Lindsey McPherson

Democrats Push Bill They Say Could Have Prevented Parkland Shooting
Measure would provide states grants for passing Gun Violence Restraining Order laws

A group of House Democrats on Friday highlighted a bill they’ve authored that they say could have prevented Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead.

The bill would authorize a federal grant program for states that enact Gun Violence Restraining Order, or GVRO, laws. These statutes allow law enforcement or family members to petition courts to temporarily remove guns from a person’s possession if they pose a threat to themselves or others. If passed, a separate appropriation measure would be needed to provide the funding for the grants.

House Budget Being Drafted Despite Nearly Insurmountable Obstacles
Topline spending levels, no path to reconciliation among reasons lawmakers to oppose

Obstacles to House Republicans passing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution appear insurmountable and have some members questioning why the Budget Committee is even planning to write one. 

Exactly half of the 22 Republicans on the Budget panel — more than enough to block a partisan budget resolution — voted against last week’s budget deal that set fiscal 2019 topline spending levels of $647 billion for defense and $597 billion for nondefense. Under the agreement, House and Senate leaders committed that if their chambers decide to advance fiscal 2019 budget resolutions, they would write them to those topline numbers.

Pelosi: ‘I Would Rather Pass Gun Safety Legislation Than Win the Election’
Minority leader doesn’t want to wait until Democrats possibly take the majority for action

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says her interest in gun violence prevention is so great that she prioritizes legislative action on it over one of her top goals — taking back control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.

“I would rather pass gun safety legislation than win the election,” the California Democrat said Thursday.

House Republicans’ Immigration Bill Not Ready for Floor Action
Whip team says they will continue to refine the legislation

House Republicans’ preferred immigration bill is not ready for a floor vote, a Wednesday whip check showed, but leadership is expected to continue working it.

The bill by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul is the most conservative of the proposals House and Senate lawmakers and the White House have floated for addressing the coming expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Freedom Caucus Fires Fresh Warning Shots to Ryan on Immigration ‘Consequences’
‘It is the defining moment for this speaker,’ HFC Chairman Mark Meadows said

House Freedom Caucus leaders fired off fresh warning shots Wednesday to Speaker Paul D. Ryan that there will be repercussions if he moves an immigration measure that runs contrary to what President Donald Trump and conservative Republicans campaigned on in 2016. 

“It is the defining moment for this speaker,” HFC Chairman Mark Meadows said. “If he gets it wrong, it will have consequences for him, but it will also have consequences for the rest of the party.”

Ryan to House: Pass DACA Bill in March
'We clearly need to address this issue in March,' the speaker said

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday Congress needs to pass legislation replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program by the end of March.

Ryan's imposed deadline for House action comes as the Republican whip team starts to count up votes for an immigration bill (HR 4760) by Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., to determine if it has enough support to bring to the floor.

House GOP to Whip Goodlatte Immigration Bill Wednesday
If vote count is positive, leadership intends to bring measure to the floor

Do House Republicans have an immigration bill they could pass before the March 5 expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that would get President Donald Trump’s signature?

The answer to that question will become clear Wednesday as the GOP whip team conducts a formal check on the only House measure that has Trump’s backing. If the whip count is favorable, GOP leaders will bring it to the floor, a House leadership aide confirmed. 

Second White House Staffer Resigns Amid Domestic Violence Allegations
Speechwriter David Sorensen’s resignation follows Rob Porter’s; both deny allegations

White House speech writer David Sorensen has resigned amid allegations of domestic abuse, although he denies being violent and said he was actually the victim, according to The Washington Post.  

Jessica Corbett, Sorensen’s ex-wife, claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their two-and-a-half-year marriage, but Sorensen vehemently denies the allegations and said he was the victim of domestic violence in the marriage, the Post said.

Which House Members Voted Against Their Leadership on the Budget Deal
Both Democrats and Republicans bucked their party's leaders

The House’s early Friday morning passage of a bill to reopen government after a brief shutdown was not your typical budget deal vote.

Unlike similar measures Congress has passed in recent years to lift sequestration spending caps and suspend the debt ceiling, this one drew a limited amount of Republican opposition and minimal Democratic support.

House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill to End Government Shutdown
Enough Democrats voted ‘yes’ to offset Republican defections

The House early Friday morning passed a six-week stopgap spending bill carrying a massive budget deal, ending a less-than-six-hour government shutdown without Speaker Paul D. Ryan providing Democrats the exact commitment they were seeking on an immigration vote.

