Hakeem Jeffries

House Democrats give leaders a pass on breaking 72-hour rule for spending deal
Few members, however, were willing to stake a position until seeing the bill

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan seemed understanding of the trade-offs made to get to the spending deal but said he wanted to read the bill text first before deciding on his vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Democrats are giving their leadership a pass for breaking a chamber rule that requires bill text to be released 72 hours before a vote so they can quickly move a funding package before Friday’s deadline to avert another government shutdown.

But many of the same Democrats also said Wednesday before the text of a seven-bill appropriations package was released that they couldn’t make a decision on how they’d vote until reading it — which they’d only have about 24 hours to do.

House Democratic leaders, chairmen criticize Omar for ‘anti-Semitic trope’
McCarthy says House Republicans will ‘take action’ this week

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said tweets from Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., about a pro-Israel lobbying group buying off members of Congress "invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.'" (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic leadership team and key Jewish committee chairmen on Monday joined a chorus of criticism against freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for tweets suggesting that a pro-Israel lobbying group was buying off members of Congress.

Republicans have been attacking the Minnesota Democrat for several weeks for supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and making comments against the Israeli government. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he is likely to take action against Omar and another BDS supporter, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib — the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

House Democrats to consider publishing internal caucus rules ‘in short order’
Progressive groups have called out secrecy surrounding how Democrats govern themselves

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Vice Chairwoman Katherine M. Clark conduct a news conference after a caucus meeting in the Capitol in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will consider making public their internal party rules after pressure from outside groups who say such a move would exemplify the party’s “commitment to open government.” 

“We believe in transparency and accountability,” Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries wrote Thursday in a letter obtained by Roll Call, “and in that spirit, this issue will be presented to the Caucus for consideration in short order.” 

‘Mr. President, get real’: Democrats reject Trump’s SOTU alarm about socialism
Republicans have increasingly referred to Democrats as socialists, but Trump remarks take attack to new heights

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., pictured walking through Statuary Hall to the House chamber for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Feb. 5, dismissed Trump’s remark about the rise of socialism as “demagoguing.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican efforts to label the Democratic Party as socialists reached a new high Tuesday night as President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address to further that partisan message — prompting groans and grimaces from Democrats. 

“We are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said. “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

Pelosi said she took Trump’s SOTU line about investigations as an ‘all-out threat’
‘If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,’ Trump said in address

Speaker Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with President Donald Trump before his State of the Union address on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi was visibly appalled at much of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, but there was one particular line that seemed to be bugging her the next morning: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”

“It was a threat. It was an all-out threat,” the California Democrat told reporters Wednesday morning.

Senate passes Middle East policy bill, urges caution in Syria
21 Democrats vote against measure, including four declared presidential contenders

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s provision against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement directed at Israel proved controversial for many Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Tuesday passed a Middle East policy bill that urges President Donald Trump not to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

The 77-23 vote on the measure came hours ahead of Trump’s State of the Union address and more than a month after the legislation, initially touted as widely bipartisan and noncontroversial, was first brought to the floor. Democrats refused to consider the bill during the 35-day partial government shutdown.

Democratic leaders called out for secrecy surrounding internal party rules
Progressive groups want Democrats to publish caucus rules on the internet

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries arrives for the weekly caucus press conference in the Capitol on Jan. 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leaders are under pressure to publish their internal party rules — a deceptively dry set of policies that can determine how power is distributed among members, how the party responds to scandal, and what issues the party will prioritize on the chamber floor. 

Those guidelines “have a significant impact on the legislative process,” according to 11 progressive and civil rights groups, who wrote a letter to party leaders Thursday asking for the rules to be published on the internet. The letter points out that House Republicans have published their caucus rules for “several” Congresses. It comes as Democratic leaders tout a sweeping overhaul bill, HR-1, that they say would set the stage for a new era of transparency in Congress. 

House Democrats postpone retreat because timing conflicts with Feb. 15 funding deadline
Democrats had scheduled the retreat to be Feb. 13-15 in Leesburg before three-week continuing resolution

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., is postponing the caucus’s annual retreat that had been scheduled for Feb. 13-15 because it bumps up against the new government funding deadline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are postponing their annual retreat that was scheduled to take place Feb. 13-15 in Leesburg, Va., because the timing conflicts with the new government funding deadline. 

The Democratic Caucus will be announcing new dates for the retreat in the near future, Michael Hardaway, spokesman for Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said. 

Trump says State of the Union is a go
He told Speaker Nancy Pelosi there are no security concerns, something she cited when requesting a delay

President Donald Trump, flanked from left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S. Dak., and Vice President Mike Pencestops to speak to the cameras following his lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wed. Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump informed Speaker Nancy Pelosi he plans to deliver his second State of the Union address on Tuesday night at the Capitol.

He said in a letter there are no security concerns, which she had cited in asking him to consider delaying the event or delivering his remarks in writing.

House GOP retreat postponed amid government shutdown
The Congressional Institute announced Wednesday it will postpone the three-day event

House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney is seen before the start of a news conference on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans’ annual retreat has become the latest victim of the partial government shutdown.

House Republicans had been scheduled to hold their retreat Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. But the Congressional Institute announced Wednesday it will postpone the three-day event.