Judy Chu

Democrats decry harsh conditions after border facility tours
“What we saw was appalling and disgusting,” Rep. Judy Chu says

California Rep. Judy Chu was among the Democratic lawmakers visiting Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A visit by House Democrats to Customs and Border Protection facilities at the U.S. southern border grew heated Monday as lawmakers reported harsh conditions and tight restraints on what they were allowed to view and document.

“They tried to restrict what we saw, take our phones, block photos and video,” Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III tweeted. “Atmosphere was contentious and uncooperative.”

$4.59B border aid package signed into law
House Democratic leaders were forced to take up a Senate-passed bill with fewer restrictions

The supplemental package offers funding for border agencies struggling to deal with poor conditions and overcrowded shelters. Above, Border Patrol vehicles stand guard in 2014 along the U.S.-Mexico border fence between Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed a $4.59 billion supplemental spending bill Monday for cash-strapped agencies dealing with poor conditions and overcrowded shelters for the unprecedented surge of migrants at the southern border in recent months.

His signature comes as border agencies have been under increased scrutiny for the treatment of migrants in detention facilities. The latest episode came after visits from several House Democrats on Monday, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Veronica Escobar of Texas and Judy Chu of California, who described inhumane conditions.

As Democrats head for border tour, reports emerge of agents ridiculing them on Facebook
Group to tour Customs and Border Patrol center likened to ‘torture facilities’

From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna S. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib are among a group of Democrats traveling to Clint, Texas, on Monday for a fact-finding mission hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a dozen Democrats on Monday are visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility accused of child neglect and filthy conditions as reports emerged that border agents ridiculed them in a secret Facebook group.

Two Latina lawmakers slated to visit the center, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Veronica Escobar of Texas, were targets of sexist and racist derision in the Facebook group, according to an investigation by ProPublica. The group has 9,500 members, a number commensurate to nearly half of all agents who make up the CBP, though it’s not clear that every member of the group is a border agent.

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.

‘The eating disorder is the tip of the iceberg’: Survivors try to get Congress on their side
Johanna Kandel endured a 10-year war with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Now she’s talking policy

Johanna Kandel, third from right, battled anorexia and bulimia. On Tuesday she and other advocates met with Rep. Alcee L. Hastings. (Courtesy Hastings’ office)

Just after 12:30 p.m., right in the thick of lunchtime, we elbow our way into the busy Longworth Cafeteria. It’s Johanna Kandel’s lunch break, so she orders a Diet Coke and a substantial salad packed with chicken, tomatoes, peppers and “lots of cheese.”

“I’ll probably get a coffee and a cookie after,” she adds.

Mnuchin misses Trump tax returns deadline; asks for more time
Noncompliance with Democrats’ request could put Treasury secretary in jeopardy, legal experts say

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says “exposure for the sake of exposure” is not a valid reason for House Democrats seeking the president’s tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:12 p.m. | Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday he will make a determination by May 6 on whether to comply with House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal’s request for six years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Neal had set a 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday for the administration to comply with his request. The Treasury Department announced shortly after the deadline that Mnuchin had sent a 10-page response to the Massachusetts Democrat’s request.

Compromise or resist? Democrats still have a choice to make
The problem is that their voters are genuinely divided on whether to play nice with Trump

Massachusetts Sen. Edward J. Markey and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hold a press conference on the Green New Deal in February. The plan has little chance of going anywhere, which underscores the choice that Democrats face: Will they follow Republicans in splitting between a pragmatic wing and a strident one, or will they remain united in showing voters they are better suited to lead? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the House side of the Capitol and on the presidential campaign trail, progressives are talking about “Medicare-for-all” and a Green New Deal. They want not only to save Social Security but to expand it, to guarantee a job to everyone and to abolish the Homeland Security Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.

This, they admit, is all about drawing contrasts with Republicans to set the terms of the 2020 campaign. The proposals won’t go anywhere with the GOP in control of the Senate and Donald Trump in the White House.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out dark money ‘shaping’ questions about reform bill
Ethics expert calls it a ‘fox guarding the henhouse situation’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Financial Services Committee organizational meeting in Rayburn Building on Jan. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a hearing about government ethics, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned the spotlight on her colleagues in the room.

Can members of Congress finance their campaigns with the aid of corporate PACs representing industries like fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals, and then legislate according to the interests of those industries?

17 images that defined the State of the Union 2019
Roll Call’s photojournalists share their favorite images from the State of the Union

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., right, walks with her State of the Union guest Ana Maria Archila to the House chamber for the State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State of the Union night on Capitol Hill has come and gone with much pomp, a long speech and a great deal of white suits

Here’s the entire day in photos as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists:

Democrats want to defund President Trump's ‘Muslim ban’
Legislation may have a better chance with House now controlled by Democrats

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., leads the House version of legislation to block funding for the travel ban. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats in the House and Senate have again introduced legislation seeking to block funding for President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting travel from certain countries, which has been widely criticized as a “Muslim ban.”

“The Muslim Ban — now in its third iteration, but wrong in any form — is just one of the weapons Donald Trump is using to foment xenophobia and bigotry and drive wedges in our communities. It is simply un-American. We do not create policies based on religion and we do not target people because of who they worship,” said Rep. Judy Chu, who is leading the House measure.