Gregory W Meeks

New Democrats launch task forces to help craft the House majority’s policy agenda
Task forces focus on issue areas like health care, infrastructure, climate change, national security, trade and technology

Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., will co-chair the New Democrat Coalition’s health care task force, one of eight policy-focused work groups the centrist Democrats have launched this week. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The New Democrat Coalition is ready to help the House majority craft its policy agenda for the 116th Congress, launching eight issue-focused task forces to develop proposals on party priorities such as health care, infrastructure and climate change. 

The group of centrist Democrats has used task forces to develop policy proposals in past Congresses, but they’re particularly excited about the work the task forces will do this session now that their party is in the majority.

These House Democrats marched to the Senate before Thursday votes
Their message was to urge senators to vote "to end the Trump-McConnell shutdown," Rep. Barbara Lee said.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks to the Senate floor with other House members on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call)

Democratic House members marched from their chamber to the Senate Thursday afternoon, walking onto the floor just as the upper chamber took votes on two competing proposals that would have reopened government.

Their message is to urge senators to vote “to end the Trump-McConnell shutdown,” Rep. Barbara Lee said.

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.

Disapproval resolution on Steve King passes, but will not likely be the last word
Iowa Republican disputes racist remarks, but urges chamber to disavow them anyway

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, looks for his ride after the final votes of the week on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Steve King voted “yes” on a resolution meant to rebuke him for making racist comments, a strange turn of events as the House voted, 424-1 to disapprove of the Iowa Republican.

“I’m putting up a ‘yes’ on the board here because what you say is true, is right and is just,” King said on the House floor before the vote.

Photos of the week: 116th Congress sworn in as shutdown continues
The week of Dec. 31 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., is seen in the Capitol's House chamber before members were sworn in on the first day of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The holiday season ended, the partial government shutdown continued and new members were sworn into the 116th Congress this week.

Here's the entire week of Dec. 31 in photos:

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.

Steny Hoyer Elected House Majority Leader
Maryland Democrat ran unopposed with 184 Democrats signed onto a letter supporting him

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., center, shakes hands with Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., as they leave the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ leadership elections Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Hoyer was elected majority leader that afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer is returning to his old post of House majority leader next year after the Democratic Caucus on Wednesday elected him to the post by acclamation. 

Hoyer, Democrats’ longtime No. 2 leader and current minority leader, last held the majority leader title when Democrats were last in the majority from 2007 through 2010.

Black Caucus at Crossroads as Marcia Fudge Mulls Speaker Bid
Several CBC members still supporting Pelosi but Chairman Cedric Richmond predicts flips if Fudge runs

Reps. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, left, pictured at the 2016 Democratic National Convention with James Clyburn, D-S.C., is thinking about running for speaker. Clyburn said he’s not discouraged Fudge from running but that he’s still supporting Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The possibility that Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge might challenge Nancy Pelosi for speaker seems to have some of her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus torn, despite many saying Thursday they still plan to support Pelosi.

But one notable member of the CBC would not make such a pledge, Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond.

Justice Department Issues Indictment for 2013 Congressional Trip to Azerbaijan
Feds allege nonprofit concealed that trip was funded by foreign government

A 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan has resulted in an indictment being handed down to the head of the nonprofit, whom the government alleges concealed the source of funding for the journey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Justice Department has issued an indictment of former non-profit head Kevin Oksuz for his role in a plot to hide the fact that a 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan was funded by that country’s government.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed Monday, Kevin, also known as Kemal, Oksuz allegedly lied on disclosure forms filed with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics prior to, and following, a privately sponsored congressional trip to Azerbaijan. Oksuz ran a Houston based nonprofit that he is accused of using to funnel money to fund the congressional trip from an oil company controlled by the Azerbaijan government.

Democrats Disgusted, Enraged by Trump’s Omarosa Comments
President called former White House aide a ‘dog’ in tweet

President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched another round of derisive comments against former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats in Congress condemned President Donald Trump’s latest batch of derisive comments toward Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former White House aide.

After a Tuesday morning tweet in which Trump called Manigault a “crazed, crying lowlife” and a “dog,” several House Democrats took consternation from insults they said were tinged with racial and misogynistic connotations.