Lindsey McPherson

Mueller to testify before House Judiciary, Intelligence panels July 17
Former special counsel only agreed to testify in open session pursuant to a subpoena

The House Judiciary and Intelligence committees issued a subpoena Tuesday night for Robert S. Mueller III to testify in open session on July 17, and the former special counsel agreed to appear.

In a statement, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff said Mueller has agreed to testify before both committees in open session pursuant to the subpoena.

Senate border bill faces hurdles

Republicans on both sides of the Capitol are generally unified in support of the Senate’s $4.59 billion supplemental relief bill for border agencies strained by record numbers of migrants crossing the southern border.

There’s just one problem: It’s not fully clear that President Donald Trump would sign the bipartisan measure, which was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 30-1 vote last Wednesday.

House Democrats offer changes to woo liberals on border funds
Bipartisan Senate measure moving in that chamber, adding to flux

Updated 12:55 p.m. | House Democratic leaders sought to tamp down a rebellion among their party’s left flank Tuesday as they prepared for a floor vote on $4.5 billion in emergency funding for the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border.

Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey offered a new manager’s amendment aimed at easing the concerns of Progressive Caucus and Hispanic Caucus members over the care of children who are in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. Her amendment would tack on requirements for CBP to develop standards for medical care, nutrition, hygiene and personnel training, as well as a plan to ensure access to translation services for individuals “encountered” by U.S. immigration agencies.

Emergency border funds face delays as money and time run short
House Democrats face possible revolt, Rand Paul threatens to hold up action in Senate

Swift passage of billions of dollars in emergency aid to help care for tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants, many of them children, was in doubt Monday night as House Democrats were facing a possible revolt and a lone Republican senator was holding up action across the Capitol.

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus made their concerns known to Speaker Nancy Pelosi about their chamber’s $4.5 billion package that leaders wanted to put on the floor Tuesday.

Congressional compensation: Isn’t there a select committee for that?
Panel tasked with modernizing Congress will look at staff but not member issues

As lawmakers engage in a contentious debate about whether to thaw a decadelong freeze on their pay, there’s a logical place where the underlying issues of member compensation and housing could be addressed — the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. 

But the panel currently has no plans to take up such matters, its chairman, Rep. Derek Kilmer, and vice chairman, Rep. Tom Graves, told CQ Roll Call. 

Road ahead: House and Senate seek to pass dueling border funding bills
Defense policy, election security and spending also on the agenda ahead of July Fourth

Leaders in the House and Senate want to approve spending at least $4 billion more to address the influx of migrants and their humanitarian needs at the U.S.-Mexico border before the July Fourth recess.

Bills in the two chambers differ, however, raising doubts about whether there will be a resolution on President Donald Trump’s desk this month. 

Leaders on collision course on member pay raise issue
Hoyer proceeding with cost of living adjustment in House, but McConnell says Senate will not include it

Congressional leaders seem to be on a collision course over the issue of raising members’ pay, as the two majority leaders in the House and Senate are heading in opposite directions on the politically fraught issue.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told CQ Roll Call Thursday that he expects to bring the Legislative Branch appropriations bill to the floor next week unchanged, meaning without language to block a cost-of-living adjustment to member salaries.

Border spending bill sent to Senate floor, but House may act on its version first
Measure provides slightly less than Trump administration sought, but got bipartisan support from Senate appropriators

Senate appropriators approved $4.59 billion in emergency funding Wednesday to address the influx of migrants at the southern border, and their House counterparts said they’re prepping a similar bill to bring to the floor as soon as Tuesday.

The measure appropriators sent to the Senate floor provides slightly less than President Donald Trump’s administration had requested, but leaders of both parties said it did not include “poison pills” that could block passage.

Pelosi against censuring Trump: ‘If the goods are there, you must impeach’
Democrats will consider impeachment ‘when we stop finding even more information,’ Pelosi says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday made her strongest comments on impeachment to date in rejecting an idea some House Democrats have floated to censure President Donald Trump. 

“No. I think censure is just a way out,” the California Democrat said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, when asked if she would support a censure resolution against Trump. “If you want to go, you have to go. In other words, if the goods are there, you must impeach.”

Road Ahead: Border supplemental talks could overshadow regular appropriations
Senate to begin NDAA debate while House votes on first fiscal 2020 spending package

Congressional leaders are hoping this week will produce a breakthrough in negotiations over emergency funding for the migrant crisis at the southern border so they can pass it before the Independence Day recess. 

