Ami Bera

‘Roll Call’s not printed by the Koch brothers’: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of April 1, 2019

Two lawmakers praised Roll Call stories this week, but the real excitement on the Hill came from the hordes of staffers chasing after the “Queer Eye” guys and some members still struggling to pronounce their colleagues’ names. All that, plus nose-picking, belabored Final Four chants and questionable brownies. 

House Foreign Affairs Eyes New Subcommittee to Investigate Trump
Focus would be potential financial ties between foreign governments and the president

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., is expected to chair the Foreign Affairs panel come January. The panel could add an investigations subcommittee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is planning a reorganization in the new Congress that would emphasize investigating the Trump administration as Democrats take control of the chamber.

The anticipated changes, which include plans to streamline the subcommittee structure, were outlined in conversations with three House staffers, who added that the focus would be potential financial ties between foreign governments and President Donald Trump. The staffers were not authorized to be quoted discussing the changes in advance of official action.

Congress Relatively Mum on Raging California Camp Fire
A list of missing people spiked to more than 600 names Thursday

Few members of Congress outside of the California delegation have weighed in on the Camp Fire raging north of Sacramento. Years of drought have created a “tinderbox” in the Golden State, according to NASA. (NASA)

Despite a dramatic spike in the number of people unaccounted for as the historically deadly Camp Fire rages in northern California, members of Congress have been relatively quiet on the natural disaster. 

A list of missing people ballooned from 130 names to nearly 300 names within hours Wednesday, the Mercury News reported, and reached more than 600 names by late Thursday. Sixty-three people have died, and another three have died in a simultaneous blaze in Southern California. 

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

New Budgeting Software Hopes to Help Democratic Campaign Managers
Warchest now has 200 users, including the DCCC

Juliet Albin and Josh Wolf talk about their campaign budgeting software, called Warchest, at the WeWork in Navy Yard last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The surge of Democratic candidates this cycle has given way to a new crop of campaign managers who are taking their first crack at managing millions of dollars. 

And up until recently, there wasn’t a streamlined way for them to handle the money coming in and spend down to zero, which is the most important job for managers. 

Which House Members Voted Against Their Leadership on the Budget Deal
Both Democrats and Republicans bucked their party's leaders

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., was able to deliver enough of his GOP colleagues to pass the latest stopgap spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House’s early Friday morning passage of a bill to reopen government after a brief shutdown was not your typical budget deal vote.

Unlike similar measures Congress has passed in recent years to lift sequestration spending caps and suspend the debt ceiling, this one drew a limited amount of Republican opposition and minimal Democratic support.

State of the Union Guest List
Who lawmakers are bringing this year and what issues they represent

Claudia Sofía Báez Solá, left, who was sent to live with relatives in Florida after Hurricane Maria, will be going to the State of the Union as the guest of Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla. (Courtesy Rep. Soto’s office)

As President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union on Tuesday, a few issues will stand out in the crowd.

Members of Congress each get one guest ticket for the address. While some use them for family or friends, others bring a guest who puts a face to an issue they’re pushing.

NRCC Launches Digital Ads Targeting Democrats After Shutdown
Facebook ads take aim at 10 Democrats

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, center, is a target of the NRCC’s new post-shutdown ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure Democrats don’t forget the three-day government shutdown. The group launched digital ads Tuesday that target 10 House Democratic members.

The ads, which will run on Facebook for one week, are part of a “five-figure buy,” according to details provided first to Roll Call. Five of the Democratic targets represent districts that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

NRCC Targets Democrats on Tax Overhaul in New Digital Ads
Republicans see taxes as a potent campaign issue

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolanis one of the Democrats targeted in the latest NRCC ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching new digital ads targeting Democrats who voted against the tax overhaul that passed the House on Thursday. No members of the minority party voted for the legislation.

The 15-second videos, provided first to Roll Call, will start running on Facebook on Friday and target 25 House Democrats. The NRCC ad buy was described as “five figures” and the ads will run online for a week.

Bera’s Father Released From Prison
California congressman’s dad caught illegally funneling $270,000 to his son’s campaign

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., has maintained he didn’t know about his father’s illegal campaign funding scheme.. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ami Bera’s father has been released from federal prison seven weeks before the end of his full sentence of a year and a day.

Babulal Bera was given credit for good behavior, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Prisons told The Associated Press, but will still check in with a probation officer for three years.