Congress

Background checks are still on the table for Trump, Chris Murphy says
Connecticut Democrat has doubts about a deal, calling the chances ‘less than 50/50’

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is in talks with the White House on background check legislation for gun purchases. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Chris Murphy is working with the White House to keep alive conversations about a potential deal on expanded background checks for gun purchases.

The Connecticut Democrat said Friday he is willing to work with President Donald Trump because lives are at stake, but admits that he sees the chances of passing broad gun control legislation as “less than 50-50.”

Democratic challenger taunts congressman as ‘Devin Nunes’ Cow’ trial starts
‘Devin, if you want to sue someone, sue me,’ Phil Arballo says in digital ad

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is the target of a new digital ad by Democratic challenger Phil Arballo. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Democratic challenger to Rep. Devin Nunes released a digital ad Friday taunting the California Republican for the string of lawsuits he has launched against his perceived political enemies, including parody Twitter accounts. 

The campaign unveiled the ad to coincide with Nunes reporting to court in his lawsuit against two parody accounts pretending to be his mom and a fictional cow on Twitter, according to a spokesman for Democrat Phil Arballo.

Man who sought internship with Rep. Velázquez later threatened to shoot her
Queens man was arrested by NYPD on Wednesday

Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., was the target of a shooting threat last week, according to her office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Queens, New York, man has been arrested for threatening to shoot Rep. Nydia Velázquez. Less than 48 hours earlier, he had sought an internship with the longtime New York Democrat.

New York police arrested Luke Nammacher on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported, after authorities were able to trace a call he made last Friday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in which he said he had a “friend” who wanted to shoot Velázquez.

GOP members confirm Bernhardt met with group tied to ex-client
Democrats might be focusing on meetings and calls kept off Interior secretary’s official calendar

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt testifies during his Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing on March 28, 2019. (File photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans on two House committees probing Interior Secretary David Bernhardt acknowledged in a report Thursday that the attorney and former energy lobbyist appeared to have met with the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, a trade group affiliated with a former Bernhardt client.

The joint report from Republican staff on the House Oversight and Reform, and Natural Resources committees also said ethics officials at the Interior Department approved the meeting with the trade group. The report, by acknowledging the meeting, may also indicate where the majority Democrats are focusing their examination into whether Bernhardt kept phone calls and meetings with industry representatives and groups off his public calendar.

Should we all just throw away our impeachment position trackers?
Tracking support for an impeachment inquiry no longer relevant since Judiciary panel claims one’s underway

Protesters gather in front of the White House for a rally and candlelight vigil on July 18, 2018. The protest was one of more than 100 events around the country following a dozen indictments in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Several news outlets, including CQ Roll Call, have kept tallies of the House Democrats who have called for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump for months. It may be time to throw them out.

The media lists of Democrats who support an impeachment inquiry — counts vary slightly by news outlet — are effectively meaningless now that Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other senior Democrats say his panel’s investigation into Trump’s alleged misdeeds is equivalent to one.

Coming soon to Fairport, NY: The Louise and Bob Slaughter Post Office
President Trump signed legislation naming the facility for the late New York Democrat

A post office in Fairport, N.Y. is set to be named for the late Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., and her husband. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A post office in Fairport, N.Y. is on its way to being named for the late Rep. Louise Slaughter and her late husband Bob. President Donald Trump signed into law this week legislation to rename a postal facility in the couple’s hometown. 

Slaughter, who died at age 88 in March 2018, was a trailblazer in the House. First elected in 1986, she was the first woman to chair the Rules Committee, mentored female lawmakers, pushed for the Violence Against Women Act and was a founding member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.

Trump pulls plug on foreign aid cuts amid blowback
Administration was seeking $4 billion in unspent foreign aid funding

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pictured at his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing, argued this week against the funding rescissions. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump scrapped a plan to cancel more than $4 billion in unspent foreign aid, following a bipartisan uproar from Capitol Hill, lawsuit threats from stakeholders and pushback within his own Cabinet.

Transmission of the rescissions request to cut unspent funds at the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development was expected sometime this week. But “POTUS decided not to move forward,” one source with knowledge of Trump's decision said Thursday.

Democrats target state elections with focus on election security
Supporting secretaries of state offices in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi in effort to expand voting rights

Democrats are supporting secretaries of state offices across the country to try to win a majority of those offices nationwide. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats on Thursday launched a campaign to win secretaries of state races in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi this November by pointing to their focus on boosting election security and expanding voting rights, compared with Republican officials.

