James E Clyburn

‘I don’t know I want to be that definitive’: Pelosi impeachment opposition catches Democratic leaders off guard
As Democrats digested news, most wrote off Pelosi’s comments as nothing new

The House Democratic leadership team in a group photo in the Rayburn Room in the U.S. Capitol late last year. Front row, from left, Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. Back row, from left, Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Katie Hill, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:13 p.m. | House Democratic leaders on Monday were initially caught off guard by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments to The Washington Post declaring her opposition to impeaching President Donald Trump. But as the evening wore on, most Democrats wrote off her remarks as nothing new.

“I didn’t see it. I don’t know what she said, but I’ve got a feeling it’s the same thing I’ve been saying,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said, referring to his past statements that he did not think Democrats should make a judgement on impeachment before seeing special counsel Robert Mueller III’s report.

Democrats release new anti-hate bill, ready vote to end Omar controversy
Democrats want to put issue to bed, avoid a Republican motion to recommit on the topic

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., center, announced a plan for the House to vote on an anti-hate resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 4:02 p.m. | The House will vote on an anti-hate resolution Thursday that makes a stronger statement against anti-Semitism — and indirectly freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar — than a draft that had been circulated earlier in the week.

At the same time, the updated resolution adds language rejecting other forms of bigotry like Islamophobia and racism to make the resolution less of a direct rebuke on Omar and her comments and more of a condemnation of all offensive rhetoric.  

Democrats delay vote on anti-Semitism resolution to broaden language to include other types of bigotry
Republicans want stronger reprimand for Omar, while progressives feel resolution should be about more than her

Democratic leaders began work on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in response to recent critical comments about Israel by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. But that is now expected to be broadened to condemn all forms of bigotry. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will not vote on an anti-Semitism resolution Wednesday as they are still refining the language of the measure, with multiple members saying it is likely to be broadened to reject other forms of religious bigotry such as Islamophobia.

The resolution is Democratic leadership’s response to recent comments from Minnesota freshman Ilhan Omar that lawmakers in both parties have said play into anti-Semitic stereotypes. Some Democrats appear to be concerned, however, that the resolution only targets offenses stirred up by Omar’s comments and not other forms of religious bigotry, including attacks Omar herself has faced for being Muslim.

The House passed 2 gun control bills, but Democrats aren’t in a rush to do more
Judiciary chairman expects to take up more gun legislation but not until after June

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D- N.Y., says his panel will mark up more gun safety legislation but likely not until after June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats took a victory lap this week as their new majority passed two priority gun control measures that the previous Republican majority had blocked for years, but they appear to be in no rush to pass more. 

“Yes, not immediately, but this session,” Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler told Roll Call on Thursday when asked if his panel would be marking up more legislation designed to prevent gun violence. Not immediately, the New York Democrat said, is likely “after June sometime.”

‘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. 

Why 19 Democrats and 109 Republicans voted against the government funding deal
Democratic defections were mostly Hispanic Caucus members, progressives concerned about immigration enforcement

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined 18 other House Democrats and 109 House Republicans in voting against the compromise spending package Thursday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats were just two votes short Thursday night of being able to clear a fiscal 2019 appropriations package without Republican help, while less than half of the GOP conference voted for the bill to avert another government shutdown.

That dynamic may foreshadow battles ahead as the new House Democratic majority will try to exert its influence over government spending while still having to deal with a Republican president and Senate. 

Trump will sign spending bill, declare national emergency
Mitch McConnell made the announcement on the Senate floor

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The big bipartisan government funding deal is going to become law, but it will be far from the end of the border security battle between President Donald Trump and members of Congress.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Thursday that Trump intends to sign the spending conference report, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had indicated earlier.

Democratic leaders not looking to punish Ilhan Omar after her apology for anti-Semitic remarks
Omar will not be stripped of her committee assignments, Hoyer said

Post-It Notes with words of support are posted on the nameplate for Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., outside her office in the Longworth House Office Building on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders do not plan to strip freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar of her committee assignments or take other action against her for comments they said were offensive and invoked anti-Semitic tropes.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he takes Omar at her word that she didn’t intend to be anti-Semitic when she said lawmakers took pro-Israel stances because of political contributions from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

House Democratic leaders, chairmen criticize Omar for ‘anti-Semitic trope’
McCarthy says House Republicans will ‘take action’ this week

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said tweets from Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., about a pro-Israel lobbying group buying off members of Congress "invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.'" (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic leadership team and key Jewish committee chairmen on Monday joined a chorus of criticism against freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for tweets suggesting that a pro-Israel lobbying group was buying off members of Congress.

Republicans have been attacking the Minnesota Democrat for several weeks for supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and making comments against the Israeli government. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he is likely to take action against Omar and another BDS supporter, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib — the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

Emerging border security deal will be first big test of Democratic unity
With some barrier funding expected, vote may show fractures among new House majority

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said he expects to oppose whatever border security funding agreement appropriators reach because he does not support any funding for a border barrier. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it comes to legislating, House Democrats are still in the honeymoon stage of their new majority. They haven’t had to take any difficult votes yet. But the rocky period is coming, and it will likely start next week with a vote on a border security funding package. 

House and Senate appropriators serving on a Homeland Security funding conference committee signaled Thursday that they’re narrowing in on a border security deal that could be finalized and ready for floor votes next week ahead of a Feb. 15 government funding deadline.