David Cicilline

Democrats insist they’re united and delivering but obstacles abound
‘The Democratic Caucus is acting,’ Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insists her Democratic Caucus is unified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — House Democrats gathered here for their annual retreat insist their caucus is unified and prepared to deliver on a slate of 2018 campaign promises that propelled them into the majority. But obstacles lie ahead as they seek to hold the House in 2020.

The two major challenges Democrats face are crafting legislation that unifies the progressive and moderate wings, while also working with Republicans in the Senate and the White House to enact some policies into law.

Photos of the Week: Hot dishes, tulips and high fives
The week of April 12 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Tulips bloom on the West Front of the Capitol on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is heading out of town for its two-week April recess, but members had an eventful week before they hit the road. 

Spring entered full bloom as Minnesota members enjoyed delicious hotdishes during their annual cooking competition, and Democrats pow-wowed in Leesburg, Virginia, for their retreat — with some celebrity guests.

Democrats accuse Barr of bias in handling Mueller report, but what about Rosenstein?
Most are holding fire on Rosenstein but want to know how he and Barr decided against obstruction within 48 hours

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has so far largely escaped Democratic criticism his boss Attorney General William P. Barr has faced for their conclusion that the special counsel investigation did not yield enough evidence to prosecute President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats have been quick to suggest bias in Attorney General William P. Barr’s assessment that the special counsel investigation lacked enough evidence to prosecute President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. But most of them are holding their fire when it comes to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who joined Barr in that conclusion.

“We cannot make a judgement on the basis of an interpretation by a man who was hired for his job because he believes the president is above the law, and he wrote a 19-page memo to demonstrate that,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus during its weekly meeting Tuesday, according to an aide present.

GOP Rep. writes 407-word Fox News op-ed defending McCain — doesn’t mention Trump once
Kinzinger’s apparent hesitation to explicitly invoke Trump’s name has been a trend among many GOP lawmakers

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., has criticized President Donald Trump in the past for some of his words and actions, but he declined to name the president when defending the late Sen. John McCain. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger penned a Fox News op-ed Friday defending the late Sen. John McCain as a bipartisan “maverick,” a man who stuck to his convictions in a civil manner and a rare politician who was “first to say he wasn’t always right.”

The Illinois Republican, who counted the longtime Arizona Republican as a friend and mentor, did not explicitly mention the reason McCain’s legacy emerged in the news cycle seven months after his death: President Donald Trump has re-upped his criticism of the longtime lawmaker this week.

House Judiciary Committee approves Violence Against Women Act reauthorization

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and the majority Democrats on his panel approved a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved, along party lines, 22-11, a bill to reauthorize and expand programs designed to help victims of sexual and domestic violence.

The protections and programs authorized by the 1994 law lapsed during the partial government shutdown last year, but were reinstated in the January short-term fiscal 2019 spending deal. An extension was not included in last month’s deal that provided for spending through the end of fiscal 2019.

The gigantism of big tech forces a fresh look at antitrust
Facebook, Google and Amazon are catching flak from both parties in Congress

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he plans to reorient Facebook as a privacy-based service. But not everyone is convinced, and antitrust concerns persist. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Increased public concern over the reach of large technology companies, bipartisan support for thinking anew about how to regulate big business, and ambitious policy proposals ahead of the 2020 presidential election are driving a new conversation over antitrust enforcement in the United States.

In less than two decades, three of America’s most ubiquitous technology platforms — Facebook, Google and Amazon — have grown rapidly in size and clout from small, single-market companies into industry conglomerates, thanks in part to a mostly hands-off approach to antitrust by the U.S. government.

‘I don’t know I want to be that definitive’: Pelosi impeachment opposition catches Democratic leaders off guard
As Democrats digested news, most wrote off Pelosi’s comments as nothing new

The House Democratic leadership team in a group photo in the Rayburn Room in the U.S. Capitol late last year. Front row, from left, Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. Back row, from left, Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Katie Hill, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:13 p.m. | House Democratic leaders on Monday were initially caught off guard by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments to The Washington Post declaring her opposition to impeaching President Donald Trump. But as the evening wore on, most Democrats wrote off her remarks as nothing new.

“I didn’t see it. I don’t know what she said, but I’ve got a feeling it’s the same thing I’ve been saying,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said, referring to his past statements that he did not think Democrats should make a judgement on impeachment before seeing special counsel Robert Mueller III’s report.

Lawmakers, operatives weigh in on Fox News’ rough weekend
The controversies hitting the cable news network elicited a series of reactions from people across the political spectrum

Tucker Carlson speaks onstage during Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon )

After a weekend of bad PR for Fox News, lawmakers and politicos offered a mixed bag of reactions to the series of controversies hitting the cable news network.

Host Jeanine Pirro questioned Rep. Ilhan Omar’s American allegiance because she wears a hijab during a monologue on her Saturday primetime show “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” And tape surfaced from 2006 where Tucker Carlson argues that facilitating child rape is not the same as raping children, uses the c-word to describe women and uses other inflammatory language.

Rep. David Cicilline says Sean Hannity should be subpoenaed over Michael Cohen
Fox News host asserts in interview with Trump that Cohen gave him information that conflicts with his Oversight testimony

Fox News host Sean Hannity interviews President Donald Trump before a campaign rally in Las Vegas in September. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images file photo)

Fox News host Sean Hannity appeared to insert himself into the congressional investigation of President Donald Trump in an interview with Trump aired Thursday night, leading to speculation that he could be subpoenaed.

Hannity asserted to the president that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who testified in front of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, gave him information that conflicts with Cohen’s testimony.

Term Limits Talks Roil House Democrats
Talk of compromise on matter comes amid consternation

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been involved in talks with a few Democratic opponents to her speaker bid about term limits on party leaders and committee chairs, an idea opposed by many in her caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are at odds over whether to adopt intraparty term limits for their elected leaders and committee chairs, even as it offers them a way out of their current impasse on the race for the speakership.

The House Democratic Caucus has long wrestled with the idea of term limits. House Republicans adopted a rule in 1995 to limit committee chairs to serving three terms. Democrats kept that rule in place when they took the majority in 2007 but then decided two years later to get rid of it.