Joseph P Kennedy III

Democrats decry harsh conditions after border facility tours
“What we saw was appalling and disgusting,” Rep. Judy Chu says

California Rep. Judy Chu was among the Democratic lawmakers visiting Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A visit by House Democrats to Customs and Border Protection facilities at the U.S. southern border grew heated Monday as lawmakers reported harsh conditions and tight restraints on what they were allowed to view and document.

“They tried to restrict what we saw, take our phones, block photos and video,” Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III tweeted. “Atmosphere was contentious and uncooperative.”

As Democrats head for border tour, reports emerge of agents ridiculing them on Facebook
Group to tour Customs and Border Patrol center likened to ‘torture facilities’

From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna S. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib are among a group of Democrats traveling to Clint, Texas, on Monday for a fact-finding mission hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a dozen Democrats on Monday are visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility accused of child neglect and filthy conditions as reports emerged that border agents ridiculed them in a secret Facebook group.

Two Latina lawmakers slated to visit the center, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Veronica Escobar of Texas, were targets of sexist and racist derision in the Facebook group, according to an investigation by ProPublica. The group has 9,500 members, a number commensurate to nearly half of all agents who make up the CBP, though it’s not clear that every member of the group is a border agent.

Democrats propose tuition help to boost AmeriCorps
Legislation aims to increase volunteer ranks to 1 million

Rep. John B. Larson, D-Conn., speaks at a press conference to introduce ACTION for National Service outside the Capitol on June 25, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats hope to attract more volunteers to AmeriCorps and other federal service programs by cutting college costs.

Legislation introduced Tuesday, dubbed the ACTION for National Service Act, would award those who work in federal service at least two years with up to four years of in-state tuition where their college is located. The awarded money would be exempt from federal taxes.

‘Medicare-for-all’ is no longer purely theoretical. Democrats are coming to terms with that
Support wobbles as Pramila Jayapal introduces new bill in the House

While there are fewer total co-sponsors than last year, the number of original co-sponsors for her universal health care bill is higher, Pramila Jayapal noted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill that House Democrats are releasing Wednesday seems like it should stand a good chance of attracting more support than last year. After all, the House Democratic caucus ballooned this year and health care concerns were a key factor in the party’s electoral success.

But Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who will introduce the bill, said 107 House Democrats are initially supporting the measure. That number is fewer than the 124 Democrats who had formally backed an earlier version of the measure by the end of the last Congress.

Stacey Abrams makes national debut ahead of her next campaign
Democrats want Abrams to challenge Georgia Sen. David Perdue in 2020

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams gave the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images file photo)

Georgia’s Stacey Abrams has made it clear she wants to run for higher office again — it’s just a matter of which one. 

The former state House minority leader, who narrowly lost a bid to become America’s first black female governor last fall, formally introduced herself on the national stage Tuesday night by giving the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. 

Vulnerable new Democrats savor first day as 2020 looms
Democrats now shift to defense after winning back the House

Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Okla., said voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker was in the best interest of her district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Standing a few strides away from the House floor on Thursday, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips put his arm around another new Democrat, Haley Stevens of Michigan.

“It’s for real!” Phillips exclaimed.

Here are the 15 Democrats who didn’t vote for Pelosi as speaker
Some Democratic House ran on pledge for new blood in Democratic leadership

A man wearing a "Madame Speaker" pin leaves the Speaker of the House office suite before the start of the 116th Congress on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nancy Pelosi of California was elected speaker of the House on Thursday, returning the gavel to her hands eight years after she lost it when Republicans took control of the chamber in 2011. 

There were 15 Democrats who voted against her in the roll call vote.

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

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves the CVC Auditorium during a break in the House Democrats’ organizational caucus meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

Rep. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., was elected to serve as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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. 

Facebook, Twitter Testify: Here Are the Lawmakers Who Own Their Stock
Members of Congress have invested more than $7M in three tech giants

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is the only senator who will question representatives from Facebook and Twitter who also holds stock in one of the companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate will question representatives of tech giants Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday. The chamber’s Intelligence Committee also invited Alphabet CEO Larry Page but rejected the company’s counteroffer to send Google’s chief legal officer.

Roll Call found 32 members of Congress have stock ownership in the three companies. These stocks are held in trust funds, IRAs and brokerage accounts for the members, their spouses or their dependent children. In total, members of Congress have invested more than $7,000,000 in the three tech companies subject to scrutiny in Wednesday’s hearings.