Robin Kelly

These House Democrats marched to the Senate before Thursday votes
Their message was to urge senators to vote "to end the Trump-McConnell shutdown," Rep. Barbara Lee said.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks to the Senate floor with other House members on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call)

Democratic House members marched from their chamber to the Senate Thursday afternoon, walking onto the floor just as the upper chamber took votes on two competing proposals that would have reopened government.

Their message is to urge senators to vote “to end the Trump-McConnell shutdown,” Rep. Barbara Lee said.

House Democrats target private gun sellers with bipartisan background checks bill
Universal background checks bill indicates gun law reform will remain near top of Democratic agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during the event to introduce the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would require all gun sellers, including private vendors, to conduct background checks on potential buyers, indicating the issue will be a top item on the Democratic agenda during the 116th Congress.

Under current law, only federally licensed vendors must conduct background checks. Private sellers who do not have licenses do not fall under the same compliance mandate.

China Will Close Artificial Intelligence Gap by End of 2018, Lawmakers Warn
More spending on self-driving car research, predictive technology, will help U.S. compete, new report says

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, released a report encouraging  Congress to increase spending on artificial intelligence technology. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Artificial intelligence technologies are capable of disrupting every aspect of society and the United States must do more to maintain leadership in the area, the leaders of a House panel said in a report released Tuesday.

Artificial intelligence “has the potential to disrupt every sector of society in both anticipated and unanticipated ways,” according to a report authored by Reps. Will Hurd of Texas and Robin Kelly of Illinois, the chairman and top Democrat of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on information technology. “In light of that potential for disruption, it’s critical that the federal government address the different challenges posed by AI, including its current and future applications.”

Illinois Democrats Seek to Chip Away at Republicans’ House Majority
Second-in-nation primaries set stage for targeting GOP seats

Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in Illinois, where voters head to the primaries Tuesday. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are targeting four seats in Illinois, where voters will pick their nominees Tuesday in the second congressional primaries of the year. 

It’s an early test for the party’s ability to nominate candidates it thinks are viable in the general election. Unlike in Texas, which held the cycle’s first primaries two weeks ago, there are no runoffs in Illinois. So a simple plurality would be enough to advance to the November general election. 

Photos of the Week: State of the Union, GOP Retreat Continues After Crash
The week of Jan. 29 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan arrives in the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans carried on with their annual retreat this week, after member-doctors sprung to action when the Amtrak locomotive pulling GOP lawmakers to their West Virginia destination collided with a garbage truck on Wednesday, killing one of its passengers.

The previous night, President Donald Trump stayed on track during his first State of the Union address in the House chamber. 

The State of the Union From Start to Finish: Photos of the Day
Jan. 30 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Trump takes a selfie with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the House chamber after the address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated as of 12:02 p.m. on Jan. 31 | The Capitol is a busy place most Tuesdays, but this Tuesday was special. President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET made for a chaotic (and long) day for lawmakers, their aides, reporters and Capitol staff.

State of the Union Guest List
Who lawmakers are bringing this year and what issues they represent

Claudia Sofía Báez Solá, left, who was sent to live with relatives in Florida after Hurricane Maria, will be going to the State of the Union as the guest of Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla. (Courtesy Rep. Soto’s office)

As President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union on Tuesday, a few issues will stand out in the crowd.

Members of Congress each get one guest ticket for the address. While some use them for family or friends, others bring a guest who puts a face to an issue they’re pushing.

Illinois House Primaries Will Be Early Testing Ground for Democrats
Democrats have several pickup opportunities, but they need viable candidates first

Democrats are confident they’ll have a general election nominee who can take on Illinois GOP Rep. Peter Roskam. The primary is on March 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With early voting starting in less than a month, Illinois will be a testing ground for Democrats’ ability to nominate general election candidates they think can win out of crowded primaries. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting four Republican-held districts, but the committee is not explicitly picking favorites in all those primaries. 

Word on the Hill: Staffer Corrects 200-Year Mistake
Religion, soccer, cats and dogs as sharks

Staffer Ryan Martin and his family check out the Utah flag before it goes up in the Kennedy Center's Hall of States. (Kennedy Center)

House staffer Ryan Martin noticed at The Kennedy Center that the Utah flag in the Hall of States display wasn’t quite right. A manufacturing error on the flag showed 1647 as the year Mormon pioneers settled in the state, 200 years off from the actual year.

Martin informed the center and a new flag was ordered. The new flag, with the correct year, was raised Monday at a ceremony in the Hall of States. 

One Dollar, One Name to Recognize Gun Violence Victims
Robin Kelly wants a vote on gun control legislation

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly says pressure from the National Rifle Association is keeping House Republican leadership from allowing votes on gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Robin Kelly rose to speak on the House floor Thursday morning, she carried a list of 50 names — all victims of gun violence.

“I’ve begged — I’ve pleaded — I’ve screamed — I’ve cried and I even ground the people’s House to a halt with last year’s historic sit-in,” the Illinois Democrat said.