Lindsey McPherson

Should we all just throw away our impeachment position trackers?
Tracking support for an impeachment inquiry no longer relevant since Judiciary panel claims one’s underway

ANALYSIS — Several news outlets, including CQ Roll Call, have kept tallies of the House Democrats who have called for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump for months. It may be time to throw them out.

The media lists of Democrats who support an impeachment inquiry — counts vary slightly by news outlet — are effectively meaningless now that Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other senior Democrats say his panel’s investigation into Trump’s alleged misdeeds is equivalent to one.

Hoyer cautions Senate against ‘cop-out’ approach on gun safety legislation
Red flag law bill, more narrow background check expansion not enough, House majority leader says

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is cautioning the Senate against taking up narrowly focused gun safety legislation instead of a more comprehensive House-passed bill to expand background checks on gun purchases. 

In the weeks following three recent deadly mass shootings, House Democrats have issued a steady drumbeat of calls for the Senate to return early from its summer recess to consider HR 8, which the House passed in February. The bill would expand background checks conducted for in-store firearm purchases to include online and gun show sales. 

Cummings says he’d like to invite Trump to Baltimore but can’t reach him
Maryland Democrat addresses president’s recent attacks on his home city

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said Wednesday that he’d like President Donald Trump, who recently attacked him and his hometown of Baltimore, to visit his district, but he’s been unable to reach Trump to personally invite him.

“Ah God, I want him to come,” the Democratic congressman said at a Wednesday luncheon at the National Press Club, as he addressed Trump’s recent tweetstorm disparaging Baltimore.

Gun safety theatrics could come to Congress during Tuesday pro forma sessions
Neither House nor Senate expected to return any time soon

Updated 4:45 p.m. | Democratic lawmakers itching for action on gun safety legislation will get their first chances to make some noise on Tuesday.

That’s when the House and Senate are scheduled to begin holding pro forma sessions, with no legislative business expected in either chamber until a full week after Labor Day in September. However, there’s a long history of members of Congress using the brief moments when the floors of the two chambers open for business during the August recess to engage in a bit of theater.

‘Baltimore, my Baltimore’: Pelosi rejects Trump attacks on her hometown
Speaker attacks Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner as ‘slumlord’ over conditions at his Baltimore rental properties

“Baltimore, my Baltimore,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed with joy. 

The California Democrat was walking through the Capitol on Thursday after a bill enrollment ceremony for a bipartisan budget deal that had just passed the Senate (the House passed it the week prior) when reporters asked her about President Donald Trump’s persistent attacks on her hometown of Baltimore and one of its veteran representatives, Maryland Democrat Elijah E. Cummings

A new flood of Democrats call for impeachment proceedings, but does it matter?
21 Democrats have joined push for formal proceedings since Mueller’s testimony

Updated 11:11 a.m. | The trickle of Democrats calling for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has turned into a flood, with 21 new members joining the push since former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 24. 

The total number of House Democrats now supporting an impeachment inquiry is 118, half of their 235-member caucus. 

Texas Rep. Conaway, top Republican on Agriculture panel, not seeking reelection
Eight-term congressman to leave open seat in deep red district

Texas Republican Rep. K. Michael Conaway, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, is planning to retire at the end of his current term, according to GOP sources. 

Conaway’s decision not to seek reelection in 2020, which he is not expected to formally announce until a press conference Wednesday, leaves an open seat in the deep red 11th District, a part of West central Texas that President Donald Trump won by 59 points in 2016.

Judiciary Democrats say they are effectively in impeachment inquiry already
Court filing for grand jury info in Mueller report intensifies probe to determine whether to impeach Trump, they say

House Judiciary Democrats told reporters Friday that they don’t need to launch a formal impeachment inquiry — they’re essentially conducting one already with their investigation into President Donald Trump.

“In effect,” Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said when asked if the panel’s ongoing probe is effectively the same as an impeachment inquiry.

They wanted term limits for leadership. Pelosi agreed. Now what?
Ed Perlmutter still hasn’t got a caucus vote. But he’s stopped pushing

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the lead negotiator for a group of Democrats who pushed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to agree to limit her leadership tenure to four more years, is no longer pushing for the Democratic Caucus to adopt leadership term limits as part of its rules. 

“We’re just letting it sit right now,” the Colorado Democrat said. 

