Ed Perlmutter

‘Dead billionaires’ and a tech Peace Corps? Lawmakers float ideas to fix Congress
First hearing of new modernization committee turns into a brainstorming session

Reps. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., left, and John Sarbanes, D-Md., are seen in between testimony during a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress business meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer kicked off the first hearing of the new Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress with a plea for a return of something from the past: earmarks.

The Maryland Democrat was the first among 30 lawmakers who offered ideas Tuesday to the temporary and bipartisan panel, which has been charged with making recommendations about how to update Congress for the modern era.

The most vulnerable Republican senator in 2020
Colorado’s Cory Gardner has a difficult, but doable, roadmap for re-election

Cory Gardner of Colorado is the most vulnerable Senate Republican heading into the 2020 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Under normal circumstances, Sen. Cory Gardner would be a clear favorite for re-election.

Personable and politically astute, the Colorado Republican ran a terrific campaign in 2014 to oust Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. But President Donald Trump has energized partisan Democrats and alienated suburban swing voters nationally, and that has made Gardner the most vulnerable GOP senator up for re-election in 2020.

Colorado has never had a female senator. Could that change in 2020?
Democratic Senate primary field expected to be a ‘mosh pit’

Former Colorado state House Speaker Crisanta Duran has been working with EMILY’s List as she considers a Senate run. (Brennan Linsley/AP file photo)

Colorado Democrats have their sights on Sen. Cory Gardner, one of the most vulnerable senators in 2020 and one of two Republicans running in a state won by Hillary Clinton. And some see the race as an opportunity to do something historic: send a woman to the U.S. Senate. 

Women now make up a majority in the state House after the recent midterms. And wins by Democratic women helped the party recapture the state Senate. But higher office has proved more elusive. Colorado is one of just five states that has never elected a female governor or senator. 

30 Democrats suggest Pelosi give Trump a vote on wall funding if he reopens government
Letter designed to provide clear process, timeline for debate, not guarantee passage

Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., led a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, suggesting she allow a vote on President Donald Trump’s border security funding request if he reopens the government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thirty Democrats sent a letter Wednesday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she guarantee President Donald Trump a vote on his border security funding request if he reopens the government. 

Led by freshmen Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia, the letter lays out a process that would guarantee a House vote — but not passage — on the $5.7 billion Trump has requested in border wall funding, as well as other funding he is seeking for border security needs. 

Anti-legalization group releases first pot lobby tracker
Political donations to federal candidates mark growth in industry, shift in focus from states

Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are among the biggest recipients of pot industry money to date, according to a new database maintained by an anti-legalization group. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group opposed to the legalization of marijuana on Tuesday unveiled a tool to track industry donations to federal candidates. 

Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or SAM, is the first major opposition group to attempt to quantify the industry’s federal-level lobbying efforts,a sign of the growing profile of the legalization movement.

Pelosi Agrees to Deal Limiting Her Speakership to 4 Years
Caucus may not formally adopt leadership term limits but Pelosi agrees to hold herself to a maximum of two more terms

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has agreed to limit her pending speakership to a maximum of two more terms to win the support of five members who otherwise opposed her bid.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:21 p.m.Nancy Pelosi is doing exactly what she said she wouldn’t in order to secure the votes she needs to be elected speaker — putting an end date on her tenure as the top House Democratic leader. 

Under an agreement reached with seven Democrats who opposed her speaker bid, Pelosi will back term limits for the top three Democratic leaders. The limit she has agreed to will prevent her from serving as speaker beyond another four years. 

Term Limits Talks Roil House Democrats
Talk of compromise on matter comes amid consternation

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been involved in talks with a few Democratic opponents to her speaker bid about term limits on party leaders and committee chairs, an idea opposed by many in her caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are at odds over whether to adopt intraparty term limits for their elected leaders and committee chairs, even as it offers them a way out of their current impasse on the race for the speakership.

The House Democratic Caucus has long wrestled with the idea of term limits. House Republicans adopted a rule in 1995 to limit committee chairs to serving three terms. Democrats kept that rule in place when they took the majority in 2007 but then decided two years later to get rid of it.

House Democrats to Wait ’Til Next Year in Term Limit Discussion
Hard talk will have to wait for incoming freshmen in 116th Congress

The large freshman class will have a chance to weigh in on the House Democrats' rules package, an and specifically whether to have term limits for leaders and committee chairs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the current impasse on the upcoming speaker election as backdrop, House Democrats on Tuesday discussed the concept of term limiting their elected leaders and committee chairs, but decided to postpone until January when the incoming freshmen will be present to participate.

“We’re going to talk after the New Year,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters.

With Opponents Dug In, Pelosi Has Little Room to Negotiate on Speaker Votes
At least 15 Pelosi opponents say they remain firm and will not vote ‘present’

Reps.-elect Max Rose, D-N.Y., left, and Jason Crow, D-Colo., pictured fist bumping at the new member office lottery on Nov. 30, are among the Democrats firmly opposed to Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid. Rep.-elect Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., is among those who voted against Pelosi in caucus elections but appears open to supporting her on the floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least 15 Democrats resisting Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid are holding firm in their opposition and say they plan to vote for someone other than the California Democrat during the Jan. 3 speaker election, providing Pelosi with little room to negotiate a victory.

With the House poised to have 235 Democrats seated on the opening day of the 116th Congress when the speaker election takes place, Pelosi can only afford to have 17 Democrats vote and say a name that is not hers to meet the 218-vote majority threshold. 

House Democrats to Discuss Term Limits on Committee Chairs, Pelosi Says
Speaker hopeful declines to stake a position, says it is a caucus decision

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the Democratic Caucus will soon have a discussion on term limits for committee chairmen but does not take a stance on proposal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats will soon have a discussion about whether to subject their committee chairs to term limits, an idea that has long divided the caucus, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. 

“That’s a matter before the caucus,“ the California Democrat told reporters during her weekly news conference. “I’ve always been sympathetic to the concerns that have been expressed by our members on that subject Actually I tried to do that when I became speaker in ’07 but the caucus did not support that.”