Judy Chu

Photos of the Week
The week of Nov. 22 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Workers hoist one of three holiday wreaths into place on the front facade of Union Station on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A marathon of impeachment hearings dominated the week, but we also saw former Speaker John Boehner return to the Capitol for the unveiling of his portrait before Congress left town for the Thanksgiving recess.

White House backing off $8.6 billion demand for border wall funding
The most immediate decision to make is how long a second temporary funding bill should last

A section of the border wall stretches through the “Rio Grande Valley Sector” of the Texas border in August. The Trump administration is backing off its demand for spending on the fiscal 2020 border wall. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration is backing off its demand for $8.6 billion in fiscal 2020 border wall spending in negotiations with top congressional leaders and appropriators, according to a source familiar with the talks.

That’s not just a recognition of reality — Congress hasn’t appropriated more than $1.375 billion for the wall in each of the past two fiscal years. It also reflects a realization that the administration risks losing a substantial boost in military spending and other GOP priorities if current stopgap funds end up extended for the entire fiscal year.

White House picks Trump resort in Florida for G-7 summit
Democrats and others have said holding major summit at Trump property could violate Constitution

A Trump National Doral sign is seen at the golf resort owned by President Donald Trump’s company in August in Doral, Florida. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the U.S. will host the next G7 gathering at the golf resort. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The White House has selected Trump National Doral Miami as the site of next year’s G7 summit despite criticism from Democrats and others that President Donald Trump owns the resort.

The summit will be held June 10-12. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said there were about 12 candidate sites. Democrats and others have said holding any major summit at a Trump property could violate the emoluments clause in the Constitution, which bars presidents from receiving compensation from foreign governments.

Political tensions escalate as drug pricing bills move forward
Rift began when Pelosi called for Medicare to negotiate prices for a set of high-cost drugs

Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa unveiled the text of his committee's drug pricing bill on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The discord between the parties over plans to bring down drug costs deepened this week as Democrats insisted on allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and launched an impeachment inquiry that threatens to consume Congress.

Still, members of key committees said Wednesday they wanted to continue bipartisan work to lower costs, a major concern of voters, and lawmakers in both chambers took steps toward advancing their proposals. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held the first hearing on legislation unveiled last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Democrats leaving a caucus meeting on drug legislation late Wednesday said markups are expected soon after a two-week recess in October. Meanwhile, Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa and ranking Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon unveiled the text of their bill on Wednesday.

Inside Homestead: A tour of the Florida camp for migrant children
The shelter has become a site of ‘resistance’ in recent months — a magnet for protesters and politicians alike

Boys exercise at the Homestead facility on July 9. (Tanvi Misra/CQ Roll Call)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Staff writer Tanvi Misra and visual journalist Jinitzail Hernández visited the privately run shelter for migrant children held by the U.S. government in Homestead, Florida, on July 8-9. Hernández was not given permission to shoot video or photos inside the facility, and she and Misra were escorted at all times by Caliburn International staff. This is their report.

 

Democrats decry harsh conditions after border facility tours
“What we saw was appalling and disgusting,” Rep. Judy Chu says

California Rep. Judy Chu was among the Democratic lawmakers visiting Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A visit by House Democrats to Customs and Border Protection facilities at the U.S. southern border grew heated Monday as lawmakers reported harsh conditions and tight restraints on what they were allowed to view and document.

“They tried to restrict what we saw, take our phones, block photos and video,” Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III tweeted. “Atmosphere was contentious and uncooperative.”

$4.59B border aid package signed into law
House Democratic leaders were forced to take up a Senate-passed bill with fewer restrictions

The supplemental package offers funding for border agencies struggling to deal with poor conditions and overcrowded shelters. Above, Border Patrol vehicles stand guard in 2014 along the U.S.-Mexico border fence between Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed a $4.59 billion supplemental spending bill Monday for cash-strapped agencies dealing with poor conditions and overcrowded shelters for the unprecedented surge of migrants at the southern border in recent months.

His signature comes as border agencies have been under increased scrutiny for the treatment of migrants in detention facilities. The latest episode came after visits from several House Democrats on Monday, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Veronica Escobar of Texas and Judy Chu of California, who described inhumane conditions.

As Democrats head for border tour, reports emerge of agents ridiculing them on Facebook
Group to tour Customs and Border Patrol center likened to ‘torture facilities’

From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna S. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib are among a group of Democrats traveling to Clint, Texas, on Monday for a fact-finding mission hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a dozen Democrats on Monday are visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility accused of child neglect and filthy conditions as reports emerged that border agents ridiculed them in a secret Facebook group.

Two Latina lawmakers slated to visit the center, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Veronica Escobar of Texas, were targets of sexist and racist derision in the Facebook group, according to an investigation by ProPublica. The group has 9,500 members, a number commensurate to nearly half of all agents who make up the CBP, though it’s not clear that every member of the group is a border agent.

Senate approves border bill; Pelosi and Trump talk compromise

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders are weighing their next move on a border supplemental aid package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:35 p.m. | With the Senate’s passage of its version of a border supplemental funding bill Wednesday, and its rejection of the House measure, negotiations between the White House, Senate and House leaders will now attempt to nail down a compromise before Congress leaves for the July Fourth recess.

Several disagreements lie at the heart of Senate and House differences on the two bills. The Senate bill rejected some of the tight restrictions the House included in its measure on the care of migrant children in government custody. The Senate also added in more money than the House for border enforcement agencies and for more immigration judges.

‘The eating disorder is the tip of the iceberg’: Survivors try to get Congress on their side
Johanna Kandel endured a 10-year war with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Now she’s talking policy

Johanna Kandel, third from right, battled anorexia and bulimia. On Tuesday she and other advocates met with Rep. Alcee L. Hastings. (Courtesy Hastings’ office)

Just after 12:30 p.m., right in the thick of lunchtime, we elbow our way into the busy Longworth Cafeteria. It’s Johanna Kandel’s lunch break, so she orders a Diet Coke and a substantial salad packed with chicken, tomatoes, peppers and “lots of cheese.”

“I’ll probably get a coffee and a cookie after,” she adds.