Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

Gomez Will Fit In Well With Democrats’ Liberal Wing
Newly elected California lawmaker brings wealth of political experience

State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez won the special election in California’s 34th District on Tuesday. (Courtesy Jimmy Gomez Facebook page)

California Rep.-elect Jimmy Gomez has spent his career in politics and labor organizing and will fit into the liberal wing of the Democratic caucus.

Given that experience, expect him to be a major voice on labor and workplace issues. His bill to expand California’s paid family leave was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2016.

Four (Almost) Famous Congressional Candidates
C-list actor, son of a former NBA all-star, brother of a comedian hit the campaign trail

Actor and model Antonio Sabato Jr. is challenging Rep. Julia Brownley in California’s 26th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

The political media went into a frenzy last cycle when “Little House on the Prairie” actress and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Melissa Gilbert decided to run for Congress in Michigan. Even though the Democrat eventually dropped out before she matched up against Republican Rep. Mike Bishop in the general election, it was clear that the media is hungry for any intersection of celebrity and politics.

This cycle, the early going has been meager on the celebrity front, but a handful of contenders have famous connections.

New York, California, Washington Form Climate Alliance in Wake of Paris Accord Withdrawal
The states represent over one-fifth of U.S. GDP

California Governor Jerry Brown joined two other governors to announce a climate alliance on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Paris climate agreement. Now, three of the nation's largest states, led by Democratic governors, will form a climate alliance "committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change," the governors announced Thursday.

Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Jerry Brown of California and Jay Inslee of Washington said that their plan is to continue to achieve "the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan."

A Chaotic Start to a Town Hall-Filled Recess Week
Conflicting accounts over whether Issa hid from constituents on his roof

Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., leaving a House Republican Conference meeting earlier in May. He held a town hall this Tuesday during the Memorial Day recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Tuesday of Memorial Day recess was a busy one for members of Congress interacting with constituents. It could be just the start, considering many more public meetings are planned for later this week or over the weekend.

For instance, Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., distanced himself from Trump in front of angry town hall attendees demanding he do just that. While across the country in California, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa may have hidden from his protesting constituents on top of his district office roof. A little farther north in California, Trump supporters disrupted an immigration town hall with Democratic Rep. Lou Correa, resulting in the arrest of one man and the detention of two women.

Opinion: Pelosi’s ‘Medicare for All’ Problem
Democrats want it, but at what cost?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is trying to squash her own party’s desire to fight for a health care system in which the government is the single payer for necessary medical expenses, Allen writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Last month, Democratic House members were given polling data and a set of talking points on health care.

The thrust: Hammer Republicans on their Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan, but do it with precision. More implicit, but just as clear, Democrats were advised to stay away from promoting the “Medicare for All” plan that has energized the party’s grass-roots activists and its rank and file in Congress.

Lawmakers Demand More Info on VA Dog Experiments
Letter cites experiment breeding dogs with narcolepsy and treating them with drugs before killing them

Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-Calif., was among members of Congress asking the Department of Veterans Affairs for more information about experiments on it is conducting on dogs  (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs asking for more information into the department's experiments on dogs.

“We are concerned that the VA’s description of these experiments as ‘observational’ is inaccurate and misleads Congress and taxpayers to believe that the studies are harmless,” the letter reads.

Waters Makes Surprise Appearance at MTV Awards
Presents award to ‘Hidden Figures’ for Best Fight Against the System movie

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and actor Tracee Ellis Ross speak during the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

California Rep. Maxine Waters called on artists to be socially active in a surprise appearance at the MTV Movie and TV Awards on Sunday.

“Artists, actors, singers and citizens have a unique opportunity — the ability to speak out and inspire change,” she said.

California Lawmakers Vote to Move Primary to March
2016 primary came after Trump and Clinton secured nominations

Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2016, after Hillary Clinton had already won enough delegates for the Democratic presidential nomination. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

California’s state Assembly and Senate both passed legislation Thursday to move the state’s presidential primary from June to March.

The legislation comes after complaints that the primaries came too late for voters to have a say in the contest, The Associated Press reported.

A Fence by any Other Name is ... a Wall?
White House sees a 'wall' where spending bill calls for 'fencing'

According to the White House, this could be a wall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House on Wednesday contended the omnibus spending bill making its way through Congress allows the administration to erect a “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border. There’s only one problem: The bill uses the word “fencing,” which isn’t exactly what President Donald Trump promised repeatedly on the campaign trail.

The president time and again as a candidate used language like “big, beautiful wall” to described the border barrier he would erect as commander in chief. He promised it would keep illegal immigrants, drugs and crime outside of the United States via thousands of miles of reinforced steel and thick concrete.