House Democrats

Why 19 Democrats and 109 Republicans voted against the government funding deal
Democratic defections were mostly Hispanic Caucus members, progressives concerned about immigration enforcement

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined 18 other House Democrats and 109 House Republicans in voting against the compromise spending package Thursday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats were just two votes short Thursday night of being able to clear a fiscal 2019 appropriations package without Republican help, while less than half of the GOP conference voted for the bill to avert another government shutdown.

That dynamic may foreshadow battles ahead as the new House Democratic majority will try to exert its influence over government spending while still having to deal with a Republican president and Senate. 

House passes appropriations package to avert shutdown, sends to Trump
President will sign legislation but declare national emergency to free up more money for border wall

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference Thursday in which she fielded questions about the government funding bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed a spending package Thursday night, completing congressional action to avert a government shutdown with barely a day to spare. 

The final vote was 300-128. Nineteen Democrats voted against the measure, while 109 Republicans, representing a majority of their conference, were opposed. 

House may vote on resolution to disapprove of Trump’s national emergency
Velázquez says chamber will vote on Castro disapproval resolution, but leadership says no decision made

Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said the House will vote on a resolution to disapprove of President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to build the wall. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:34 p.m. | The House will vote on a resolution of disapproval that would push back on President Donald Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to free up more funds for a wall along the southern border, according to New York Democrat Nydia M. Velázquez. But a leadership aide said no such decision about a vote has been made. 

Velázquez said the timing of the vote had not yet been settled on but added that the disapproval resolution sponsored by Texas Democrat Joaquin Castro would be the first vote taken. Castro, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement that he was “prepared to introduce a resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration under 50 U.S.C. 1622. (National Emergencies Act)” if Trump made such a move.

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.

Democratic leaders not looking to punish Ilhan Omar after her apology for anti-Semitic remarks
Omar will not be stripped of her committee assignments, Hoyer said

Post-It Notes with words of support are posted on the nameplate for Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., outside her office in the Longworth House Office Building on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders do not plan to strip freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar of her committee assignments or take other action against her for comments they said were offensive and invoked anti-Semitic tropes.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he takes Omar at her word that she didn’t intend to be anti-Semitic when she said lawmakers took pro-Israel stances because of political contributions from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

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.

McCarthy vows ‘action’ against Democrats for anti-Semitic remarks
Minority leader says Democratic leaders’ silence makes them ‘just as guilty’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., plans to take action against freshmen Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar for remarks he says are anti-Semitic. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, frustrated with Democratic leaders’ refusal to rebuke progressive freshmen for what he views as anti-Semitic remarks, said he plans to take action. 

Republicans have criticized Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar, both of whom are Muslim, for remarks they’ve made in support of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and against the Israeli government.

Emerging border security deal will be first big test of Democratic unity
With some barrier funding expected, vote may show fractures among new House majority

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said he expects to oppose whatever border security funding agreement appropriators reach because he does not support any funding for a border barrier. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it comes to legislating, House Democrats are still in the honeymoon stage of their new majority. They haven’t had to take any difficult votes yet. But the rocky period is coming, and it will likely start next week with a vote on a border security funding package. 

House and Senate appropriators serving on a Homeland Security funding conference committee signaled Thursday that they’re narrowing in on a border security deal that could be finalized and ready for floor votes next week ahead of a Feb. 15 government funding deadline. 

Pelosi says she is done reacting to Trump, ready to focus on legislating

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she wants to focus on legislating, not just reacting to the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is tired of reacting to President Donald Trump’s mischaracterizations and that she has too much else on her plate to weigh in on the political mess in Virginia. Put simply, the California Democrat is ready to get down to legislative business.

Opening her weekly press conference Thursday, Pelosi spent several minutes talking about the various committee hearings House Democrats have begun holding on a range of priority issues like health care costs, infrastructure, campaign finance and climate change. 

‘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.”