Virginia Foxx

Dark spirits were at play in Congress this week: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of July 15, 2019

A thunderstorm passes over the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday, July 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“This has been a difficult and contentious week, in which darker spirits seem to have been at play,” said House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy during a long and stressful week on the Hill, which saw controversial tweets, members fearing Facebook and a House member straight up ditching his post on the House floor.

House votes to raise federal minimum wage
Issue exposed rifts among Democrats. Legislation stalled in Senate

The House voted on Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:46 p.m. | The House voted 231-199 Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour incrementally over six years, but the Democratic effort was almost derailed by divisions between progressives and moderates.

Progressives on Wednesday had issued a last-minute warning to their moderate colleagues not to help Republicans make any last-minute changes to the bill through the procedural maneuver known as a motion to recommit, or MTR. If moderate Democrats helped the GOP add what the progressives considered poison pill language to the measure, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were prepared to vote against it, the group’s co-chairs, Reps. Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, said. 

Runoff for safe Republican seat in North Carolina divides the conference
GOP women in the House line up against Mark Meadows and the Freedom Fund

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows' backing of state Rep. Greg Murphy in the runoff for North Carolina's 3rd District puts him at odds with all of the women Republicans in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The runoff in North Carolina’s 3rd District is dividing the House Republican Conference between one powerful man and more than a dozen women.

It’s North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and the political arm of the House Freedom Caucus versus the Republican women in the chamber — all 13 of them — plus another male lawmaker from the North Carolina delegation.

Committee had broken voting rules for years, gets scolding
Lawmakers were allowed to add to tally after voting closed in the House Education and Labor Committee

House Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. Scott, D-Va., and ranking member Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., are seen during a business meeting in the Rayburn Building on Jan. 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:43 p.m. | The House Education and Labor Committee was forced to change a longtime voting practice after the House parliamentarian said what the panel was doing violated House rules.

Since roughly 2007 — extending to when both Republicans and Democrats controlled the committee — it had allowed members who missed votes to add their names to markup tallies after the votes had concluded, as long as the added votes did not change the outcome.

House passes gender pay gap bill, a top Democratic priority
Most Republicans oppose measure, say there are better ways to get pay parity without lawsuits

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., has been introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act since 1997 in an effort to help close the gender pay gap. The House on Wednesday passed her bill, one of the new Democratic majority’s top priorities. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Wednesday passed another one of their top party priorities, a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act that is designed to help close the gender pay gap. 

HR 7 passed, 242-187, with only seven Republican votes. Those included New Jersey’s Christopher H. Smith, an original cosponsor of the bill, Florida’s Mario Diaz-Balart, Idaho’s Mike Simpson, New York’s Tom Reed, Texas’ Will Hurd, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick and Illinois’ Rodney Davis. All 235 House Democrats voted for the measure. 

House GOP is down to 13 women. Will North Carolina special elections boost their ranks?
Of the 27 Republicans running in 3rd or 9th districts, seven are women

Women listen to candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 rally in Raleigh, N.C. Seven GOP women are running in the North Carolina special elections this year. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

With two special elections in North Carolina this year, Republicans have a chance to send to Congress some company for West Virginia Rep. Carol Miller, the only female GOP lawmaker in the House freshman class.

The number of Republican women in the chamber is at a new low with just 13 in the 116th Congress, down from 23 the previous session. About 100 GOP women ran for the House in the 2018 cycle, but many of them struggled to get through primaries. 

‘It’s weird you’re bringing this up:’ Trump SOTU shoutout highlights disparity between Democratic and GOP women

Republican women know there is work to be done for more women to run and win elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The dearth of Republican women in Congress was in the spotlight at the State of the Union when President Donald Trump praised the historic gains made in the 116th Congress, gains driven by Democratic victories and GOP losses.

The number of House Republican women slipped in 2019 down from 23 in the previous congress to 13 now. And only one woman, Wyoming’s Liz Cheney, holds a top House leadership position in the GOP conference.

House moves to protect federal interns from harassment and discrimination

The House voted on a measure by Rep. Eijah Cummings, D-Md., to protect federal interns from workplace harassment and discrimination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House took action Tuesday to protect the youngest members of the federal workforce, interns, from workplace harassment and discrimination.

The House passed by voice vote a measure from Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, that would extend certain federal employee protections to unpaid interns in the federal government. Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and a version of his measure also passed in the 115th Congress.

New York Democrat, Republican Call for Hearings on Holocaust Education Bill
Letter to Education Committee leaders comes less than week after most deadly killing of Jews in U.S. history

Mourners leave roses next to one of the many plaques detailing transports of Berlin Jews to concentration camps in Berlin, Germany. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images file photo)

A bipartisan duo of New York lawmakers asked Wednesday for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to hold hearings on their bill that would provide resources to public and private schools to more adequately teach students about the Holocaust in World War II in Nazi Germany.

The request from Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney and GOP Rep. Dan Donovan comes less than a week after a gunman entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 Jews celebrating Shabbat.

Some Answers, More Questions for Mysterious Club for Conservatives PAC
Background, finances a tangled web

Club for Conservatives PAC has given to the Senate campaigns of Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Inflammatory, hyperpartisan fundraising emails are a standard part of the election process, but who’s behind them can sometimes be a mystery. Take the case of a political action committee set up last fall that raised over $160,000 by sending out roughly a dozen emails.

Since its inception in October, the Club for Conservatives PAC has been a confusing web of details. The group’s year-end report with the Federal Election Commission provided more information about its fundraising and spending, but also raised new questions about its operations.