12,000

House Republicans are already thinking about what to do if more members of their caucus face indictment. A new rules proposal for the conference would force its indicted members of Congress to relinquish leadership assignments and committee roles.

The rules change would require any GOP member facing indictment “for a felony for which a sentence of two or more years imprisonment may be imposed,” to “submit his or her resignation from any such committees to the House promptly.”

The proposed rules would also apply to any House Republican leadership, requiring them to “step aside” if indicted for a felony. Republican lawmakers will vote on the rules package this week.

Two House Republicans, New York’s Chris Collins and California’s Duncan Hunter, were both indicted in August. Hunter won his race, and Collins is ahead in his, although the Associated Press has not declared a winner. Without committee roles, their responsibilities would be pared back significantly.

Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted by a federal grand jury in late August for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and covering their tracks in campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission. The couple is facing 60 federal charges.

Collins faces insider trading charges stemming from his investment in an Australian biotech company where he served on the board of directors. He gained personal benefit and provided nonpublic information to his son Cameron Collins, who sold nearly $1.4 million of Innate Immunotherapeutics shares, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The other proposed changes include a clarification that committee leaders get to participate in Republican Steering Committee deliberations when the panel is considering removing a member of their committee and language specifying the distribution of Steering Committee votes for when the party is in the minority. In the majority, the speaker has had four votes and the majority leader two, while all other Steering members get one. In the minority the minority leader will get four votes and the minority whip will get two.

Currently, there are no no federal statutes or rules of the House that directly affect the status of a member of Congress who has been indicted for a crime that constitutes a felony.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

Officials have yet to determine the winners in one Senate contest and eight House races — a week and a day after the midterm elections.

If the 2000 presidential race is an indication, the outcome of the Florida Senate race could be weeks away as state election personnel recount votes for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Nelson trailed in the initial tally by less than 15,000 votes to his challenger, GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

House Democrats have already passed the threshold for a majority that they haven’t held since 2010. They currently have 227 seats called in their favor with the potential for those 10 not yet called races. But they’ll likely land more around 231 seats — still good for a 27-seat majority.

In the Senate, the GOP flipped seats in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri — states that President Donald Trump won by double digits in 2016. But Democrats picked up seats in Nevada and Arizona.

Here are the races yet to be called as of 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon that will determine the size of the Republicans’ majority in the Senate and the Democrats’ in the House:

The race for the Senate seat in Florida has turned into a nasty battle of accusations as officials begun a machine recount over the weekend.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott declared victory over three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson late last Tuesday, but more than a week later the race remains uncalled by The Associated Press. Scott’s margin narrowed since election night as votes from Democratic-leaning Broward County continued to trickle in and absentee and provisional ballots remained uncounted.

A judge tossed out a lawsuit from Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee against Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes for failing to turn over information about ballots that have been counted. There has been no evidence of voter fraud in Broward, the judge ruled. Scott has also called for a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigation into Broward’s handling of ballots.

President Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio, without citing any evidence, has also accused Broward County officials of voter fraud.

Democratic groups have sued Scott to try to prevent him from being involved as governor in the recount process, which will go to a manual recount if the machine recount yields a margin between the candidates of less than 0.25 percent.

The Mississippi special election for the final two years of former GOP Sen. Thad Cochran’s term is heading to a Nov. 27 runoff after no candidate cleared 50 percent Tuesday night.

Just 1 point separated appointed GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and former Democratic Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, with Hyde-Smith ahead 41 percent to 40 percent. Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel took 16 percent of the vote.

Democrat Josh Harder defeated four-term GOP incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham in California's 10th District, the AP projected Tuesday.

Last weekend, Democratic challengers from the Golden State picked up two other seats, in the 25th and 48th Districts.

Local officials in California are still counting ballots in two other GOP seats, whose results are trending Democratic after Republicans held cushions on Election Day.

In the 45th District, Democrat Katie Porter has overtaken Rep. Mimi Walters by just hundreds of votes, according to results released last night. Walters had a 6,000-vote cushion on Election Night.

In Georgia’s 7th District, Rep. Rob Woodall leads by less than 500 votes over Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in the Atlanta suburbs.

