congressional-operations

House Democrats’ gun agenda to start with where they might get GOP votes
Early bills will be more narrow in focus to avoid a pileup of go-nowhere legislation

Rep. Mike Thompson  is chairman of the House Democrats’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic supporters who helped sweep in a new class of lawmakers promising a gun law overhaul might have to wait longer than they’d like for that agenda to materialize in the form of bills.

While Democrats wrestled back the majority in the House, Republicans still control the Senate, and Donald Trump is still in the Oval Office.

State of the Union status unclear as White House seeks to keep it on Jan. 29
Pelosi still hasn't brought up a concurrent resolution needed to hold joint session of Congress

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pictured Jan. 22 with chef José Andrés, touring his World Central Kitchen as it serves free meals to federal workers who have been affected by the partial government shutdown, has not received a formal response from the White House to her request that President Donald Trump delay the State of the Union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The logistics of the annual State of the Union address are in limbo, caught up in the partial government shutdown that has stretched into a second month.

President Donald Trump has so far refused to agree to delay his State of the Union address — unofficially scheduled for Tuesday — but without Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s cooperation, he will not be able to deliver it to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber.

Does the Capitol Dome have a leak? Not quite
Yellow buckets in Rotunda collect dripping water

The Capitol Rotunda was dripping Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On day 32 of the longest government shutdown in modern history, it looked like an iconic symbol of American democracy had sprung a leak.

The Capitol Dome, which reaches 287 feet tall, recently underwent a $60 million restoration. But something was amiss Tuesday morning. 

House floor erupts after GOP lawmaker shouts ‘Go back to Puerto Rico’
Spokesman says Rep. Jason Smith was referring to ‘vacationing’ Democrats who went to inspect hurricane recovery

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise calls for a roll call vote after Democrats held a voice vote on a continuing resolution that would reopen the partially shut down government.(C-SPAN)

The House floor erupted Thursday shortly before Congress adjourned for the week when Republican Rep. Jason Smith yelled a potentially racially charged remark across the aisle as Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas was at the podium.

“Go back to Puerto Rico!” the Missouri congressman shouted, punctuating a stream of Republican whooping and hollering at the Democratic majority for initially rejecting their request to redo a vote on a continuing resolution to reopen shuttered agencies through Feb. 28.

Pelosi says House will skip recess while government is shut down
Speaker says House will work on legislation to fund agencies like bills that passed earlier in the Senate

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Congress will skip its recess next week to take up bills “that the Republicans themselves passed in the Senate but now won’t take up.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House will be in session next week instead of taking a recess week and continue to work on legislation to end the 26-day government shutdown.

“We have canceled our district work period next week to stay here to work on legislation to open up government, to continue our ongoing drumbeat of bills to open up government, starting with bills that the Republicans themselves passed in the Senate but now won’t take up,” Pelosi said. “But we’ll go to the next step next week on that.”

For Steve King, colleagues continue calls for censure, resignation
Pelosi to rule Wednesday on two censure proposals

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, faced two reprimands already this week, and tougher punishments may be ahead. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve King has already faced two reprimands this week from his colleagues for his racist comments, but there could be tougher punishment ahead. Some Democrats are calling for an official censure, and a few fellow Republicans are calling for King’s resignation.

The clock is ticking down on two measures to officially censure King, offered Monday by Democratic Reps. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Adam Schiff hiring full-time team to investigate Trump’s Russia connections
House Intelligence Committee chairman hiring more investigators to revive House Russia probe

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is adding more investigative manpower to his committee staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is sinking panel resources into a robust investigative staff to revive the probe into President Donald Trump's ties to Russia with roughly seven committee staffers directing their energy full-time.

Schiff and the Democrats have made offers to six new staffers, CBS News reported, including a corruption expert and a former prosecutor. The committee is still looking to hire six more people as Schiff restructures the subcommittee and plans targeted lines of inquiry into the president and his 2016 campaign staff’s connections with Russian officials.

New members, meet the ‘slush fund’
Many Hill freshmen are already establishing leadership PACs despite association with abuse

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., left, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., are among the more than two dozen freshman lawmakers who have established so-called leadership PACs, a type of fundraising committee critics say is too often abused. Ocasio-Cortez and Omar have pledged not to accept corporate PAC money. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The newest class of congressional lawmakers — some of whom campaigned against corruption and corporate influence in politics — is rapidly adopting a practice that critics say is among the swampier in Washington.

More than two dozen new members of the House and Senate — including prominent freshmen such as New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney — have established so-called leadership PACs, according to data compiled by government watchdog group Issue One. Leadership PACs are fundraising committees that allow lawmakers to raise money for their colleagues and candidates.

The many ways members of Congress can make a stink
Yes, they can donate pay, but they can also get arrested or wear hoodies

Members including, from left, Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez, D-Ill., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., John Lewis, D-Ga., Judy Chu, D-Calif., Al Green, D-Texas, Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and others march to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices last June in protest of the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children at the border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

‘That’s why I’m the majority leader and you’re the minority whip’
Hoyer, Scalise trade barbs in first House floor colloquy together

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., replaces Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in the 116th Congress as the No. 2 Republican leader who gets to participate in weekly floor colloquies with the No. 2 Democratic leader, Steny H. Hoyer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“That’s why I’m the majority leader and you’re the minority whip,” House Democratic leader Steny H. Hoyer said to Republican whip Steve Scalise on the House floor Friday, just one of the ways Hoyer welcomed his new floor sparring partner to the fray. 

The comment was the most pointed and somewhat personal but far from the only political insult the No. 2 party leaders traded during their first colloquy together.