Henry Cuellar

Spending Bill Could Allow Trump to Fulfill Border Wall Promise
2006 law authorized, but didn’t fully fund, border infrastructure

A family talks through the United States-Mexico border fence that runs through the cities of Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump might quickly make good on a campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico if Republicans in Congress agree to include the money in a fiscal 2017 spending package, according to media reports.

Trump early Friday said that Congress would have to appropriate money so construction could get underway but it would be paid back, tweeting: “The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!”

Newest Blue Dog Sides with GOP on Repeal of Midnight Rules
Democrat Josh Gottheimer campaigned as a fiscal conservative

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer was one of only four Democrats to vote for legislation allowing for the repeal of recent regulations finalized by the Obama administration. (Courtesy Josh Gottheimer Facebook page)

The three Blue Dog Democrats who voted for the Republican-backed Midnight Rules Relief Act last November had some new company Wednesday night, when the House again passed California Rep. Darrell Issa’s reintroduced legislation.

The House voted 238-184 to allow Congress to repeal en bloc multiple regulations approved in the last 60 legislative days of President Barack Obama’s administration. 

Dems Take Photos on House Floor to Protest Proposed GOP Fine
New House rules package includes $2,500 fine for such actions

Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, left, helps Massachusetts Rep. William Keating take a selfie on the House floor before the official swearing-in of the 115th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Several Democrats took pictures Tuesday on the House floor as the chamber held a quorum call to kick off the 115th Congress — a violation of House rules that Republicans want to start punishing with a fine of up to $2,500.

Roll Call spotted Democrats taking photos in an apparent protest to the proposed fine, which the House adopted later on Tuesday as part of a vote on a package of rules governing operations of the lower chamber. However, the photos were snapped during the brief period at the start of a new Congress when the House has no rules in effect so technically, the Democrats did nothing wrong.

Cuellar: Trump’s Wall is 14th Century Solution
Says technology is a better deal than physical barrier

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, left, said a virtual border would be more effective than a physical wall (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said Wednesday that a “virtual border” would be more effective than the wall that President-elect Donald Trump wants to build on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Cuellar made the statement near Rio Grande City, Texas, where the Department of Homeland Security has placed military hand-down aerostat surveillance balloons, San Antonio TV station KENS5 reported.

House Democrats Unsettled About Leadership Next Year
Elections once considered dull now rocked by uncertainty

Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, right, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have served in leadership roles for more than a decade. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democratic leaders, who until recently anticipated continuing on in those roles next year, are being circumspect about their futures amid signs rank-and-file members, stunned by the election, are agitating for change.

House Democrats Begin Long Soul-Searching Process
Party is optimistic about making gains in 2018

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., center, talks with Mark Froemke, right, and Wayne Fleischhacker, of the AFL-CIO, during a fish fry and fundraiser at the Northland Arboretum in Baxter, Minn., last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After President-elect Donald Trump’s surprising victory, congressional Democrats are now beginning what’s likely to be a long process of soul-searching about what didn’t work this year — and what they need to do better to pick up seats in 2018. 

The diagnosis was apparent even before Hillary Clinton had conceded last week: She didn’t do well enough in competitive districts to lift Democratic recruits. And members have begun to internalize the fact that anti-Trump messaging didn’t work in as many places as they thought it might. 

Word on the Hill: Byrd is Back
McGinty and Ross join senators in New York; Lewis honored in Philadelphia

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va., travels through the walkway from the Russell to the Capitol in May 2010, just one month before he died. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The traveling exhibit on the life of late West Virginia Democrat Sen. Robert C. Byrd has made it to Capitol Hill.

From Sept. 19 to Sept. 23, the exhibit will be in the Russell Rotunda. The exhibit is full of digital representation of documents and photographs of the former senator in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2017.

Immigration Issues That Trump and Clinton Don't Talk About (Much)
Agenda for Congress broader than border security and path to citizenship

Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court in April as oral arguments are heard on President Obama's executive actions on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have talked a lot about immigration. They're miles apart. And, somewhere in between, is Congress.

The presidential candidates have primarily butted heads over high-profile topics like border security, Syrian refugee resettlements, deportation policies, and a pathway to legal status for millions of undocumented U.S. residents.

Gun Control Meets Congressional Dysfunction
Swing-district Republicans hold the key to any legislative breakthrough

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo will need to convince more of his fellow Republican House colleagues to support his gun control proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This is the week when the American people decide if the extraordinary House sit-in is remembered as the sound of gridlock breaking, or the latest evidence of gridlock calcifying.  

Energized advocates for gun control predict it will prove to be the former. Experience says it will be the latter.  

Why They Didn't Show Up to Sit In
The 11 Democrats who didn't participate in last week's gun control protest

Some 176 members of the House Democratic caucus – or 94 percent – took part in the sit-in last week to protest inaction on gun control legislation. (Courtesy Rep. John Yarmuth's Twitter page)

Organizers said they started last week’s extraordinary sit-in on the House floor without knowing how many other House Democrats would join them to demand votes on legislation to tighten background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from buying weapons. By the time the protest ended, nearly 26 hours later, 176 members of the caucus — or 94 percent — had taken part in the demonstration.  

[ Gun Control Meets Congressional Dysfunction ]