Michelle Lujan Grisham

An Immigrant’s Path to Congress: Ruben Kihuen’s First Year in Photos
Roll Call looks at the Nevada Democrat’s journey from the campaign trail to D.C.

OCT. 19, 2016: Ruben Kihuen, then a Democratic candidate for Nevada’s 4th District, shakes hands with demonstrators in front of the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas during the Culinary Union’s Wall of Taco Trucks protest — the day of the final presidential debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Every two years, a new crop of freshmen descends on Washington and every two years, Roll Call follows one such member through their first year. 

For the 2016 election, Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen was one of only several Democrats to unseat a House Republican. His story is similar to those of millions of Americans — his family came to the U.S. seeking a better life — but on Nov. 8, 2016, he became the first formerly undocumented person to be elected to Congress (along with New York Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who was elected the same day). Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kihuen’s dreams of playing professional soccer were dashed by an untimely injury. It was then that he turned his attention to politics. 

Record Gains by Latinos Contradict Narrative
Trump’s 2016 victory overshadowed congressional victories

From left, Reps. Adriano Espaillat of New York and Ruben Kihuen of Nevada are the first formerly undocumented members of Congress. Also seen, Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, right, and Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, second from left. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s victory last year was widely understood to challenge predictions of a coming surge in Democratic-leaning Latino voters that would forever alter the American electorate. 

But as Latino political leaders kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month this week, some are pointing to Congress to argue that Trump’s win was an anomaly. 

Photos of the Week: DACA Protests, Harvey Relief and Leadership Smiles and Frowns
The week of Sept. 5 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal returns to a meeting with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, and the Senate Judiciary staff on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress returned from its August recess to a short but dramatic week. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced his decision to end a program that shielded from deportation undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children. Protests erupted around the nation, including in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Also this week, Congress considered a Hurricane Harvey relief package, which made headlines Wednesday afternoon after Trump struck a deal with Democratic leaders to attach certain provisions to that measure.

Democrats Use Loophole to Push Discharge Petition on DREAM Act
Procedural creativity allows circumvention of 30-day rule

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer was among the Democrats who employed a procedural tool Thursday that could lead to a vote on the DREAM Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats, led by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, used some procedural creativity Thursday in filing a resolution to discharge a bill that could ultimately lead to a vote on the so-called DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act is a measure that Democrats and some Republicans want to pass as a legislative solution to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, that sheltered roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.

Pearce Says Democrats Playing Politics with His Campaign Cash
New Mexico congressman says they are preventing him from using funds for his run for governor

New Mexico’s secretary of state earlier ruled that Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., could use only $11,000 from his congressional campaign funds to use for his campaign for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ethics Committee Drops Ben Ray Luján Sit-In Inquiry
Panels Democrats who used phones on floor need ‘additional guidance’

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján joined his fellow Democrats during a House floor sit-in last June to protest GOP inaction on gun control legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Ethics Committee cleared Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico of violating chamber rules by sending campaign-related emails during a sit-in on the House floor last June because the panel concluded members need “additional guidance” when it came to the use of electronic devices in the chamber.

While an inquiry by the Office of Congressional Ethics found there was reason to believe Luján, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, may have conducted campaign activity and asked the Ethics panel to take up the matter, the independent OCE also acknowledged that its review “raised difficult questions about the application of House rules to solicitations via email.”

Pearce Sues State to Use Campaign Cash for Governor Run
Can currently use only $5,500 from congressional campaign funds

Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., argues in a lawsuit that New Mexico's Secretary of State is acting in a partisan manner in limiting how much of his congressional campaign funds can be used in his run for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Steve Pearce is suing New Mexico’s Democratic Secretary of State to use his $1 million congressional campaign war chest for his gubernatorial bid. 

Maggie Toulouse Oliver told Pearce the state’s campaign contribution limits allow him to use only $5,500 from his federal campaign for his primary race, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Reality Show Casting Call
Congressional tennis roster update and brunch plans

A reality show is seeking staffers from both parties. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s a casting call next week for Capitol Hill staffers for a new reality show about working in Congress.

The posting on Brad Traverse Jobs reads: 

At the Races: A Case of the Mondays
Busy day for annoucements, from North Carolina to California

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., has picked up a top-flight GOP challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Republican Pete Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner, announced his candidacy for the state’s 8th District on Monday.

House elections in the northern Gopher State district, represented by Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan, have been among the most competitive and expensive in the country for the last two cycles.

Rep. Steve Pearce to Run for New Mexico Governor
First Republican to join race, opens up congressional seat

Rep. Steve Pearce is the first Republican to announce his candidacy for governor of New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Steve Pearce on Monday became the first Republican to join the race for governor of New Mexico, opening up the state’s 2nd District seat, which Democrats were already planning to target in 2018.

Pearce is the second New Mexico congressional representative to announce plans seek the state’s highest job. Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham launched her campaign in December and has already outraised her potential competitors.