Juan C Vargas

Hakeem Jeffries Wins Democratic Caucus Chair Race Against Barbara Lee
Current DPCC co-chair moves up to No. 5 in leadership

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., won the House Democratic Caucus chairmanship on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whom several Democratic colleagues view as a potential future speaker, narrowly won an intraparty contest for House Democratic Caucus chair Wednesday against California Rep. Barbara Lee

The vote was 123-113. 

‘Trump Show’ Makes Tour Stop in Capitol Basement
President calls out Mark Sanford, opts against sticking to immigration

Speaker Paul D. Ryan escorts President Donald Trump to the House Republicans’ meeting Tuesday in the Capitol basement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans might have gone into their Tuesday evening meeting with President Donald Trump expecting a discussion about immigration policy, but what they got was an episode of what might be dubbed “The Trump Show.”

The president did discuss dueling immigration bills crafted by members of the GOP conference. And he urged them to send him a bill that closes what his team dubs “loopholes” that he claims compelled his administration to institute a zero-tolerance program that prosecutes all adult migrants who try to enter the United States illegally, a misdemeanor, even if they arrive with minor children.

Take Five: Claudia Tenney
New York Republican ‘couldn’t believe the level of angst and anger’ as she got death threats

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., shows off her scarf touting Rome, New York, which is in her district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Claudia Tenney, 57, a New York Republican, talks about the media, riding motorcycles with Rex Tillerson, and getting death threats after the shootings at the Republican baseball practice.

Q: What’s the most surprising thing about Congress so far?

Digital Staffers Focus on Getting on Message
Democrats fighting to catch up to Republicans in numbers and training

GOP Labs brings in companies to train staffers in social media and digital platforms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Breaking through the noise is a typical goal in communications, but this year, staffers just want to speak with one voice. They’re making coordination a priority within their parties.

That coordination is most obvious when multiple congressional offices blast out the same message with the same graphics on the same day. Whether it’s criticizing the Republican tax plan or celebrating Ronald Reagan’s birthday, it’s all from the same script.

Word on the Hill: Carlson to Push Forced Arbitration Clauses
New military families program

Gretchen Carlson, seen here in 2013 when she was still on “Fox & Friends” with co-hosts Steve Doocy, left, and Brian Kilmeade. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images file photo)

Journalist Gretchen Carlson is on Capitol Hill today to push for legislation to stop the use of unfair forced arbitration clauses.

The former Fox News anchor is teaming up with Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., as well as three Democratic congressmen.

Foreign Affairs Staffers Group Connected to the World
Group provides access to foreign service institutes and professionals

From left, Varun Krovi, Francisco Bencosme, Sean Snyder, Katharine Denby, Aaron Allen, and Michael Mansour of the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association. (Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call)

Just like members of Congress, expertise in foreign policy can boost staffers’ careers.

Most staffers are interested in it in some form. But until three years ago, the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association didn’t exist.

New Democrats Want a Piece of the Policy Pie
Coalition arranges task forces around top issues

Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer hopes the task forces gives the New Democrats a chance to help hone policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are in control of Congress, but the House’s New Democrat Coalition does not plan to sit by and let the GOP generate all the policy ideas on issues like taxes, infrastructure and cybersecurity. 

In continuing with their effort to be leaders on policy issues and find potential areas of bipartisan compromise, the New Democrats are launching new task forces designed to generate policy solutions for issues on the GOP’s congressional agenda, as well as policy areas that may not get as much traction in a Republican-controlled Congress, Rep. Derek Kilmer, the coalition’s vice chairman of policy, told Roll Call.

California Assemblyman Racking Up Endorsements to Replace Becerra
Becerra is in line to replace Kamala Harris as California attorney general

California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez has racked up a number of high-profile endorsements in his bid to replace Rep. Xavier Becerra in Congress. (Courtesy Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez Facebook page)

Endorsements keep rolling in for California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez in the race to replace outgoing Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra.

Gomez has now been endorsed by many local and national Hispanic political leaders, including California Reps. Grace F. Napolitano, Pete Aguilar and Juan C. Vargas, Texas Rep. Filemon Vela and Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, the Los Angeles Times reported