Jan Schakowsky

The lobbyists: Roll Call’s people to watch in 2019
Are they worried the new Congress will make war on K Street? Do they look worried?

Michael Williams, a longtime banking and finance policy lobbyist, aims to bridge the divide between progressives and his clients. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump looms large on almost every important issue, but it won’t be all about him for some individuals on Roll Call’s list of People to Watch in 2019. 

The financial sector will be learning to survive a less business-friendly environment in the House, and a longtime Democratic lobbyist is well-positioned to lend a hand.

Family separation blasted by both parties at oversight hearing
“I think what we’re really talking about is state sponsored child abuse, and I would go as far as to say kidnapping,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky

A family member walks into the Adelanto Detention Facility on November 15, 2013 in Adelanto, California. The facility, the largest and newest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detention center in California, houses an average of 1,100 immigrants in custody pending a decision in their immigration cases or awaiting deportation. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Democrats on a House subcommittee demanded answers Thursday from Health and Human Services officials regarding how many children were actually separated from parents during the “zero tolerance” policy last spring at the southern border, after a report found that thousands more children could have been separated than the 2,700 previously reported.

“What’s been happening is more than irresponsible and sloppy. I think what we’re really talking about is state sponsored child abuse, and I would go as far as to say kidnapping,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said at a hearing by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

House Democrats break out their white suits for State of the Union
The party selected the color to harken back to suffragists

First row from left, Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Alma Adams, D-N.C., pose for a group photo Tuesday of House Democrats in the Capitol Visitor Center. They say they are wearing “suffragette white” to the State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats appeared at the Capitol on Tuesday wearing white suits and dresses ahead of the State of the Union. 

The color was selected as a nod to the suffragist movement, according to Rep. Lois Frankel, chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group.

Federal workers protest ongoing shutdown; union leaders arrested
12 people were arrested by Capitol Police outside of McConnell's office in the Russell Senate Office Building

Federal workers and contractors, along with their unions, staged a protest calling for and end to the government shutdown. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Twelve protesters advocating an end to the government shutdown were arrested Wednesday outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. 

The twelve were arrested by Capitol Police in the Russell Senate Office Building just before 2 p.m., following a larger demonstration where furloughed federal workers and their unions raised their voices.

Photos of the week: 116th Congress sworn in as shutdown continues
The week of Dec. 31 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., is seen in the Capitol's House chamber before members were sworn in on the first day of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The holiday season ended, the partial government shutdown continued and new members were sworn into the 116th Congress this week.

Here's the entire week of Dec. 31 in photos:

Moments from opening day of the 116th Congress
Pelosi gets speaker’s gavel, kids dab and floss, and Delgado frames the words they threw at him

Incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes a selfie with, from second left, Reps. Barbara Lee, Anne McLane Kuster and Jan Schakowsky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The 116th Congress opened today with new members being sworn in and Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California reclaiming the speaker’s gavel eight years after she lost it when Republicans took control of the House.

Despite friction from the standoff over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall that led to a partial government shutdown, now in its 13th day, new members crossed the aisle to be greeted by old ones and celebrate with other freshmen.

Jayapal Joins Pocan As Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus
Ro Khanna replaces Jayapal as the caucus’s first vice chair

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will co-chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus with Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan will serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 116th Congress.

The CPC — which will have more than 90 members next year — held its leadership elections Thursday, which also saw California Rep. Ro Khanna chosen to replace Jayapal as first vice chair. 

Cheri Bustos Elected DCCC Chair
Illinois Democrat was in charge of ‘heartland engagement’ during 2018 cycle

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, center, is the new head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats elected Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos on Thursday to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2020 election cycle.

Bustos won in the first round of voting, finishing ahead of Washington Reps. Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene. The tally was 117 votes for Bustos, with Heck at 83 and DelBene at 32. 

14 Democrats Push Back on Raising Caucus Threshold for Speaker Race
Caucus threshold should remain simple majority; members should unite behind winner, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to run for speaker again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of 14 Democrats who support Nancy Pelosi for speaker are pushing back on a proposal from some of their anti-Pelosi colleagues to raise the caucus threshold for nominating a speaker candidate. 

House Democratic Caucus rules make all of their elected leadership positions subject to a simple-majority vote. Then, under House rules, the speaker nominee chosen by the caucus needs to win votes from a majority of the entire chamber — 218, if everyone is present and voting. 

Welcome to the Marvel Political Universe
Presidential and midterm elections are now surrounded by lead-in elections

Girls dressed as characters from “Thor,” pose during an event near the Capitol reflecting pool hosted by Awesome Con in 2014. The U.S. election system is starting to take on aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a constant churn of smaller narratives setting up bigger chapters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The American election system has become its own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Presidential elections every four years used to be the tentpole movie that everyone went to see. Midterms, off-year special elections, primaries — those were for the real political geeks out there. Not anymore.