Impeachment costing Democrats a House member as Van Drew plans party switch
New Jersey freshman met with Trump and plans to vote against impeachment next week

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who cast one of two Democratic votes against launching an impeachment investigation and plans to vote against it again next week, was telling staff he would jump to the Republican Party after meeting with President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, whose election to a GOP-held district last fall helped Democrats flip the House, plans to switch parties after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday, according to multiple Garden State sources.

Members of his party were already wishing him good riddance.

Curbing unexpected medical bills has bipartisan backing in Congress
CQ on Congress, Ep. 179

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 18: The U.S. Capitol building as seen from the Senate side on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Many Americans have been to the hospital in an emergency, or for a procedure, only to get a huge bill after because a doctor treating them doesn’t take their insurance. Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on legislation to ban so-called surprise billing. CQ Roll Call reporter Mary Ellen McIntire joins the podcast to explain the likely outcome of this bill. Claire McAndrew, Director of Campaigns and Partnerships at FamiliesUSA, which advocates for health care consumers, also joins the show.

Analysis: Impeachment’s no ‘game changer’ and other pet peeves
News flash: Two things can be simultaneously true without being mutually exclusive

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, speaks during Thursday’s markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After weeks of public hearings, I’m ready to take a stand on impeachment. Well, not quite. Actually, there are more than a few pieces of the impeachment coverage, arguments, and narrative that are driving me crazy. And writing a few hundred words seems like a semi-healthy way to attempt to set the record straight.

Impeachment is not a game-changer until proven otherwise. I’m skeptical that impeachment will fundamentally alter the electoral landscape, in part, because it has not dramatically swayed voters’ opinions of the president so far. According to Friday’s RealClearPolitics average, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating was 44 percent compared to 54 percent disapprove. On Sept. 24, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the formal impeachment inquiry, it was 45 percent approve and 52 percent disapprove. Maybe something can be historic and politically insignificant at the same time.

Trump appears to back short Senate impeachment trial
‘I’ll do whatever they want to do,’ POTUS says when asked of McConnell’s desire for quick trial

Vote tally sheets sit at the clerk's table following the House Judiciary Committee's approval of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On the day the House Judiciary Committee approved impeachment articles against him, President Donald Trump claimed it is strengthening him politically. And with those articles headed to the House floor next week he appears warming to a quick election-year Senate trial.

In brief but animated remarks, the president defiantly declared of the shape and length of an expected Senate trial: “I’ll do whatever I want.”

Try again: Lofgren rejects House clerk’s eyebrow-raising choice
2018 college graduate recommended to lead staff after Rep. Sean Duffy resignation

House Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., rejected a request by House Clerk Cheryl L. Johnson to hire a 2018 college graduate as chief of staff for the vacant office of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Sean Duffy left Congress months ago, but his office remains without a chief after a key lawmaker rejected an attempt to install a recent college graduate with no legislative experience and who is the daughter of a House official.

Duffy’s last chief of staff, Pete Meachum, departed the post on Dec. 6.

Impeachment news roundup: Dec. 13
Judiciary Committee sends articles of impeachment to the House, White House condemns ‘desperate charade’

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler prepares to speak to the media after the committee passed two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a 14-hour marathon on Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee took less than 10 minutes to approve the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday.

Both articles were approved on 23-17 party-line votes.

Tax code typo is harming America’s restaurants
Congress needs to fix the ‘QIP glitch’

Congress needs to prioritize fixing the “QIP glitch,” a tax code mistake that is having a big ripple effect on the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, Berry writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Washington, D.C., is my adopted home, and it is where my restaurants have been embraced, including Succotash in our Penn Quarter and National Harbor locations and MiVida in District Wharf. And we have plans to open several new locations including The Grill in District Wharf, and Gatsby and Mah-Ze-Dahr at Capitol Riverfront, the home of our World Series champions.

