Pete Aguilar

Hispanic Caucus to Homeland Security conferees: No more money for immigrant detention or a wall
Letter also calls for more oversight of immigration enforcement agencies

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, pictured with his son, as House members were sworn in on the first day of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3, led a letter to the Homeland Security appropriations conference urging them not to approve any more money for immigration detention or a wall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro and 20 members of his caucus sent a letter to the Homeland Security conferees urging them not to appropriate any more money for immigrant detention or a border wall.

“We urge you to oppose increases in funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the purposes of immigration detention, Trump’s deportation force, the border wall — and ensure that certain types of detention are not expanded or replaced in ways that conflict with the goal of reducing detention overall.”

Unshackled by leadership, appropriators ready to deal on border

Top congressional leaders say they will leave a border security conference committee to work its will. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The top congressional leaders in both chambers have a message for the 17 appropriators making up the House-Senate conference committee on Homeland Security spending: Do your thing.

And that’s a positive sign for negotiations on border security funding that are going down to the wire again, with a Feb. 15 deadline to avert yet another partial government shutdown. Appropriators want to reach at least an agreement in principle by the end of this week, to be able to start putting pen to paper over the weekend.

Flower fund collects pocket change while appropriators tally billions
Chairwoman Lowey: ‘Make a contribution of $20 today’

Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas and Ed Case, D-Hawaii, two of the junior members of the House Appropriations Committee, will lead the flower fund. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reps. Ed Case and Will Hurd, two of the junior members of the House Appropriations Committee, found out Wednesday that they’ll be in charge of loose change and crumpled dollar bills instead of the billions of federal spending they probably expected.

Upon the announcement that Case, a Hawaii Democrat, and Hurd, a Texas Republican, were named co-chairs of the House Appropriations flower fund, other appropriators began pulling cash out of their pockets and handbags and passing it to the two newcomers with the flower power.

Katherine Clark Elected House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair
Massachusetts Democrat becomes second-highest-ranking woman, behind Pelosi

Rep. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., was elected to serve as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Katherine M. Clark was elected House Democratic Caucus vice chair for the 116th Congress, handily beating California Rep. Pete Aguilar

The vote tally was 144-90. 

Cicilline Announces Bid for Assistant Democratic Leader
Rhode Island lawmaker says he can go "toe-to-toe" with "other side"

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., will run for assistant Democratic leader if his party takes back the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline will run for assistant Democratic leader next Congress if his party retakes the House, he announced in a letter to his colleagues Thursday.

“We need to make sure that we have a leadership team that can hit the ground running to pass our legislative agenda and to hold President Trump accountable for his actions,” Cicilline wrote. “In committee and on the Floor, I’ve proven that I can go toe-to-toe with the other side of the aisle and that I won’t back down.”

Pete Aguilar Announces Bid for Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Against Katherine Clark
Democrats have their second contested leadership race for the 116th Congress

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., is running for Democratic Caucus vice chair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats officially have their second contested leadership race, with California Rep. Pete Aguilar announcing Tuesday that he plans to run for Democratic Caucus vice chair. 

Aguilar will face Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, who announced her plans to run for the position in July.  

Republican Golfers Relax on the Links, Beat Out Democrats
GOP prevails in the 17th annual Congressional Challenge golf tournament

Reps. Luke Messer R-Ind., Rick Allen, R-Ga., right, play against Reps. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and Albio Sires, D-N.J., during the First Tee’s Congressional Challenge annual golf tournament at the Columbia Country Club golf course Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

In a rare moment in this divisive Congress, a bipartisan group of members spent a peaceful morning just putting around.

They whispered conversations while waiting for a teammate on the green, told each other “nice shot” or laughed at a bad one, and otherwise enjoyed a quiet morning bonding over their love of golf.

Cedric Richmond Isn’t Sure How Much Is Left in the Tank
Democrats’ star hoping another pitcher gets elected in midterms

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., is cooled by Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., after running out a triple, then scoring on an error Thursday night at the Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much of the Democrat’s 16-run win Thursday night at the 57th annual Congressional Baseball Game can be attributed to pitcher Cedric L. Richmond. But the game’s most dominant player for the last several years isn’t sure how much longer he can dominate.

When asked if he can keep up his streak year after year, the Louisiana Democrat said, “Absolutely not.”

House GOP’s Fragile Immigration Deal Faces Uphill Battle
‘Hopefully, every time there’s a compromise, everyone can claim some victories’

Immigration rights activists chant during their May Day march in Washington to the White House to voice opposition to President Donald Trump's immigration policies on May 1, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans were quick to congratulate themselves Wednesday after brokering a fragile path forward on immigration legislation and avoiding — for now — a bruising civil war less than six months before the midterm elections.

“This is an effort to bring our caucus together, our conference together, on immigration,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin told reporters. “I’m very pleased with our members.”

House GOP Immigration Talks Raise Questions on Path to Law
Negotiators float cuts that couldn’t pass Senate

Speaker Paul D. Ryan tested the waters with a small cross section of House Republicans ahead of Thursday’s conference-wide immigration discussion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans say the goal of immigration negotiations is to reach agreement on legislation that could become law, but the ideas floated Wednesday run contrary to that claim.

While the negotiators appear to be seriously attempting to compromise on the legal status of so-called Dreamers, they’re also discussing cuts to legal immigration — like reducing family and diversity visas — that if passed through the House would have no chance of advancing in the Senate.