Collin C Peterson

Gun safety group hits Democrats and Republicans on background check vote
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is running digital ads in seven districts

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is running digital ads urging Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton’s constituents to contact him about his vote against expanded background checks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is running digital ads to try to hold accountable lawmakers who voted against expanding background checks in the House this week. 

The ads, obtained first by Roll Call, target five Republicans who voted against the so-called Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019, as well as the two Democrats who opposed it. The legislation would require background checks for all gun sales between private individuals.

‘We are either a team or we’re not’ — Democrats struggle with Republican messaging votes
Pelosi wants Democrats to stay unified against GOP moves but moderates worry about political attacks

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants her party to stay unified on minority procedural tools that can be used to divide the majority party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The new House Democratic majority is having its first major family disagreement as the caucus struggles to stay united against Republican messaging votes, which the minority is deploying through a procedural move known as a motion to recommit. 

Republicans in their first two months in the minority have already won two motions to recommit because of Democratic defections. Not once during the past eight years in which Republicans held the majority did Democrats win a motion to recommit. 

Party unity on congressional votes takes a dive: CQ Vote Studies
Decline more dramatic in the Senate

Of the top six Democrats who broke from their party in 2018, four are no longer in Congress, including Heidi Heitkamp, right. Senators eyeing the presidency, meanwhile, are sticking to their party like glue. Elizabeth Warren had a perfect unity score. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After Democrats and Republicans reached record highs sticking together by party on congressional votes in 2017, those numbers nose-dived in 2018 as lawmakers worked across the aisle on high-profile legislation, including a rewrite of the Dodd-Frank financial law, a package dealing with the opioid crisis, spending bills and an overhaul of the country’s criminal justice laws.

CQ’s annual vote study shows that in the House the total number of party unity votes — defined as those with each party’s majority on opposing sides — fell from 76 percent of the total votes taken in the House in 2017, a record, to 59 percent in 2018. That latter figure is the lowest since 2010, the most recent year of unified Democratic control of Congress. Election years typically have fewer votes and 2018 was no exception — the total number of votes taken in the House, 498, was the lowest since 2002.

Meet the lawmakers who didn’t stick to their parties’ position on guns
Eight Republicans and two Democrats crossed the aisle on Wednesday

New York Rep. Peter King voted for expanded background checks and has long been the lead Republican co-sponsor of the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the help of eight Republicans, the Democratically-controlled House on Wednesday passed new gun safety legislation that would expand background checks.

And while the legislation isn’t likely to go anywhere in the Senate, it was a top priority for many new Democratic members who came to power last fall by making gun safety a salient campaign issue. An overwhelming majority of Americans support universal background checks.

Republicans name 55 House Democrats as 2020 targets
A majority of the targets represent districts that backed Trump

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., chairs the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans will be targeting 55 House Democrats in 2020, the majority of whom are new members, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced Thursday.

The lengthy target list, shared first with Roll Call, includes all 31 Democrats in districts President Donald Trump carried in 2016. The list also includes 20 districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that were previously represented by Republicans.

Meet the Democrat who wants to give Trump money for the wall
“I’d give him the whole thing,” Minnesota’s Collin Peterson said Tuesday

Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson, seen here in Willmar, Minn., last fall, represents a district President Donald Trump carried by 30 points. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Democratic leaders standing firm against giving any money to President Donald Trump to build a border wall, the comments of one 15-term Democratic lawmaker stood out Tuesday.

“Give Trump the money,” Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson said on KFGO’s “News and Views” radio program. 

Photos of the week: 116th Congress sworn in as shutdown continues
The week of Dec. 31 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., is seen in the Capitol's House chamber before members were sworn in on the first day of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The holiday season ended, the partial government shutdown continued and new members were sworn into the 116th Congress this week.

Here's the entire week of Dec. 31 in photos:

House, Senate Democrats Identify Slate of Committee Leaders for New Congress
House Dem Caucus must still ratify, Senate is ready to go

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has his roster of ranking members for committees ready. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats have identified their incoming committee leadership for the 116th Congress, although the full caucus must still weigh in and a few key chairs will have to wait until the House speakership contest is settled. In the Senate meanwhile, the roster is finished, with some notable movement in the smaller Democratic minority. 

The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee made its recommendations for most committee chairmanships in the new Congress on Tuesday evening, with a few others designated Monday. The full caucus must still approve the choices.

Final Farm Bill Would Make Hemp Legal, Other Details Revealed
Lying in state of George H.W. Bush disrupts bill release schedule

Corn grows on a farm on July 13, 2018 near Amana, Iowa. Farmers in Iowa and the rest of the country, who are already faced with decade-low profits, are bracing for the impact a trade war with China may have on their bottom line going forward. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

The top House Agriculture Democrat says a final farm bill agreement rejects controversial House provisions to tie food stamp benefits to expanded work requirements, greenlights hemp cultivation and tweaks programs important to farmers and ranchers.

The death of former President George H.W. Bush and his lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda disrupted congressional schedules this week, including the release of a final farm bill. Lawmakers have spent weeks negotiating to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the legislation.  

Forest Fires Add Snag to Getting Farm Bill Passed
House-passed version would change forest management policies that opponents say would ease oversight

A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through earlier this month in Magalia, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Forestry provisions have emerged as the latest snag in farm bill negotiations, sending the issue to congressional leaders for talks to break the impasse.

The forestry provisions in the House-passed version of the farm bill say the proposed changes to federal forest management policies would prevent forest fires — an issue that is now at the forefront after the deadly California fires. Opponents say the proposed changes would ease federal oversight and safeguards needed to limit logging on public lands that could destroy forests habitats and reduce protections for endangered wildlife.