Katherine M Clark

House Democrats find common scapegoat for border bill split — Senate Democrats
Progressives and moderates point fingers at Democratic senators for lost leverage

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila Jayapal says Senate Democrats should have coordinated better with the House to ensure the party could exert maximum pressure in border funding negotiations. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Moderate and progressive House Democrats were split Thursday as a majority of their caucus reluctantly joined Republicans in clearing the Senate’s border funding bill for the president’s signature. But the two factions uniformly agreed on one thing: Senate Democrats had sabotaged their negotiations.

Emotions were raw Thursday as House Democratic leaders went through a tumultuous 24-hour period trying to force some of their priorities into the Senate’s $4.59 billion supplemental funding measure only to face obstacles from their own party. 

WWII spy Patricia Warner, 98, gets surprised with a Congressional Gold Medal
Congress first recognized the Office of Strategic Services with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018

Former WWII spy Patricia Warner, 98, receives a Congressional Gold Medal in Lincoln, Mass., Tuesday. (Courtesy of Rep. Katherine Clark)

Rep. Katherine Clark surprised former World War II spy Patricia Warner, 98, with a Congressional Gold Medal on Tuesday.

“We’d like to present to you a Congressional Gold Medal that we made for you to thank you for your service,” Clark said at a small gathering at the Lincoln Local Library in her Massachusetts district. 

LGBTQ Equality Act passes House, pushing back on Trump’s religious freedom policies
Democrats and advocacy groups are attempting to counteract these policies through the courts and legislation

Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., poses with a rainbow flag at the House steps after the vote to pass the Equality Act on Friday, May 17, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Growing tensions over the Trump administration’s policies that aim to strengthen religious freedom protections for health care workers have led to a partisan tug-of-war playing out in the House.

The Trump administration has tried to strengthen religious liberty protections through numerous policies over the past several months. Those include providing federal funds to religiously affiliated foster agencies who don’t allow LGBT people to adopt children and broadening religious and moral exemptions for employers who do not want to cover birth control.

Nielsen out as Homeland Security chief
Trump faulted her for not clamping down on illegal border crossings

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is reportedly leaving her post. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:59 p.m. | President Donald Trump announced Sunday that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving his administration.

The move by Trump comes after months of frustration with what he saw as her inability to clamp down on illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border.

‘I don’t know I want to be that definitive’: Pelosi impeachment opposition catches Democratic leaders off guard
As Democrats digested news, most wrote off Pelosi’s comments as nothing new

The House Democratic leadership team in a group photo in the Rayburn Room in the U.S. Capitol late last year. Front row, from left, Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. Back row, from left, Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Katie Hill, D-Calif. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:13 p.m. | House Democratic leaders on Monday were initially caught off guard by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments to The Washington Post declaring her opposition to impeaching President Donald Trump. But as the evening wore on, most Democrats wrote off her remarks as nothing new.

“I didn’t see it. I don’t know what she said, but I’ve got a feeling it’s the same thing I’ve been saying,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said, referring to his past statements that he did not think Democrats should make a judgement on impeachment before seeing special counsel Robert Mueller III’s report.

Democrats release new anti-hate bill, ready vote to end Omar controversy
Democrats want to put issue to bed, avoid a Republican motion to recommit on the topic

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., center, announced a plan for the House to vote on an anti-hate resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 4:02 p.m. | The House will vote on an anti-hate resolution Thursday that makes a stronger statement against anti-Semitism — and indirectly freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar — than a draft that had been circulated earlier in the week.

At the same time, the updated resolution adds language rejecting other forms of bigotry like Islamophobia and racism to make the resolution less of a direct rebuke on Omar and her comments and more of a condemnation of all offensive rhetoric.  

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a ‘living wage’ starts in her office
New York Democrat will pay staffers no less than $52,000 a year

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, center, and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, third from right, arrive with staff members for a press conference on the Green New Deal outside the Capitol on Feb. 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Claudia Pagon Marchena, like so many Hill staffers, moonlighted at a Washington, D.C., eatery to pay her rent until she took a job with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She celebrated her last day at her coffee shop job that same week.

That’s because Ocasio-Cortez, who has called on fellow lawmakers to pay their staffs a “living wage,” is making an example out of her own office. The New York Democrat has introduced an unusual policy that no one on her staff will make less than $52,000 a year — an almost unheard of amount for many of the 20-somethings whose long hours make House and Senate offices run.

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.

House Democratic leaders, chairmen criticize Omar for ‘anti-Semitic trope’
McCarthy says House Republicans will ‘take action’ this week

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said tweets from Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., about a pro-Israel lobbying group buying off members of Congress "invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.'" (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic leadership team and key Jewish committee chairmen on Monday joined a chorus of criticism against freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for tweets suggesting that a pro-Israel lobbying group was buying off members of Congress.

Republicans have been attacking the Minnesota Democrat for several weeks for supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and making comments against the Israeli government. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he is likely to take action against Omar and another BDS supporter, Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib — the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

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.”