John Garamendi

Incoming Freshman Chrissy Houlahan Running for Democratic Leadership Post
Pennsylvania member-elect announces bid for Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair

Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., is running to be one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pennsylvania member-elect Chrissy Houlahan is launching a bid for Democratic leadership, arguing that the nearly 60 incoming freshmen should be represented as the caucus crafts its messaging strategy for defending its newly obtained majority.

“I think that people recognize that there is this great big class of people who are coming in with kind of fresh experience and fresh legs and fresh ideas and that if we would like to maintain the majority that we need to make sure that we’re listening to everybody,” she said in an interview. 

Coast Guard Bill Returns ‘Delta Queen’ Steamboat to Spotlight
Senate reauthorization measure would exempt boat from safety regulations

A provision in the Senate’s Coast Guard authorization bill would allow the Delta Queen, a wooden steamboat, to operate as an overnight cruise ship despite safety concerns. (Al Behrman/AP file photo)

Senate votes this week will help determine whether a 91-year-old wooden steamboat can be revived as an overnight river cruise ship — even though the Department of Homeland Security calls that prospect an “unacceptable” fire risk.

A provision buried deep in a recently modified version of the Senate’s Coast Guard authorization bill would exempt the Delta Queen paddle wheel boat from federal law and Coast Guard regulations that require vessels with overnight accommodations for 50 or more passengers to be made of fireproof materials. The boat’s owner envisions the vessel as a Mississippi River cruise vessel for up to 174 passengers.

14 Democrats Push Back on Raising Caucus Threshold for Speaker Race
Caucus threshold should remain simple majority; members should unite behind winner, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to run for speaker again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of 14 Democrats who support Nancy Pelosi for speaker are pushing back on a proposal from some of their anti-Pelosi colleagues to raise the caucus threshold for nominating a speaker candidate. 

House Democratic Caucus rules make all of their elected leadership positions subject to a simple-majority vote. Then, under House rules, the speaker nominee chosen by the caucus needs to win votes from a majority of the entire chamber — 218, if everyone is present and voting. 

Facebook, Twitter Testify: Here Are the Lawmakers Who Own Their Stock
Members of Congress have invested more than $7M in three tech giants

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is the only senator who will question representatives from Facebook and Twitter who also holds stock in one of the companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate will question representatives of tech giants Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday. The chamber’s Intelligence Committee also invited Alphabet CEO Larry Page but rejected the company’s counteroffer to send Google’s chief legal officer.

Roll Call found 32 members of Congress have stock ownership in the three companies. These stocks are held in trust funds, IRAs and brokerage accounts for the members, their spouses or their dependent children. In total, members of Congress have invested more than $7,000,000 in the three tech companies subject to scrutiny in Wednesday’s hearings.

Summer Reading, Lawmaker-Style
What members of Congress have been reading — and you can, too!

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., holds up his copy of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in his Cannon Building office in July 2011. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Looking for a summer read? HOH has been asking lawmakers for months about the last book they read, and their choices have ranged from historical dives to books about their issues or districts.

Here are some of the interesting titles recommended by members of Congress.

Uncertainty Lingers in Critical California House Races
Democratic nominees remain unknown after initial primary results

Democrats are targeting 10 GOP-held seats in California. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats will keep a close eye on California county registrars over the next few days as uncertainty remains in several House races. But initial results show Democrats could avoid a general election shutout in some of their top targets.

The Associated Press has yet to call the second-place finishers in seven of Democrats’ 10 GOP-held targets in the Golden State, with mail-in ballots yet to be counted, and a voter roll debacle that threw even more chaos into vote-counting.

Take Five: Jamie Raskin
Law professor-turned-congressman likes to take an academic approach to problems Congress confronts

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., was Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett’s law professor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, 55,  talks about the heart of the legislative process, what his colleagues call him, and how he angered a world chess champion.

Q: What about Congress didn’t you expect?

Take Five: Darren Soto
Florida congressman on writing music and performing: ‘My constituents want to know that I’m not some legislative robot’

Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., holds a CD from his band. He plays guitar and says he has written “hundreds” of songs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Florida Democratic freshman Rep. Darren Soto, 40, talks about his music, how hard it is to form relationships on the Hill, and green spots on his GPS.

Q: What about Congress didn’t you expect?