116th Congress

Rants aside, Trump scores big with Congress
Podcast, Episode 141

Trump in the House during his State of the Union address on Feb. 5, 2019. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Capitol Ink | Punxsutawney Don

‘That’s why I’m the majority leader and you’re the minority whip’
Hoyer, Scalise trade barbs in first House floor colloquy together

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., replaces Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in the 116th Congress as the No. 2 Republican leader who gets to participate in weekly floor colloquies with the No. 2 Democratic leader, Steny H. Hoyer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“That’s why I’m the majority leader and you’re the minority whip,” House Democratic leader Steny H. Hoyer said to Republican whip Steve Scalise on the House floor Friday, just one of the ways Hoyer welcomed his new floor sparring partner to the fray. 

The comment was the most pointed and somewhat personal but far from the only political insult the No. 2 party leaders traded during their first colloquy together. 

House Democrats to hold listening sessions to plan agenda for mid-February retreat
Location for annual caucus retreat still being finalized but dates set for Feb. 13-15

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said the caucus will soon start holding listening sessions to plan an agenda for its annual retreat in mid-February. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will soon start holding listening sessions to plan the agenda for their annual caucus retreat next month, their first in the majority since 2010, Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries told Roll Call. 

Jeffries of New York and Caucus Vice Chairwoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts both said the retreat is scheduled for Feb. 13-15 but they have yet to finalize the location. 

Trailblazers and absences define start of new Congress
Plenty of firsts, as well as some notable empty seats

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is sworn in Thursday, surrounded by children in the rostrum of the House chamber on the first day of the 116th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The first day of a new Congress is filled with ceremony and tradition, but there were a few things that set the start of the 116th Congress apart.

For the first time in history, a new congressional session began in the midst of a partial government shutdown. The swearing-in ceremonies and celebrations were clouded by the ongoing shutdown that’s now entered a second week. About a quarter of federal discretionary spending has run out, resulting in the shuttering of agencies and federal programs. But with the legislative branch already funded, there weren’t logistical problems on Capitol Hill that would devastate a high-profile day like the opening of a new Congress.

Pelosi elected speaker with 15 Democratic defections
California Democrat claims gavel again after eight years in minority

Nancy Pelosi is speaker again, eight years after she last held the gavel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats, in their first act of the 116th Congress on Thursday, officially elected Nancy Pelosi to serve as speaker, returning the gavel to the longtime Democratic leader eight years after she last held it.

The speaker election was not without controversy, however. The California Democrat had to cut a handful of deals over the past two months with would-be opponents to shore up the support needed to win the floor vote, even though no one was challenging her for the post.

Capitol Ink | Trumpty Dumpty

Pelosi Names Cheryl Johnson to Be House Clerk
Karen Haas to leave position for second time

Nancy Pelosi has named Cheryl Johnson as her choice for the next Clerk of the House of Representatives. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new clerk will call the roll in the next Congress.

Nancy Pelosi has named Cheryl Johnson as her choice for the next Clerk of the House of Representatives, replacing Karen L. Haas.

House Republican Leader Invites Democratic Freshmen to Meet With Him
McCarthy sends letter to newly elected Democrats, responding to their message about prioritizing legislation

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is seen on the chamber floor via a television monitor as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi conducts her weekly news conference Thursday. Later that afternoon, McCarthy sent a letter to incoming Democratic freshmen offering to meet with them to foster bipartisan relationships. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has a message for the newly elected Democrats who swept dozens of his colleagues out of office and his party into the minority: I’ll work with you. 

“When the new Congress is sworn in, we will all bear the ‘solemn responsibility’ of acting on behalf of our fellow citizens, as you wrote in a letter to your party’s leadership earlier this month,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to the incoming Democratic freshmen, obtained by Roll Call. 

9 New Members Who Previously Served at the Pleasure of a President
Newcomers to 116th Congress bring bevy of executive branch experience

There’s a group of new members of the 116th Congress who have served former presidents, including Reps.-elect Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., and Colin Allred, D-Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of newcomers to Capitol Hill is bringing experience from the executive branch to the 116th Congress. 

They draw from a cast of former White House or Cabinet staffers and high-ranking officials from the administrations of the past two Democratic presidents. These new members, who once had to defend their administration’s policies, now find themselves on the other side of the table, promising oversight of the executive branch.