Lindsey McPherson

Day 25 of the shutdown and the impasse held fast
Spending bill fails, president holds firm, House freshmen march

On the 25th day of the longest government shutdown in modern history, the House failed to advance a spending measure, the president was half-stood up for lunch, and freshman House Democrats marched on the Senate. 

In an already busy day on Capitol Hill, the House failed to advance a stopgap measure to fund shuttered federal agencies through Feb. 1, as Democrats sought to pressure Republicans to end the partial shutdown. 

Freshman Democrats march to McConnell’s office to urge him to reopen government
McConnell should stop taking cues from Trump, bring up House bills, new members say

A group of roughly a dozen freshman House Democrats on Tuesday marched to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in the Capitol to ask that he take up House bills to open up government. 

The Kentucky Republican was on the Senate floor when the freshmen stopped by his office, but his staff welcomed them inside. The staff chatted briefly with the new House Democrats and told them they’d set up a meeting with the majority leader.

Lacking Republican support, House Democrats’ bill to open government through Feb. 1 fails
Measure needed two-thirds support because it was brought to the floor under suspension of the rules

House Democrats’ attempt to sway enough Republicans to help them pass a stopgap funding bill to open up the government through Feb. 1 failed Tuesday. 

The continuing resolution to extend fiscal 2018 funding for shuttered agencies for two-and-a-half weeks failed, 237-187.

If shutdown is not over by then, no recess next week, Hoyer says
House will be in session next Tuesday through Friday if government not reopened

The House will not take its scheduled recess next week if the government is still shut down, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday.

“If the government is not open, we will not have a recess,” the Maryland Democrat said during a pen and pad briefing with reporters.

Steve King controversy deepens, with Liz Cheney now calling for resignation
House Republicans’ No. 3 leader wants Iowa Republican gone

The No. 3 House Republican is calling on Rep. Steve King to resign, exposing a rift among GOP leaders as the controversy over the Iowa Republican continues coming to a head.

“I agree with Leader McConnell actually. I think he should find another line of work,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney said Tuesday morning. That was a reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who on Monday said if King did not know what was wrong with white supremacy and white nationalism, as he said in a recent New York Times article, he should get out of politics. 

Trump invites moderate Dems to WH for shutdown meeting — but some decline
Blue Dog Coalition leaders Lou Correa and Stephanie Murphy will not attend

President Donald Trump has invited some more moderate House Democrats to the White House Tuesday to discuss border security and how to end the partial government shutdown, but at least two of the invited members do not plan to attend. 

Trump’s official schedule for Tuesday lists a 12:30 p.m. meeting with unnamed members of Congress. The  White House has not announced other details.

Republican Steering panel votes not to seat Steve King on any committees
“We believe in swift action, because we do not believe in his words,” McCarthy says

The Republican Steering Committee unanimously decided Monday evening not to seat Iowa Rep. Steve King on any committees for the 116th Congress, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters.

Earlier in the day, McCarthy met with King and communicated his intention to recommend that action to the Steering Committee. After the panel met and agreed with McCarthy’s recommendation, the California Republican said he called King to inform him of Steering’s decision.

House will vote Tuesday to condemn Steve King
Majority Whip James Clyburn introduces resolution of disapproval

Updated 10:02 p.m. | The House will vote Tuesday to disapprove of comments Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King made in a New York Times interview questioning how the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” had become “offensive.”

The resolution of disapproval, introduced Monday by Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, actually only makes one specific reference to King.

How the House rebuke of Steve King would work
Whether reprimand or censure, a formal ding from the chamber comes with few consequences

House Democratic leaders are planning to hold a vote Tuesday on a resolution of disapproval against Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King for racist comments, while two rank-and-file members are pushing for a stronger rebuke.

Democratic Reps. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois and Tim Ryan of Ohio introduced separate measures on Monday to censure King, setting into motion votes on one of Congress’ formal means of punishing members.

House will vote this week on two stopgap funding bills to end shutdown

The House this week will vote on two stopgap spending bills to reopen all closed government agencies, Democrats announced Monday.

The Democrats have introduced two continuing resolutions with varying lengths. One, which would reopen the government through Feb. 1, will be voted under suspension of the rules on Tuesday, the fast-track procedural move that requires two-thirds support for passage.

‘That’s why I’m the majority leader and you’re the minority whip’
Hoyer, Scalise trade barbs in first House floor colloquy together

“That’s why I’m the majority leader and you’re the minority whip,” House Democratic leader Steny H. Hoyer said to Republican whip Steve Scalise on the House floor Friday, just one of the ways Hoyer welcomed his new floor sparring partner to the fray. 

