John B Larson

Shutdown Ended, but Democrats Still Have Leverage Over Budget Caps
Sequester-mandated cuts still have to be resolved

From left, Colorado Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons talk in Russell Building on Monday after the Senate voted to end debate on a continuing resolution to reopen the government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:20 p.m. | Even though Congress has voted to reopen the government after a brief shutdown, House Democratic leaders, who didn’t sign off on the deal their Senate counterparts helped negotiate, plan to continue their push on immigration and spending issues with a key leverage point: the budget caps.

The House on Monday evening quickly passed a stopgap funding bill that will reopen the government through Feb. 8 by a 266-150 vote, sending the bill to President Donald Trump, who signed the continuing resolution that night. 

House Democrats Not Whipping Shutdown Vote
Despite opposition from some in minority, enough votes are likely there in chamber

The Capitol Visitor Center, usually full of tourists, sits empty on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, as negotiations to reopen the government continue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders are not whipping the stopgap spending bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8, freeing members to vote how they wish, members and aides said Monday.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said earlier Monday she’ll be voting “no” and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., was expected to follow suit. Their opposition is not likely to change the outcome, though, barring a mass change of heart from Republicans. 

Are Trump, GOP on Same Page on Bipartisan Outreach?
Tax overhaul, debt ceiling could test overtures

President Donald Trump met with Republican and Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee in the White House on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is reaching out to Democrats as his party struggles to deliver on key legislation, but rather than embrace that strategy, congressional Republicans keep returning to the same playbook that has failed to give their team a win.

Fresh off another Senate failure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, Republicans are moving from one partisan plan to the next. On Wednesday, Trump and GOP congressional leaders will unveil a framework for overhauling the tax code, a measure they plan to advance using the budget reconciliation process.

Word on the Hill: Franken’s ‘SNL’ Friends on Franken vs. Trump
Stabenow makes rounds, Cruz award, Johnson shows flexibility, Biden’s book and Scalia event

Dana Carvey, left, Kevin Nealon, second from left, and Sen. Al Franken, right, mock the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings (with Phil Hartman, center, and Chris Farley) on “Saturday Night Live” in 1991. (NBC Universal)

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., could give President Donald Trump a run for his money. Or at least fellow “Saturday Night Live” alums Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey think so.

“Will Al Franken run for president?” Nealon asks Carvey on his Twitter video series “Hiking With Kevin.”

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Reality Show Casting Call
Congressional tennis roster update and brunch plans

A reality show is seeking staffers from both parties. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s a casting call next week for Capitol Hill staffers for a new reality show about working in Congress.

The posting on Brad Traverse Jobs reads: 

JFK Smithsonian Exhibit Now Open: McCain, Crowley and More Share Memories

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has a new photo gallery chronicling the life of John F. Kennedy, a few weeks before his 100th birthday on May 29. Several members of Congress attended a Tuesday night event to kick off the new exhibition — including Sen. John McCain, who recounted his experience with the former president as a young man.

Word on the Hill: Love Is in the Air
Puppies and friends of national service

On Valentine’s Day 2005, California Sen. Barbara Boxer received about 4,000 roses in her Hart building office from supporters. Boxer donated the flowers to injured military members at Walter Reed Naval Hospital in Bethesda Maryland. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Snap a photograph and tweet @HeardontheHill or email HOH@rollcall.com if you see anyone around Capitol Hill receiving a Valentine’s Day gift.

House Democrats: It’s Leverage, Leverage, Leverage
Minority party huddles, again, to plot way back to power

Crowley wants his Democratic Caucus to capitalize on the public’s engagement on political issues that benefit his party. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s little House Democrats can do to stop bills they don’t like or to slow down the legislative process during chamber proceedings. 

So the tactics they plan to explore at the minority party’s issues conference starting Wednesday in Baltimore — aside from their intense opposition to President Donald Trump — will be on how they can amplify concerns from constituents in Republican districts.

Word on the Hill: How Would D.C. Fare in Trade War With Mexico?
A great place to take a nap

D.C. has the least amount of imports from Mexico as a percentage of total imports. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Except for Alaska, the District of Columbia would be least affected by the economic fallout of a trade war with Mexico, a new study shows.

The most affected states would be Texas, Arizona, and Michigan, according to the WalletHub study. D.C. ranked 50th, just ahead of Alaska.

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.