Lindsey McPherson

This Bipartisan Holiday Party Was for the Dogs
Florida representatives dress up Congress’ furry friends for their second annual howliday bash

For nearly 15 minutes, Riggins, a 3 1/2-year-old Welsh terrier, sat alone in his elf costume, surrounded by fawning Hill staffers. The House’s second annual Bipawtisan Howliday celebration was off to a slow start.

When another canine finally joined the party, Riggins couldn’t contain his excitement. The male dog mounted Carmela, a 1-year-old mini goldendoodle, and the human attendees erupted in laughter as the owners broke up the display of affection.

With Opponents Dug In, Pelosi Has Little Room to Negotiate on Speaker Votes
At least 15 Pelosi opponents say they remain firm and will not vote ‘present’

At least 15 Democrats resisting Nancy Pelosi’s speaker bid are holding firm in their opposition and say they plan to vote for someone other than the California Democrat during the Jan. 3 speaker election, providing Pelosi with little room to negotiate a victory.

With the House poised to have 235 Democrats seated on the opening day of the 116th Congress when the speaker election takes place, Pelosi can only afford to have 17 Democrats vote and say a name that is not hers to meet the 218-vote majority threshold. 

To Seat or Not to Seat, For North Carolina Race, Pelosi Says That is The House’s Call
AP has retracted its call for the Republican as state officials investigate election

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when asked Thursday about allegations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District, said deciding whom is seated is up to the House itself, not an outside authority or state election board. 

“The House still retains the right to decide who is seated,” she said. “Any member-elect can object to the seating or the swearing in of another member-elect, and we’ll see how that goes.”

House Democrats to Discuss Term Limits on Committee Chairs, Pelosi Says
Speaker hopeful declines to stake a position, says it is a caucus decision

House Democrats will soon have a discussion about whether to subject their committee chairs to term limits, an idea that has long divided the caucus, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. 

“That’s a matter before the caucus,“ the California Democrat told reporters during her weekly news conference. “I’ve always been sympathetic to the concerns that have been expressed by our members on that subject Actually I tried to do that when I became speaker in ’07 but the caucus did not support that.”

Pelosi: Pass Other Spending Bills But Punt Homeland Security Funding
House minority leader prefers continuing resolution for DHS through fiscal 2019

Updated 1:36 a.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she doesn’t see a resolution to the partisan impasse over border wall funding, said Thursday she’d like to see the Department of Homeland Security funded on a continuing resolution through the remainder of fiscal 2019.

Seven of the 12 annual appropriations bills, including the DHS measure, are currently running on a continuing resolution that expires Friday. The House and Senate Thursday passed another stopgap to extend the funding deadline to Dec. 21. 

$1.6 Billion for Border Security, Not Just Wall, Could Be Agreed To, Hoyer Says
Wall funding remains principle unresolved item in year-end spending negotiations

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that border wall funding remains the principle unresolved item in year-end spending negotiations and suggested that $1.6 billion is an agreeable figure for border security so long as the language does not require it to be spent on the wall.

“The $1.6 billion ... the language is broader than just a wall, so I think that that could probably be agreed upon, which was a figure in the Senate bill," the Maryland Democrat told reporters.

House Democrats’ New Elected Leadership Team Is More Progressive and Diverse
On average, new leadership team is also younger in terms of age and length of service

The newly elected House Democratic leadership team for the 116th Congress will be more progressive, diverse and younger in terms of both age and length of service compared to the current one. 

That should generally please Democrats who called for changes in their leadership team, despite the top three long-reigning leaders remaining in charge. 

Meet the New House Republican Committee Leaders
9 panels get new Republican leaders after 2018 cycle retirements

House Republicans last week selected their new committee leaders to replace nine retiring GOP chairmen. 

The new leaders, however, will serve as ranking members since House Republicans will be in the minority next year. 

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Selects Joaquin Castro As Next Chairman
Gallego, Barragán, Espaillat and Rep.-elect Escobar round out CHC leadership team

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro was elected Friday as the next chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which will begin the next Congress with its largest membership since the group’s founding. 

The CHC had 31 members this Congress and will grow to 39 members next year — two senators and 37 House members.

New Democrat Coalition Elects Derek Kilmer as New Chairman
Sewell, Peters, Kuster and DelBene will be vice chairs of pro-business caucus

The New Democrat Coalition on Friday elected Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer to chair the centrist, pro-business caucus in the 116th Congress. 

