Barbara Lee

Play on Congress’ Power to Declare War Gets a Showing in the Capitol
Reps. Jones and Lee to be honored as part of ‘Republic For Which We Stand’ performance

Scenes from “Republic For Which We Stand” performed in May. (Courtesy Stone Hill Theatrical Foundation via Facebook)

A playwright is bringing to the Capitol his message that the power of declaring war needs to remain in the hands of Congress.

“Republic For Which We Stand” by John B. Henry will be shown in the Congressional Auditorium Tuesday evening. Henry is one of the founders of the Committee for the Republic, a group of citizens which has been meeting to talk about war since George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq.

Word on the Hill: Hobbit in Congress?
AUMF play, McCain’s had it with his boot, and Scott hosts Carson in South Carolina

Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, is looking to throw his hat into the ... Ring. (New Line Cinema)

Is there another celebrity waiting in the wings to join those who have thrown their names in the ring to run for public office?

As if Congress wasn’t nerdy enough, J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous hobbit of the Shire, Samwise Gamgee, tweeted at a fan that being a member of Congress would be a “dream come true.”

Women — and the Power of the Purse — Will Be Key in 2018
Female donors are skyrocketing and more women are considering runs

From left, Reps. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts and Joyce Beatty of Ohio raise their fists during a photo op for the House Democratic women on Jan. 4. (Cliff Owen/AP file photo)

Democratic lobbyist Anne MacMillan recalls sitting at small political fundraising dinners not long ago, with men filling all the chairs around her.

“Generally, the conversation would circle around hunting or fishing or golf, or something I couldn’t even participate in,” said MacMillan, a former aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Linda Sánchez: It’s Time for New House Dem Leaders
Caucus vice chairwoman wants leaders to make room at the top

California Rep. Linda T. Sánchez became the highest ranking Democrat to suggest the party’s top three lieutenants leave their posts next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez is ready to move up in the ranks, and she’s not afraid to say so on television. 

On Thursday, the California Democrat called on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn to leave their posts after the 2018 election and make way for up-and-coming lawmakers, like herself, to have a chance at the top.

Budget Debate, Grievances Get Airing in Both Chambers

From left, Rep. Richard Neal, Sen. Ron Wyden, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer,  Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Barbara Lee, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Bernie Sanders conduct a news conference in the Capitol Wednesday to speak out against Republicans’ tax and budget plan that they say will benefit the wealthy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Floor action on the fiscal 2018 budget resolution — made possible by assuaging conservatives’ concerns over the emerging tax overhaul blueprint last week — officially got under way on Wednesday.

The House voted 232-188 to approve parameters for debate and moved on to formally debating the resolution. Once the House and Senate formally adopt a joint budget resolution, if they can get that far, the tax-writing committees will be able to produce filibuster-proof tax legislation through the fast-track reconciliation process.

House Passes $658 Billion Defense Spending Bill

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and colleague Barbara Lee, D-Calif. proposed an amendment that prohibits money being spent on uniforms for the Afghan National Army. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed the so-called security minibus appropriations package on a 235-192 vote, allocating nearly $790 billion across four separate spending bills, including $658 billion for defense.

The measure designates $584 billion in regular defense appropriations and $73.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations accounts.

House Readies Debate on Defense Amendments

Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, followed here by Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, sponsored the language to provide money for a border wall with Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday approved a structured rule governing floor debate for amendments to the fiscal 2018 defense appropriations bill, the final piece of the four-bill minibus spending package on the House floor.

Legislators will work through 54 amendments in the defense measure (HR 3219) during debate Thursday, including language to restrict spending defense funds on certain projects in Afghanistan and Yemen and efforts to add funds for missile defense and other weapons programs.

Barbara Lee to Take AUMF Repeal to Foreign Affairs
GOP leadership drop language from spending bill

Rep. Barbara Lee on Wednesday vowed to take her long-time efforts to repeal the current Authorization for Use of Military Force, which dates to 2001 but is used for a wide range of conflicts now, to the House Foreign Affairs Committee after Republican leaders removed it from a spending bill the California Democrat successfully attached the repeal to.

Tiptoes on the Hill Back Into War Debate
A bipartisan push for Trump to seek fresh authority to combat terrorism

Soldiers with the New York Army National Guard patrol in New York City’s Penn Station in June following a terrorist attack in London. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sixteen years on, Congress seems to be getting genuinely close to forcing itself into a fresh debate on how to prescribe the use of military force against terrorism.

Writing a new war authorization will not happen before the end of the year, meaning those deliberations would be influenced by the dynamics of the midterm election campaign. But proposals to force the issue onto the agenda have the potential to blossom into sleeper hits on this summer’s remarkably blockbuster-deprived roster of consequential legislation.