Mark Pocan

House votes to raise federal minimum wage
Issue exposed rifts among Democrats. Legislation stalled in Senate

The House voted on Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:46 p.m. | The House voted 231-199 Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour incrementally over six years, but the Democratic effort was almost derailed by divisions between progressives and moderates.

Progressives on Wednesday had issued a last-minute warning to their moderate colleagues not to help Republicans make any last-minute changes to the bill through the procedural maneuver known as a motion to recommit, or MTR. If moderate Democrats helped the GOP add what the progressives considered poison pill language to the measure, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were prepared to vote against it, the group’s co-chairs, Reps. Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, said. 

Tension between Democratic factions spills into minimum wage debate
Progressives say they have the votes to kill their priority minimum wage bill if moderates help Republicans amend it

Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Mark Pocan, D-Wis., co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, say their members will not vote for a priority minimum wage bill if moderate Democrats help Republicans adopt a poison pill amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file)

Tension between the progressive and moderate factions of the Democratic Caucus are again spilling into public view ahead of a priority party vote to raise the federal minimum wage. 

A day before a planned Thursday vote on a bill to incrementally increase the current $7.25 federal minimum wage to $15, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal issued a statement that served as a warning to their moderate colleagues. 

Lawmakers push new bills to deter call centers from leaving the US
Measures adds to ongoing legislative efforts at the state level

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey has reintroduced a bill to protect U.S. call center workers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Anyone who’s had to call customer service in recent years knows the current reality: A vast majority of companies have moved their call centers overseas to save money.

But states, urged on by advocates for U.S. workers, have been fighting back. Two dozen have considered or are considering legislation to deter the moves, and a few have passed bills.

House Democrats find common scapegoat for border bill split — Senate Democrats
Progressives and moderates point fingers at Democratic senators for lost leverage

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila Jayapal says Senate Democrats should have coordinated better with the House to ensure the party could exert maximum pressure in border funding negotiations. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Moderate and progressive House Democrats were split Thursday as a majority of their caucus reluctantly joined Republicans in clearing the Senate’s border funding bill for the president’s signature. But the two factions uniformly agreed on one thing: Senate Democrats had sabotaged their negotiations.

Emotions were raw Thursday as House Democratic leaders went through a tumultuous 24-hour period trying to force some of their priorities into the Senate’s $4.59 billion supplemental funding measure only to face obstacles from their own party. 

Democrats withdraw rule to amend Senate border bill as moderates prepared to rebel
About 15 to 20 moderate Democrats planned to vote against the rule, according to an aide

Rep. Stephanie Murphy and other moderate Democrats had been prepared to vote against a rule to amend the Senate border supplemental, urging their leadership to allow a vote on the upper chamber’s version without changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least 15 moderate House Democrats were prepared to rebel against their leadership Thursday and vote against a rule that would amend the Senate border supplemental to include a handful of progressive priorities, prompting leadership to withdraw the rule.

The moderates’ objection is significant, as House Democratic leaders had hoped their caucus would unify around the proposed changes in an effort to give them more sway in negotiations with the Senate and the White House. 

Senate approves border bill; Pelosi and Trump talk compromise

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders are weighing their next move on a border supplemental aid package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:35 p.m. | With the Senate’s passage of its version of a border supplemental funding bill Wednesday, and its rejection of the House measure, negotiations between the White House, Senate and House leaders will now attempt to nail down a compromise before Congress leaves for the July Fourth recess.

Several disagreements lie at the heart of Senate and House differences on the two bills. The Senate bill rejected some of the tight restrictions the House included in its measure on the care of migrant children in government custody. The Senate also added in more money than the House for border enforcement agencies and for more immigration judges.

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

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan says talk from the White House of raids of undocumented migrants have “have many people nervous and agitated.” His caucus has offered House Democratic leadership changes they would like to see to the emergency border package. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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

Chairman Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., right, and vice chairman Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., during a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress meeting in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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. 

Odd bedfellows share concerns over Pelosi drug plan
Conservatives and progressives wary of drug price arbitration, but for different reasons

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is developing a drug price plan that focuses on drug price arbitration. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tlaib wants Democrats pushing impeachment to ‘turn words into action’
Freshman congresswoman asking colleagues who want to impeach Trump to sign her resolution

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaks to reporters after a coalition of advocacy groups delivered more than 10 million petition signatures to Congress earlier this month urging the House to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib is calling on Democrats to “turn words into action” by signing onto her resolution directing the House committee in charge of impeachment to consider formally trying the president for wrongdoing.

At least 34 Democrats in the House have voiced support for impeachment. But just nine of those have cosponsored Tlaib’s resolution directing the House Judiciary Committee to inquire whether or not the Democratic-controlled chamber should impeach President Donald Trump.