The comment was the most pointed and somewhat personal but far from the only political insult the No. 2 party leaders traded during their first colloquy together. 

Steve King defends himself on House floor against ‘white nationalist’ criticism
Iowa Republican suggests the New York Times misrepresented his comments

Rep. Steve King spoke on the House floor Friday to address what he referred to as “heartburn that seems to be churning across the media and America today” after the New York Times quoted him questioning how labels like “white nationalists” and “white supremacists” became offensive.

The Iowa Republican read the quote from the New York Times article in which he was reported saying: “White nationalists, white supremacists, western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

10 House Republicans cross aisle to support ending shutdown of Interior-Environment programs

The House voted 240-179 on Friday to pass a fiscal 2019 Interior-Environment spending bill, the latest in a series of standalone appropriations measures the chamber has sent this week to a Senate that has no plans to hold a vote. Ten House Republicans crossed the aisle to support the Democratic-drafted bill. 

Those Republicans mirrored the same ones who voted on Thursday for both an Agriculture funding bill and a Transportation-HUD measure: Rodney Davis of Illinois and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, John Katko of New York, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Will Hurd of Texas, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Elise Stefanik of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Greg Walden of Oregon.

Republican defections on House spending bills to end shutdown tick up

The number of House Republicans supporting Democrats’ bills to reopen the government increased slightly on Thursday.

On Thursday, the House voted 244-180 to pass a Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development spending bill and 243-183 to pass an Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal 2019.

Democratic congresswoman to file legislation to stop Trump from declaring national emergency for border wall
“That’s not how the Constitution works,” New York’s Grace Meng says of president’s threats

New York Democrat Grace Meng plans to introduce legislation in the House on Friday to prevent President Donald Trump from using a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the southern border.

Dubbed the “No Walls Act,” the bill would prohibit the construction of barriers, including fences walls and steel slats, along the U.S.-Mexico border if national emergencies are declared during government shutdowns.

‘No wall, no deal,’ Pence declares, pushing for congressional action over national emergency
Courts would be involved if Trump ends up declaring national emergency, vice president acknowledges

“No wall, no deal.” That’s how Vice President Mike Pence succinctly summed up the administration’s position on ending the partial government shutdown, now in its 20th day. 

“Because walls work,” Pence said Thursday during a press briefing at the Capitol. 

Pelosi criticizes Trump’s ‘petulance’ in shutdown ‘soap opera’
Speaker opens door adding DACA to negotiations if part of a broader immigration overhaul

A day after President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi deemed the ongoing negotiations a “soap opera” in which the president is playing the lead dramatic role. 

“I don’t even know if the president wants the wall,” the California Democrat told reporters Thursday during her weekly press conference. “I just think he wants the debate on the wall.”

Fireworks and presidential threats send shutdown talks careening into chaos
Sides trade vicious barbs, allegations after Trump abruptly leaves Situation Room meeting

Talks toward ending the partial government shutdown hit a new low Wednesday when fireworks broke out at the White House, with President Donald Trump abruptly leaving a meeting with congressional leaders after yet another flap over his proposed southern border wall.

The shutdown enters its 20th day Thursday with no end in sight after another round of fruitless talks and blunt warnings from Trump about his next possible move if he cannot secure a deal with congressional Democrats over his border wall demands — even as 800,000 federal workers and their families wonder about future paychecks.

Trump threatens he’ll declare national emergency for wall if no deal
White House counselor sees progress, Pelosi says White House keeps moving goal posts on what it wants

President Donald Trump warned Wednesday he might declare a national emergency at the southern border to access funding for his proposed border wall, a move that would take the wall out of frozen negotiations to end the partial government shutdown.

“We’re all working together. I really believe the Democrats and the Republicans are working together,” Trump said during a bill-signing event in the Oval Office, according to a pool report.

Democrats use vote on health care lawsuit to pressure Republicans on pre-existing conditions
GOP leaders not expecting their members to take Democrats‘ bait

It’s only the second week of the 116th Congress, but Democrats are already trying to put Republicans on record on protecting people with pre-existing health conditions.

Democrats made health care a major issue in the 2018 midterms on their way to picking up a net of 40 seats and taking control of the House. A vote Wednesday to defend the 2010 health care law — designed in part to illustrate Republicans’ opposition to it — is a sign Democrats see the issue as one that can help them hold their majority in 2020.