Divided House Democrats punt border bill until after recess
‘We want to make sure we do what we’re going to do right,’ Hoyer says

Disagreement in the House Democratic Caucus finally derailed a bill that would have provided more oversight over border agencies coping with an influx of asylum seekers from Central America.

“We want to make sure we do what we’re going to do right,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters Thursday afternoon. “There are a number of things that need to be dealt with on the policy. … I think we need to do that in a thoughtful way.”

After Mueller testimony, Pelosi, Democratic chairs crack door on impeachment
‘When we go down this path, we want it to be as unifying for our country … the strongest possible case,’ speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and three Democratic chairs of committees investigating Donald Trump’s alleged misconduct on Wednesday cracked the door to eventually launching impeachment proceedings against the president, using rhetoric that sounded like that is where their investigations are headed. 

“When we go down this path, we want it to be unifying for our country, not divided. And that’s why we want it to be the strongest possible case,” Pelosi told reporters Wednesday evening after former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. 

Budget caps, debt limit bill expected to pass House Thursday
A furious whip effort was underway by both parties to clinch a strong bipartisan showing on the floor

House lawmakers expressed confidence on Wednesday that the two-year budget and debt ceiling deal will pass in that chamber, though a furious whip effort was underway by both parties to clinch a strong bipartisan showing on the floor.

Late Wednesday afternoon, it became clear a large majority of Democrats were prepared to vote for the measure after Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders released a statement green-lighting the compromise budget caps measure.

The Democrats who voted to keep impeachment options open
Why those who do not yet favor an impeachment inquiry voted against blocking Green’s articles

A House vote last Wednesday to block Texas Rep. Al Green’s articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump led to some contortions from Democrats yet to support impeachment or opening an inquiry, but it mostly came down to this: keeping those options open. 

About two dozen Democrats who had not been on the record in favor of impeachment proceedings voted with Green against tabling, or basically killing, his articles. A total of 95 Democrats voted that way, but most of those members had previously called for Trump’s impeachment or an inquiry. 

Road ahead: All eyes on the budget and debt limit deal, except when Mueller testifies
House to tackle border issues, while Senate will confirm Defense secretary, clear 9/11 compensation bill

All eyes this week will be on whether House lawmakers are able to pass a deal to raise the debt limit and set spending levels for the next two years before leaving for the August recess on Friday.

That is except, of course, when former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III seizes all the attention when he testifies before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

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

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. 

House blocks Al Green articles of impeachment of Trump

House Democratic leaders avoided a direct vote on Rep. Al Green’s articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump with Republicans’ help, as Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy moved Wednesday to table the Texas Democrat’s resolution.

The motion was agreed to, 332-95, with Oregon Democrat Peter A. DeFazio voting “present.” 

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

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. 

Pelosi: Debt ceiling, caps deal possibly on floor next Thursday
To make the deadline, talks would need to wrap up by this Friday night in order to post legislative text sometime over the weekend

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said negotiators on a sweeping package that would lift tight discretionary spending caps and raise the debt ceiling are aiming to have a bill on the House floor next Thursday.

Accordingly, the California Democrat said, talks would need to wrap up by this Friday night in order to post legislative text sometime over the weekend, required under the House’s rule that 72 hours’ notice is necessary for lawmakers to read bills before voting on them. “When we have an agreement we’ll write it up, and we have to do all of that by Friday evening,” Pelosi told reporters.

Leaders likely to sidestep direct vote as House considers Al Green impeachment articles
Pelosi opposes measure, which members expect to be tabled or to be referred to Judiciary to dispense of it

The House is likely to take up Rep. Al Green’s privileged impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump during a Wednesday evening vote series, two Democratic aides confirmed after the Texas Democrat told reporters the vote would occur then. 

Democratic leaders had not yet decided how to dispense with the measure as of midday Wednesday, but several members said they expect a motion to refer it to the Judiciary Committee or to table it rather than a direct vote.

House’s condemnation of Trump may just be the beginning
Now the debate is over push by some Democrats for impeachment

Although Tuesday’s long day of heated debate ended with the House voting to condemn President Donald Trump for racist tweets, the chamber’s brawl over the president’s behavior may be just beginning. 

The House voted, 240-187, to approve a nonbinding resolution that says the chamber “strongly condemns” Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”