2019

After Democratic divisions, House passes border spending bill
White House has already said president will not sign off on House measure

Speaker Nancy Pelosi had called for a “strong bipartisan vote” on the border supplemental funding package. In the end, only three Republicans voted for the measure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a day heavy with negotiations between House Democratic leaders and more progressive members, the House passed, 230-195, a $4.5 billion supplemental funding measure to address the influx of migrants and children coming to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Four Democrats voted “no” on the bill, all of them freshman women from the party’s progressive wing: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Three Republicans voted for the measure: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey.

Bitcoin mining energy costs raise concern, prompt little action
Influx of bitcoin miners to areas with access to cheap and plentiful energy has caused a backlash

More than 18 U.S. homes could be powered for one day by the electricity consumed for a single bitcoin transaction, a recent estimate found. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images file photo)

Bitcoin is under a cloud, one that Congress and others are beginning to acknowledge: the vast amount of energy required to obtain and maintain the virtual currency.

A university study released last week found the emissions produced by the worldwide network of computers that “mine” bitcoin sits “between the levels produced by the nations of Jordan and Sri Lanka, which is comparable to the level of Kansas City.”

Who staffs the most diverse Congress ever? Sandra Alcala, for one
Meet the House Democratic Caucus’ dream team

Sandra Alcala, a third-generation Mexican American from San Antonio, is director of member services for the House Democratic Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The much-publicized diversity of the House Democratic Caucus in the 116th Congress goes deeper than the lawmakers; it extends to the staff. 

Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, a New Yorker in his fourth term and in his first top leadership post, has assembled an eight-member supporting cast of five women, including three who are black and one who’s Hispanic, and three men, including one who’s black and one who’s Hispanic.

Progress on federal data privacy bill slows in both chambers
Consensus is elusive, say congressional aides, industry sources and lobbyists

Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker says “there has been no timetable” for a data privacy bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and industry groups want to pass a federal data privacy law this year, but progress on the measure has slowed. It’s now unclear whether legislation resembling California’s tough requirements on the tech industry can clear hurdles in Congress and be signed into law before the end of the year. 

Small bipartisan groups of lawmakers in both chambers are working on draft legislation that was supposed to have been unveiled in May but has been delayed and is now expected to be released sometime before the August congressional recess. 

North Carolina runoff becomes proxy war for D.C. interests
GOP ‘will never be a majority party’ without more women, Kevin McCarthy says

Joan Perry, who's running in the Republican primary runoff for the special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District, talks with potential voters Saturday at the “The Birth Place of Pepsi-Cola” in New Bern, N.C. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. — The Republican candidate who has the best chance of adding to the party’s dwindling ranks of women in the House insists she’s running on her own merits, not her gender.

But in the GOP primary runoff for the special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District, pediatrician Joan Perry subtly argues that her gender is an important part of why she’s the real outsider candidate running for Congress. 

Beltway ‘inundated’ with fundraisers as deadline nears
From barbecue to New Kids on the Block, it’s a busy week for money-seekers in Washington

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn is breaking out the barbecue, Mario Diaz-Balart is gearing up for a transportation breakfast and Jaime Herrera Beutler is jamming out to New Kids on the Block. The second quarter scramble is officially on. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

The subject line of a recent email solicitation from Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s campaign captures this week’s fundraising scene perfectly: “You’re about to be inundated. Sorry in advance.”

With the second quarter fundraising deadline looming on Sunday, lawmakers are sounding the alarms for their donors — making pleas to far-flung, small-dollar givers online and reliable contributors from K Street’s lobbying community to help them boost their numbers.

Capitol Ink | Wayward Drone

A conversation with the European fintech regulator — Steven Maijoor
Fintech Beat podcast, Episode 7

(Lidiia Moor/iStock)

Emergency border funds face delays as money and time run short
House Democrats face possible revolt, Rand Paul threatens to hold up action in Senate

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan says talk from the White House of raids of undocumented migrants have “have many people nervous and agitated.” His caucus has offered House Democratic leadership changes they would like to see to the emergency border package. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Swift passage of billions of dollars in emergency aid to help care for tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants, many of them children, was in doubt Monday night as House Democrats were facing a possible revolt and a lone Republican senator was holding up action across the Capitol.

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus made their concerns known to Speaker Nancy Pelosi about their chamber’s $4.5 billion package that leaders wanted to put on the floor Tuesday.

Capitol Ink | Hard Lines in the Sand