Kathy Castor

House Democrats Settle on Top Leaders, but Fight Over Speakership Remains
Pelosi gets overwhelming numbers for speaker bid

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ organizational caucus meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats decided on their top leaders Wednesday — all except the highest-ranking one. Nancy Pelosi overwhelmingly secured the caucus’s nomination for speaker, but a sizable group of opponents appears determined to keep the California Democrat from officially claiming the gavel on Jan. 3. 

Pelosi got 203 votes on the caucus ballot, but her allies believe that’s far lower than what she can earn on the floor. There were 32 “no” votes and three blanks. New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is supporting Pelosi, was absent. 

Pelosi Wins Democratic Caucus Nomination for Speaker
California Democrat and her allies want the caucus to unify around her for Jan. 3 floor vote

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California won her caucus’s nomination to be speaker of the House for the 116th Congress. She still needs to win a Jan. 3 floor vote to be elected speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who has served 16 years as House Democratic leader, is on her way to securing another two after winning the Democratic Caucus’s nomination for speaker Wednesday. 

The outcome was never in doubt given that no one was running against Pelosi for the top leadership post and the simple-majority threshold required to win the caucus’s nomination is an easy bar to meet for the veteran vote counter. 

First-Ever Home Run Punctuates Congressional Softball Game
Rep. Mia Love, Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman were game MVPs

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand greets her interns after the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday at the Watkins Recreation Center. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman hit the first out of the park home run in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game’s 10-year history Wednesday just as the skies opened up in the fifth inning.

The triumphant Bad News Babes and the members’ team hurried off the softball field as soon as the coaches agreed to call the game.

Beat the Press: Lawmakers Look to Break Media Team’s Softball Streak
‘We get to get a little physical and we get to do something really good’ in charity game

The media team celebrates after its 2-1 victory over female lawmakers at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After months of strong female voices challenging male-dominated institutions, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is eager to direct that fervor onto the softball field.

“I think there’s a lot of energy on our team right now and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for women and women’s voices,” the New York Democrat said at practice for the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last week.

Ernst Only New Face on Congressional Softball Game Roster
Check out the members and media rosters ahead of the June 20 game

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pose with the members team before the 2017 Congressional Women’s Softball game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The rosters for the 10th annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game on June 20 are out and include one new face on the members team: Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The members team will battle it out against the women of the Washington press corps, known as the Bad News Babes, who are the reigning champs after winning, 2-1, last year.

Florida Delegation Playing Hardball to Extend Offshore Drilling Moratorium
Sunshine State Democrats and Republicans may target NDAA

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., says he doesn’t see “any light between Republicans and Democrats” on the issue of offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Emboldened by a Defense Department report that expressed worries about unfettered offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, Florida’s House delegation is preparing to throw its weight around to win a multiyear extension of a moratorium off its coasts.

The bipartisan commitment from the third largest congressional delegation, reached last week, may affect the $708.1 billion defense authorization bill that is being considered by the Rules Committee Monday and Tuesday ahead of a vote as soon as Wednesday.

Plan to Boost Coal and Nuclear Could Cost Consumers
Should consumers pay more so coal and nuclear plants can survive?

Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies during the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Oct. 12. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For years, federal regulation of the electric grid has focused on keeping prices low and competition stiff. But that could change with a recent proposal from the Trump administration to put more emphasis on what it calls resiliency.

According to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the electric grid is more resilient — able to bounce back from disasters of the natural and man-made variety — when it has plenty of so-called baseload power that can run 24/7, with or without sunshine or wind and regardless of supply snags.

Las Vegas Shooting Reignites Gun Debate on Capitol Hill
Members offer prayers and condolences to victims and families, tributes to police and first responders

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after a gunman opened fire, leaving at least 50 people dead and more than 2oo wounded. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Democratic lawmakers on Monday morning renewed their pleas for legislative action to restrict access to firearms after a gunman unleashed a storm of bullets on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday night.

At least 58 people were killed, officials said. Multiple media outlets have reported that more than 500 people were taken to local hospitals for treatment in what is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters toured the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital in Ontonagon, Mich., on his bike ride. (Courtesy Peters via Twitter)

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

House Takes Up Bill to Delay Ozone Rule Compliance

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to alter the current standards for ground level ozone pollution, something the House bill would give him legal cover for. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans plan to vote this week on a measure that would delay the compliance date for an Obama-era ground level ozone standard that they say would put an undue economic burden on industry.

The bill (HR 806) would also give legal cover to the Environmental Protection Agency as its administrator, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, looks to replace the current standards with levels more flexible for states and their economic development plans.