American Indians

Democratic Tri-Caucus to track diversity of witnesses in House hearings
Initiative would have committees send witnesses diversity surveys

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is one of the leaders of the Tri-Caucus, along with Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Callfile photo)

The chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus announced Thursday that starting in January 2020 they will track the diversity of witnesses testifying in House committee hearings. 

Collectively known as the Tri-Caucus, the groups want to ensure diversity of witnesses that help inform policies and legislation to ensure the laws Congress passes are “inclusive and work for Americans of all backgrounds.”

Study shows growing ocean damage as protection bills languish
Finds most ocean acidification, which harms marine life and coastal economies, has been triggered by 88 companies, including Exxon Mobil

A slide shows growing acidification of the world’s oceans during a presentation of data at a climate conference in Spain earlier this month.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

As lawmakers push legislation to protect the nation’s coastal waters, scientists are placing much of the blame for degrading ocean conditions on emissions from large energy companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., which was cleared Tuesday in a long-running climate court case.

A study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters found that carbon emissions from the largest energy and cement companies are responsible for more than half of a damaging side effect: increasing acidity in the planet’s oceans, which harms marine life and coastal economies.

Democratic lawmakers slowly take sides in 2020 primary
30 percent of congressional Democrats have endorsed, with most backing Joe Biden

From left, Massachusetts Reps. Lori Trahan, Ayanna S. Pressley, and Katherine M. Clark have all endorsed their home-state senior senator, Elizabeth Warren. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than two-thirds of Democratic lawmakers have yet to take sides in the presidential primary, a sign that the race remains in flux. But the campaigns that have nabbed congressional endorsements so far could benefit from shows of support, particularly from high-profile freshmen.  

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to back Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley’s endorsement of her home-state senator, Elizabeth Warren, grabbed national headlines. But support from lawmakers with lower profiles can still help presidential campaigns generate local media attention, demonstrate support from key constituencies and provide a team of surrogates who can be deployed across the country. 

Blame game in standoff over Violence Against Women Act
Ernst says Democrats motivated by her 2020 race; Schumer calls her ‘afraid of NRA’

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said talks with Democrats over renewing the Violence Against Women Act broke down because Democratic leaders did not want senators who are up for reelection next year like her to get legislation passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said Tuesday that Democrats trying to undermine her 2020 reelection contributed to stalled talks to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Ernst had been working with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California for months on a bipartisan reauthorization bill before both sides said the negotiations fell apart earlier this month.

Senate talks on crafting bipartisan Violence Against Women Act break down
Iowa's Ernst to push her own bill, calls House version ‘nonstarter’

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Thursday that talks with Democrats on a bipartisan update to the Violence Against Women Act have dissolved. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Bipartisan Senate talks over a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act fell apart this week, Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said in a floor speech Thursday.

Ernst said she’ll introduce her own version of the bill that can pass the Republican-controlled Senate and gain the support of President Donald Trump. The House, controlled by Democrats, passed a version of the bill in April.

Former ‘military brat’ Deb Haaland honors dad at Marine Corps Marathon
The congresswoman’s father fought in the Vietnam War as a Marine

Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico at the starting line of the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon (Courtesy @repdebhaaland / Instagram)

Rep. Deb Haaland grew up a “military brat,” bouncing from base to base as the daughter of a U.S. Marine Corps officer. The New Mexico Democrat’s father, Maj. J.D. “Dutch” Haaland, served in the military for 30 years, and during that time he deployed for a two-year tour in Vietnam, where he earned two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry” in Con Thien.

Haaland wrote her dad letters almost daily. She would later find a trove of those notes after his death in February 2005. As a child, Haaland didn’t exactly understand the stakes of war, but when her dad returned home from Vietnam, she noticed that he would sometimes cry during evening news broadcasts on the war.

Trump’s big night in Big D: Three takeaways from ‘overthrow’ rally in Dallas
GOP strategist on white suburban voters: ‘He hasn’t given them much reason to vote for him’

Supporters react as President Donald Trump speaks during a "Keep America Great" campaign rally at American Airlines Center on Thursday in Dallas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | Donald Trump walked slowly into the White House just after 1:30 a.m. Friday even more embattled than when he left it some 15 hours earlier. During a rally in Dallas hours before, he dropped the “I-word” (impeachment) just once as he described himself and conservatives as victims of an “overthrow” conspiracy.

Gordon Sondland, the hotelier-turned-ambassador to the European Union, told the House lawmakers leading an impeachment inquiry that he came to realize Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, likely was trying “to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.”

After 184 years, Cherokees seek House delegate seat promised in treaty
Move poses technical and moral questions, including whether Cherokees would get ‘super vote’

Kim Teehee (courtesy Cherokee Nation)

Kim Teehee was an intern combing through dusty archives when she first learned of a largely forgotten agreement between her Cherokee tribe and the federal government.

More than 25 years later, that document has placed Teehee at the center of a historic reckoning of the way Congress treats Native Americans, while raising questions about what representation in Washington really means.

Chief Standing Bear statue welcomed in Capitol, replacing William Jennings Bryan
McCarthy: ‘as the tours are given, I promise you: you will stop here’

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., speaks during a ceremony unveiling a statue of Chief Standing Bear, a Native American civil rights icon from Nebraska. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The prominent placement of Nebraska’s new statue of the legendary Chief Standing Bear in Statuary Hall was quite intentional.

So said Sen. Roy Blunt at an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. The Missouri senator was introduced as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, but it was in one of his other capacities that he had shown Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., where he thought the statue should be positioned.

Haaland recalls struggles as single mom, Thanksgiving and being homeless
“My daughter was like, ‘Mom, we were actually homeless’’

New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland, center, says her struggles as a single mom continue to guide her as a lawmaker in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Americans typically celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering with friends and family to cook and eat bountiful feasts. We tend to think of it as a day of abundance and sometimes overindulgence.

But Deb Haaland recalls one year when her experience was far from typical or joyful.