Jim Himes

Drums of looming Iran war resound in Congress
As NDAA debate begins, McConnell urges colleagues ‘to keep these deadly serious developments at the top of our minds’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged colleagues to keep Iran developments at the top of their minds. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is launching a debate on its annual defense authorization bill this week amid the specter of war with Iran.

It is not clear to what extent possible U.S. military strikes on Iran will play a role in debate on the $750 billion measure or, for that matter, in a separate vote this week on blocking U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch foe.

Democrats insist they’re united and delivering but obstacles abound
‘The Democratic Caucus is acting,’ Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insists her Democratic Caucus is unified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — House Democrats gathered here for their annual retreat insist their caucus is unified and prepared to deliver on a slate of 2018 campaign promises that propelled them into the majority. But obstacles lie ahead as they seek to hold the House in 2020.

The two major challenges Democrats face are crafting legislation that unifies the progressive and moderate wings, while also working with Republicans in the Senate and the White House to enact some policies into law.

5G technologies could challenge US spy agencies
“They’ll be swimming in an ocean of data that they can’t begin to parse,” Himes says

Extraordinary data speeds with little delay are one of the key promises of 5G technology. (David Becker/Getty Images file photo)

An avalanche of new technologies enabled by 5G wireless networks and artificial intelligence will pose new challenges for U.S. spy agencies as they strive to stay ahead of adversaries. These new technologies are set to fundamentally alter how data is collected, stored, and transmitted.

“We would find ourselves at a disadvantage relative to our opponents around the globe if we didn’t adopt and adapt” to these technological advances, said Rep. Jim Himes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee’s newly created Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research Subcommittee. The panel will focus on how U.S. intelligence agencies use emerging technologies. “Are we adopting and adapting technology within the intelligence community as rapidly as we need to?” is among the questions it intends to probe.

Congressional leaders remember Parkland shooting anniversary
Lawmakers mark one year since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Students and supporters protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside the White House in February last year, after 17 people were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers commemorated the victims of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Thursday, one year to the date of the tragedy.

Seventeen people were killed and 14  wounded in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 last year. 

Ilhan Omar called ‘anti-Semitic’ for tweet criticizing pro-Israel lobby
The spat spurred a conversation about the political influence of AIPAC

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted about the influence of AIPAC, received swift rebuke. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., received an onslaught of criticism Sunday night for her tweet that ascribed Republicans’ fierce opposition to boycotting Israel to the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, D.C.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar tweeted Sunday in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. 

Guest list: Here’s who you’ll see at the State of the Union
Cardi B won’t be there, but undocumented worker who worked at Trump’s golf club will

President Donald Trump will deliver the State of the Union Address on Tuesday. Two of his former housekeepers will look on from the House chamber. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address Tuesday night. Two of his former housekeepers, both immigrants, will watch from the House chamber.

Each member of Congress gets at least one ticket for a guest, and though some bring family members, many are accompanied by a constituent whose story helps illustrate a policy priority.

Democrats were ripe for division. Then the shutdown came along
All Trump did was unify progressives and moderate Dems

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that this photo “looks like a Spice Girls album cover, but for reopening the government.” From left, Reps. Jahana Hayes, Ocasio-Cortez, Lauren Underwood  and Katie Hill are seen after delivering a letter to the Russell Building office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Jan. 16. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — By shutting down the government, Donald Trump unintentionally gave Democrats the biggest gift possible: Unity.

It could doom his presidency. Stunningly, it is a repeat of the exact mistake he made by choosing Obamacare repeal as his first legislative fight.

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. 

Ocasio-Cortez, Himes to teach Democrats how to up their Twitter game
Party will have to grapple with whether her followers came from AOC’s facility with the platform or her ideas

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will coach her fellow Democrats on how to do Twitter well. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has swiftly become the most popular member of Congress on Twitter, will teach a class Thursday morning hosted by House Democrats’ messaging arm on how to make better use of the site.

The House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee tapped  Ocasio-Cortez and Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes to coach the Democratic caucus “on the most effective ways to engage constituents on Twitter and the importance of digital storytelling,” USA Today reported.

Houlahan, Sherrill take leadership roles among freshman Dem moderates
Health care revamp, infrastructure and trade deals top New Democrat Coalition priorities

New Democratic Reps. Mikie Sherrill, center, and Chrissy Houlahan, right, will represent the freshman class in positions in the New Democrat Coalition. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Democratic Reps. Chrissy Houlahan and Mikie Sherrill have been assigned leadership roles in the New Democrat Coalition, Chairman Derek Kilmer of Washington told reporters Thursday.

More than 30 freshmen joined the group in the new Congress to bring its ranks to 92 members.