Norma J Torres

Justices break the ice, err glass, at budget hearing
Alito and Kagan make their debut before House Appropriations subcommittee

Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Elena Kagan testify about the Supreme Court’s fiscal 2020 budget at a hearing Thursday before the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

At the start of a House hearing Thursday on the Supreme Court’s budget, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. knocked over a full water glass, which shattered on the witness table with a sound that would make any foley artist proud.

“Not off to a very good start,” Alito said with a smile, holding the bottom of the broken glass. “We’re deducting that,” a member of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee quipped from the Democratic side of the dais.

House Democrats press to stop gun export rule change
Democrats hope to block a change that could make it easier to export firearms abroad, but time is running out

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are working to block a proposed Trump administration regulatory change that is expected to make it easier to export firearms abroad, but it’s unclear if there’s enough time to stop the change from taking effect.

Legislation introduced last month by Rep. Norma J. Torres of California would effectively take away the president’s ability to shift export control of firearms from the State Department to the Commerce Department.

DACA recipients attending SOTU don’t want their legal status traded for the wall
‘I refuse to trade my community for a status,’ El Paso DACA recipient Senaida Navar says

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, far left, brought Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipient Senaida Navar as her guest to State of the Union address on Tuesday. Navar said she does not want her legal status traded for a border wall. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Several Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients attending the State of the Union Tuesday as guests of House Democrats said they do not want their legal status traded for a border wall. 

President Donald Trump tried to end the DACA program, which provides young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children temporary legal status, but federal courts have so far blocked him from doing so. During various times over the past two years, Trump has floated trading statutory protections for DACA recipients — sometimes permanent, other times time temporary — for funding for a southern border wall.

Amazon Facial Recognition Mistakes 28 Members in Mugshot Test
ACLU-run test also shows racial bias in software when using 80 percent match setting

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, center, in the Capitol after attending an address to a Joint Meeting of Congress by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, June 8, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amazon’s facial recognition technology mistook 28 members of Congress for arrested individuals when the American Civil Liberties Union ran lawmaker faces against a database of 25,000 mug shots, the group announced Thursday. 

In its test of Amazon’s Rekognition technology, the software also disproportionately misidentified people of color, the ACLU said. Forty percent of the members wrongly identified were people of color, while that same demographic makes up just 20 percent of Congress.

New Group Wants to Bring Staffers Together Through Golf
Lewis Myers is the commissioner of the Congressional Golf Association

Lewis Myers in 2017 with the Quicken Loans Trophy, awarded to the winner of a PGA tournament hosted by Tiger Woods. The tournament and its proceeds make an impact in the D.C. community. (Courtesy  Lewis Myers)

Congressional staffers are trying whatever they can to bring people together in this tough political climate, and Lewis Myers thinks the golf course might be a place to do that.

“The golf ball doesn’t really recognize Republican or Democrat, so we should be able to come together and play the game we love,” said the six-year Capitol Hill veteran, who is the scheduler for California Democratic Rep. Norma J. Torres.

Lawmakers Join the Battle Over NFL Protests
Some Republicans are boycotting the league, while some Democrats laud it

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, in jacket, and head coach Jason Garrett, right, kneel with their team in a show of solidarity before the national anthem during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. (James D. Smith via AP)

 

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have joined the battle for patriotic superiority that heated up in NFL stadiums over the weekend.

Dreamers Face Uncertainty as Trump Mulls Immigration Program
Reports indicate president could end DACA as early as this week

Immigration advocates and supporters rally outside of Trump Tower in New York City earlier this month on the five-year anniversary of former President Barack Obama's executive order on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Roughly 900,000 young, undocumented immigrants woke Monday facing a threat many have feared since President Donald Trump took office: Work permits and deportation relief granted to them under an Obama-era program could be gone soon and the federal agency tasked with carrying out his deportation agenda will have their names and addresses. 

Trump’s deputies and Republican lawmakers have said that law-abiding Dreamers — undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally when they were children — are not priorities for removal under the administration’s expanded enforcement priorities.

Batter Up! The 9th Congressional Women's Softball Game in Photos
The June 21 event as captured by Roll Call's photographer

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., bats in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday that pits members of Congress against female journalists at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The press team prevailed 2-1 in this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game that pits journalists against members of Congress. It’s the ninth annual such event. Bipartisanship was on full display more than ever this year, Alex Gangitano reports, at an event where members from both sides of the aisle have traditionally played on the same team.

The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition that helps young women with breast cancer.

Press Beats Members at Congressional Women's Softball Game, to Record Crowd
The Bad News Babes win 2-1 over the members' team

Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner throws out the first pitch in the Congressional Women’s Softball game on Wednesday at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill. Griner was injured in last week’s shooting at the Republican baseball practice. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Between the large crowds, record-breaking fundraising, a heroic first pitch, bipartisanship throughout the stadium and the game itself, it was hard to pinpoint just one takeaway at Wednesday’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

The press team, known as the Bad News Babes, won the ninth annual game, 2-1, against the members of Congress.

Who’s Playing in Tonight’s Congressional Softball Game
The ninth annual game pits members of Congress against the media to raise money

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., celebrates with teammates after members defeated the media team, 10-5, in the 2014 Congressional Softball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress team up with the Washington press corps in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game Wednesday night to raise money for breast cancer.

This year’s game has seen interest and ticket sales soar after the shooting at last week’s Republican team practice before the Congressional Baseball Game, which set a record for attendance.