Utah Rep. Mia Love, who spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention and is the only African-American Republican woman in the House, pulled within half a percent of Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams with 85 percent of precincts reporting in the 4th District.

With just absentee and provisional ballots left to count, Democratic challenger Anthony Brindisi leads Rep. Claudia Tenney by about half a percentage point in New York’s 22nd District. Tenney ran one of the most pro-Trump campaigns of any vulnerable Republican this cycle.

Republican incumbents in Maine’s 2nd District (Bruce Poliquin), New York’s 27th (Chris Collins) and Texas’ 23rd (Will Hurd) hold narrow edges in their respective races, but those contests remained uncalled Wednesday. With none of the candidates taking more than 50 percent in Maine, the race will be decided by the state’s new ranked-choice voting system for the first time.

One open seat held by the GOP remains uncalled. Republican Young Kim holds a narrow lead over Democrat Gil Cisneros for the seat vacated by retiring Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th District. Her lead has shrunk from 4,000 votes on Election Night to roughly 700 by Wednesday with more mail-in ballots left to count. Experts have predicted Cisneros will overtake Kim.

Watch: Bill Nelson Makes a Statement on Florida’s Senate Race Recount

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...
12,000
12,000
Opinion

Capitol Ink | Frosh Week

By Robert Matson
12,000

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has sued state Attorney General Matthew Dunlap seeking an injunction to stop the tabulation of ballots under the state’s ranked-choice voting system, which is being used in his race against Democrat Jared Golden in the 2nd District.

Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the state’s ranked-choice voting system kicked in last week. This year is the first time it’s being used at the federal level in Maine, and the 2nd District will likely be the first House race in the country to be decided under this process.

The new system lets voters rank candidates in order of preference. If no one receives a majority, the last-place finisher is eliminated and his or her votes reallocated to the candidates whom voters ranked second. The process continues until someone secures more than 50 percent of the vote.

Poliquin led Golden by less than a point on the first count, 46.2 percent to 45.5 percent. But it’s expected that Golden will pull ahead under ranked-choice voting since supporters of two independent candidates, who received a combined 8 percent of the vote, were likely to rank Golden second. 

Poliquin’s suit alleges that ranked-choice voting, which Maine voters have twice approved, violates the Constitution.

“Instead of respecting this important constitutional principle, the RCV Act directly contravenes it by denying individuals who obtained the highest number of votes after the first round of balloting — in this case, Bruce Poliquin — from being declared the winner of the general election,” the suit read, according to the Portland Press Herald.  

Golden’s campaign responded that Poliquin should have filed his suit before the election if he was really concerned about the voting process.

“Any attempt by Bruce Poliquin to change the rules after votes have already been cast is an affront to the law and to the people of Maine,” Golden campaign manager Jon Breed said in a statement.

“If Rep. Poliquin’s concerns were anything other than in self interest, he should have filed this lawsuit before votes were cast, or when the Maine Republican Party challenged Maine’s election system last year,” Breed added.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

The two largest ideology-based Democratic factions in the House — the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition — are both projecting they’ll have more than 90 members next year after the party picked up over 30 seats in last week’s midterms.

The growth comes at a time when numbers will matter for these groups, more than they have for the past eight years when their party has been in the minority. With the House in their hands next year, Democrats will get to set the legislative agenda and control what bills come to the floor.

Any disagreements among Democrats about what legislative items to pursue will likely be between the more liberal Progressive Caucus and the more moderate New Democrat and Blue Dog coalitions.

Also Watch: New Members Could Spell Trouble for Pelosi’s Speaker Bid

The Progressive Caucus had 78 members this year, and more than 20 of the 41 candidates its political arm endorsed this cycle won their elections last week.

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, co-chairman of the CPC, said his group is expecting a net gain of at least 13 members, factoring in retirements of some current members. A further six CPC-endorsed candidates are in races yet to be called. 

Those additions would grow the CPC to somewhere between 91 and 97 members in the next Congress. 

