New Mexico

Latino Staffers Who Call the Shots on Capitol Hill
Seven aides discuss challenges they had to confront because of their backgrounds

Olivia Perez-Cubas is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s communications director. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Latino staffers are leading offices on Capitol Hill, running communications operations and advising some of the highest-ranking members of Congress.

Many started out their careers as interns. Some got their big break through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, or through someone looking out for them.

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.

‘White and Wealthy’ Colleagues Called Out in Letter to DCCC Demanding Intern Pay
13 interns sign note to Chairman Ben Ray Luján

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., is receiving a letter from 13 intern Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of current interns at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a letter Thursday to Chairman Ben Ray Luján requesting pay.

But they didn’t stop there.

House Democratic Leadership Talk Starts Moving Into the Open
Lee, Sánchez could face off again, this time for caucus chairmanship

California Rep. Barbara Lee is among the House Democrats looking to fill an upcoming leadership vacancy left by New York Rep. Joseph Crowley who lost his primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats have largely tried to avoid talking about potential leadership battles in an effort to focus on winning the majority in November, but an unexpected opening is making that more difficult.

When New York Rep. Joseph Crowley lost his primary June 26, it created a guaranteed opening for the caucus chairmanship in the next Congress. It’s the only leadership slot where the current officeholder won’t be able to run in intraparty elections in late November or early December.

Opinion: Our Growing Economy Should Not Leave Rural America Behind
New report from Joint Economic Committee Democrats offers ideas to help communities thrive

Wind turbines in eastern West Virginia. Wind turbine service technicians will be in heavy demand in rural areas, as the occupation is project to rank among the fastest-growing in the country over the next 10 years, Heinrich writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rural communities hold a special place in my heart. Not only because so many of the New Mexicans I represent live in rural areas, but also because I was raised in rural America. I know firsthand what it’s like to grow up in a small town, seeing both of my parents work long hours just to make ends meet and to provide a better future for my sisters and me.

A decade after the Great Recession, the overall economic picture for rural communities remains challenging. Not only are residents growing older, but two-thirds of rural counties lost population between 2010 and 2016. New job opportunities have lagged behind those in urban areas, and rural employment remains below pre-recession levels. Even when you have a job in rural America, too often your wages aren’t growing as fast as those in other places.

Photos of the Week: Immigration Protests and the Congressional Women’s Softball Game
Photos of the week of June 18 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Aruna Miller, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, talks with citizens during early voting at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Md., on Monday. She stands behind the electioneering line which prevents a candidate from being too close to a voting site. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As always, it was a busy week in Washington as the summer heat hits in full force. The issue of families being separated at the border dominated Hill hearings and led to several protests throughout the capital city.

The Congressional Women’s Softball Game took place on Wednesday with the press team defeating the Congress team 5-0 in a five-inning victory that was called due to rain.

Report: Competitive U.S. House Races Spell Good Fortune for Broadcast Stations
Campaign spending on TV ads highest of any election cycle

Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., appears in an “Estruth for Congress” ad on television in October 1995. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a fierce battle for control of the House, candidates are spending around 50 percent more than they did at this point in the 2014 election cycle, according to a Bloomberg report.

Due to an unusually large number of retirements in the House this year, candidates have come out in large numbers in districts where they will not face the typical uphill primary battle against an incumbent. Sixty-four Representatives are retiring, have resigned, or are running in another election this year, according to Roll Call’s Departing Members

DCCC Raises $11.3 Million in May
House Democrats’ campaign arm has brought in $162 million so far this cycle

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján says Democrats will not be “out-organized or out-worked in the midterms.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $11.3 million in May, exceeding its monthly total at the same point during the last election cycle by more than $3 million. 

The committee raised $3.3 million in total from online donations, according to figures shared first with Roll Call. Democrats say the amount of online donations — which involve 360,000 first-time donors so far this election cycle — are indicative of energy among the party base. 

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.

Elections, Retirements Could Ransack GOP Baseball Roster
Turnover in the Democratic lineup not expected to be as dramatic

Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois and Ryan A. Costello of Pennsylvania confer during the 2016 Congressional Baseball Game. Costello is retiring this year while Davis faces a competitive re-election race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The cold reality of the midterm elections could force Republicans into a completely different roster for next year’s Congressional Baseball Game. Due to retirements and competitive re-election races, over a third of the 36-member GOP team may not be returning in 2019, including more than half of last year’s starting lineup.

Three of the Republicans’ first six batters from 2017 are playing in their last game because they aren’t seeking re-election, including leadoff hitter Ryan A. Costello of Pennsylvania.