Henry Cuellar

Moderates Punt on Immigration Petition as GOP Goals Drift
House plans to vote on 2 proposals next week, but compromise remains elusive

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., arrives at the office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday for a meeting on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the month since moderate Republicans launched a discharge petition to force the House to take up immigration legislation to protect so-called Dreamers, they’ve continuously moved the goal posts on what it is they want to achieve. On Tuesday, they shifted the target again.

The moderates have effectively agreed to drop their discharge petition on the “queen of the hill” rule — which would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above a majority prevailing — even though there’s not yet agreement on alternative legislation that can pass the House. 

How the Hill Reacted to the Trump-Kim Summit
Reaction ranges from a ‘huge deal’ to a ‘bi-lateral con job’

President Donald Trump answers a final question while departing a news conference following his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday in Singapore. Trump described his meeting with Kim as “better than anyone could have expected.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump made history Tuesday in Singapore as the first American president to meet face-to-face with a leader of North Korea since the Kim dynasty sprouted on the peninsula roughly seven decades ago.

At the heart of negotiations was the “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula in exchange for “security guarantees” for the North’s mercurial leader, Kim Jong Un.

Immigration Discharge Petition Deadline Arrives
3 remaining signatures expected to be added Tuesday, but negotiations on alternative measure to continue

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., says an immigration discharge petition will get to the required 218 signatures without an agreement on separate immigration legislation House Republicans can pass. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The immigration discharge petition signature deadline has arrived. All signs point to the petition reaching the required 218 signatures by the end of the day, but negotiations are continuing in an effort to block it from forcing a vote.

The discharge petition, led by moderate Republicans, is designed to bypass House leadership and force a floor vote on a series of controversial immigration bills to protect so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. 

House GOP Gets Closer on Dreamer Solution as Other Immigration Issues Arise
Negotiators coalescing around merit-based visa for young immigrants but path to citizenship still a sticking point

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows is  among a group of slightly more than a dozen Republicans trying to negotiate an immigration deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of slightly more than a dozen House Republicans trying to negotiate a sweeping immigration bill came closer Friday to agreement on some issues, like how to deal with the “Dreamer” population, but found new obstacles on other matters like border security and interior enforcement.

Despite progress in some areas, several negotiators noted the likelihood that a discharge petition that would force a series of votes on immigration bills that lack unified GOP support would get to the required 218 signatures Tuesday.

The Blue Dogs Are Barking Again
Moderate Democrats, nearly wiped out in 2010, have hopes for a comeback this year

Current Blue Dog Democrats include, from left, Reps. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Jim Costa, D-Calif., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and  Brad Schneider, D-Ill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brendan Kelly is running in a district in southern Illinois that went for Donald Trump by nearly 15 points in 2016, so his message shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“We see a system that is rigged for a powerful few,” he said in a voice full of gravel. He rails against “elites on the coasts” and understands why many are “frustrated” and “angry” over low-paying jobs and high health care costs.

Don’t Mess With Texas Landowners on Border Wall, Lawmakers Warn
‘I’ve been warning people since day one, you’re gonna need a lot of lawyers’

Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, talks reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on October 11, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Texas lawmakers — one Republican, one Democrat — warned Homeland Security Department officials Thursday that it won’t be easy to build President Donald Trump’s border wall in the Lone Star State if private landowners have anything to say about it.

GOP Rep. John Carter, chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, whose district sits on the border with Mexico, laid out a host of reasons why landowners on the border could stifle — temporarily, at least — DHS efforts to make Trump’s hallmark campaign promise a reality.

Take Five: Steve Scalise
Louisiana Republican is working on fielding a ball again ahead of the 2018 Congressional Baseball Game

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is hoping to start at second base for the 2018 Congressional Baseball Game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, 52, a Louisiana Republican, talks about preparing for the next Congressional Baseball Game after last year’s shooting, his physical therapy and advice he gives to other victims of gun violence.

Q: Are you doing anything in particular to get in shape for baseball?

Plenty of Pitfalls for Hill Staffers Doing Campaign Work
Lines between official and campaign time can be murky

Staffers doing campaign work have to make sure they’re not doing it on government time. But there’s no set way to keep track of that time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With campaign season here, Hill staffers are likely to find their duties expanding with election-related tasks.

Press secretaries and senior staff doing paid or volunteer campaign work routinely flock to nearby coffee shops with their personal laptops to send campaign press releases or go on walks to take reporters’ calls about their boss’s re-election. Campaign work has to be done on staffers’ own time, off government property.

The Slow Breakup Between Democrats and the NRA
Group’s all-or-nothing approach to gun rights is forcing some to abandon ties

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, left, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid both received donations from the National Rifle Association in 2010, two of 66 incumbent Democrats to receive money from the group that cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just eight years ago, the National Rifle Association dished out $372,000 in campaign contributions to a record 66 Democratic incumbents.

By the 2016 cycle, that number had dwindled to four.

State of the Union Guest List
Who lawmakers are bringing this year and what issues they represent

Claudia Sofía Báez Solá, left, who was sent to live with relatives in Florida after Hurricane Maria, will be going to the State of the Union as the guest of Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla. (Courtesy Rep. Soto’s office)

As President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union on Tuesday, a few issues will stand out in the crowd.

Members of Congress each get one guest ticket for the address. While some use them for family or friends, others bring a guest who puts a face to an issue they’re pushing.