“We’re going to be advocating for bold solutions to match where the electorate was at on Nov. 6,” Pocan said. “A number of members of Congress prefer to spend their life in fetal position, rocking in the corner of the room. We don’t do that. We’re the folks out there trying to advocate for big change.”

The New Democrat Coalition is eyeing similar growth. The pro-business group currently has 68 members, six of whom are retiring or ran for other office. So far, 25 candidates endorsed by the NewDemPAC have won their races, so the coalition should have at least 87 members next year. 

But the New Democrats are expecting more members from races still uncalled, and 12 other winning candidates were on the NewDemPAC’s watch list and might also join the coalition.

New Democrats have been active in crafting policy solutions on issues that could see movement next Congress, such as infrastructure, housing affordability and workforce development, said Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer, the coalition’s vice chairman for policy coordination. 

The Blue Dog Coalition, while much smaller than the Progressive Caucus and the New Democrats, is also poised to grow by 25 percent. (There’s a lot of overlap between the New Democrats and the Blue Dogs, but the latter group focuses primarily on policies designed to promote fiscal responsibility.)

Only one of the 18 current Blue Dogs is not returning — Kyrsten Sinema, who won the Arizona Senate race.

Five of the coalition’s endorsed candidates have won their races, and two others, Ben McAdams in Utah’s 4th District and Anthony Brindisi in New York’s 22nd, are leading. If they win, the coalition will have 24 members next year. 

“The Blue Dogs have always put America before partisan politics. In the new Congress, as in past Congresses, very little will get done if members of both parties don’t come together to find common ground. Blue Dogs stand ready to work with Democrats and Republicans alike in the best interest of the country and to advance the core Blue Dog principles of fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense,” Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, who co-chairs the coalition’s campaign arm, said in a statement. 

The ideological caucuses are looking to be a larger source of power in the majority, since the groups’ central purpose is to develop and debate policy.

In the minority, much of the power has been delegated to the Congressional Tri-Caucus — composed of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Democrats have been divided along ideological lines on their top campaign issue of health care. Progressives have generally pushed for “Medicare for All” legislation, while many of the more moderate members have called for a more tempered solution such as a public health insurance option. 

Despite those differences, Kilmer said he doesn’t anticipate much clashing between the various ideology-based caucuses. 

“There’s far more that unites Democrats than that divides us,” he said. “And you heard Democrats speaking with one  voice about needing to end the sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, the need to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, the need to stabilize the insurance marketplace.”

Chrissy Houlahan, who was just elected from Pennsylvania’s 6th District, had not heard of the New Democrats before she started exploring a run for Congress. She recalled speaking to the secretary of the Chester County Democratic Committee about her background, political sensibilities and view of the Democratic Party when he told her she sounded like a “New Dem,” the shorthand name ascribed to coalition members. 

A few weeks later, she met with some of the New Democrats and learned more about the coalition. 

“It did seem like that was my political home,” she said. 

Coming from a “purple region” where most people regardless of party affiliation tend to sit in the political center, Houlahan said she and many of her constituents believe in fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurship opportunities for everyone, and policies that allow the economy to thrive. But they also believe in social equality and taking care of one another and the planet, she said. 

“Those two ideas are not dissonant. They can exist in one head,” she said. 

The New Democrats share similar ideas and values. In addition to the financial support the coalition provided to her campaign — a moderate amount in an expensive race, she acknowledged — Houlahan would reach out to the group occasionally to get some background on how issues were playing around the country.

CPC leaders on Monday held a new member orientation with some of the candidates they endorsed who are joining the caucus. 

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been fighting for human issues,” Joe Neguse, who succeeds Rep. Jared Polis in Colorado’s 2nd District, said during a media availability the CPC held with the candidates. 

He cited issues such as being able to afford health care and having access to good public schools as priorities he shares with the CPC. 

Some candidates, such as Veronica Escobar in Texas’s 16th District and Angie Craig in Minnesota’s 2nd District, received endorsements from both the Progressive Caucus and the New Democrats. 

Escobar, appearing at the CPC new member orientation, said having the group’s endorsement helped her in her blue district. 

