Karen Bass

The Democrats who voted to keep impeachment options open
Why those who do not yet favor an impeachment inquiry voted against blocking Green’s articles

Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., voted against tabling Rep. Al Green's impeachment articles to keep the option on the table but she does not yet support opening an impeachment inquiry. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A House vote last Wednesday to block Texas Rep. Al Green’s articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump led to some contortions from Democrats yet to support impeachment or opening an inquiry, but it mostly came down to this: keeping those options open. 

About two dozen Democrats who had not been on the record in favor of impeachment proceedings voted with Green against tabling, or basically killing, his articles. A total of 95 Democrats voted that way, but most of those members had previously called for Trump’s impeachment or an inquiry. 

No one argues for keeping marijuana illegal, but next step divides House panel
As Democrats focus on racial impact, Republicans argue for incremental steps

Rep. Karen Bass said decades of marijuana prosecutions have given millions of citizens second class status. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At a hearing on marijuana Wednesday, no one on the House subcommittee who helps write the criminal code spoke out in clear support of continuing the prohibition that has been part of federal law for decades.

“Personally I believe cannabis use in most cases is ill advised, but many things are ill advised that should not be illegal,” said California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, the panel's acting ranking member.

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.

On congressional pay raise, maximum political pain and no gain
Hoyer optimistic, but McCarthy cool on member cost-of-living update

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says the congressional pay raise issue will be addressed, but it is unclear what the path forward is now. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leaders are learning the hard way that when it comes to the politically dicey issue of raising lawmaker pay, there is maximum risk with a minimum chance of gain. 

Amid the fallout from Democrats in the chamber abruptly pulling a legislative spending bill from a broader package, leaders on Tuesday were left to state an easy to articulate but difficult to achieve goal: that the only path to bigger paychecks was through bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.

Trump’s adoption rollback collides with foster youth day
Administration is eyeing rule change that could make it harder for LGBT parents to adopt

Rep. Karen Bass hosted former and current foster kids — from left, Yeshi Vaughan, Toni Reynolds Criner and Fonda Williams — on the Hill on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“Every single resource that you pour into your child needs to be poured into us.”

That’s what Racquell Perry would say to Congress if given an audience with all 535 lawmakers. She didn’t get that Tuesday, but at least she came close. Perry, 29, was one of more than 100 former and current foster youth following members of Congress, making their presence known in the halls of the Capitol with bright blue sashes and an urgent mission. 

Rapper T.I. wants to form the ‘Avengers’ of black investment
He honors Nipsey Hussle by turning tragedy into opportunity

Rapper, actor and entrepreneur Clifford “T.I” Harris speaks at a Wednesday press conference at the Capitol. He joined the Congressional Black Caucus in calling for more investment in black communities. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“It was an incredible loss.”

That’s how Clifford “T.I.” Harris describes the tragic murder of fellow rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was gunned down outside his own Los Angeles clothing store in March.

Here are the Democrats who are pushing for Trump’s impeachment
More join chorus calling for impeachment after Mueller’s statement on his Russia investigation

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cautioned her caucus that rushing into starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump could derail the party’s agenda in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5/31, 12:50 p.m.

More Democrats are backing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III delivered a statement Wednesday on his report on investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Three presidential candidates — Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand joined the pro-impeachment caucus this week even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to quiet the growing call in her party.

Where all 24 House Judiciary Democrats stand on impeachment
Majority says that may eventually need to launch an impeachment inquiry to get information

From left, Reps. Joe Neguse, Sylvia R. Garcia, Mary Gay Scanlon, Lou Correa and Val B. Demings attend a House Judiciary markup May 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than half of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee say their panel may eventually need to open an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump if his administration’s efforts to stonewall congressional investigations continue.

CQ Roll Call talked to all but one of the 24 Democrats on the panel over the past two weeks about their views on impeachment in light of Trump, his administration and his allies deciding not to cooperate with their investigation into potential obstruction of justice, corruption and abuses of power. The Democrat not reached directly, California’s Eric Swalwell, a presidential candidate, weighed in on Twitter.

Violence Against Women Act clears House
Measure includes firearms restrictions and expansion of transgender rights

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the lone Republican co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act. He was one of 33 Republicans to support the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House voted Thursday to renew the lapsed Violence Against Women Act, but the proposal stoked contention over provisions restricting gun rights and expanding rights for transgender individuals.

Lawmakers voted 263-158 to pass the measure, which highlighted divisions within the Republican caucus. While the bill does have one Republican co-sponsor, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick, other House Republicans objected to new provisions included in the VAWA reauthorization measure. In all, 33 Republicans voted for the measure, and one, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, voted present.

House Democratic women flex muscles with formal caucus, plus a political arm
On Equal Pay Day, new caucus touts expanded leadership team

From left, Reps. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., members of the newly named Democratic Women's Caucus, hold a news conference Feb. 5 about their decision to wear white to the State of the Union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic women, armed with more numbers and the power of the majority, are getting  organized, switching their working group to a more formal caucus and launching a political action committee to help further grow their ranks.

The Democratic Women’s Caucus is the new name of the Democratic Women’s Working Group. Open to all 91 House Democratic women, the caucus will be led by an expanded leadership team of three co-chairs and two vice chairs.