Virginia

Haaland recalls struggles as single mom, Thanksgiving and being homeless
“My daughter was like, ‘Mom, we were actually homeless’’

New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland, center, says her struggles as a single mom continue to guide her as a lawmaker in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Americans typically celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering with friends and family to cook and eat bountiful feasts. We tend to think of it as a day of abundance and sometimes overindulgence.

But Deb Haaland recalls one year when her experience was far from typical or joyful.

Ted Cruz: A Trump deal with Democrats on gun control could lead conservatives to stay home in 2020
Depressed turnout ‘could go a long way to electing a President Elizabeth Warren,’ Texas Republican says

Sen. Ted Cruz is warning Republicans against deals with Democrats on guns that could depress conservative turnout in next year’s elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz is warning that President Donald Trump making a deal with Democrats on gun legislation might cause conservative voters to stay home in 2020.

“If Republicans abandon the Second Amendment and demoralize millions of Americans who care deeply about Second Amendment rights,” the Texas Republican said, “that could go a long way to electing a President Elizabeth Warren.”

Trump closes in on background check decision, key senators say

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., and two other senators spoke to Trump about a deal on background checks for gun sales. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump may soon announce whether he will support a yet-to-be-written Senate bill expanding background checks for commercial gun sales, a bipartisan group of senators said Wednesday.

Trump spoke for about 45 minutes by phone with the trio of members at the center of background check talks. Sens. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., and Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters the president discussed options for securing a potential deal.

Five candidates on list to replace ‘Mr. Tough Guy’ John Bolton, Trump says
President mocks former national security adviser day after he was fired or quit, depending on the source

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he departs the Capitol in "The Beast" in March. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he is looking closely at five candidates to replace hawkish John Bolton — whom he mocked — a day after he abruptly fired Bolton from his role as national security adviser.

“We have a lot of good people who want that position. … We’ll have five people who want it very much,” Trump told reporters after an unrelated event at the White House. “We’ll be announcing somebody next week.”

As Congress kicks off a grueling September, several spending hurdles await
Immigration, abortion, guns will complicate future conference negotiations

Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who chairs the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, has vowed to fight for funding for gun violence research, which the House included in its spending bill. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to begin marking up spending bills Tuesday, starting off a grueling September that will include debate on more than $1.3 trillion in spending.

All that work will be capped off with a stopgap spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown and give House and Senate lawmakers more time to work out the spending level and policy differences between the yet-to-be-released Senate bills and the legislation House appropriators marked up earlier this year.

How a handful of vulnerable incumbents got bills signed into law
Bipartisanship is key, according to Democrats who got bills through the Senate

From left, Democrats Tom O’Halleran, Antonio Delgado and Lucy McBath are in the DCCC’s Frontline program for vulnerable members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

House Democrats frequently complain about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocking bills they’ve passed, but 30 of the 56 measures that have been signed into law so far this Congress have been theirs.

Some of those bills include bipartisan, bicameral spending agreements needed to keep the government operational or extensions of critical government programs, while others represent policy needs members have identified. 

With Washington missing in action, Walmart for President
Corporate America steps up as Congress, White House step back

Walmart’s decision to halt sales of handguns and certain ammunition in its stores is just the latest example of corporate America leading on public policy, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — No need to rush back to Washington, senators. Walmart is here now. Along with everyday low prices and a surprisingly good produce section, the country’s largest retailer announced last week that it will also take a leadership role in the fight to end gun violence since Congress can’t or won’t.

The memo came Tuesday from the company’s CEO, Doug McMillon. With two shootings at Walmart stores in the last two months, including the horror unleashed in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people, McMillon told employees that the firm would take a series of steps in an effort to protect them as well as customers in its stores.

Road Ahead: Will Congress, Trump agree to any new gun laws?
Environment legislation and appropriations will highlight the week while senators wait for the president

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is waiting to hear from President Donald Trump before moving on new gun legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Will Congress do anything about gun violence in September?

That question will be front and center as the House and Senate return to legislative business this week, even if the answer to the question may come down to one man on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue: President Donald Trump.

Child care centers, cybersecurity facility among Pentagon projects delayed for wall
Funds diverted from military construction to border barriers under Trump's emergency declaration

A section of border barrier stretches through the Rio Grande Valley sector of the Texas-Mexico border. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call)

Pentagon officials briefed lawmakers Wednesday on which military construction projects previously approved by Congress would be delayed so the Trump administration can instead use the money to pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The list includes child care centers, roads, at least one cybersecurity facility and more, members of Congress said in statements. A copy of the list provided to CQ Roll Call by a congressional office also includes facilities at military bases hit by hurricanes, such as Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, as well as school construction.

Freshman Democrats to chairs: Follow PAYGO, get CBO scores before markups
Letter led by Rep. Sharice Davids asks House committee chairs to ensure legislation does not add to deficit

Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids and nine other House Democratic freshmen want committee chairs to adhere to PAYGO rules and offset legislation that would increase the deficit. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ten moderate Democratic freshmen are sending a letter Wednesday to House committee chairs asking that their panels better adhere to the chamber’s rule for offsetting legislation that would add to the deficit. 

Back in the majority for the first time in eight years, Democrats kicked off the 116th Congress by reinstating a pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, provision in House rules. Under the provision, legislation that would increase the deficit must be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases.