congressional-affairs

Suicide Nooses in Cells Prompt ICE Query From Elizabeth Warren, Democrats
Letters come after DHS inspector general found makeshift nooses in detention cells

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is leading a letter to the private companies that run ICE detention facilities. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of Senate Democrats want the private prison industry to explain whether it is complying with federal standards for housing at ICE immigration detention centers.

Led by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the senators have written to CoreCivic and GEO group about their housing practices following reports from the inspector general at the Homeland Security Department.

Congress Relatively Mum on Raging California Camp Fire
A list of missing people spiked to more than 600 names Thursday

Few members of Congress outside of the California delegation have weighed in on the Camp Fire raging north of Sacramento. Years of drought have created a “tinderbox” in the Golden State, according to NASA. (NASA)

Despite a dramatic spike in the number of people unaccounted for as the historically deadly Camp Fire rages in northern California, members of Congress have been relatively quiet on the natural disaster. 

A list of missing people ballooned from 130 names to nearly 300 names within hours Wednesday, the Mercury News reported, and reached more than 600 names by late Thursday. Sixty-three people have died, and another three have died in a simultaneous blaze in Southern California. 

There’s Some WTF in This Lame Duck Session of Congress
Appointed, maybe and not-yet, maybe-never members dot the Capitol

Members-elect from the 116th Congress pose for the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on November 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Every lame duck session of Congress is special in its own way, and the current one, operating alongside the orientation session for newly elected members of Congress, has its share of oddities and weirdness. 

Speaker Paul D. Ryan swore in new members of the House on Tuesday, those who won special elections to fill out unexpired terms, Joseph D. Morelle, D-N.Y., and Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa. Oh, and also an “appointed” member, Republican Kevin Hern of Oklahoma.  

Black Caucus at Crossroads as Marcia Fudge Mulls Speaker Bid
Several CBC members still supporting Pelosi but Chairman Cedric Richmond predicts flips if Fudge runs

Reps. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, left, pictured at the 2016 Democratic National Convention with James Clyburn, D-S.C., is thinking about running for speaker. Clyburn said he’s not discouraged Fudge from running but that he’s still supporting Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The possibility that Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge might challenge Nancy Pelosi for speaker seems to have some of her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus torn, despite many saying Thursday they still plan to support Pelosi.

But one notable member of the CBC would not make such a pledge, Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond.

Democrats’ Draft House Rules Would Return Some Regular Order
All major bills going through committee is just one of many rule changes proposed

Incoming Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., presented draft proposals for overhauling House rules to the Democratic Caucus on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats’ draft proposals for overhauling the House rules would return at least some so-called regular order processes to the lower chamber by ensuring major bills go through committee before hitting the floor. 

The requirement that all bills being brought to the floor under a rule must have gone through a committee hearing and markup is just one of several notable changes Democrats are floating to House rules now that they’ll be in the majority. 

House Republicans Adopt New Rules to Govern Themselves (and the Indicted)
Rule changes are timely, given GOP has two indicted members on its hands

House Republicans adopted rules to strip indicted members from committee and leadership roles in the next Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans in leadership positions in the next Congress will have to abdicate their positions if they announce a run for higher office. The GOP conference adopted their internal rules for the 116th Congress Thursday, including the proposal on leadership from New York Rep. Elise Stefanik.

The provision from Stefanik would preclude the situation that Rep. Luke Messer was in last year, when he served as the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee while also running for the Senate.

Awkward Moments from Donald Trump's Veterans Day Do-Over
VA secretary managed to out-Trump embellishment-prone Trump

President Donald Trump talks to Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin Marillyn Hewson (right) and Director and Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman in front of a highly visible F-35 fighter jet during the "2018 Made in America Product Showcase" in July at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump got around Thursday to commemorating Veterans Day on American soil, four days after the actual holiday and after as many days holed up in and lashing out from the White House.

Trump did speak Sunday at a rain-soaked Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in France, where U.S. soldiers who died in World War I are buried, and he visited graves there. But he canceled a Saturday visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial because of bad weather, later blaming the Secret Service.

Nancy Pelosi Claims She Would be Speaker if Contest Held Today
‘Oh, please,’ California Democrat says about any need for GOP support

The fate of Nancy Pelosi’s bid to be the next speaker rests in large part on the big freshman class, including about 60 new Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:43 p.m. | Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claims if the vote for speaker were held today, she would have the support to be elected on the floor, despite the claims of opponents they have the numbers to block her. 

“Yes,” the California Democrat answered simply when asked that question during her weekly press conference Thursday. 

Border Brawl on Display at Senators-White House Meeting Today
McConnell, Shelby trek to meet with Trump about wall funding

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., front left, will be heading to the White House to discuss year-end spending deals on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Key Republican senators head to the White House Thursday afternoon to meet with President Donald Trump, hoping to resolve a border brawl that could hold up a year-end spending package and lead to a partial government shutdown.

The White House session could make clear whether Trump is prepared to give any ground in his request for a $5 billion down payment on a southern border wall — or whether he’s prepared to trigger a shutdown if he doesn’t get his way. Senate appropriators have offered only $1.6 billion in their bipartisan version of a Homeland Security spending bill.

Saudis Face Reprimand From Trump and Potentially Congress Over Khashoggi Killing
Senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among those targeted

People hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia’s consulate on October 8, 2018, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on a senior aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and 16 others in connection to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Treasury Department announced the penalties Thursday morning, just a few hours after the Saudi government announced it would seek the death penalty for five of 11 individuals indicted there over the luring of Khashoggi to a diplomatic facility in Turkey that ended with him being killed in a violent confrontation.