Filemon Vela

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol
Vela’s rebuttal to Trump; turkey with the troops; and holiday party rundown

Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, wasn’t mincing words in his response to President Donald Trump’s assertion that the attack on a mosque in Egypt justified building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. And some of the best ones are those that we come across while reporting the big ones.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Word on the Hill: Republicans Tour Jordan Airport
Pingree awarded, Veterans History Project discussion, and ‘The Long Road’

New York Rep. John Katko meets refugees at Zaatri refugee camp in northern Jordan. (Courtesy House Homeland Security Committee)

A delegation led by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., over last week’s recess included a stop in Jordan. The group toured Queen Alia International Airport, the largest airport in the country, to observe aviation security procedures and employee screening.

The U.S. donated passenger screening equipment to Jordan and other countries in 2016 under the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act.

Texas Members Respond to Hurricane Harvey
Others send best wishes and prayers to those in the path of the storm

Water churns from approaching Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday. The storm has the potential to drop up to 3 feet of rain with 125 mph winds. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While Texans stocked up on food and water, filled their gas tanks, boarded up their homes, and left the area ahead of Hurricane Harvey, their members of Congress were passing along the latest news and advice.

Some said they would ride out the storm in their districts.

Culture Before Politics Inspires Resistance to Trump’s Border Proposals
Border politics have never cleaved neatly along partisan lines

California Rep. Scott Peters has worked with his Republican colleagues to secure border infrastructure funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrat Scott Peters, a former environmental lawyer, represents a majority Anglo district near the Mexican border town of Tijuana.

Texas Republican Will Hurd, a 39-year-old former CIA officer who’s nearly two decades younger that Peters, represents a majority Latino district a thousand miles to the east that spans 40 percent of America’s border with Mexico.

Word on the Hill: It’s a Healthy Day
What's happening this week?

Maria Marlowe poses with author Dr. Mark Hyman and his newest book last year. (Brent N. Clarke/Getty Images file photo)

It’s the first day of national Health and Wellness Coach Week and to kick it off, Ivanka Trump’s former health coach is coming to Capitol Hill.

Maria Marlowe writes a monthly food column and is the founder of an integrative nutrition health coaching practice in New York. She will be joined by other health leaders for a congressional briefing at noon in the Capitol Visitor Center, Room 201AB.

House Democrats Round Out Leadership Posts
Minority party picks heads of campaign, messaging arms

House Democrats didn’t seem to put the blame for a disappointing Election Day on Democratic Congressional Campaign Chairman Ben Ray Luján, electing him unanimously to a post that had been appointed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Monday chose who will fill out the additional leadership posts created by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in an effort to overhaul how the caucus conducts its business.

The Democrats re-elected Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Lujan's position had been appointed and, despite disappointing results on Election Day which saw the party pick up far fewer seats than projected, he ran uncontested and was elected by unanimous consent, according to a source in the room.

Gun Control Meets Congressional Dysfunction
Swing-district Republicans hold the key to any legislative breakthrough

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo will need to convince more of his fellow Republican House colleagues to support his gun control proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This is the week when the American people decide if the extraordinary House sit-in is remembered as the sound of gridlock breaking, or the latest evidence of gridlock calcifying.  

Energized advocates for gun control predict it will prove to be the former. Experience says it will be the latter.  

Why They Didn't Show Up to Sit In
The 11 Democrats who didn't participate in last week's gun control protest

Some 176 members of the House Democratic caucus – or 94 percent – took part in the sit-in last week to protest inaction on gun control legislation. (Courtesy Rep. John Yarmuth's Twitter page)

Organizers said they started last week’s extraordinary sit-in on the House floor without knowing how many other House Democrats would join them to demand votes on legislation to tighten background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from buying weapons. By the time the protest ended, nearly 26 hours later, 176 members of the caucus — or 94 percent — had taken part in the demonstration.  

[ Gun Control Meets Congressional Dysfunction ]  

Texas Congressman Tells Trump To Shove It
Democrat Filemon Vela slams likely GOP nominee for 'bigoted' rhetoric

In an open letter, Rep. Filemon Vela blasted Donald Trump over his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas has had enough of Donald Trump, telling the presumptive Republican nominee on Monday to take his border wall and "shove it up your ass."  

In an open letter  to Trump, Vela, a Mexican-American, said he agrees with the billionaire mogul on the need to curb violence and the drug cartels along the U.S. border with Mexico.