messaging

Democrats say they want to prioritize legislation over impeachment. Here’s their chance
Thursday release of prescription drug pricing bill provides opportunity for messaging shift

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairwoman Katherine M. Clark and Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries say House Democrats are most successful in communicating their policy messages directly to constituents in their districts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders’ plan to release a top-priority prescription drug pricing bill on Thursday presents the caucus with an opportunity to refocus its messaging on legislating over investigating — one that many Democrats say is desperately needed.

Moderate Democrats in particular are concerned that the caucus’s policy work isn’t breaking through the impeachment cloud that has overshadowed the 116th Congress.

Former ICE director to Congress: Ditch the ‘theater’

Thomas Homan, then-Executive Associate Director of Enforcement And Removal Operations at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in February 2016. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan testified before a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday afternoon on the administration's immigration policy toward people with significant medical issues. He used more than half of his allotted five minutes for an opening statement to deliver a message on the political theater of hearings to members of the House Oversight Committee.

Why the shutdown is a good thing for House Democrats
New majority can spend otherwise slow first few weeks of session messaging on opening government

A sign on Monday announces that the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and ice rink are closed due to the partial government shutdown. The standoff between President Donald Trump and Congress over a spending package to fund nine government agencies entered its 18th day Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats don’t want roughly a quarter of the federal government to be shut down, but the situation provides some upsides for the new House majority as the impasse stretches into its 18th day. 

First and foremost, it’s a great messaging opportunity to highlight the differences between Democratic and Republican governing strategies.

House Democrats Elect 4 Members to Run Messaging Arm
Cicilline will chair DPCC, and Lieu, Dingell and Cartwright will serve as co-chairs

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., will lead House Democrats’ messaging arm next Congress as chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline will again lead House Democrats’ messaging arm next year, after being elected Thursday by acclamation to a newly created top position at the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. 

Cicilline will be the new DPCC chair, ranking higher than three DPCC co-chairs the Democratic Caucus also elected Thursday. He had served as one of the three co-chairs for the 2018 cycle. 

Incoming Freshman Chrissy Houlahan Running for Democratic Leadership Post
Pennsylvania member-elect announces bid for Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair

Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., is running to be one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pennsylvania member-elect Chrissy Houlahan is launching a bid for Democratic leadership, arguing that the nearly 60 incoming freshmen should be represented as the caucus crafts its messaging strategy for defending its newly obtained majority.

“I think that people recognize that there is this great big class of people who are coming in with kind of fresh experience and fresh legs and fresh ideas and that if we would like to maintain the majority that we need to make sure that we’re listening to everybody,” she said in an interview. 

Latino Voters Angry at Trump But Not Mobilized, Democratic Report Finds
Blue candidates need clear message to court Latino votes in midterms, according to study

Latino voters’ anger at Trump administration policies could be an opening for Democrats in 2018 a new report finds. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have a chance to win big in this year’s midterms by channeling Latino voters’ anger at President Donald Trump’s immigration and health care agenda, according to the findings of a Democratic-funded study released Tuesday.

But first, they’ll have to convince Latinos their vote will mean something.

GOP Messaging Vote on Democrats’ ‘Abolish ICE’ Bill Set to Backfire
Democrats prepared to vote ‘no’ and make debate about family separations

From left, Reps. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., John Lewis, D-Ga., Judy Chu, D-Calif., Al Green, D-Texas, Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and others march in Washington on June 13 to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policy at the southern border. Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., appears in the back at center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders are planning a vote this month on a progressive bill to terminate the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but their plan to put Democrats on record on an issue that divides the minority party looks like it will backfire. 

Democrats say they’ll make the debate about families that have been separated at the border — an issue that needs a permanent legislative fix that Republicans do not yet have a solution for that can pass the House.

GOP Tax Messaging Heavy on Business Benefits
‘It all leads to the same end,’ speaker said of trickle-down effect of tax legislation

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Rep. Andy Harris speak to employees at Dixon Valve & Coupling Company about the GOP’s still developing tax legislation. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – “Cutting taxes is great for the businesses to make businesses more money. But how is that going to lower my taxes, or make sure it comes down to me?” That was the question a 20-year-old Dixon Valve & Coupling employee posed to Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday.

Visiting the company’s headquarters to promote the GOP’s still developing tax legislation, Ryan told the employee that he plans to lower taxes on individuals so they take home more of their paychecks. Then he quickly pivoted back to his primary message.

House Republicans’ August Messaging Plan: Deflect and Pivot
Recess resource kits highlight bills House GOP passed, tax overhaul plans

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Republicans plan to spend August touting bills they’ve passed and their plans to overhaul the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans left Washington largely stumped about how to go home for a monthlong recess and defend to their constituents Congress’ failure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. 

The concerns were so great that many members during a GOP conference meeting Friday — just hours after a Senate vote on a scaled-back repeal bill failed — pleaded with leadership to keep the House in session in August.

Democrats Take Aim at Ryan Budget Senate GOP Doesn't Want

With few remaining options for enacting major public policy before the November election, Democrats instead are looking to set a political trap for Republicans on income inequality issues and hoping the GOP takes the bait.  

According to several sources, some Republicans, especially on the Senate side, are reluctant to have House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., push forward with his annual budget framework, which he telegraphed this week would focus on the federal government's antipoverty programs. Senate Republicans, several of whom are caught between primary challengers on the right and Democratic upstarts on the left, would rather talk about something else, as opposed to being forced to contend with issues better suited to the Democratic party line.