Chellie Pingree

Trump’s Immigration Enforcement Agenda Gets Boost from Partisan Vote
Bill would provide $51.4 billion to Homeland Security

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump rally during his visit to see the border wall prototypes on March 13, 2018 in San Diego, California. The administration’s immigration enforcement agenda got a significant boost from a House Appropriations Committee vote this week. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement and border security agenda got a significant boost after the  House Appropriations Committee voted 29-22 along party lines to approve a bill that would provide $51.4 billion to the Homeland Security Department in fiscal 2019. 

Overall, Wednesday’s  bill — which  would provide $51.4 billion in discretionary funding to DHS, a nearly 8 percent increase over the $47.7 billion provided to the department in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending law. 

House Appropriators Back Indefinite Detention of Migrant Kids
DeLauro: ‘It creates a false choice: Either we take the kids away or we jail everyone together’

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, joined all the Appropriation Committee’s Republicans in backing language overturning the Flores agreement in a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the southern border dominated the first few hours of Wednesday’s House Appropriations Committee markup of a spending bill for the Labor, Education and Health and Human Services departments.

As of midafternoon, committee members had gotten through only eight of up to 50 expected amendments to the fiscal 2019 $177.1 billion spending measure.

Northeastern Lawmakers Unite Against Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
Republicans and Democrats from region join Florida and West Coast colleagues blasting plan

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, penned a joint letter on Monday to resist the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans off their state’s coast. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers in the Northeast united across party lines on Monday to hazard against President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling plan to re-open more than 90 percent of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas companies.

Roughly 94 percent of the coastline, including the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts, remains off limits to oil and gas drilling. But Trump’s Interior Department revealed a five-year plan proposing 47 potential lease sales to energy companies through 2024, including two in the North Atlantic region from Maine to New Jersey.

Members Face Tough Odds in Races for Governor
Competitive primary, general elections await nine representatives running

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa would be a heavy favorite to win her state’s governor’s race if she gets past the Democratic primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s been plenty of media attention on the twelve members who have decided to call it quits and retire from the House, and another eight members are seeking a promotion to the Senate. But nine additional members are forgoing likely re-elections for uncertain and challenging races to become their state’s governor.

Many of them have to navigate crowded and competitive primaries (including knocking off an incumbent in one state), and the precedent for members getting elected governor isn’t great.

Word on the Hill: Republicans Tour Jordan Airport
Pingree awarded, Veterans History Project discussion, and ‘The Long Road’

New York Rep. John Katko meets refugees at Zaatri refugee camp in northern Jordan. (Courtesy House Homeland Security Committee)

A delegation led by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., over last week’s recess included a stop in Jordan. The group toured Queen Alia International Airport, the largest airport in the country, to observe aviation security procedures and employee screening.

The U.S. donated passenger screening equipment to Jordan and other countries in 2016 under the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act.

Susan Collins Passes on Gubernatorial Bid
Maine Republican senator announces she’ll stay in the Senate instead

Sen. Susan Collins talks with reporters in the basement of the Capitol before the Senate Policy luncheons last week. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Friday morning that she will not run for governor and will instead remain in the Senate.

“I am a congenital optimist, and I continue to believe that Congress can — and will — be more productive,” Collins said at a Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Rockport.

Word on the Hill: Kaine and Alexander’s Bipartisan Jam
Free fries, and kickball for Harvey recovery

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, left, and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander have a concert on Friday. (Courtesy bristolrhythm.com)

Music lovers can catch Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on the harmonica and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on the piano this Friday night.

Their band The Amateurs are performing at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a music festival this weekend in Bristol, a community that straddles the Virginia-Tennessee state line. The dynamic duo goes on stage at 5 p.m.

Word on the Hill: What to Do This Weekend
A birthday wish from the floor

Cherry blossoms on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Happy Friday! 

There are a few ways this weekend to celebrate the new month and the beginning of spring, and the end of what felt like a very long winter.

Democratic Lawmakers Feel Boost from Women’s March
Minority party hopes movement will help Congress rein in Trump

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington, holding signs during the women’s march on Saturday, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol Dome was more than just a symbolic backdrop for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. It was the intended target of hundreds of thousands of voices of frustration with President Donald Trump. 

For all of the anti-Trump placards — both crude and shrewd — many marchers descended on the nation’s capital to send a message to the branch of government that, they hope, will be a check on the new president.

Here Are the Democrats Skipping Trump’s Inauguration
Nearly 70 Democratic House members won’t attend Friday’s swearing-in

Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly is one of the latest Democratic House members to say that he won’t attend Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even before President-elect Donald Trump attacked Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Twitter over the weekend, a handful of Democratic lawmakers had planned to boycott Trump's inauguration on Friday.

But by the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday night, that group had ballooned. As of Friday morning, nearly 70 Democrats in the House said they will not attend out of protest. Several other House Democrats are not attending for medical or other reasons. No Democratic senators have announced intentions to boycott.