President Donald Trump will sign the measure Friday morning, spokesman Raj Shah said without specifying a time. 

Democrats Boast Budget Leverage, but Are They Bluffing?
As Senate debate drags on, opposition in the House gathers strength

House Democrats left a caucus meeting just five hours before a government funding deadline Thursday acting like they have the unity needed to block the budget deal, but are they bluffing?

That’s probably the question Speaker Paul D. Ryan is asking himself right now. Or maybe he doesn’t even care.

GOP Face of Democratic DACA Demand Not Supporting Leverage Move
Hurd: ‘I don’t know why there’s reticence to having a vote on something like this.’

Democrats have a ransom problem. A key ally doesn’t support them holding this specific “hostage.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and some Democrats are trying to leverage the budget vote to extract a vote on an unrelated immigration bill.

When Is a Whip a Whip? House Democrats Might Not Be Best Ones to Ask Right Now
Mixed messages come from party critical of Trump for being inconsistent

House Democratic leaders have spent the past 48 hours opposing the bipartisan budget deal but saying they’re not whipping it, and then kind of, sort of whipping it.

The inconsistent messaging is all the more notable given Democrats’ frequent criticism of President Donald Trump for wavering in his own policy positions.

Ryan Offers Immigration Commitment But Not One Pelosi Wants
Speaker says he does not want to risk a veto, even of a bipartisan bill

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday offered a commitment to consider immigration legislation, but it’s not the one House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi requested.

“I can’t speak to what our rule is going to look like,” Ryan said. “I can say that we are going to bring a DACA bill to the floor because we want a solution to this problem.”

Pelosi to Vote ‘No’ on Budget, But Won’t Whip Caucus
Minority leader generally agrees with bill contents, opposes process, she says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she will vote against the budget deal needed to keep the government open past midnight but will not whip her caucus to vote the same way.

Pelosi’s decision means there’s a better chance — but no guarantee — that enough Democrats will offset Republican defections to pass the measure in the House.

House Democrats Divided on Backing Budget Deal Without DACA
Pelosi vows “to make sure we do everything” to get immigration vote

House Democrats are divided on whether to support a sweeping budget deal that includes a lot of their spending priorities but provides no path forward on immigration.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held the House floor for eight hours Wednesday to make it clear that she wouldn’t support the deal without a commitment from Speaker Paul D. Ryan for an immigration vote that would be “bipartisan” and “transparent.”

The House Staring Contest: Pelosi and Ryan
Speaker hemmed in by Democrats on one side, conservative Republicans on the other

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is in a staring contest with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over immigration that could result in a government shutdown.

But if the Wisconsin Republican blinks, he will likely push conservatives, many of them already at a boiling point with his leadership, over the edge.

Pelosi Withholding Support for Budget Deal, Wants Immigration Commitment
‘Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan … this package does not have my support’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday there is a budget agreement that reflects Democratic priorities but that she and her caucus cannot support it without a commitment from Speaker Paul D. Ryan to hold an open floor debate on immigration. 

“This morning, we took a measure of our Caucus because the package does nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers in the House,” the California Democrat said in a statement. “Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support.”

House Leaders Face Threats of Intraparty Rebellion on Budget Deal
Conservatives are already balking and DACA proponents could be right behind

The House Republicans’ day of reckoning is almost here.

As early as Wednesday, the four corners of congressional leadership are expected to announce a sweeping budget deal that could increase the sequestration spending caps by nearly $300 billion over two years, extend the debt ceiling without any spending changes designed to reduce the deficit, and appropriate more than $80 billion for disaster relief without pay-fors.

House Democrats Move Retreat to D.C.
Immigration and funding deadlines, 2018 messaging expected to be on agenda

Updated 10:30 p.m. | With a Thursday government funding deadline looming and negotiations ongoing, House Democrats decided late Tuesday to move their retreat scheduled for Wednesday through Friday from Cambridge, Maryland, to the Capitol complex.

“Given the pressing issues Congress will likely vote on over the next three days, House Democrats will hold their United for A Better Tomorrow Issues Conference at the U.S. Capitol,” Democratic Caucus spokeswoman Lauren French said. “Scheduling updates will be shared as soon as they are available.”