Mark Pocan

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.

At ICE headquarters, Rep. Mark Pocan passes out ‘missing’ fliers for FOIA request on Wisconsin raids
Progressive caucus co-chair seeks justification for ICE raids as Democrats struggle with agency‘s detention policies

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., stands outside the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday, passing out “missing” fliers to call attention to a Freedom of Information Act request the agency has yet to respond to regarding documentation for 83 arrests the agency made in Wisconsin last September. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan says the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has been unresponsive to his inquiries about raids conducted in his home state. So the Democratic lawmaker was forced to resort to somewhat desperate measures.

Pocan stood outside ICE headquarters Wednesday morning in Washington, passing out fliers to employees as they headed into work that read in bold red type: “MISSING: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS FOIA REQUEST?”

‘You have trafficked in hate your whole life’: Rep. Ilhan Omar swings back at Trump
Trump called on Omar to resign from Congress and her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., criticized President Donald Trump’s calls for her to resign as deeply hypocritical in a Wednesday tweet. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., knocked the president in a tweet Wednesday, highlighting his record of racial and religious discrimination and bucking his calls for her to resign.

“You have trafficked in hate your whole life — against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more,” Omar tweeted. “I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?”

Progressives say Trump has no moral ground to call for Omar’s resignation
Congressional Progressive Caucus points out president referring to neo-Nazis as ‘very fine people’ after Charlottesville

Republicans have pushed for Rep. Ilhan Omar to relinquish her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives mocked President Donald Trump after his call for Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign, saying that the president has no moral authority to do so given his record on issues of hate and bigotry.

“As a candidate and now as president, Donald Trump has consistently and unapologetically trafficked in white nationalism, Islamaphobia, sexism and racism,” leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said in a statement Tuesday night. “Americans of all political stripes must reject this transparently cynical effort by President Trump and Congressional Republicans to stifle and intimidate” diverse voices.

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. 

House adopts rules package with few Democratic defections over PAYGO provision
Package establishes two select committees, requires committee action before floor votes, among other changes

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., swears in members in the House chamber on the first day of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3, 2019. Later that afternoon the House adopted its rules package for new Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday adopted the bulk of a rules package for the 116th Congress that featured dozens of changes designed to restore more committee and bipartisan involvement in the legislative process, increase transparency and clamp down on ethics violations. 

The measure, adopted 234 to 197, was crafted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., with input from members across all factions of the House Democratic majority.

Shutdown, House Democrats’ divisions set tone as new era of divided government begins
As 116th Congress begins, partial shutdown, rules package, speaker defections cast a pall

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is interviewed by Savannah Guthrie for the Today Show in the Capitol on day 12 of the partial government shutdown on January 2, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new era of divided government has arrived. Democrats officially take control of the House on Thursday as the 116th Congress convenes on the 13th day of a partial government shutdown.

The day’s floor proceedings will offer a preview of what’s to come over the next two years as House Democrats define how far left their caucus will tilt heading into the 2020 cycle and decide whether there’s any room to cooperate with President Donald Trump as he seeks re-election.

Jayapal Joins Pocan As Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus
Ro Khanna replaces Jayapal as the caucus’s first vice chair

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., will co-chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus with Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan will serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 116th Congress.

The CPC — which will have more than 90 members next year — held its leadership elections Thursday, which also saw California Rep. Ro Khanna chosen to replace Jayapal as first vice chair. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will ‘Relish’ Time in New York Before DC Move
Mark Pocan to incoming members with DC housing concerns: ‘She and everyone is welcome to crash at my place’

In recent days conservative media’s criticism of New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has centered on a more parochial subject than most political dustups: her rent. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Incoming New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress last week, but she is in no hurry to move to the nation’s capital. 

“I don’t need to move to DC until work starts anyway, and I am really taking this time to relish the last couple of months that I have full time with my communities in the Bronx and Queens,” Ocasio-Cortez said Monday at a news conference held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reuters reported.

Most House Democrats Will Be in Majority for First Time Ever
In contrast, most House Republicans have never been in the minority

New York Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Grace Meng have never served in the majority, with both first elected in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most House Democrats in the next Congress will be new to the majority and an overwhelming majority of Republicans will be new to the minority — a dynamic that could create a steep learning curve for members as they grapple with party strategy and messaging changes under the new power structure.

Even more significant is that a majority of leadership candidates for both parties have not served in a Democrat-led House.