Betty McCollum

Democrats weave climate messages into spending bills
Aggressive action on climate change and halting rollback of environmental regulations

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., shepherds action on the House’s environmental spending measure. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are using the budget process to offer a clear contrast ahead of an election year between their embrace of aggressive action on climate change and the rollbacks of environmental regulation championed by Republicans when they controlled the chamber in the 115th Congress.

Many of the provisions they’ve included in the fiscal 2020 spending bills may not survive the GOP-led Senate, but Democrats are aware of national polls showing growing voter concern about the climate crisis.

Tlaib wants Democrats pushing impeachment to ‘turn words into action’
Freshman congresswoman asking colleagues who want to impeach Trump to sign her resolution

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaks to reporters after a coalition of advocacy groups delivered more than 10 million petition signatures to Congress earlier this month urging the House to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib is calling on Democrats to “turn words into action” by signing onto her resolution directing the House committee in charge of impeachment to consider formally trying the president for wrongdoing.

At least 34 Democrats in the House have voiced support for impeachment. But just nine of those have cosponsored Tlaib’s resolution directing the House Judiciary Committee to inquire whether or not the Democratic-controlled chamber should impeach President Donald Trump. 

Democrats close but still short votes needed to pass $15 minimum wage
Proponents of bill to double existing minimum wage over five years confident they’ll get there

House Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. Scott, D-Va., is confident he can convince enough uncommitted Democrats to support his bill to incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to $15 over five years for it to pass the chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Proponents of a $15 minimum wage are bullish about the prospects of the House passing a bill to incrementally double the current $7.25 federal standard over five years, despite Democrats seemingly being short the votes to do so.

“We’re working to make sure that we have consensus, but we’re going to pass that bill with enough Democratic votes to make sure that it passes out of the House,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told reporters during House Democrats’ retreat in Leesburg, Virginia, earlier this month. 

Bernhardt nears confirmation, but Capitol Hill isn’t finished with him
Grijalva wants acting Interior chief to testify on at least two different oversight probes

David Bernhardt appears likely to be confirmed as Interior secretary this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt will likely be confirmed in the Senate by a comfortable margin this week — but that could be his easiest day on Capitol Hill for a while.

The Senate voted 56-41 Wednesday evening to end debate on the nomination after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier in the day that he expected the chamber to be “voting to confirm” Bernhardt “later this week.” And while some coastal Republicans have raised concerns about the Interior Department’s plans for opening all U.S. coasts to oil and gas drilling, there doesn’t appear to be enough GOP opposition to derail confirmation.

Congress has crowned a tater tot champion
Amy Klobuchar strikes out at annual hotdish competition, but comfort food wins

From left, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., react as they uncover hotdish entries on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The tater tots were steaming, the cheddar cheese was bubbling, and Rep. Betty McCollum wasn’t there to breathe it in.

In the end, it didn’t matter. The St. Paul Democrat won the Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition from afar on Tuesday, even as she chaired a meeting of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee a few blocks away.

Photos of the week: Cherry blossoms, Final Four prep and ‘Queer Eye’
The week of April 1 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Aiden Anthony, right, and Cameron Foreman, both 7, participate in the Blossom Kite Festival on the National Mall on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The cherry blossoms reached peak bloom this week just in time for the annual festival celebrating the special branches.

It was a busy week on the Hill full of multiple subpoena-authorizing hearings, a speech from the NATO secretary general, basketball excitement and a visit from the Netflix stars of the show “Queer Eye.”

Trump contradicts his own plan to slash Great Lakes preservation funds
His budget proposed a 90 percent cut to the initiative’s budget, but Trump told supporters he would fund the program

President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids was the final city Trump visited during his 2016 campaign. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

For the third year in a row, President Donald Trump has proposed nearly wiping out funding for the Great Lakes preservation program. And yet on Thursday night, less than a month after proposing to slash 90 percent the initiative’s budget, Trump told supporters at a rally in Michigan that he would fund the program.

The reality is, Congress controls the federal purse strings and has in the past disregarded his calls for those sharp cuts, instead continuing to approve the funding at higher levels. A key appropriator called Trump’s assertions that he supports the program “phony.”

Nancy Pelosi Is the Best Woman for the Job
To dismiss her and her pile of achievements is to buy into GOP propaganda

Nancy Pelosi held her party together time and time again. That’s why she’s the best speaker for the Trump era, write three Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — For speaker of the House, we support Nancy Pelosi, the most effective legislative mastermind and political tactician in modern history.

The only woman ever to serve in the top leadership of Congress, Nancy is also one of the most able and multi-skilled leaders in House history. Yes, she has been demonized by untold millions of dollars of political attack ads — but nonetheless she led the party toward a phenomenal victory, which hardly constitutes a reason to abandon her.

14 Democrats Push Back on Raising Caucus Threshold for Speaker Race
Caucus threshold should remain simple majority; members should unite behind winner, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to run for speaker again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of 14 Democrats who support Nancy Pelosi for speaker are pushing back on a proposal from some of their anti-Pelosi colleagues to raise the caucus threshold for nominating a speaker candidate. 

House Democratic Caucus rules make all of their elected leadership positions subject to a simple-majority vote. Then, under House rules, the speaker nominee chosen by the caucus needs to win votes from a majority of the entire chamber — 218, if everyone is present and voting. 

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin