Karen Bass

Setting partisanship aside, colleagues gather to honor Cummings
Leaders from both parties praise Baltimore lawmaker's hometown commitment

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, pauses at his casket in Statuary Hall during his memorial service on Thursday, October 24, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers joined in bipartisan unity Thursday to remember their colleague, friend and confidante Elijah E. Cummings at a memorial service in the Capitol.

Members of Congress from both chambers and both parties shed tears together as they honored the Maryland Democrat's life and legacy. House votes and impeachment depositions were canceled so that Congress could gather to mourn the African-American lawmaker in a ceremony in Statuary Hall.

Democrats and Republicans criticize Trump after he calls impeachment a ‘lynching’
‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Democratic Rep. Rush asks president

President Donald Trump makes remarks during the inaugural meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council with Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Joe Grogan, left, and council Executive Director Scott Turner in the Cabinet Room at the White House in April. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Conjuring memories of racially motivated murders and drawing an immediate bipartisan backlash, President Donald Trump on Tuesday described House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “lynching.”

Trump made the statement in a morning tweet that began with a warning that “if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights.”

Cummings unites lawmakers, for the moment, as impeachment inquiry trudges forward
Probe that late Maryland Democrat helped lead continued with witness depositions Thursday

A memorial for the late House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings is seen in the committee’s Rayburn Building hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers dialed down the partisan rancor, at least for a day, as they honored the life of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who died early Thursday at age 68. But the impeachment inquiry, of which the Maryland Democrat was a key leader, is forging ahead.

The investigation into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has stoked anger among Republicans who view the probe as illegitimate. Democrats’ frustrations with the president’s conduct and his supporters in Congress are only growing. The death of Cummings, held in deep respect on both sides of the aisle, didn’t put the partisan fighting completely to rest, but it did quell the most inflammatory elements for the moment.

The Democrats who voted to keep impeachment options open
Why those who do not yet favor an impeachment inquiry voted against blocking Green’s articles

Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., voted against tabling Rep. Al Green's impeachment articles to keep the option on the table but she does not yet support opening an impeachment inquiry. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A House vote last Wednesday to block Texas Rep. Al Green’s articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump led to some contortions from Democrats yet to support impeachment or opening an inquiry, but it mostly came down to this: keeping those options open. 

About two dozen Democrats who had not been on the record in favor of impeachment proceedings voted with Green against tabling, or basically killing, his articles. A total of 95 Democrats voted that way, but most of those members had previously called for Trump’s impeachment or an inquiry. 

No one argues for keeping marijuana illegal, but next step divides House panel
As Democrats focus on racial impact, Republicans argue for incremental steps

Rep. Karen Bass said decades of marijuana prosecutions have given millions of citizens second class status. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At a hearing on marijuana Wednesday, no one on the House subcommittee who helps write the criminal code spoke out in clear support of continuing the prohibition that has been part of federal law for decades.

“Personally I believe cannabis use in most cases is ill advised, but many things are ill advised that should not be illegal,” said California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, the panel's acting ranking member.

Harrowing stories of black youth suicide moved Bonnie Watson Coleman to act
Democratic lawmaker hopes new task force can get to the bottom of the suicide crisis

“I can’t take this,” Bonnie Watson Coleman told her staffers. “Maybe I can’t fix it, but I can sure push it out as an issue.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It started with check-ins on her social media pages. Usually she hears from constituents about charged topics like taxes and health care, just as lawmakers have for years through old-fashioned mail.

But what Bonnie Watson Coleman started to see on Facebook and Twitter disturbed her: heartbreaking stories of black elementary school-age children dying of suicide.

On congressional pay raise, maximum political pain and no gain
Hoyer optimistic, but McCarthy cool on member cost-of-living update

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says the congressional pay raise issue will be addressed, but it is unclear what the path forward is now. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leaders are learning the hard way that when it comes to the politically dicey issue of raising lawmaker pay, there is maximum risk with a minimum chance of gain. 

Amid the fallout from Democrats in the chamber abruptly pulling a legislative spending bill from a broader package, leaders on Tuesday were left to state an easy to articulate but difficult to achieve goal: that the only path to bigger paychecks was through bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.

Trump’s adoption rollback collides with foster youth day
Administration is eyeing rule change that could make it harder for LGBT parents to adopt

Rep. Karen Bass hosted former and current foster kids — from left, Yeshi Vaughan, Toni Reynolds Criner and Fonda Williams — on the Hill on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“Every single resource that you pour into your child needs to be poured into us.”

That’s what Racquell Perry would say to Congress if given an audience with all 535 lawmakers. She didn’t get that Tuesday, but at least she came close. Perry, 29, was one of more than 100 former and current foster youth following members of Congress, making their presence known in the halls of the Capitol with bright blue sashes and an urgent mission. 

Rapper T.I. wants to form the ‘Avengers’ of black investment
He honors Nipsey Hussle by turning tragedy into opportunity

Rapper, actor and entrepreneur Clifford “T.I” Harris speaks at a Wednesday press conference at the Capitol. He joined the Congressional Black Caucus in calling for more investment in black communities. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“It was an incredible loss.”

That’s how Clifford “T.I.” Harris describes the tragic murder of fellow rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down outside his own Los Angeles clothing store in March.

Here are the Democrats who are pushing for Trump’s impeachment
More join chorus calling for impeachment after Mueller’s statement on his Russia investigation

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cautioned her caucus that rushing into starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump could derail the party’s agenda in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5/31, 12:50 p.m.

More Democrats are backing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III delivered a statement Wednesday on his report on investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Three presidential candidates — Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand joined the pro-impeachment caucus this week even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to quiet the growing call in her party.