House Democrats

Why Democrats aren’t rushing to change immigration laws
They don’t agree with Trump and public sentiment doesn’t provide a mandate toward a solution

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked from left by Assistant Democratic Leader Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos, D- Ill., and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks to the press during the House Democrats' 2019 Issues Conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are treading carefully on immigration as they attempt to show they can lead on the divisive issue heading into the 2020 elections.

President Donald Trump, who won election in 2016 on a campaign to crack down on immigration and what he often refers to as “open borders,” is planning to repeat the strategy heading into 2020. In recent weeks, he’s launched near daily attacks on Democrats for their refusal to change immigration laws — an accusation that, as with many things Trump says, is not entirely true.

‘I’m not giving up on the president’: Pelosi hopes to find common ground on immigration
Speaker is optimistic about bipartisan immigration and infrastructure overhauls

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reads a quote by Ronald Reagan to the media at the House Democrats’ 2019 Issues Conference at the Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va. on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — The morning after President Donald Trump accused Democrats of treason for not taking action to restrict border crossings, Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism that her party can work with the president on a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

“It’s complicated, but it isn’t hard to do if you have good intentions,” Pelosi said.“And I’m not giving up on the president on this.”

Pelosi says Barr is ‘off the rails,’ raises concerns about DHS upheaval
‘This administration is just in a downward spiral of indecency,’ speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands off to the side as other leaders speaks at the House Democrats' 2019 Issues Conference opening press conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va., on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — Attorney General William Barr is “going off the rails,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday after the head of the Justice Department told Senate appropriators that U.S. intelligence agencies spied on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. 

Barr later walked back those comments,  saying, “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I am saying I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.” 

Kicking off party retreat, Democratic leaders pledge to take bipartisan approach to infrastructure
“We want to do that in a bipartisan fashion with the president, with the Senate, with the House,” Hoyer says

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during the House Democrats’ 2019 Issues Conference opening press conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va., on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — House Democrats are gathered here for their annual retreat to flesh out the details of their party’s agenda, but on at least one issue, they are pledging a bipartisan approach.

Infrastructure is among the top topics Democrats plan to focus on during their issues conference, which kicked off Wednesday afternoon and will run until midday Friday. 

‘Looking in the mirror’: Democrats’ failure to coalesce on spending numbers gives House GOP an opening
House minority shouldn’t be a player in budget talks, but Democrats may need their votes

House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., center, is concerned that House Democrats are squandering their leverage in budget talks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans should have virtually no power in the minority, but Democrats’ inability to unify as a caucus around topline fiscal 2020 spending levels has given them some unexpected leverage. The question now is what they’ll do with it.

President Donald Trump and his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, don’t want to raise the statutory discretionary spending caps for fiscal 2020, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to reach a bipartisan deal to do just that to avoid a 10 percent cut in spending from fiscal 2019 levels.

House Democrats make habit of voting on legislation that doesn’t change any laws
For four legislative weeks the House has held votes on nonbinding resolutions used for messaging

Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, center, is the sponsor of the House’s latest nonbinding resolution, a measure condemning the Trump administration for arguing in federal court that the entire 2010 health care law should be overturned. He is pictured with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., right at a rally on the matter on Tuesday outside the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are forming a nonbinding habit. For four legislative weeks in a row, the new majority has held votes on resolutions that do not carry the force of law and are designed simply to send a message.

A Roll Call analysis found that roughly one out of every five votes the House has taken this year while the government has been open have been on nonbinding measures.

‘Two of the worst ideas’: Pelosi slams Trump’s latest immigration plans
Speaker dismisses Trump’s plan to shut down the border, cut off aid to Central American countries

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticized President Donald Trump's plans to shut down the southern U.S. border and cut off aid to three Central American countries as "two of the worst ideas." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s plans to shut down the southern U.S. border and cut off aid to three Central American countries are “probably in competition for two of the worst ideas,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday. 

The California Democrat, speaking at a Politico Playbook event, quickly added to that list: “Let’s not forget our friend the wall.”

House Democratic women flex muscles with formal caucus, plus a political arm
On Equal Pay Day, new caucus touts expanded leadership team

From left, Reps. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., members of the newly named Democratic Women's Caucus, hold a news conference Feb. 5 about their decision to wear white to the State of the Union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic women, armed with more numbers and the power of the majority, are getting  organized, switching their working group to a more formal caucus and launching a political action committee to help further grow their ranks.

The Democratic Women’s Caucus is the new name of the Democratic Women’s Working Group. Open to all 91 House Democratic women, the caucus will be led by an expanded leadership team of three co-chairs and two vice chairs.

Pelosi rejects DHS request for authority to deport migrant children to home countries
'Democrats reject any effort to let the administration deport little children,' speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says House Democrats will not grant the Department of Homeland Security's request to pass legislation giving the department authority to deport unaccompanied migrant children from Central America. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that House Democrats are rejecting the Department of Homeland Security’s request to pass legislation authorizing the department to send all unaccompanied children who try to cross the border back to their home countries. 

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sent a letter to Congress Thursday asking lawmakers to pass legislation providing additional financial resources and legal authority for the department to manage the migrant crisis at the border. 

‘No values?’ Democrats unlikely to advance a full budget, already facing GOP attacks
McCarthy riles Pelosi over oft-repeated remark that budgets are a ‘statement of values’

House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., says it’s unlikely Democrats will advance a full budget resolution this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are unlikely to advance a full budget resolution this year, opening the new majority to the same attacks it previously launched at Republicans for failing to get their budget resolutions to the floor.

But Democrats are expected to go a step further and not even mark up a budget resolution in committee this year. Republicans were quick to pounce, even though a final decision has not yet been made.