Michael McCaul

Could Texas Be a 2020 House Battleground?
Some House races in the Lone Star State were closer than expected

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, lost a Senate bid but came close to defeating GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. ((Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Democrats had their best election in over a decade last week when they flipped at least two Republican-held House seats. But closer margins in other races have boosted party hopes of future gains in the once deep-red Lone Star State.

“What it shows us moving forward is that we have congressional battlegrounds in Texas,” said Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. “As we move into the election cycle in 2020, it’s very clear now that Texas is in play.”

Lawmakers Eye Cyber Bounties to Fix Bugs in Federal Networks
House panel approves Senate bill to set up pilot program at DHS

The House Homeland Security Committee approved a Senate bill last week that would set up a bug bounty program at the Department of Homeland Security. Above, Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., at a 2014 hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers last week moved closer to mandating that the Department of Homeland Security start a bug bounty program that will pay computer security researchers to spot weaknesses in DHS’s computer networks. That requirement would bring the department in line with other U.S. agencies with similar cybersecurity programs.

The House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday by unanimous consent approved a Senate bill that would set up a pilot program at the department. The Senate passed the bill on April 17. The Pentagon, the IRS and the General Services Administration already operate such programs, and lawmakers have proposed legislation that would launch similar efforts at the departments of State and Treasury.

NFL Security Chief Backs Bipartisan Drone Defense Bill
San Francisco 49ers event cited as example of situation that could have been worse

The NFL is backing legislation that would authorize the government to track and destroy drones in the name of enhanced security. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Football League’s top security official on Thursday backed bipartisan legislation that would authorize the federal government to track, seize and destroy drones considered a threat to large, public gatherings.

Cathy Lanier, the NFL’s senior vice president of security, described for the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee “a dramatic increase in the number of threats, incidents, and incursions by drones” at NFL stadiums, including an incident last year at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, when a drone dropped leaflets near one of the end zones.

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.

DHS: Russia Not Targeting Election Systems Like 2016
No evidence of a robust campaign aimed at tampering with midterms

DHS official Christopher Krebs says he has yet to see a robust election tampering effort aimed at the midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security are not seeing evidence so far of a concerted effort by Russia to hack or penetrate American election systems during the 2018 midterms, top Homeland Security officials told lawmakers Wednesday.

Although the 2018 “midterms remain a potential target for Russian actors,” the intelligence community has yet to see evidence of a robust campaign aimed at tampering with our election infrastructure along the lines of 2016 or influencing the makeup of the House or Senate races, Christopher Krebs, the top DHS official overseeing cybersecurity and elections security, told the House Homeland Security Committee.

House Rejects GOP’s ‘Compromise’ Immigration Bill — Overwhelmingly
Republicans to turn attention to narrow bill addressing family separations

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has reiterated his support for a Republican compromise immigration bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans’ legislative attempt to find consensus within their own party on the divisive issue of immigration failed on the floor Wednesday, with the chamber overwhelmingly rejecting their so-called compromise bill, 121-301. 

The outcome was predicted Tuesday as a late amendment that was negotiated over the weekend did not convince enough hesitant members to support the bill. The amendment was left out of the final bill.

House GOP ‘Uphill Fight’ on Immigration About More Than Trump
President’s tweets not helping, but Republicans still have major policy divisions

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., leaves the Capitol in the rain after the final vote of the week on Friday. He plans to spend his weekend continuing negotiations over immigration legislation, striving to reach an agreement on changes before a rescheduled vote next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump is certainly not helping House Republicans by deeming their immigration negotiations a waste of time, but he’s far from the only issue they face in what one GOP leader called an “uphill fight” to pass legislation.

The House Republican Conference is still struggling internally to coalesce around a bill that members from the various GOP factions negotiated in recent weeks, dubbed the compromise bill. Republican leaders had initially scheduled a vote on the measure for Thursday, and then thought about Friday. Ultimately, they decided to push it off into the next week to negotiate further changes

House Immigration Compromise Faces Dim Prospects Amid Conservative Opposition
No compelling case for Freedom Caucus members to vote for it, Meadows says

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is among the conservatives opposed to a compromise immigration bill that President Donald Trump has endorsed and that the House is expected to vote on this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican immigration bill negotiated in recent weeks by cross sections of the House GOP Conference faces dim prospects for passage after several conservatives indicated opposition to the measure Tuesday.

House Republican leaders invited President Donald Trump to the Capitol on Tuesday evening to try to sell the legislation to the conference. And while Trump said he supports the compromise measure — along with one by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte that most conservatives in the conference prefer — it does not appear to have swayed enough conservatives to ensure the bill’s passage.

Analysis: Deep GOP Rift on Immigration Isn’t Easy to Fix
Look a little closer, and it’s clear the debate goes far beyond Dreamers

While the debate about citizenship for Dreamers has grabbed headlines, Republicans are fighting over something even more fundamental — the future of legal immigration. Above, immigration advocates march near the White House in September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At first glance, the Republican Party’s latest bout of immigration infighting appears to orbit around one key disagreement: Should so-called Dreamers be given a path to citizenship?

Look a little closer, and it’s clear the rift goes far beyond Dreamers. What Republicans are struggling with is a fundamental dispute over the core values of the U.S. immigration system and who may benefit. And the same disagreements that have previously doomed the prospects of a deal threaten to do so again in this newest round of negotiations in the House.

11-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Sees Her Bill Signed Into Law
Texas GOP Rep. Michael McCaul calls Sadie Keller ‘my star’

President Donald Trump gave Sadie Keller the pen he used to sign the STAR Act into law. (Courtesy Rep. Michael McCaul’s office)

It’s a unique opportunity for an 11-year-old girl to get to see a bill from its start to watching President Donald Trump sign it into law. But in a way, that bill, the so-called STAR Act, is named for cancer survivor Sadie Keller.

Sadie has been an advocate for the measure by Rep. Michael McCaul for two years. It will step up efforts to identify childhood cancer incidences, improve the quality of life for survivors, and target opportunities to expand research on therapeutics.