Joaquin Castro

No Trump-Pelosi talks planned as explosive report complicates shutdown endgame
Report: President directed Michael Cohen to lie about Moscow Trump Tower project

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Capitol to meet with Senate Republicans on Jan. 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:45 p.m. | There are no shutdown talks with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Donald Trump’s Friday schedule and no invitations for any have been extended, even as White House aides claim the president put the kibosh on her Afghanistan trip in part to keep her on U.S. soil to cut a deal.

What’s more, an explosive report that Trump directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie during testimony to Congress likely will only drive the White House and Democrats further apart, making a border security deal needed to reopen the government even harder as Washington becomes increasingly toxic.

House Democrats will investigate Trump for allegedly directing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress
Some on Intelligence and Judiciary Committees hint at impeachment

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff indicated his committee will probe a report that President Donald Trump directed former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:02 p.m. | The top Democrats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees said they will investigate the allegations that President Donald Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations in 2016 to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, as BuzzFeed News reported late Thursday.

 

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Selects Joaquin Castro As Next Chairman
Gallego, Barragán, Espaillat and Rep.-elect Escobar round out CHC leadership team

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, will chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro was elected Friday as the next chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which will begin the next Congress with its largest membership since the group’s founding. 

The CHC had 31 members this Congress and will grow to 39 members next year — two senators and 37 House members.

Messing With Texas, Midterm Edition
In the Lone Star State, it’s not just about Beto and Cruz

A woman flies a Texas flag at a 2005 rally in the Upper Senate Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Yes, the Texas Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke gets a 72-ounce steak’s worth of attention in politics, what with Willie Nelson and President Donald Trump weighing in with their preferences and all. 

But regardless of who emerges from that Texas two-step, several other races will go a long way toward determining the House majority, and whether the Lone Star State might be moving toward swing/purple status. 

Democrats Pan Trump’s Deference to Saudi King on Journalist’s Disappearance
President again siding with authoritarian leaders over U.S. intelligence officials, lawmakers say

Sens. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., left, and Tim Kaine, D-Va., criticized President Donald Trump for seeming to agree with Saudi King Salman’s denial of his government’s involvement in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for seeming to siding with Saudi King Salman, who denied during a phone call with the president that his government was involved in the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist. 

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was born in Saudi Arabia, has been critical of Salman in his writings. He has not been seen or heard from since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

House Ethics Committee Takes Action on Hunter, Collins
Justice Department requested Ethics panel defer action on both indicted members

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., was indicted last month for misuse of campaign funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to impanel investigative subcommittees to examine Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York. But neither panel plans to conduct work on the investigation at this time, deferring to the Justice Department for now.

The Republican congressmen were both indicted on separate charges in August — Hunter for misuse of campaign funds and Collins for insider trading.

Dems Had a Lackluster Showing at the Iowa State Fair. That’s a Bad Sign for 2020
And another thing: Where were the women?

Sheep line up for judging at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2011. This year’s fair was decidedly lacking in star power on the Democratic side, Murphy writes. And that spells trouble for 2020. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — As a political reporter, it’s hard not to love the Iowa State Fair, the two-week staging ground for some of the biggest names in American politics to make their case alongside a 600-pound butter cow and an epic hog calling contest. The fair is both a thermometer and a road map that tells you how hot a party or candidate is at any given moment, as well as where they’re likely headed next.

In a midterm election year like 2018, when Democratic energy is palpable and first-time candidates are plentiful, you’d think the parade of high-profile national Democrats showing up to claim their time at the Des Moines Register’s famous Soapbox stage would be long and strong.

Walmart Provides $2M for Black, Hispanic Caucus Internships
Goal is to ‘expand the pipeline of talent on Capitol Hill and beyond,’ retail giant says

Rep. Joaquin Castro, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, welcomes the Walmart funding as a way to address underrepresentation of Latinos on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Walmart is giving away $2 million so African-American and Hispanic young people can intern on Capitol Hill.

The retail giant will split the money between the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

San Antonio Not Looking for a Republican Invasion
GOP convention could produce intense anger — without a sure economic windfall — in Latino-majority city

Some folks in San Antonio weren’t too happy when the Mexican army invaded in 1836. Now city officials have decided Republicans need to find some other city to occupy during their national convention in 2020. (Jill Torrance/Getty Images file photo)

Lawmakers Introduce New Sanctions Against Russia for Poison Attack
Bipartisan bill aims to punish Russia for March incident in UK

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a new sanctions bill against Russia that aims to punish the Kremlin for perpetrating a poison attack on United Kingdom soil last month.

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas and GOP Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio introduced the sanctions during a Thursday pro forma session of the House.