Louisiana

Democrats Push Back on Plan to Make Green Cards Harder to Obtain
Public health advocates, others warn about effects of ‘public charge’ crackdown

Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-Calif., pictured here, joined with Sen. Kamala Harris and public health officials in pushing back against a proposal to make it harder for people who utilize public assistance to obtain green cards. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers are joining local health officials, community organizers and immigrant rights groups around the country in opposition to a Trump administration regulatory proposal that would make it harder for foreign nationals to obtain green cards if they have received government assistance.

Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Nanette Barragán, both California Democrats, said in a public comment submitted to the Homeland Security Department that the proposed regulation would represent “another misguided step in advancing this administration’s cruel, anti-immigrant agenda.”

Supreme Court Will Not Hear Planned Parenthood Defunding Appeal
Two conservative justices — Roberts and Kavanaugh — side with liberal colleagues

Supporters and opponents of abortion rights demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by two states that want to cut Medicaid funds from providers like Planned Parenthood, keeping in place lower court opinions that anti-abortion advocates oppose.

The states, Kansas and Louisiana, argued that Medicaid does not allow individual patients to sue if state officials refuse to cover a provider’s non-abortion services because the provider sometimes separately performs abortions.

Insurance Marketplace Sign-Ups Lag After Year of Changes
Fewer people are enrolling than last year, according to CMS

Overall health insurance enrollment on the federal exchange is down roughly 11 percent compared to this point last year. Above, Isabel Diaz Tinoco and Jose Luis Tinoco weigh different plans at the Mall of the Americas in Miami last year. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Enrollment in the insurance plans offered under the 2010 health care law appears to be lagging heading into the final stretch of the sign-up period.

Overall enrollment is down roughly 11 percent compared to this point last year, suggesting the final federal exchange numbers may end up lower than last year.

Andy Barr Started Out as Mitch McConnell’s Intern
‘I kind of dove right in,’ Kentucky Republican says

From Mitch McConnell’s intern to Heritage Foundation hire, Andy Barr had worn a lot of hats in Washington before he returned as a lawmaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thousands of House and Senate staffers storm across Capitol Hill each day, many with ambitions of their own for one day holding higher office. They may want to take a page out of Rep. Andy Barr’s book.

The Kentucky Republican, fresh off a 51-48 victory over Democratic fighter pilot Amy McGrath in the midterms last month, will be back for a fourth term in January. It all started with an internship in Mitch McConnell’s office.

Louisiana’s Ralph Abraham Running for Governor
Edwards has accused him of ‘abandoning’ responsibilities in Congress

Louisiana GOP Rep. Ralph Abraham is running for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham is running for governor in 2019.

“I’m running for governor and I intend to win,” the Republican lawmaker tweeted Thursday morning. 

George H.W. Bush Never Forgot the People’s House
From handball to coalition-building, his bipartisanship is sorely missed along Pennsylvania Avenue today

Members of the military salute as the casket of the late George H.W. Bush is carried into the Capitol to lie in state in the Rotunda on Dec. 3. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — As the tributes to President George H.W. Bush pour in, certain key words keep reappearing: Bipartisan. Gracious. Gentleman. We saw him build that legacy, one small or large act at a time.

Now we’re the president and vice-president of the Former Members of Congress (FMC). But three decades ago, Martin was a House member from Texas the entire time president Bush served first as vice president and then as president. Charles was elected to Congress from Louisiana after Bush’s political career ended; however, he has followed him closely over the years.

GOP Sen. Kennedy Not Running for Louisiana Governor
Decision to focus on the Senate is helpful for Republican vote-counting

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., will not be running for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy announced Monday that he has decided against a run for governor next year.

“I love being in the United States Senate. I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2019,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I will, however, continue to work hard every day in D.C. and Louisiana for jobs, economic growth, cheaper health insurance, a stronger military, and an end to government waste.”

Governing ‘Mandates’ Are Usually Phony. This One Is Real
By opting for a divided Congress, voters were sending a clear message

With voters embracing divided government in last month’s elections, congressional leaders have an obligation to work toward a meaningful and realistic policy agenda next Congress, Grumet writes. Above, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in October 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Over the past several election cycles, political parties, pundits and activists have proclaimed governing “mandates” based on the support of only a slim majority of voters who represent just a small fraction of the actual population. The mandate hyperbole has fueled careening and brittle policy agendas that have undermined economic progress and national cohesion.

In the recent midterms, our divided country has forcefully deprived both parties of the fantasy that they can govern without compromise. The question now is whether congressional leaders can develop a pragmatic agenda to lead a divided nation.

Photos of the Week: Freshman Lottery, a Christmas Tree and Capitol Moving
The week of Nov. 26 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep.-elect Lucy McBath, D-Ga., does a dance after drawing No. 18 during the new member room lottery draw for office space in Rayburn Building on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House new member orientation continued this week as the Capitol community prepares for the holidays and the inevitable switching of offices that happens before each new Congress.

Rep. Ralph Abraham Tiptoes Closer to Louisiana Governor Run
Republican primary might include Sen. John Kennedy too

Democrats have characterized the gubernatorial ambitions of Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., as a way to “quit” the House given Republicans will soon be the minority party in the lower chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham signaled he will likely run for governor next year but stopped short of fully committing to the race.

“If I had to make a decision today, it would be that I was running,” the 5th District Republican said in an interview with the Monroe News Star, pledging to make a final decision by Jan. 1. “The focus always needs to be how Louisiana can be a better place and we just aren’t getting there with the current governor.”