DHS

Road ahead: More on the Mueller report; floor action on Paris bill, nominations
Oversight matters will get most attention post-Mueller but House and Senate proceeding with normal business too

Attorney General William Barr appears on a television in the Capitol subway on April 18, 2019. He is testifying before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two days of testimony from Attorney General William Barr on the 448-page report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will largely define Congress’ return from its two-week recess, with the House and Senate heading in different directions. 

Senate Republicans, who will hear from Barr first on Wednesday, feel Mueller’s report is the appropriate conclusion to years of investigations into allegations that President Donald Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election and that the president himself attempted to obstruct those investigations.

Why Democrats aren’t rushing to change immigration laws
They don’t agree with Trump and public sentiment doesn’t provide a mandate toward a solution

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked from left by Assistant Democratic Leader Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos, D- Ill., and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks to the press during the House Democrats' 2019 Issues Conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are treading carefully on immigration as they attempt to show they can lead on the divisive issue heading into the 2020 elections.

President Donald Trump, who won election in 2016 on a campaign to crack down on immigration and what he often refers to as “open borders,” is planning to repeat the strategy heading into 2020. In recent weeks, he’s launched near daily attacks on Democrats for their refusal to change immigration laws — an accusation that, as with many things Trump says, is not entirely true.

Pelosi says Barr is ‘off the rails,’ raises concerns about DHS upheaval
‘This administration is just in a downward spiral of indecency,’ speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands off to the side as other leaders speaks at the House Democrats' 2019 Issues Conference opening press conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va., on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — Attorney General William Barr is “going off the rails,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday after the head of the Justice Department told Senate appropriators that U.S. intelligence agencies spied on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. 

Barr later walked back those comments,  saying, “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I am saying I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.” 

Capitol Ink | Political Black Hole

Pelosi rejects DHS request for authority to deport migrant children to home countries
'Democrats reject any effort to let the administration deport little children,' speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says House Democrats will not grant the Department of Homeland Security's request to pass legislation giving the department authority to deport unaccompanied migrant children from Central America. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that House Democrats are rejecting the Department of Homeland Security’s request to pass legislation authorizing the department to send all unaccompanied children who try to cross the border back to their home countries. 

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sent a letter to Congress Thursday asking lawmakers to pass legislation providing additional financial resources and legal authority for the department to manage the migrant crisis at the border. 

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. 

Capitol Ink | Intelligence Community