Xavier Becerra

Staff Up Congress Aims to Tackle Diversity From the Top
Noel Perez says congressional staff should more resemble constituents

Noel Perez, a leader of Staff Up Congress, worked for former California Rep. Xavier Becerra, now the state’s attorney general. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

What’s one way to increase diversity on the Hill? Start at the senior-staffer level. 

That’s according to the group Staff Up Congress, a joint campaign between the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, which focuses on opportunities for Latinos, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which focuses on opportunities for African-Americans.

Supreme Court Sides With Pregnancy Centers in Free Speech Case
California law had required centers to provide information about abortion

Abortion opponents demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Monday, a day before it overturned a California law that required pregnancy centers to provide information about free or low-cost abortions offered under state programs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against a California law that required medical centers that primarily serve pregnant women to inform patients about free or low-cost abortions under state health care programs — a decision that some lawmakers warned could cause problems for similar health and safety laws.

In a 5-4 opinion, the court’s five conservative justices sided with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and other centers with religious affiliations in the case that pitted free speech against regulations that require disclosure of health laws.

Democrats Expect Pre-Existing Conditions Defense Will Resonate in 2018
Schumer highlighting DOJ decision not to defend pillars of 2010 health care law

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., says his conference will keep focusing on health care. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats have seized on the Justice Department’s announcement that it will not defend the 2010 health care law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, sensing an opening for the midterms.

House Democratic leaders have scheduled a Wednesday afternoon press conference to push against the determination announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and that opposition looks to be a key pillar of the strategy of Senate Democrats and their supporters going into the fall.

Gomez on What He Learned From Being a Staffer for a Latina Member
California Democrat started his political career working for Rep. Hilda Solis

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., chats with staffers in his office. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jimmy Gomez learned firsthand how to network in bars, focus on the job and navigate the Hill’s degree-clogged pool of talent.

After graduating from Harvard in 2003, he was a staffer for Rep. Hilda L. Solis, a fellow California Democrat who served from 2001 to 2009.

House, Administration Settle Lawsuit Over Health Law Payments
Separate health law case upholds ability for attorneys general to intervene

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., applauded a court ruling that settled a lawsuit over the powers of the House and executive branch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House of Representatives, the White House and several states on Wednesday settled a lawsuit over appropriations for the 2010 health law, resolving years of fighting over the balance of powers between the branches of government.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed an appeal of an earlier ruling, which found that the Obama administration had been illegally spending money under the 2010 health care law without an appropriation from Congress. The settlement confirmed that ruling and left open the question of whether the House has standing to sue the executive branch.

Special, Special, Special Elections
Gearing up for the midterms amid one special election after another

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Joseph Crowley, 56 Years Young and Ready to Succeed the Old Guard
Current leadership at least two decades older than New York Democrat

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When the inevitable generational change starts in the top ranks of the House Democrats, Joseph Crowley is planning to be first in line.

Seven months can be more than several lifetimes in politics, of course, and an almost infinite number of internecine machinations will play out before the election — maneuvering not only within the current caucus but also among the candidates who are its most viable prospective new members.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump’s DACA Plan
Program must remain in place as lawsuits run their course, judge rules

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in September that the Trump administration would phase out the DACA program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the deferred action program for young undocumented immigrants that protects them from deportation.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request that the administration be blocked from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while lawsuits proceed in court, The Associated Press reported.

Trump Says GOP Will Do ‘Well’ in 2018
‘I said Gillespie and Moore would lose,’ president tweets

Roy Moore rides away on his horse after voting at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Dec. 12. President Donald Trump says he predicted Moore’s loss. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 9:01 a.m. | In the wake of Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset over Roy Moore in Alabama’s special Senate election, President Donald Trump on Monday used a tweet to tout the Republican Party’s performance this year in House races.

Trump last week referred to himself as “the leader of the party” — something he rarely does. He used a tweet Monday morning to imply that the GOP should listen to his prognostications about which potential candidates can and cannot win general election races.

Food on the Line This World Series in Both Chambers
Bets among Gomez, Jackson Lee and Harris, Cruz

Clockwise from top left, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jimmy Gomez of California, and Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Ted Cruz of Texas are involved in some friendly World Series wagers. (Photos by Bill Clark and Tom Williams, composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

California and Texas lawmakers aren’t just talking smack about their home-state Dodgers and Astros. They’re putting food on the line for the World Series.

California Rep. Jimmy Gomez, whose district includes Dodger Stadium, made a bet with fellow Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, whose Houston district includes Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros. If the Astros win, Gomez owes Jackson Lee “French Dipped” sandwiches from Philippe’s, a downtown Los Angeles restaurant. If the Dodgers win, Jackson Lee owes Gomez some Texas barbecue.