Energy & Environment

Pentagon, Homeland Security Helping Private Companies Defend Against Cyber Threats
Agreement signed in the weeks before the midterms

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis have signed an agreement that is aimed at increasing defenses agains strategic cyber threats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security reached an agreement in the weeks before the midterm elections to jointly defend the United States against strategic cyber threats, including offering assistance to private companies, top officials from both agencies told lawmakers on Wednesday.

“This agreement clarifies roles and responsibilities between” the Department of Defense and the DHS “to enhance U.S. government readiness to respond to cyber threats and establish coordinated lines of efforts to secure, protect, and defend the homeland,” DHS Assistant Secretary Jeanette Manfra told a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and House Homeland Security committees.

They Bonded at Yucca Mountain. Now They’re Tackling Wi-Fi
Latta and McNerney say wireless networking is inherently bipartisan

Reps. Jerry McNerney, left, and Bob Latta, right, have been friends ever since they went to Yucca Mountain together. (Courtesy of Latta's office)

You’re probably reading this article thanks to Wi-Fi. That’s what brought Bob Latta and Jerry McNerney together too. 

The two lawmakers — one an Ohio Republican, the other a California Democrat — teamed up to form the bipartisan Congressional Wi-Fi Caucus, which they launched in October at the height of election turmoil and the partisan fight over who would control the House.

House Democrats Initiate Probe into Whitaker’s Business Entanglements
Acting attorney general was on advisory board of company that FTC says scammed inventors

Then-Department of Justice Chief of Staff Matt Whitaker participates in a roundtable event with the Joint Interagency Task Force in August. On Wednesday, House Democrats said they were looking into the now acting attorney general’s involvement in a Miami company that agreed to a $26 million settlement over what the Federal Trade Commission called an “invention-promotion scam.” (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

House Democrats took the first steps toward launching an investigation into acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker for his involvement in a Miami marketing company that allegedly scammed millions of dollars from people looking to sell their inventions.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff, and Frank Pallone Jr., the top Democrats on the House Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence, and Energy and Commerce Committees, sent letters to Whitaker, his former business partner and five other federal and non-federal groups requesting documents and information about the alleged scheme.

Why So Few House Republican Leadership Races Are Contested
Five of the seven House GOP leadership positions are solo affairs

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for the House Republican leadership candidate forum in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Jordan is running for minority leader, one of only two contested leadership elections in the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Wednesday are poised to elect their leadership team for the 116th Congress with little drama. Only the top and bottom slots of their seven elected positions are being contested despite the party losing more than 30 seats and its majority in the midterms.  

At the top, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy is expected to easily defeat Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for minority leader.

Could Texas Be a 2020 House Battleground?
Some House races in the Lone Star State were closer than expected

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, lost a Senate bid but came close to defeating GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. ((Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Democrats had their best election in over a decade last week when they flipped at least two Republican-held House seats. But closer margins in other races have boosted party hopes of future gains in the once deep-red Lone Star State.

“What it shows us moving forward is that we have congressional battlegrounds in Texas,” said Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. “As we move into the election cycle in 2020, it’s very clear now that Texas is in play.”

On Health Care, Dems Go From Running to Baby Steps
Incremental measures will dominate action on the health law in a largely gridlocked Congress

House Democrats plan to bring administration officials to Capitol Hill to explain what critics call “sabotage” of the law’s insurance exchanges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The midterm elections all but ended the Republican push to repeal the 2010 law known as Obamacare, but as a defining issue for Democrats in their takeover of the House, health care will likely remain near the top of lawmakers’ policy and political agenda.

Newly emboldened Democrats are expected to not only push legislation through the House, but use their majority control of key committees to press Trump administration officials on the implementation of the health law, Medicaid work requirements, and insurance that does not have to comply with Obamacare rules.

Ocasio-Cortez Joins Protesters at Pelosi’s Office
Environment groups want commitment from Democratic to take urgent action on climate change

Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined about 100 protesters who took over Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi’s office over climate change. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images file photo)

Protesters, joined by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took over Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office Tuesday and staged a sit-in calling for her to commit to urgent action on climate change.

The group of more than 100 people was organized by the environmental group Sunrise and Justice Democrats.

With an Ambitious Policy Agenda, Pelosi is Poised to Lead the House Again
Calls increased from Democratic incumbents and candidates asking for new generation of leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in the Capitol on Nov. 7, the day after Democrats had retaken control of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi is focused 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.

Judge Halts Keystone Pipeline, in Setback for Trump
Trump administration ‘discarded’ climate facts, court finds

The Keystone proposal has been controversial for years. Above, environmental activists carry a mock pipeline in Washington to protest the pipeline in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge in Montana halted the progress of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Thursday over concerns the Trump administration did not properly consider its impact on climate change and on vulnerable animal species on the brink of extinction.

President Donald Trump called the action a “disgrace” and a “political decision” in comments to reporters before departing for his trip to Europe.

Meet Jerry Nadler, the Next House Judiciary Chairman and Trump’s New Enemy No. 1
New York Democrat may not impeach president, but his rigorous oversight will be a thorn in his side

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is poised to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jerrold Nadler remembers when he began to figure out that you’ve got to fight back when life seems unfair.

It was 1957. Nadler was 10. He was at home in Brooklyn watching Disney’s film production of the 1943 novel “Johnny Tremain,” a young apprentice of silversmith Paul Revere on the eve of the American Revolution.

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

Rep. Linda Sánchez’s Husband Indicted for Theft of Federal Funds
California Democrat dropped leadership bid citing “unexpected family matter”

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., says she’s dropping out of the race for caucus chair because her husband is facing federal charges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The “unexpected family matter” cited by California Rep. Linda T. Sánchez in withdrawing from the race for House Democratic Caucus chair relates to her husband, who was indicted on theft and conspiracy charges related to spending corporate money on personal trips, including some allegedly spent on Sánchez. 

“Earlier today I learned that my husband is facing charges in Connecticut,” Sánchez said in a statement Thursday. “After careful consideration of the time and energy being in leadership demands, I have decided that my focus now needs to be on my son, my family, and my constituents in California.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Not Running for Leadership
Washington Republican will instead seek ranking member subcommittee post on Energy and Commerce

Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, has decided not to run for re-election to her leadership position. Instead, she’ll seek a ranking member subcommittee post on the Energy and Commerce Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has decided not to run for re-election to her leadership position and will instead seek a ranking member subcommittee post on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

McMorris Rodgers had wanted to move up in leadership and was eying the whip position had Republicans won the majority. But since Republicans lost and she did not want to challenge Steve Scalise, she decided to pursue a committee leadership slot rather than seek a fourth term as head of the Republican Conference, according to source familiar with her thinking.

Midterms Wash Away Nearly Half of Climate Caucus Republicans
The bipartisan group has been unable to break the GOP bottleneck on climate change issues

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., lost his re-election bid to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in a district that covers the Florida Keys and parts of Miami and is prone to damage from sea level rise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus lost nearly half of its Republican members in Tuesday’s elections, including co-founder Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, posing a setback in efforts to break the GOP firewall on environmental issues.

Still, the group behind the initial formation and growth of the caucus says the loss, which came both through retirements and defeats at the polls, does not signal its end.

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.