Michelle Lujan Grisham

Capitol Christmas Tree shines bright amid grim impeachment proceedings
‘The Voice’ winner Chevel Shepherd warmed hearts despite cold temps

A band plays during a ceremony Wednesday to light the Capitol Christmas Tree, which is displayed on the West Front of the Capitol. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

We interrupt your regularly scheduled, bleak impeachment programming to bring you a brighter alternative. 

As the House Judiciary Committee wrapped up its first contentious hearing in the impeachment inquiry Wednesday evening, the Capitol Christmas Tree shined a bright spot amid the darkness.

Rep. Paul Gosar wants to redesignate Cesar Chavez Day as ‘National Border Control Day’
The resolution reflects a priority of the Center for Immigration Studies

Rep. Paul Gosar is fighting a lawsuit from constituents he once blocked on Facebook. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal file photol)

Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar introduced a resolution last week to designate the birthday of Cesar Chavez, March 31st, as “National Border Control Day.”

Many celebrate the birthday of Chavez, the iconic co-founder of the United Farm Workers union born to a Mexican American family, as a day to reflect on the dignity of agricultural workers and the contribution of Latinx immigrants to the United States.

Fewer members taking the leap to governor
Don’t expect a chunk of House seats to open up because of people wanting to run

Louisiana Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham is currently the only member running for governor and he doesn’t have to give up his seat to do it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last cycle, nine members left Congress to try to become governor and five ended up winning the state’s top job. But this cycle will be a different story. While 38 states elected a governor in 2017 or 2018, just 14 states will elect a governor in the next two years. And fewer opportunities to move up will limit the exodus from the House.

Currently, there’s just one House member running for governor, and he doesn’t have to give up his seat to do it.

Congress Cashes Out as Rich Members Depart
Of the top 10 flushest lawmakers, four are packing their bags

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been Congress’ richest member for years. Now he and several other multimillionaires are headed for the exits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The combined wealth of Congress is set to plummet next year after a deluge of departures and the results of the midterm elections. Some of the wealthiest lawmakers on Capitol Hill won’t be returning next year, and the body’s $2.43 billion of personal net worth will drop by $933 million. 

Of the top 10 richest members of Congress, four are packing their bags. Most are staying in the public sector. California Rep. Darrell Issa, net worth of $283 million and the perennially richest member of Congress, announced his retirement in January 2018. The inventor of the Viper car alarm was expected to leave public office but will move to the Trump administration, after being appointed to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Selects Joaquin Castro As Next Chairman
Gallego, Barragán, Espaillat and Rep.-elect Escobar round out CHC leadership team

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, will chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro was elected Friday as the next chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which will begin the next Congress with its largest membership since the group’s founding. 

The CHC had 31 members this Congress and will grow to 39 members next year — two senators and 37 House members.

There Will Be More Latinos in Congress Than Ever
42 Hispanic members will serve in the 116th Congress

Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington won a fourth term in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Washington Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s re-election win made official Wednesday night, Congress is set to see its largest ever class of Latino lawmakers. 

There will be at least 42 Latinos serving, between both chambers, come January.

Women Elected at Historic Levels, But No Surprise Here: White Men Dominate 116th Congress
Number of veterans down

A record number of women will be heading to Congress and there will be more minority lawmakers, but white men will still make up most of Congress. Above, supporters celebrate Jennifer Wexton's victory in Virginia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The 116th Congress is on track to be one of the most diverse in history, but the legislature will still be overwhelmingly white and male compared to the overall U.S. population. Historic numbers of women won seats in the midterm contests, but the number of veterans is likely to fall or stay flat. 

At least 96 women running for the House have won their races, shattering the previous record of 84 women in the House. Eighty-three of the women who won were Democrats.

Meet the History-Makers of the 116th Congress
In a banner year for candidate diversity, election night witnesses a few firsts

Ayanna Pressley is the first African-American elected to the House from Massachusetts. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images file photo)

Updated Sunday, 3:18 p.m. | Diversity has been a hallmark of the 2018 midterm elections, which have seen a record number of women, minorities and first-time candidates running for office. 

Here are some of the history-makers from election night. 

Justice Department Issues Indictment for 2013 Congressional Trip to Azerbaijan
Feds allege nonprofit concealed that trip was funded by foreign government

A 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan has resulted in an indictment being handed down to the head of the nonprofit, whom the government alleges concealed the source of funding for the journey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Justice Department has issued an indictment of former non-profit head Kevin Oksuz for his role in a plot to hide the fact that a 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan was funded by that country’s government.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed Monday, Kevin, also known as Kemal, Oksuz allegedly lied on disclosure forms filed with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics prior to, and following, a privately sponsored congressional trip to Azerbaijan. Oksuz ran a Houston based nonprofit that he is accused of using to funnel money to fund the congressional trip from an oil company controlled by the Azerbaijan government.

Meet More Likely New Members of Congress
For all of them, winning the primary was tantamount to winning the general election

Clockwise from top left, Ben Cline, Anthony Gonzalez, Deb Haaland, Dan Meuser, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone, John Rose, Andy Levin, Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean. (Courtesy Bill Clark/D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call, Anthony Gonzalez for Congress, Meuser for Congress, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, David Trone for Congress, John Rose for Congress, Andy Levin for Congress, Friends of Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean for United States Congress)

With control of the House up for grabs and the number of competitive seats growing to 86, many congressional hopefuls have two more months of grueling politicking to look forward to as they barrel toward Election Day.

But not all of them.