President Donald Trump has requested Congress pass a $4.5 billion supplemental to help the Department of Homeland Security process the growing number of migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Homeland, Judiciary Democrat asks Pelosi to form election security task force
Rep. Lou Correa cites Mueller's findings as a need for a group to help head off future attacks

Rep. Lou Correa is asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to form a task force to examine proposals for combating foreign influence and ensuring U.S. electoral systems are secure, according to a letter obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committee member wrote to his fellow California Democrat citing Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings that foreign actors compromised U.S. election security as reason such a group is needed.

House floor shenanigans punctuate start of spending season
Democrat calls GOP males ‘sex-starved,’ while Republicans use procedural delay tactics

Congressional proceedings are usually pretty dry, but on Wednesday, House floor watchers might as well have been tuned into a reality TV show given all the shenanigans occurring as lawmakers debated their first spending package for the upcoming fiscal year.

Between a Democratic lawmaker calling her GOP male colleagues “sex-starved” and Republicans using a series of procedural tricks to delay proceedings, there was no shortage of tension to kick off the fiscal 2020 appropriations process.

Republicans move for House to adjourn over inaction on border crisis
GOP members use procedural delay tactic to highlight need for more funds at border

Frustrated over what they say is Democrats’ inaction on President Donald Trump’s request for more money to manage the migrant crisis at the border, a few House Republicans on Wednesday used a procedural motion to adjourn to protest on House floor.

The first motion to adjourn, offered by Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy, was defeated 146-244. The second, offered by Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs, was also defeated, 140-254. 

On congressional pay raise, maximum political pain and no gain
Hoyer optimistic, but McCarthy cool on member cost-of-living update

House Democratic leaders are learning the hard way that when it comes to the politically dicey issue of raising lawmaker pay, there is maximum risk with a minimum chance of gain. 

Amid the fallout from Democrats in the chamber abruptly pulling a legislative spending bill from a broader package, leaders on Tuesday were left to state an easy to articulate but difficult to achieve goal: that the only path to bigger paychecks was through bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.

Democrats’ next move unclear after approving subpoena lawsuits
Resolution is House’s broadest step so far in response to Trump’s ‘oppose-all-the-subpoenas’ strategy

Updated 7:13 p.m. | House Democrats voted Tuesday to bolster their oversight power by giving committees the authority to take Trump administration officials to court quickly, but it did little to settle broader questions in a caucus that is trying to balance competing political and legal strategies ahead of the 2020 elections.

The resolution becomes the House’s broadest step in response to President Donald Trump’s “oppose-all-the-subpoenas” strategy, because it allows the Democrats to skip the floor process to enforce committee subpoenas through the federal courts.

Fight over pay raise for Congress causes Democrats to pull spending bill
Rules chairman says measure could return as early as next week

House Democrats have decided to pull the fiscal 2020 Legislative Branch spending bill out of a package moving on the floor this week, averting a politically toxic debate over salaries for members of Congress.

“We could have done this in a bipartisan fashion, but people were demagogues on this. I don’t want to leave my members who are in tough districts subjected to that,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters Monday evening.

Pelosi says Trump using tariffs to distract from Mueller. Is she doing the same on impeachment?
Speaker again tries to downplay Democratic divisions on impeachment, saying, ‘We know exactly what path we are on’

President Donald Trump’s proposal to impose tariffs on Mexican imports if that country doesn’t stem the flow of migrants trying to enter the United States is “a distraction from the Mueller report,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.

“And it’s served its purpose, right? Here we are,” the California Democrat noted as she faced questions about tariffs during her weekly press conference.

Before considering power that could jail defiant Trump officials, Dems plan to go to court
‘Inherent contempt’ remains an option, but House vote next week would seek civil enforcement first

Despite some Democrats calling on the House to use its inherent contempt authority to fine or jail administration officials who defy subpoenas, Democratic leaders have opted to first fight the battles in civil court.

The House will vote next week on a resolution to authorize the Judiciary Committee to pursue civil enforcement of subpoenas it issued to Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn. 

On DREAM Act, 9 Democrats defect on rule vote, even as caucus shows more unity
Relatively rare for members of the majority to buck leadership in voting against a rule

House votes on rules to begin debate on legislation are typically party-line tests. But when nine Democrats voted Tuesday against the rule for an immigration bill, it was a high-water mark for Democratic defections this year.

Still, Democrats are more unified on such votes than the House majority party has been in all but two years of the last decade. 

Clyburn walks back comments suggesting impeachment proceedings are inevitable
“I also said we must not get out in front of our committees, all in the same sentence”

The No. 3 House Democratic leader on Monday walked back comments he made a day earlier on CNN, when he said he believes the chamber will eventually open impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn criticized reporters for seizing on just one aspect of his interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”