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Trump wings it in feisty, combative Rose Garden emergency announcement
POTUS berates reporters, slams Dems as policy event morphs into campaign rally

\President Donald Trump speaks in the White House Rose Garden on Friday. Trump said he would declare a national emergency to free up federal funding to build a wall along the southern border. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS  — A testy and combative President Donald Trump winged it Friday in the Rose Garden, turning an often-rambling defense of his border security emergency into a 2020 assault on Democrats.

Trump has redefined the presidency around his unique style and penchant for unpredictable and unprecedented moves, as well as the sharp rhetoric he uses both at the White House and his rowdy campaign rallies. But there was something different during Trump’s remarks Friday, with the president leading off his remarks by talking about anything but the compromise funding measure and border security actions he signed later that day.

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?”

2020 Democratic contenders largely align on drug price bills
Candidates may strain to stand out on drugs in crowded primary field

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, introduced a three-bill drug pricing package last month. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is one of its original co-sponsors. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bold stance on drug pricing will be a prerequisite for any candidate who wants to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but one challenge will be differentiating the contenders from each other.

The main distinction among candidates could be between those pushing bipartisan policies and those promoting more liberal ideas that currently stand little chance of enactment. But in most cases, the bills have a list of co-sponsors that could resemble a future primary debate stage.

GOP Rep. Walter Jones dies at 76
North Carolina Republican congressman’s change of heart against the Iraq War put him at odds with his party

Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones initially voted for, and then opposed, the 2003 Iraq war. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., an independent Republican resolute in his commitments to ending U.S. wars and diminishing the role of government, died Sunday, He was 76. 

Jones died in Greenville, N.C., according to a statement from his office. He had been absent from the Capitol with an undisclosed illness since September. He moved into hospice on Jan. 26 after suffering a broken hip.

House Democrats to consider publishing internal caucus rules ‘in short order’
Progressive groups have called out secrecy surrounding how Democrats govern themselves

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Vice Chairwoman Katherine M. Clark conduct a news conference after a caucus meeting in the Capitol in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats will consider making public their internal party rules after pressure from outside groups who say such a move would exemplify the party’s “commitment to open government.” 

“We believe in transparency and accountability,” Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries wrote Thursday in a letter obtained by Roll Call, “and in that spirit, this issue will be presented to the Caucus for consideration in short order.” 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls out dark money ‘shaping’ questions about reform bill
Ethics expert calls it a ‘fox guarding the henhouse situation’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Financial Services Committee organizational meeting in Rayburn Building on Jan. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a hearing about government ethics, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned the spotlight on her colleagues in the room.

Can members of Congress finance their campaigns with the aid of corporate PACs representing industries like fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals, and then legislate according to the interests of those industries?

Groups call for House Intel to open initial meeting

There are calls for House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to comply with House rules and open Wednesday’s committee meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold its initial organizational meeting of the year on Wednesday, but outside groups are claiming the closed meeting violates House rules.

House Rules require that business meetings be open to the public and the press, but allows a committee to vote to close the open session for a few specific reasons, including discussion of national security or law enforcement information.

Anti-corruption, campaign finance overhaul bills preview likely 2020 campaign theme
Issue is likely to remain a signature theme for Democrats running for the White House and Congress

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as House Democrats have made a political overhaul a top priority, numerous lawmakers, including freshman members, have filed their own campaign finance and anti-corruption bills, a sign the topic will dominate into the 2020 campaigns.

Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat who unseated Republican Mike Coffman last November, introduced his first bill last week: a measure that could lead to disclosures of donors to 501(c)(4) “social welfare” tax-exempt groups that play in politics.

Will the ‘green wave’ return for House Democrats?
Fundraising for 2020 cycle may not come as easy for chamber’s new majority

From left, Democratic Reps. Colin Allred of Texas, Abby Finkenauer of Iowa and Katie Hill of California each raised millions in their successful campaigns to oust GOP incumbents in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A tidal wave of cash, much of it from small-dollar grassroots donors, helped Democrats win back the House in 2018, but replicating that fundraising success this cycle won’t be easy. 

For one, they’ll be competing with a growing field of Democratic presidential contenders, several of whom have already pledged to lean heavily on grassroots donors as they bid to take on President Donald Trump.

Dan McCready raises $500,000 for North Carolina election that hasn’t been called yet
Donations came in over the five weeks since Democrat retracted concession

Democrat Dan McCready raised $500,000 in the past five weeks. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

Since withdrawing his concession in North Carolina’s 9th District race, Democrat Dan McCready has raised more than $500,000 for a new election that isn’t even certain to happen. 

McCready withdrew his concession on Dec. 6 after allegations of election fraud led the state elections board to delay certification of the results and The Associated Press to retract its call in favor of Republican Mark Harris, who had originally led by 905 votes.