John Garamendi

House Democrats Elect 4 Members to Run Messaging Arm
Cicilline will chair DPCC, and Lieu, Dingell and Cartwright will serve as co-chairs

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., will lead House Democrats’ messaging arm next Congress as chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline will again lead House Democrats’ messaging arm next year, after being elected Thursday by acclamation to a newly created top position at the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. 

Cicilline will be the new DPCC chair, ranking higher than three DPCC co-chairs the Democratic Caucus also elected Thursday. He had served as one of the three co-chairs for the 2018 cycle. 

House Democrats’ New Leadership Team Will Be Mostly Same People
Five to seven current leaders expected to be elected again Wednesday, some in new roles

When House Democrats select their new leaders this week, the faces at the top of the ticket will likely be unchanged from the last 12 years: From left, Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, Nancy Pelosi of California and Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All the talk of a new generation of House Democratic leaders looks like it won’t materialize into any significant changes, as five to seven members of the current leadership team are likely to be elected to the new one. 

The Democratic Caucus will meet Wednesday — and possibly into Thursday — to nominate a speaker candidate for the Jan. 3 floor vote and to elect its other leaders for the 116th Congress. 

The Lone Leadership Hopeful Not Yet Backing Pelosi for Speaker
Most leadership candidates have made sure to let the press know they support Pelosi

Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., who is running for one of the three Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair slots, is the only leadership candidate who has not yet committed to supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All but one House Democrat running for an elected leadership position is supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. 

The lone candidate who hasn’t yet backed the California Democrat in her quest to retake the gavel is Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright

These Planes Will Fight Fires, If You Can Wait 10 Years
Stalled Air Force conversions show how a seemingly straightforward job can take years in the arcane federal acquisition system

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., spearheaded the recent legislative mandates to convert the transport planes into fire tankers. It’s taking too long, she says. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In 2013, Congress ordered the Air Force to convert seven Coast Guard transport planes into firefighting tanker aircraft, but now the first of the planes may not be ready to fight fires for several more years, nearly a decade after the initial plan was launched. 

The story of the seven planes illustrates how a seemingly straightforward job can take years in the arcane federal acquisition system, even when the equipment is a matter of life and death. 

Incoming Freshman Chrissy Houlahan Running for Democratic Leadership Post
Pennsylvania member-elect announces bid for Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair

Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., is running to be one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pennsylvania member-elect Chrissy Houlahan is launching a bid for Democratic leadership, arguing that the nearly 60 incoming freshmen should be represented as the caucus crafts its messaging strategy for defending its newly obtained majority.

“I think that people recognize that there is this great big class of people who are coming in with kind of fresh experience and fresh legs and fresh ideas and that if we would like to maintain the majority that we need to make sure that we’re listening to everybody,” she said in an interview. 

Coast Guard Bill Returns ‘Delta Queen’ Steamboat to Spotlight
Senate reauthorization measure would exempt boat from safety regulations

A provision in the Senate’s Coast Guard authorization bill would allow the Delta Queen, a wooden steamboat, to operate as an overnight cruise ship despite safety concerns. (Al Behrman/AP file photo)

Senate votes this week will help determine whether a 91-year-old wooden steamboat can be revived as an overnight river cruise ship — even though the Department of Homeland Security calls that prospect an “unacceptable” fire risk.

A provision buried deep in a recently modified version of the Senate’s Coast Guard authorization bill would exempt the Delta Queen paddle wheel boat from federal law and Coast Guard regulations that require vessels with overnight accommodations for 50 or more passengers to be made of fireproof materials. The boat’s owner envisions the vessel as a Mississippi River cruise vessel for up to 174 passengers.

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. 

Facebook, Twitter Testify: Here Are the Lawmakers Who Own Their Stock
Members of Congress have invested more than $7M in three tech giants

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is the only senator who will question representatives from Facebook and Twitter who also holds stock in one of the companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate will question representatives of tech giants Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday. The chamber’s Intelligence Committee also invited Alphabet CEO Larry Page but rejected the company’s counteroffer to send Google’s chief legal officer.

Roll Call found 32 members of Congress have stock ownership in the three companies. These stocks are held in trust funds, IRAs and brokerage accounts for the members, their spouses or their dependent children. In total, members of Congress have invested more than $7,000,000 in the three tech companies subject to scrutiny in Wednesday’s hearings.

Summer Reading, Lawmaker-Style
What members of Congress have been reading — and you can, too!

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., holds up his copy of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in his Cannon Building office in July 2011. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Looking for a summer read? HOH has been asking lawmakers for months about the last book they read, and their choices have ranged from historical dives to books about their issues or districts.

Here are some of the interesting titles recommended by members of Congress.