Dan Kildee

Democrats seeking votes in Trump country tout miners’ benefits
As Republicans prepare a coal pension fix proposal, Democrats push for more

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, center, Sens. Joe Manchin III and Sherrod Brown, right, called for action on Democratic pension proposals this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans say they’re close to unveiling a plan to address a $66 billion funding shortfall affecting coal miners’ and other union pension plans, an issue Democrats see as advantageous politically and as a possible bargaining chip in trade talks with the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump championed manufacturing and coal industry jobs during his 2016 campaign, including in critical swing states he won like Pennsylvania and Ohio. In the 2020 campaign, Democrats have been touting “broken promises” to workers in those states and others, including more traditional GOP bastions like Kentucky where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for reelection next year. 

House Democrats divided on how much evidence they need to impeach Trump
After unifying around an inquiry, the caucus remains split on actual impeachment

From left, Reps. Abigail Spanberger, Mikie Sherrill and Elissa Slotkin are among the Democrats who penned an op-ed saying the president might have committed impeachable offenses. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats finally agreed last week that they are conducting an impeachment inquiry, but as that probe quickly unfolds there are new divisions in the caucus about how much evidence they need to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Several Democrats believe the readout of a July 25 phone call of Trump asking Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate a potential 2020 opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son; Trump’s public statements admitting to the request; and a whistleblower complaint alleging White House lawyers and officials tried to “lock down” the call transcript is all the evidence they need to impeach.

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

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, is pushing for a vote as soon as possible on his articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.

‘Reluctant impeachment’: Will Pelosi ever be swayed to go there?
Democrats understand the speaker’s cautious approach to impeachment but believe she can be convinced

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves a House Democratic Caucus meeting Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in which her members debated whether it’s time to open an impeachment inquiry. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Will Speaker Nancy Pelosi ever come to a point where she is ready to lead her caucus in opening an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump?

The California Democrat hasn’t ruled it out, despite strong signals she wants to avoid the divisive move and let the voters decide in 2020 whether to punish Trump for his alleged misdeeds. 

Democrats insist they’re united and delivering but obstacles abound
‘The Democratic Caucus is acting,’ Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insists her Democratic Caucus is unified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — House Democrats gathered here for their annual retreat insist their caucus is unified and prepared to deliver on a slate of 2018 campaign promises that propelled them into the majority. But obstacles lie ahead as they seek to hold the House in 2020.

The two major challenges Democrats face are crafting legislation that unifies the progressive and moderate wings, while also working with Republicans in the Senate and the White House to enact some policies into law.

‘We are either a team or we’re not’ — Democrats struggle with Republican messaging votes
Pelosi wants Democrats to stay unified against GOP moves but moderates worry about political attacks

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants her party to stay unified on minority procedural tools that can be used to divide the majority party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The new House Democratic majority is having its first major family disagreement as the caucus struggles to stay united against Republican messaging votes, which the minority is deploying through a procedural move known as a motion to recommit. 

Republicans in their first two months in the minority have already won two motions to recommit because of Democratic defections. Not once during the past eight years in which Republicans held the majority did Democrats win a motion to recommit. 

Rep. Dan Kildee interviewed by Alec Baldwin for Flint documentary
Congressman met with actor for an upcoming documentary on the city’s water crisis

Rep. Dan Kildee, right, poses with actor Alec Baldwin on Wednesday in Flint, Michigan. Baldwin interviewed the Michigan Democrat for an upcoming documentary on the Flint water crisis. (Courtesy Rep. Dan Kildee)

Rep. Dan Kildee met with actor and “Saturday Night Live” Donald Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin on Wednesday for an interview in Michigan that will be featured in an upcoming documentary film about the Flint water crisis.

The untitled documentary, which has been in the works since 2015, is being directed by British filmmaker Anthony Baxter, The Detroit News reported. Baxter wanted to tell the story of Flint from the perspective of its residents, instead of politicians and celebrities, Variety reported in 2017. The film does not yet have a release window.

House Democrats give leaders a pass on breaking 72-hour rule for spending deal
Few members, however, were willing to stake a position until seeing the bill

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan seemed understanding of the trade-offs made to get to the spending deal but said he wanted to read the bill text first before deciding on his vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Democrats are giving their leadership a pass for breaking a chamber rule that requires bill text to be released 72 hours before a vote so they can quickly move a funding package before Friday’s deadline to avert another government shutdown.

But many of the same Democrats also said Wednesday before the text of a seven-bill appropriations package was released that they couldn’t make a decision on how they’d vote until reading it — which they’d only have about 24 hours to do.

Guest list: Here’s who you’ll see at the State of the Union
Cardi B won’t be there, but undocumented worker who worked at Trump’s golf club will

President Donald Trump will deliver the State of the Union Address on Tuesday. Two of his former housekeepers will look on from the House chamber. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address Tuesday night. Two of his former housekeepers, both immigrants, will watch from the House chamber.

Each member of Congress gets at least one ticket for a guest, and though some bring family members, many are accompanied by a constituent whose story helps illustrate a policy priority.

Trump, congressional leaders agree to open government for three weeks
Deal includes plan for the House and Senate to go to conference on Homeland Security funding bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters in the Capitol on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have an agreement to reopen government agencies through Feb. 15, providing a temporary reprieve to federal workers who haven’t been paid in nearly a month.

“We have reached a deal,” Trump said Friday at the top of his Rose Garden remarks — although a short time later he threatened another shutdown if he did not eventually get his way.