“The office of the secretary of State is more important than ever,” Alex Padilla, the secretary of state for California and president of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State, told CQ Roll Call. “Every election cycle is an opportunity to elect Democratic secretaries of State, but also to ensure security and accessibility” for voters.

Democrats tried to ‘blackmail’ casino owner to let employees unionize, conservative group claims
Lawmakers say ethics accusations by Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust are baseless

Rep. Mark Pocan, D- Wisc., speaks with reporters as he leaves a House Democrats' caucus meeting in February. Pocan is one of 14 Democrats who wrote a letter to a casino mogul that a conservative ethics watchdog group says was part of an effort to coerce him to allow employees to unionize. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A conservative watchdog group asked the Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday to review whether 14 Democratic lawmakers and one Republican inappropriately used their office to try to coerce a Las Vegas casino mogul into allowing his employees to unionize.

In May, Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan and 13 other Democrats wrote a letter to Frank Fertitta III, the CEO of the Las Vegas-based casino management company Red Rock Resorts Inc., urging him to “respect the rights of employees” at the company “to form a union and collectively bargain.”

Trump straddles the line on gun control

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at the construction site for the Trump International Hotel, at the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, D.C., Monday, March 21, 2016. Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call

$960B deficit expected this year, more than $1 trillion next
The return to trillion-dollar deficits has been moved up by two years from the previous forecast in May

Its sign is seen at the office of Congressional Budget Office. The office said in its updated budget and economic outlook that the federal deficit is likely to reach $960 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Congressional Budget Office has upped its estimate of current and future deficits largely as a result of the two-year budget deal enacted last month, which the agency projects will add $1.7 trillion in red ink over 10 years.

That forecast assumes that the increased spending in fiscal 2020 and 2021 thanks to the higher caps will continue throughout the decade-long budget window, growing with inflation. At the same time, changes to the economic forecast and a reduction in estimated interest rates will partly offset the spending increases, the agency said in its latest budget and economic outlook.

Trump wants to lift restrictions on how long it can hold migrant families
Pelosi accuses White House of ‘seeking to codify child abuse’

A border security officer searches migrants before transferring them by bus to the McAllen Border Patrol facility in Los Ebanos, Texas, in July. The Trump administration is challenging a court order that limits the time children can be detained. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration is moving to end a court settlement that limits its ability to hold migrants who cross the border into the United States, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday, potentially allowing for indefinite detention of children with their parents.

President Donald Trump and his administration for years have chafed at the limitations resulting from the settlement, known as the Flores agreement. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday the new policy would get rid of an interpretation of Flores that has “substantially caused and continued to fuel” a migrant crisis at the southern border.

Elizabeth Warren is blasting Wells Fargo over fees, again
Latest criticism is over fees charged to allegedly closed accounts

Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is again criticizing Wells Fargo (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has another complaint about Wells Fargo.

This week, the Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate is taking issue with the bank allegedly charging fees on accounts that customers had believed to be closed.

Oversight blasts DOJ for siding with Trump in subpoena fight
The filing pushes back on a strategy to stymie congressional probes by limiting what can be sought from the executive branch

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is seen on a monitor as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., talks with an aide during a committee meeting on July 12, 2019. A new Oversight filing in D.C. court pushes back on a Trump administration strategy to stymie congressional investigations by limiting the scope of what they can seek from the White House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee criticized the Justice Department for proposing “astounding and novel” limits on congressional investigations Tuesday as a means to win a lawsuit over a subpoena for eight years of President Donald Trump’s financial records.

Oversight’s filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit pushes back on a Trump administration strategy to stymie congressional investigations by limiting the scope of what they can seek from the executive branch.

Ways and Means chairman cites ‘credible allegations’ of misconduct in presidential tax audit
Allegation cited in filing in battle between House Democrats and Treasury over access to returns

President Donald Trump is opposing an attempt by the House Ways and Means Committee to get access to his tax returns. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The House Ways and Means Committee said it had received “credible allegations” from a federal employee of potentially “inappropriate efforts to influence” the IRS’ mandatory audit of presidential tax returns.

References to the unexplained allegations were in a letter included in a Tuesday filing by the committee in its federal lawsuit against Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. The filing consisted of arguments in support of the committee’s motion for the court to grant it summary judgment in its lawsuit seeking six years of tax returns from President Trump and from eight of his businesses.