Sheila Jackson Lee

It’s still the year of the woman, if this pizza chef has her way
Every week Ruth Gresser will offer up a cheesy, saucy concoction inspired by female politicians

Ruth Gresser, right, is bringing back her pizza promotion celebrating women who lead. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

After last year’s elections swept a record number of women into office, they’re finally getting some dough. Literally.

“I’m sure there would be many people who would say that there shouldn’t be any politics in pizza,” said chef Ruth Gresser, who owns D.C. mainstay Pizzeria Paradiso. But that hasn’t stopped her from creating a yearlong homage to women who lead.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to step down as chairwoman of Judiciary subcommittee and CBCF
She will temporarily step away from the subcommittee, and an aide said there's no timeline for her return

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is temporarily stepping down from her leadership of a House Judiciary subcommittee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is temporarily stepping down from her leadership of a House Judiciary subcommittee, following a lawsuit claiming she fired a staffer who said she was raped by a superior at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, was chairwoman of the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations subcommittee, where she has focused on protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and gun violence prevention.

GOP congressman apologizes to Democratic rep for ‘Go back to Puerto Rico’ outburst
Rep. Jason Smith said he was referring to trip House and Senate Democrats took to Puerto Rico during shutdown

Missouri Republican Rep. Jason Smith said he was referring to a trip that House and Senate Democrats took when he shouted “Go back to Puerto Rico” on the House floor on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Jason Smith called Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas and apologized Thursday for blurting out “Go back to Puerto Rico” while Cárdenas was waiting to speak on the House floor.

Cárdenas, a descendant of Mexican immigrants, accepted the Missouri Republican’s apology, said in a statement to Roll Call.

House floor erupts after GOP lawmaker shouts ‘Go back to Puerto Rico’
Spokesman says Rep. Jason Smith was referring to ‘vacationing’ Democrats who went to inspect hurricane recovery

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise calls for a roll call vote after Democrats held a voice vote on a continuing resolution that would reopen the partially shut down government.(C-SPAN)

The House floor erupted Thursday shortly before Congress adjourned for the week when Republican Rep. Jason Smith yelled a potentially racially charged remark across the aisle as Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas was at the podium.

“Go back to Puerto Rico!” the Missouri congressman shouted, punctuating a stream of Republican whooping and hollering at the Democratic majority for initially rejecting their request to redo a vote on a continuing resolution to reopen shuttered agencies through Feb. 28.

Former staffer sues Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee for firing her after rape allegation
In court filings, the staffer alleges a former intern coordinator raped her in October 2015

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, participates in a press conference with House Judiciary Committee Democrats on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former staffer for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee claims in a new lawsuit that the Texas Democrat fired her after she planned to pursue legal action over an alleged rape by a former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation employee.

According to the court filings, the staffer alleges that Damien Jones, a former intern coordinator for the CBCF, raped her at his D.C.-area home in October 2015. The staffer, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, was a 19-year-old intern for the CBCF when the alleged assault happened.

House Democrats target private gun sellers with bipartisan background checks bill
Universal background checks bill indicates gun law reform will remain near top of Democratic agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during the event to introduce the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would require all gun sellers, including private vendors, to conduct background checks on potential buyers, indicating the issue will be a top item on the Democratic agenda during the 116th Congress.

Under current law, only federally licensed vendors must conduct background checks. Private sellers who do not have licenses do not fall under the same compliance mandate.

Violence Against Women Act Lapses Again
Authorization expired with partial government shutdown

Anita Hill testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 14, 1991. The Violence Against Women Act came together in the aftermath of the hearings, in which Hill alleged she faced sexual harassment by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Violence Against Women Act lapsed for the second time in 25 years. Authorization for the law’s programs expired when the partial government shutdown began just after midnight Friday.

The landmark domestic violence law was set to expire Sept. 30, but was extended through Dec. 7 under the first stopgap spending bill and extended again until Dec. 21 in a second short-term bill.

[Correction] Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Latest Spending Proposal

A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will likely lapse at the end of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corrected 6:30 p.m. | Despite indications earlier Monday that the Violence Against Women Act would not be extended as part of the two-week continuing resolution, the stopgap funding measure would indeed extend VAWA until at least Dec. 21. 

This means the landmark domestic violence law will not lapse for the second time in 25 years.

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. 

GOP Ads Target Young Female Voters on Violence Against Women Act
Winning for Women is behind ads touting Comstock, McSally and Walters

GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock is running for a third term in Virginia’s 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An outside group dedicated to electing Republican women is launching digital ads urging three lawmakers to support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which is set to expire in December.

The digital ads, obtained first by Roll Call, target Reps. Mimi Walters of California and Barbara Comstock of Virginia — both facing tough re-elections — and Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, who’s running for Senate.