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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.

This election, black voters will not lie low and take one for the team
Democrats take their most loyal constituency for granted. Not anymore

African Americans are used to being the scapegoat no matter what the facts are. Now they’re asking Democrats tough questions, Curtis writes. Above, Joe Biden shares the stage with Poor People’s Campaign co-leader William J. Barber II on June 17. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Republicans often say that the Democratic Party takes black voters for granted. They are right.

Of course, the GOP then does nothing to appeal to those voters. In fact, with the actions and words of its leaders on everything from gerrymandered districts (see North Carolina) to fair-housing enforcement (or the lack of it), the Republican Party, which once claimed broad support as the party of Lincoln, takes deliberate action to repel them.

Abortion foe goes from Trump skeptic to Trump champion
Marjorie Dannenfelser sees more wins for anti-abortion movement on the horizon

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, is looking closely at playing in congressional races next year, especially the Alabama Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To put it delicately, Marjorie Dannenfelser was skeptical of Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries. In the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, she signed on to a letter that urged voters to choose someone else. Trump, who’d once described himself as “very pro-choice,” could not be trusted on abortion, wrote Dannenfelser and her colleagues, all women opposed to abortion rights.

As the head of the anti-abortion advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List, Dannenfelser and her co-signers — among them Beverly LaHaye, founder of Concerned Women for America, and former Colorado GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave — added that they were “disgusted” by Trump’s treatment of women. They mentioned specifically then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who Trump said had “blood coming out of her whatever” when Kelly questioned him at a presidential debate, and Trump’s fellow 2016 candidate, Carly Fiorina, whose looks he criticized, saying “Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

These members can play baseball, but do you want them on your trivia team?
Heard on the Hill

Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman rolls over on his head as he field a ground ball during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

As the lights came up at the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, members of the Democratic and Republican teams took the field. Despite both teams’ months of practice, didn’t any of them think they’d need to brush up on their trivia?

6 dividing lines from the first Democratic debate
10 of the Democratic presidential candidates faced off, with another 10 following tonight

Democratic presidential candidates, from left, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, former housing secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney take the stage during the first Democratic debate. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The first Democratic presidential debate offered the clearest picture yet of where candidates are divided — well, about half of them anyway.

The 24 candidates vying for the nomination to succeed President Donald Trump have been circling each other in the early primary states, releasing competing proposals and vying for attention. Ten of them stood side by side for the first time Wednesday night, the first of two debates this week televised on NBC.

Democratic domination continues in Congressional Baseball Game
Lawmakers take a break from border funding, debate buzz to compete on the field

Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado collides with Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois at home plate during the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Wednesday. Perlmutter scored on the play. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Ask any dad and he will tell you: Defense wins championships. But when Republicans ask themselves what went wrong Wednesday night, they might point to a sloppy defensive effort that resulted in four errors and their third straight loss to the Democrats.

The 14-7 win at the Congressional Baseball Game was the Democrats’ eighth in nine years, behind another complete game effort from MVP Cedric Richmond and solid hitting from the lineup.

Senate panel approves health cost bill but plans changes
Sanders, Warren vote ‘no’ by proxy as they head to Democratic presidential debates

Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander takes his seat for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing this month. The panel on Wednesday approved a bill meant to lower health care costs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday approved, 20-3, legislation meant to lower health care costs, although senators suggested that more changes are likely before the floor debate next month.

Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee hopes to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote in mid-to-late July, which will likely set up a flurry of lobbying and debate among lawmakers over changes to it.

Unorthodox Senate deal clears path for Thursday NDAA vote
Democrats had threatened to filibuster the defense bill unless the Iran amendment received a vote on Friday

From left, Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, conduct a news conference in the Capitol after the Senate Policy luncheons on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. As part of a compromise on the NDAA, McConnell said Wednesday he would allow a vote on language blocking President Donald Trump from launching a war against Iran without congressional approval. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate leaders struck an unusual deal Wednesday afternoon to hold a vote on language that would block President Donald Trump from launching a war against Iran without congressional approval, paving the way for a final vote on the massive Pentagon policy measure on Thursday.

But the vote on the Iran amendment will happen on Friday, to accommodate Senate Democrats participating in presidential debates this week, a GOP aide said. If the chamber adopts the language, which has the support of at least two Republican senators, it would then be retroactively included in the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill.

Senate approves border bill; Pelosi and Trump talk compromise

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders are weighing their next move on a border supplemental aid package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:35 p.m. | With the Senate’s passage of its version of a border supplemental funding bill Wednesday, and its rejection of the House measure, negotiations between the White House, Senate and House leaders will now attempt to nail down a compromise before Congress leaves for the July Fourth recess.

Several disagreements lie at the heart of Senate and House differences on the two bills. The Senate bill rejected some of the tight restrictions the House included in its measure on the care of migrant children in government custody. The Senate also added in more money than the House for border enforcement agencies and for more immigration judges.

Oregon’s GOP senators are still missing after stopping carbon bill
Republicans stayed away from the chamber to avoid action on emissions measure

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown authorized state police to round up the missing Republicans. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Seemingly outnumbered on a polarizing climate change bill, Republican members of the Oregon Senate fled the state last week to deny Democrats the chance to pass it.

But even after Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney conceded there weren't enough Democratic votes to pass the measure, the 11 Republican members of the chamber remained away from the state capital in Salem on Wednesday.