Kilmer, who has served as a vice chair of the coalition, will succeed Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes

Pelosi Not Interested in Compromising on Succession Plan for Her Speakership
Speaker hopeful says her opponents shouldn’t get to dictate when she retires

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday she doesn’t see a way in which she’d compromise with the group of members who oppose her speaker bid unless she specifies a clear succession plan. 

“Between saying when I’m going to retire or not? I don’t think so,” the California Democrat said when asked whether there is a middle ground to be found on the question of when she will relinquish the speaker’s gavel if members vote Jan. 3 to give it to her again. 

Jayapal Joins Pocan As Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus
Ro Khanna replaces Jayapal as the caucus’s first vice chair

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan will serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 116th Congress.

The CPC — which will have more than 90 members next year — held its leadership elections Thursday, which also saw California Rep. Ro Khanna chosen to replace Jayapal as first vice chair. 

Raskin and Reps.-Elect Hill and Neguse Elected to Junior Leadership Posts
Raskin to represent members serving five or fewer terms, Hill and Neguse to represent freshmen

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin was elected Thursday to serve as the Democratic Caucus’s representative for members who’ve served five or fewer terms.

The low-rung leadership position was created in 2016 to give more junior members a seat at the leadership table. Only members who are in those five most junior classes can vote in the election for the position. 

House Democrats Elect 4 Members to Run Messaging Arm
Cicilline will chair DPCC, and Lieu, Dingell and Cartwright will serve as co-chairs

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline will again lead House Democrats’ messaging arm next year, after being elected Thursday by acclamation to a newly created top position at the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. 

Cicilline will be the new DPCC chair, ranking higher than three DPCC co-chairs the Democratic Caucus also elected Thursday. He had served as one of the three co-chairs for the 2018 cycle. 

Paul Ryan Offers Nancy Pelosi Congratulations and Condolences on Speaker Race
Wisconsin Republican says it’s ‘regretful’ Pelosi can’t set her own terms like he did

As outgoing Speaker Paul D. Ryan ran into Nancy Pelosi, the person most likely to take the gavel from him in January, at an event Wednesday evening, he had two sentiments he wanted to share.

“I congratulated her on her caucus vote, and I offered my condolences,” the Wisconsin Republican said Thursday at a Washington Post live event.

Trump Calls Former ‘Fixer’ Cohen a ‘Weak Person’ After Changing Moscow Story
Cohen admitted to lying to Congress about efforts to get Putin’s help on project

President Donald Trump on Thursday called his former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen a “weak person” who admitted to lying to Congress in order to receive a lighter prison sentence.

“He’s a weak person” unlike “other people that you watch,” the president said as he departed the White House for a G-20 summit in Argentina. “So he’s lying about a project that everyone knew about. … So he’s lying, very simply, to get a reduced sentence.”

Cohen Pleads Guilty to Moscow Trump Tower Lie

President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Monday to lying to Congress about his work on a Trump real estate deal in Moscow, the Associated Press reported.

Cohen, appearing in court in New York, admitted that in 2017 he made false statements to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

House Democrats Settle on Top Leaders, but Fight Over Speakership Remains
Pelosi gets overwhelming numbers for speaker bid

House Democrats decided on their top leaders Wednesday — all except the highest-ranking one. Nancy Pelosi overwhelmingly secured the caucus’s nomination for speaker, but a sizable group of opponents appears determined to keep the California Democrat from officially claiming the gavel on Jan. 3. 

Pelosi got 203 votes on the caucus ballot, but her allies believe that’s far lower than what she can earn on the floor. There were 32 “no” votes and three blanks. New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who is supporting Pelosi, was absent. 

Katherine Clark Elected House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair
Massachusetts Democrat becomes second-highest-ranking woman, behind Pelosi

Massachusetts Rep. Katherine M. Clark was elected House Democratic Caucus vice chair for the 116th Congress, handily beating California Rep. Pete Aguilar

The vote tally was 144-90. 

Rep. Ben Ray Luján Elected Assistant Democratic Leader
Outgoing campaign chairman moves up to No. 4 leadership post

Outgoing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján is moving up a few leadership rungs after he was elected by acclimation Wednesday to serve in the No. 4 post of assistant Democratic leader next Congress. 

The New Mexico Democrat ran unopposed but had initially faced two challengers for the position.