Christopher H Smith

Ocasio-Cortez joins most Republicans in voting against House Democratic bills to reopen government
House bills headed nowhere in Senate as upper chamber prepares to hold test votes Thursday that are expected to fail

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., center, voted against two Democratic bills to reopen the government Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats passed two more bills Wednesday to reopen the government that most Republicans continued to oppose, but there was one surprise in the otherwise predictable floor proceedings — freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted “no.”

The New York Democrat, a rising star in the progressive wing of the party with a massive social media following, explained her vote on Instagram. 

March for Life activists get anti-abortion boost from Trump
President: ‘I will veto any legislation that weakens pro-life federal polices’

The March for LIfe draws abortion opponents to Washington each year. Above, Jennifer Crowther of Alexandria, and her daughters Natalie and Cassidy, rally at 2017’s event. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and anti-abortion advocates who gathered Friday for the nation’s largest annual anti-abortion rally say they are pivoting to a defensive strategy in Congress, with a focus on confirming conservative judges as legislation stalls.

Thousands of advocates gathered to protest the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion. The event featured a surprise appearance by Vice President Mike Pence with second lady Karen Pence, and a video message from President Donald Trump.

Day 25 of the shutdown and the impasse held fast
Spending bill fails, president holds firm, House freshmen march

Freshman House members, including Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., leave the Capitol office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday after a visit to urge action on reopening the government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On the 25th day of the longest government shutdown in modern history, the House failed to advance a spending measure, the president was half-stood up for lunch, and freshman House Democrats marched on the Senate. 

In an already busy day on Capitol Hill, the House failed to advance a stopgap measure to fund shuttered federal agencies through Feb. 1, as Democrats sought to pressure Republicans to end the partial shutdown. 

Lacking Republican support, House Democrats’ bill to open government through Feb. 1 fails
Measure needed two-thirds support because it was brought to the floor under suspension of the rules

On the 25th day of the partial government shutdown, the House failed to pass a stopgap to reopen the government through Feb. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats’ attempt to sway enough Republicans to help them pass a stopgap funding bill to open up the government through Feb. 1 failed Tuesday. 

The continuing resolution to extend fiscal 2018 funding for shuttered agencies for two-and-a-half weeks failed, 237-187.

10 House Republicans cross aisle to support ending shutdown of Interior-Environment programs

Members of the Association of Flight Attendants participate in the National Air Traffic Controllers Association rally to “Stop the Shutdown” in front of the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House voted 240-179 on Friday to pass a fiscal 2019 Interior-Environment spending bill, the latest in a series of standalone appropriations measures the chamber has sent this week to a Senate that has no plans to hold a vote. Ten House Republicans crossed the aisle to support the Democratic-drafted bill. 

Those Republicans mirrored the same ones who voted on Thursday for both an Agriculture funding bill and a Transportation-HUD measure: Rodney Davis of Illinois and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, John Katko of New York, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Will Hurd of Texas, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Elise Stefanik of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Greg Walden of Oregon.

Republican defections on House spending bills to end shutdown tick up

Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., speaks during the National Air Traffic Controllers Association rally to “Stop the Shutdown” in front of the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The number of House Republicans supporting Democrats’ bills to reopen the government increased slightly on Thursday.

On Thursday, the House voted 244-180 to pass a Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development spending bill and 243-183 to pass an Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal 2019.

Senators clash over abortion fee rule
Proposal would change how individuals are billed for abortion coverage

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., joined 13 other Republican senators in a letter urging the HHS to move forward with a rule that would change how individuals are billed for abortion coverage. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats and Republicans at odds over a proposed rule that would change how individuals are billed for abortion coverage sent two competing letters to Health and Human Services this week.

The public comment period for the rule closed Tuesday, amassing over 74,000 comments.

Democrats use vote on health care lawsuit to pressure Republicans on pre-existing conditions
GOP leaders not expecting their members to take Democrats‘ bait

Democrats made health care a central issue in the 2018 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s only the second week of the 116th Congress, but Democrats are already trying to put Republicans on record on protecting people with pre-existing health conditions.

Democrats made health care a major issue in the 2018 midterms on their way to picking up a net of 40 seats and taking control of the House. A vote Wednesday to defend the 2010 health care law — designed in part to illustrate Republicans’ opposition to it — is a sign Democrats see the issue as one that can help them hold their majority in 2020.

House Democrats target private gun sellers with bipartisan background checks bill
Universal background checks bill indicates gun law reform will remain near top of Democratic agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during the event to introduce the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would require all gun sellers, including private vendors, to conduct background checks on potential buyers, indicating the issue will be a top item on the Democratic agenda during the 116th Congress.

Under current law, only federally licensed vendors must conduct background checks. Private sellers who do not have licenses do not fall under the same compliance mandate.

After bailing last year, Lipinski set to return to March for Life
Illinois Democrat survived a competitive primary challenge from the left in 2018

Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski has been announced as a speaker at this year’s March for Life rally in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After bailing on last year’s March for Life during a heated Democratic primary, Illinois Democrat Daniel Lipinski is once again on the list of speakers for the annual anti-abortion rally in Washington, D.C., later this month.

Organizers announced Tuesday that the congressman will be among three Hill lawmakers who will address the march on Jan. 18. He’ll be joined by Montana Sen. Steve Daines and New Jersey Republican Rep. Christopher H. Smith