Lucille Roybal-Allard

Lawmakers Renew Efforts to Pass Family Separation Bill
But with House already out for recess, no legislative solution possible until September

A girl participates in a rally at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington on June 27 to to protest the Trump administration policy that separated migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers say they are renewing efforts to find what has been elusive legislation to keep families together at the U.S.-Mexico border, as the Trump administration announced it would meet the latest court deadline for reuniting more than 1,400 children it had separated from their immigrant parents.

Department of Homeland Security officials said they expected to complete all “eligible” reunifications by midnight Thursday, Pacific time. Beyond those, 711 children remain in custody because they’re not “eligible” for reunification, according to the department. Of those, 431 have a parent who was deported from the U.S. without them, officials said.

Bipartisan Group Wants Labs to Disclose Where Research Animals End Up
Federal agencies asked for info on adoptions and retirements for dogs, cats and primates that survive experiments

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in sending a letter to federal agencies about testing on dogs, cats and primates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update 10:12 a.m. | A bipartisan group of lawmakers urged federal agencies and research labs to release information on what it does with cats, dogs and primates that survive experiments.

The letter first obtained by Roll Call was sent to the Department of Interior, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense.

Trump’s Immigration Enforcement Agenda Gets Boost from Partisan Vote
Bill would provide $51.4 billion to Homeland Security

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump rally during his visit to see the border wall prototypes on March 13, 2018 in San Diego, California. The administration’s immigration enforcement agenda got a significant boost from a House Appropriations Committee vote this week. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement and border security agenda got a significant boost after the  House Appropriations Committee voted 29-22 along party lines to approve a bill that would provide $51.4 billion to the Homeland Security Department in fiscal 2019. 

Overall, Wednesday’s  bill — which  would provide $51.4 billion in discretionary funding to DHS, a nearly 8 percent increase over the $47.7 billion provided to the department in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending law. 

A Steady Flow of Political Royal Blood to Congress
Hill dynasties don’t last so many generations any more, but plenty of family members still try to stay in electoral business

Greg Pence, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, is seeking the Congressional seat once held by his younger brother, Vice President Mike Pence. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Saturday’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is creating another surge of American royal mania, and with a particular twist — besotted chatter about their offspring someday running for Congress, or even president, while remaining in the line of succession to the British throne.

It’s a fanciful notion, regardless of whether the Los Angeles actress retains dual citizenship after she passes her British citizenship test, because the Constitution prevents titled nobles from taking federal office.

At Least 17 Republicans Sign Discharge Petition To Force Votes on DACA Bills
If all Democrats were to sign, which is not certain, a total of 25 Republicans would be needed

Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., right, and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., left, hold a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 to announce the filing of a discharge petition on a queen of the hill rule to setup a series of immigration votes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At least 17 House Republicans are ready to put some force behind their calls for a “queen of the hill” rule to set up a series of immigration votes, signing a discharge petition that could launch the winner-take-all legislative process against GOP leaders’ wishes. 

The group of moderate Republicans, led by Florida’s Carlos Curbelo and Jeff Denham of California, are frustrated that the House has not voted on legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation in the eight months since President Donald Trump announced he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that shelters roughly 700,000 of the so-called Dreamers.

More Republicans Ready to Push but Not Force Immigration Votes
Denham won’t commit to discharge petition on queen of the hill rule for DACA bills

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., center, flanked by Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, hold a news conference on the use of the “queen of the hill” rule for DACA legislation in the House on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Four dozen mostly moderate Republicans have joined Democrats in their push for a “queen of the hill” rule that would set up a series of immigration votes. But the GOP congressman leading the charge is reluctant to commit to a discharge petition that could actually force his leadership to bring it to the floor.

“You shouldn’t need a discharge petition,” California Rep. Jeff Denham said. He acknowledged that backers of the rule might discuss such a petition — which if signed by a majority of the House would force leadership to call a vote. But he refused to commit to filing one if his plan to put pressure on Speaker Paul D. Ryan fails.

Top Diversity Associations on Capitol Hill Run by Women
All four major diversity congressional staff associations are run by women for first time ever

From left, Victoria Rivas, president of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association; Francesca McCrary, president of the Congressional Black Associates; Moh Sharma, president of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association; and Yasmin Rigney, president of the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For the first time, women now head the four largest congressional staff diversity associations.

And they say that makes perfect sense after all the focus on sexual harassment and gender disparity over the past year.

Senate Democrats Picked for Select Budget, Pension Committees

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer picked his choices for the bipartisan committees looking for solutions to budget and pension issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Monday named eight senators to the select committees tasked with overhauling the budget and appropriations process as well as providing recommendations for restoring the solvency of multiemployer pension plans.

The New York Democrat selected Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Brian Schatz and Mazie K. Hirono, both of Hawaii, for the budget panel.

Rank-and-File Lawmakers Not Feeling It on Grand Immigration Deal
Pairing DACA replacement with border security seen as a bad idea

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez says the so-called DREAM Act must be part of an immigration deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Friday 1:42 p.m. | President Donald Trump and congressional leaders see the most likely legislative path to replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as pairing it with border security. But rank-and-file members of both parties think that’s a bad idea.

“We’re going to get ourselves in a quagmire if we allow there to be a linkage because of such disputes and debates here among the hard-line immigration crew about what should be linked,” Vermont Democratic Rep. Peter Welch said, adding that there were members for whom there could never be “enough security.”

Take Five: Jimmy Gomez
California Democrat reflects on his first week in Congress

California Rep. Jimmy Gomez previously worked on the Hill for Rep. Hilda L. Solis and recalls telling himself he wouldn’t return to Washington until he was a member of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Jimmy Gomez, 42, a California Democrat, talks about the time between his being elected and being sworn in, returning as a former Hill staffer, and his welcome to Washington compared to Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte’s.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?