congressional-affairs

House Judiciary Democrats eye campaign finance measures
FEC member points out need for more commissioners

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., continues to champion his Democracy for All Amendment to the Constitution that would essentially undo the 2010 Citizens United v FEC decision. “The deeply rooted problem of money in politics requires a constitutional amendment,” Deutch said Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal Election Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, in testimony to a House Judiciary subcommittee, tried to draw attention to her agency’s current predicament: It’s lacked enough commissioners for a quorum for more than five months.

“While I know this is not within the House’s purview, the FEC could really use some new commissioners to restore our quorum and let us do our job,” she said during a hearing of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. “So tell your friends.”

House Democrats shut down GOP attempt to admonish Pelosi over ripping SOTU
Party-line vote tables resolution disapproving of speaker's actions

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats on Thursday backed Speaker Nancy Pelosi in voting to kill a Republican resolution to disapprove of her ripping up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. 

Texas GOP Rep. Kay Granger, who’s facing a competitive primary this cycle, offered the resolution as a question of privilege, which forces the House to consider the measure. Rather than allow an up or down vote, Democratic leaders moved to table the resolution, which effectively kills it.

Pelosi has 'no plans right now' for fight over Bolton testimony
Schiff says he thinks former Trump national security adviser would be hostile to House subpoena

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she thought former national security adviser John Bolton would be hostile to any attempts by the House to get his testimony. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House has “no plans right now” to engage in a court fight for former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony.

Since Bolton had said he would testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed, it was thought he would respond to a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee.

Pelosi defends ripping Trump’s speech as message to American people about SOTU falsehoods
‘I don’t need any lessons from anybody, especially the president of the United States, about dignity,’ speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, February 6, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday defended her decision to rip up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, saying she decided about a quarter or third of the way through the address that something had to be done to indicate to the American people that his words were not the truth.

“I tore up a manifesto of mistruths,” the California Democrat said at her weekly news conference, noting the falsehoods in Trump’s speech on Tuesday evening were “dangerous to the American people if they believe what he said.”

Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
It may look like a winning strategy today, but the election is still nine months away

Sen. Susan Collins suggested impeachment itself was enough to scare Donald Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. Has she ever met the president? Curtis asks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

Auction off Pelosi’s ripped speech? Only he would think of it
Billy Long isn’t the only former professional auctioneer in Congress, but lately he’s been the most creative

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., shakes hands with President Donald Trump after 2019 the State of the Union address. (Doug Mills/The New York Times file photo)

Rep. Billy Long, the proud owner of verified Twitter handle “auctnr1,” reminded us again this week why his colleagues call him Congress’ “auctioneer in residence.”

As President Donald Trump finished his third State of the Union speech Tuesday night and Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore her copy in half, Long was stationed in the center-right aisle of the chamber to get the president to sign his tie.

Donald Trump: How to win kitsch and influence people
Political Theater, Episode 111

First lady Melania Trump awards Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union was a master class in deploying conservative rhetoric, entertainment kitsch and Americana tropes before a televised audience.

Critics of the president frequently fail to understand his appeal to his supporters, but many times that comes down to the somewhat elusive question of taste. It might just depend on whether you prefer “Game of Thrones” or “The Big Bang Theory.”

Unchecked power
CQ on Congress, Ep. 184

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Five made-for-TV moments from the State of the Union

House Democrats chant “HR3” and hold up three fingers in response to a line on prescription drug prices in President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Trump touts more than 100 miles of new border wall during State of Union
But all but one mile of it simply replaces old, existing barriers

A section of the border wall stretches through the Rio Grande Valley sector of the Texas border on Aug. 20, 2019. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump boasted during his State of the Union address that his administration has built more than 100 miles of barriers along the southwest border. The latest government data, however, shows that only one new mile of barrier has been constructed where none previously existed.

During his address Tuesday night to Congress, the president referred to ongoing construction of “a long, tall and very powerful wall” that echoed promises from his 2016 presidential campaign.