaker’s gavel.

Federal Court Orders Capitol Police to the Negotiate With Officer’s Union
Legal battle has roots in stalled talks over new contract, terminations

A federal court ordered the Capitol Police department to negotiate with the union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal court has ordered the Capitol Police back to the bargaining table with the officers’ union.

In a decision last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted a petition to make the department and the union negotiate a new contract, while dismissing the Capitol Police’s appeal over whether the union could challenge employees’ terminations through arbitration.

Democrats Look for New DCCC Chair to Protect Majority
For the first time, competitive race will decide next head of campaign arm

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., is one of four candidates competing to lead the DCCC next cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the first time, House Democrats are competing in an open race to lead the party’s campaign arm next cycle. And the new leader’s responsibilities will include something no predecessor has faced in a decade: protecting their chamber majority.

The race to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is currently a four-way contest between Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, and Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene of Washington. The DCCC chairmanship was an appointed position until 2016, after Democratic losses led to demands for changes at the committee. Current DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján is running for assistant Democratic leader.

House Republicans to Consider Changing the Way They Select Committee Leaders
Proposal is part of a broader Thursday debate over internal conference rules

Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left, and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., want to change the way the House Republican Conference selects its committee leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans on Thursday will consider changes to their internal conference rules, with several amendments targeting the process for selecting committee leaders. 

The biggest proposed change comes from Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, who wants committee members to be able to choose their own chairmen or ranking members. 

You’re Reassigned! Trump Does Not Fire Key Adviser Under Fire
Mira Ricardel, deputy of National Security Adviser John Bolton, will stay in administration

President Donald Trump has reassigned, not fired, a key national security adviser. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rather than firing a White House national security adviser that clashed with his wife, President Donald Trump instead is reassigning her.

“Mira Ricardel will continue to support the President as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the Administration. The President is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Orientation Disorientation: The Maybe Members Have a Strange Status
Democrat Nate McMurray says he was barred, but organizers say he is welcome

Democrat Nate McMurray says he was barred from new member orientation, but organizers say he’s invited. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Indicted Republican Rep. Chris Collins’ Democratic challenger Nate McMurray says House Republicans barred him from attending new member orientation Wednesday, but organizers say he is welcome to attend. Such is the plight of the so-called maybe members. 

Traditionally, candidates in races that are too close to call days after Election Day are invited to attend the freshman orientation. Earlier this week, Democratic staff for the House Administration Committee said that was the case again this year.

Eager for Lame Duck Win, Trump Backs Prison Reform Bill
Members of both parties, Jared Kushner negotiated plan for months

President Donald Trump has thrown his weight behind a measure to reform the prison system that has bipartisan support. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eager for a legislative win in the lame duck session, President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed legislation that would alter prison and sentencing policies as he tries to show he can push bipartisan bills through Congress.

Trump had been reluctant for months about whether to endorse the bill, which would include criminal justice changes backed by members of both parties in the House and Senate. His son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, has been working with members of both parties to craft the measure and scored a big win with the presidential endorsement.

House Republicans Propose Punishments for Indicted Members
Chris Collins, Duncan Hunter cases pushed issue to the fore

House Republicans propose to strip indicted colleagues of committee and leadership roles. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call).

New GOP Leaders Stick With Trump Despite Midterm Losses
Expect challenges to excessive Democratic investigations, McCarthy says

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., newly elected as House Minority Leader for the upcoming Congress, arrives for the press conference following the House GOP leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The new House GOP leadership team gave no indication Wednesday it would reconsider its cozy relationship with President Donald Trump, despite losses in dozens of suburban districts in the midterms last week.

Newly elected House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California acknowledged at a press conference Wednesday that winning back the American suburbs will be a “challenge” in 2020 but said multiple times at the press conference that “history was against” the GOP keeping control of both chambers of Congress in a midterm election with a first-term Republican president in the Oval Office.

Here’s the List of House Republican Leaders for the Next Congress
Kevin McCarthy will be tops in House GOP in years in the minority

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives for the House Republican leadership elections forum in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans chose their leadership team for the next Congress on Wednesday, which will be their first stint in the minority since 2010. 

Minority Leader: Kevin McCarthy of California.

Selfies on the Floor: Members-Elect Break the Rules While They Still Can

Members-elect took tons of selfies in the House chamber, breaking the rules before they're bound by them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman orientation has been full of selfies as the newly elected members of the 116th Congress get to know their classmates and surroundings on Capitol Hill. But many have been breaking a well-known House rule against photos in the House chamber.

At least eight incoming House members posted selfies in the House chamber to their social media accounts on Tuesday. Maybe the newcomers haven’t been briefed on the rules of decorum in the House, or maybe they got a pass during the exciting orientation tours.  

Kevin McCarthy Elected House Minority Leader Over Jim Jordan
Promotion to top GOP spot improves his chances of one day being speaker

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is the new House Republican leader. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans on Wednesday elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy as their minority leader over Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a decision that improves the likelihood that one day the California Republican might be speaker. 

McCarthy has vowed to lead Republicans back into the majority over the next two years. If he succeeds, the chances of him being elected speaker would be significantly higher than had Republicans held the majority this year. 

James Hansen, Long-Serving Utah Republican, Dies at 86
Former Ethics and Natural Resources chairman served from 1981 to 2003

Rep. James V. Hansen, R-Utah, on Feb. 19, 1989. (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. James V. Hansen, a Utah Republican who served in the House from 1981 to 2003, died on Wednesday. He was 86. 

“With Congressman Jim Hansen’s passing, Utah has lost a true statesman. Whether it was in the Navy, in the state legislature, or in the halls of Congress, Jim served with honor and distinction, always putting principle before party and others before self. Utah would not be what it is today without Congressman Jim Hansen. I’m grateful to have known such a remarkable man and even more grateful to have called him a friend,” Utah GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said in a statement announcing the news. 

Here’s the List of Senate Republican and Democratic Leaders
Status quo reigns (mostly)

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., prepares to address the media after the Senate Policy lunches in the Capitol on March 20. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., center, and Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., also appear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Todd Young Elected to Lead Senate Republican Campaign Arm
Indiana Republican has a challenging cycle ahead of him

Sen. Todd Young, center, will be succeeding Sen. Cory Gardner as the NRSC chairman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Todd Young was elected on Wednesday to be the next chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a much more difficult cycle for incumbent protection on the Republican side.

The Republican from Indiana was the only candidate for the post, which is being vacated by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. Gardner is himself in what is expected to be among the most hotly contested races of the 2020 cycle.