Ruben Gallego

Nuclear Weapons, Border Wall, Military Parade Among NDAA Issues
Trump’s priorities are driving unusually partisan debate on this year’s defense authorization act

President Donald Trump reviews border wall prototypes in San Diego in March. His priorities are driving much of the discussion around this year’s NDAA. (Evan Vucci/AP file photo)

The House Armed Services Committee will debate dozens of amendments to the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill during its marathon markup on Wednesday, when lawmakers could introduce a wide variety of proposals, such as authorizing the Pentagon to develop new nuclear weapons and allowing transgender troops to serve in the military.

The legislation, commonly referred to as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, typically draws broad bipartisan support. But the markup is likely to include debate on some of the most controversial defense issues, including transgender troops, low-yield nuclear weapons and downsizing the Pentagon’s civilian workforce.

Democratic Veterans Slam Trump Tweets on Syria
‘We know that launching missiles is serious business‘

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and other Democratic veterans criticized President Trump’s use of Twitter in the Syria conflict. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic members of Congress who served in the military criticized President Donald Trump’s tweets on Syria and Republicans’ unwillingness to rein in the use of military force in a press conference Friday.

Rep. Mike Thompson of California said the president’s tweeting was a disservice to veterans and the humanitarian crisis that has emerged in Syria.

House Democrats Punt on Leadership Question After Anti-Pelosi Candidate Wins
Caucus members say individual candidates should decide whether to run on calls for a leadership change

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., left, hosts a reception in honor of Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, in the Capitol on Wednesday. The Democrats’ most likely new member ran amid promises to not support her as caucus leader. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After four straight elections falling short of the majority, House Democrats have had their fair share of discussions about their caucus leadership and whether it’s time for a change. But with momentum on their side in the current cycle, they’re not yet ready to revisit those talks — even after the strong special election performance of a Democratic candidate who pledged not to support Nancy Pelosi in another bid for Democratic leader.

Democrat Conor Lamb led Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania’s 18th District special election, with all precincts reporting but the final outcome still undetermined at press time. Lamb’s expected victory is significant in a district President Donald Trump carried by nearly 20 points in 2016, although Republicans downplayed the chances of Democrats replicating that success in similar districts.

Democrats Rain on Trump’s Military Parade
Army veteran Walz: ‘Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard’

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said the idea of a military parade is “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic members of Congress criticized reports that President Donald Trump had directed the military to plan for a parade in Washington, D.C. 

Trump reportedly told the Pentagon he wanted a parade similar to the one in France he witnessed on Bastille Day. 

Hispanic Lawmakers Show Bipartisan Tone on Immigration
DACA debate has prompted strong positions from members of both parties

Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen, left — seen here with New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat — says prior bipartisan work on immigration was an example of “how great this country is.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it comes to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, there is little daylight among most Hispanic members of Congress, regardless of party affiliation.

President Donald Trump has said he will phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, but gave Congress a six-month window to come up with a legislative fix. By and large, Hispanic lawmakers from both parties criticized the president’s decision and said Congress needs to protect immigrants covered by DACA, also known as Dreamers, so named after the proposed DREAM Act that would provide them with a path to legal status. 

Watch: Members Talk About Their Hispanic Heritage
 

Take Five: Jimmy Gomez
California Democrat reflects on his first week in Congress

California Rep. Jimmy Gomez previously worked on the Hill for Rep. Hilda L. Solis and recalls telling himself he wouldn’t return to Washington until he was a member of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Jimmy Gomez, 42, a California Democrat, talks about the time between his being elected and being sworn in, returning as a former Hill staffer, and his welcome to Washington compared to Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte’s.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?

Rep. Mike Coffman Announces Divorce
Mike and state AG Cynthia Coffman were considered power couple in Colorado

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., may skipping voting for president entirely. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Colorado Republican power couple Rep. Mike Coffman and state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman have filed for divorce.

The Coffmans are breaking up after 12 years of marriage, the Denver Post reported on Monday.

Word on the Hill: Embassy Chef Competition
Wreath-laying for women in the military

Belgium is one of the countries represented in the Embassy Chef Challenge this evening. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Decide for yourself which embassy has the best cuisine.

Thirty-nine chefs from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas are competing in Events DC’s Embassy Chef Challenge at 6 p.m. today. Last year’s winner was the chef from the Embassy of the Philippines, and in 2015, the Embassy of Barbados took home the trophy.

Resources Request From Comey Disputed
Rosenstein: No evidence Comey asked for additional resources

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein leaves the Capitol after briefing the House of Representatives on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign on Friday, May 19, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By REMA RAHMAN and LINDSEY McPHERSON

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told members of the House Friday that he had no evidence former FBI Director James Comey asked for more resources before his firing.