Thornberry calls for US action to deter Iran aggression
Attacks on Western targets in Mideast likely, says House Armed Services’ top Republican

House Armed Services ranking member Mac Thornberry says Iranian rulers will “lash out and try to find an external enemy” after a month of demonstrations in which hundreds of Iranians are reported to have died. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Iran is likely to attack more Western targets in the Middle East soon, and the United States will need to respond, Mac Thornberry of Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said in an interview Thursday.

“I expect Iran will take further provocative actions in the coming weeks,” Thornberry said on a C-SPAN “Newsmakers” program set to air Friday night.

Ivanka gets President Trump to make the pitch for paid leave
Is the president's support enough to finally get a deal?

President Donald Trump attended a paid parental leave summit Thursday organized by his daughter Ivanka Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I had a very busy time and a very busy day, and my daughter said, ‘You will be here,’ so that was the end of that busy day,” President Donald Trump told a White House audience Thursday morning during a discussion on paid parental time off.

Ivanka Trump, first daughter and presidential adviser, gathered Capitol Hill lawmakers, governors, a cabinet secretary — and, yes, the president — at the White House in an attempt to generate momentum for paid family leave.

At the Races: Walking and chewing

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin

Michigan Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens reminded a group of reporters yesterday, “It’s sort of the metaphor of walking and chewing gum at the same time that everybody likes to use around here.”

Official: White House not worried Senate’s lack of input might sink USMCA
Trade pact biggest ‘casualty of Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment obsession,’ McConnell says

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., conducts a news conference Tuesday on a deal reached with the White House on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House has no concerns that Republican senators might jump ship on President Donald Trump’s sweeping USMCA trade pact after they were told Thursday a deal with House Democrats will leave them unable to press for further changes.

“We haven’t heard any Senate Republicans come out and say they’re opposing the deal on substance,” a White House official said Thursday, granted anonymity to be candid. “I have no concerns.”

J. Brett Blanton on track to become next architect of the Capitol
Nominee was most recently deputy vice president for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

J. Brett Blanton, nominee to be architect of the Capitol, right, introduces his family to Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., before the start of his confirmation hearing on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most of J. Brett Blanton’s nomination hearing before the Senate Rules Committee to be the next architect of the Capitol on Thursday was essentially a one-on-one public interview between him and Chairman Roy Blunt, as the remaining 18 members of the committee were absent for the majority of the hearing.

No opposition to Blanton, a Virginia resident, is evident, making him likely to be confirmed as the 12th architect of the Capitol. If confirmed, Blanton said he expects to start leading the agency by mid-January.

Democratic Tri-Caucus to track diversity of witnesses in House hearings
Initiative would have committees send witnesses diversity surveys

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is one of the leaders of the Tri-Caucus, along with Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Callfile photo)

The chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus announced Thursday that starting in January 2020 they will track the diversity of witnesses testifying in House committee hearings. 

Collectively known as the Tri-Caucus, the groups want to ensure diversity of witnesses that help inform policies and legislation to ensure the laws Congress passes are “inclusive and work for Americans of all backgrounds.”

After months of delay, DeVos touts limited student loan forgiveness plan
House Democrats press Trump's education chief over relief for defrauded students

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in the Capitol in July, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sought to defend her department’s 18-month delay in processing rising numbers of student loan forgiveness claims, saying at a Thursday hearing that officials lacked a proper process to review them.

Roughly 240,000 claims remain outstanding as DeVos has sought to change the department’s process to allow students who have been defrauded by colleges to have their federal student loans canceled.

Nadler pushes votes on impeachment articles to Friday morning
Expected approval amid partisan fighting will line up a contentious House floor vote next week

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and ranking member Doug Collins. R-Ga., speak with their aides before the start of the House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, in the Longworth Building on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The House will come one step closer to impeaching President Donald Trump Friday when the Judiciary Committee is expected to approve charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

The panel abruptly recessed after 11 p.m. Thursday night after more than 14 hours of debate just before they were expected to take final votes on the articles, extending the impeachment markup into a third day.