Maxine Waters

FEMA Relents on Flood Insurance
Sales of new policies will be allowed during partial shutdown

Sen. Bill Cassidy was among several Republican lawmakers who urged FEMA to reverse its decision not to allow the sale of  flood insurance policies during the partial shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reversed course late Friday and said it would allow sales of new flood insurance policies during the partial government shutdown.

“As of this evening, all [National Flood Insurance Program] insurers have been directed to resume normal operations immediately and advised that the program will be considered operational since December 21, 2018 without interruption,” FEMA said in a press release.

For 2018 Trump Starred in Best (Worst?) Reality Show Yet
Uncertainty keeping everyone on the edge of their seats but not in a good way, Curtis writes

Traffic cones alert pedestrians to manure outside the Federal Reserve building on Constitution Avenue on December 22, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — In television shows, the cliffhanger is a bit of a cheat, putting a lead character in jeopardy so fans will have a reason to tune into the new season. Those (including me) who have labeled the current president and his administration something of a reality show — with its surprise guests, plot twists and dizzying cast of characters — could hardly have predicted how much Trump and crew would have followed the script.

As 2018 ends, the United States is on the brink of not only a new year but also new and not always encouraging developments of national and international significance. And no one, certainly not the president, knows how it will end.

The Criminal Justice Bill Shows Where the GOP Is on Race
It wasn’t always this way for the party of Lincoln

Sen. Tim Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, may have gotten his party’s backing for the criminal justice bill, Curtis writes. But where were his GOP colleagues when he tried to block the confirmation of Thomas Farr? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Sen. Tim Scott, Republican from South Carolina, was optimistic after the Senate passed an amended bill this week that makes bipartisan progress on an issue — criminal justice reform — that has divided lawmakers for years.

Scott, an original co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement: “By cutting recidivism, encouraging job training, education and mental health and substance abuse treatments for incarcerated individuals, and making our criminal justice system both smarter and tougher, we have taken a positive step forward.”

Trump Threatens to Close U.S.-Mexico Border ‘Permanently,’ Dems Cry Foul
President mostly wants to sow ‘chaos,’ Rep. Maxine Waters says

A Honduran man waves an American flag while standing with other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico, where migrants made their way after evading a police blockade as they attempted to approach the El Chaparral port of entry. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has a new threat about the U.S.-Mexico border: If he doesn’t get his way, he might just shut down the whole thing.

The president appeared to contradict a deal his administration reached with the Mexican government under which allow asylum seekers could remain in Mexcio as a legal process about their request to enter the United States played out. But on Monday morning, Trump pressed Mexican officials to “move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries.”

Black Caucus at Crossroads as Marcia Fudge Mulls Speaker Bid
Several CBC members still supporting Pelosi but Chairman Cedric Richmond predicts flips if Fudge runs

Reps. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, left, pictured at the 2016 Democratic National Convention with James Clyburn, D-S.C., is thinking about running for speaker. Clyburn said he’s not discouraged Fudge from running but that he’s still supporting Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The possibility that Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge might challenge Nancy Pelosi for speaker seems to have some of her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus torn, despite many saying Thursday they still plan to support Pelosi.

But one notable member of the CBC would not make such a pledge, Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond.

Meet Jerry Nadler, the Next House Judiciary Chairman and Trump’s New Enemy No. 1
New York Democrat may not impeach president, but his rigorous oversight will be a thorn in his side

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is poised to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over impeachment proceedings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jerrold Nadler remembers when he began to figure out that you’ve got to fight back when life seems unfair.

It was 1957. Nadler was 10. He was at home in Brooklyn watching Disney’s film production of the 1943 novel “Johnny Tremain,” a young apprentice of silversmith Paul Revere on the eve of the American Revolution.

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

This Is Jackie Speier’s Survival Guide, Timed for Election Day
‘Undaunted’ comes out Nov. 6

Rep. Jackie Speier's, D-Calif., new book comes out on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jackie Speier is no stranger to political violence. During the Jonestown massacre of 1978, cult members shot her at point-blank range — and that was just the beginning.

Death threats. Scars. A male colleague at the statehouse who, after hearing her speak on abortion, told her menacingly, “Jim Jones didn’t finish the job.”

The Devil on Trump’s Shoulder and in the Country’s Ear
What I learned from sitting through Trump’s midterm blitz: his better angels must be pretty discouraged

President Donald Trump’s zigzagging feels a lot like the angel-devil gag in those old cartoons — except not everyone is laughing, Curtis writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s a setup in many cartoons and films of days past: The protagonist is presented with a moral dilemma, and gets conflicting advice from a devil perched on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The behavior of Donald Trump in a presidency filled with choices reminds me of those scenes, though his angel must be downright depressed by now.

The latest appeal to the president’s “better angels” worked for a little while as he reacted to the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the apparently race-based fatal shootings of two black shoppers in Kentucky and a series of bombs sent to people on his enemies list.

Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc Sent Threatening Tweets to Jeff Flake
Twitter has been criticized for not taking action when other users reported abuse

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in September. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake received threatening messages on Twitter earlier this month from the man arrested on suspicion of mailing homemade explosive devices to a string of prominent Democrats. 

One message included an aerial photograph of the Republican senator’s home, the Arizona Republic reported