“I didn’t have to flip a seat, but my race was very competitive, my primary,” she said. “I had five opponents. I had a Republican super PAC running against me, trying to paint me as too liberal for the district.”

Escobar said she sought out the Progressive Caucus’s endorsement and was honored to receive it. 

“We have many shared values, obviously — not 100 percent. There probably are areas where we’re just a little bit not completely aligned,” she said. “But by and large, the values of the Progressive Caucus, which is access to education, access to health care, an economy that works for everyone and just and humane immigration reform, those are the values of my district.”

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

The number of incidents involving hate crimes increased for a third straight year in 2017, the FBI reported in charts and data released Tuesday, a trend that House Democrats have been clamoring to examine for months as they prepare for hearings on the issue when they take back the House on Jan. 3.

Hate crime incidents rose by 17 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. From 2015 to 2016, the FBI reported a 5 percent increase.

Most of the 7,175 cases in 2017 involved race-based bias, though there were at least 1,564 cases that involved bias against certain religions and 1,130 in which people were targeted for their sexual orientation.

Of the 4,131 cases of anti-racial hate crime incidents, roughly half targeted blacks, by far the most of any racial or ethnic group.

Hate crimes against Jews, the most commonly targeted religious group, increased by 37 percent, from 684 in 2016 to 938 in 2017.

Those findings were released less than a month after a gunman killed 11 Jews celebrating Shabbat at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the most deadly slaying of Jews in the nation’s history.

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee who is expected to become chairman in January, has said one of his top oversight priorities will be investigating the uptick in hate crimes since President Donald Trump took office and questioning Justice Department officials on what steps they are taking to combat those crimes.

Nadler, who is Jewish, told Roll Call in a recent interview that, as part of that effort, he wants to examine “the extent to which [the rise in hate crimes] correlates with the president’s rhetoric and coddling of white supremacists.”

Trump has vehemently denied that he has courted white supremacists with dog whistle messaging and divisive rhetoric. Last week at a White House press briefing, a PBS reporter asked the president if his embrace of the term “nationalism” at multiple campaign rallies before the midterm elections emboldened white nationalists.

“That is such a racist question,” Trump responded. “What you just said is so insulting to me. It’s a very terrible thing that you said.”

At a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in April 2017, Trump said his administration would work to “confront anti-Semitism” and “stamp out prejudice.”

In May 2017, the GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Justice Department’s “Responses to the Increase in Religious Hate Crimes.”

At that hearing, Grassley advocated for a “governmental response” to religious hate crimes, including deploying law enforcement resources to “houses of worship” and creating task forces to “provide special assistance to religious groups to enhance security or for other purposes.”

On the House side, the GOP majority has taken no such steps to address the rise in hate crime incidents, despite repeated requests from Democrats.

The office of Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the current Judiciary Committee chairman, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“There has been zero effort by Congress to respond to this extraordinary threat,” Nadler tweeted Tuesday, linking to a story outlining the highlights of the FBI hate crimes report.

“House Judiciary Democrats have demanded [Goodlatte] call emergency hearings immediately addressing this crisis. So far, our calls remain unanswered,” Nadler wrote.

Watch: Braun Says ‘It’s Gotten Way Too Nasty On Both Sides’

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

Donald Trump is pushing away one of his few close allies, French President Emmanuel Macron, as experts warn of an emerging European power vacuum and some GOP lawmakers defend the U.S. president’s latest brash move.

The two presidents have little in common but quickly became unlikely allies. Trump is a businessman and former reality television star. Macron was a philosophy major who became a finance and economic wonk. A bromance developed, and Trump feted Macron during an official visit that included a private dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and an elegant state dinner at the White House.

But seven months later, the two are on a path toward a trans-Atlantic breakup.

Many U.S. lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats — have warned Trump to avoid alienating longtime close allies. And they want him to end a nasty trade flap with the EU, which many experts see Macron leading as German Chancellor Angela Merkel soon will exit the global stage.

Should the Trump-Macron relationship continue to deteriorate, it will only add to the global issues facing the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees — as well as those that oversee U.S. intelligence and defense matters. As the House prepares to flip to Democratic control, those committees are prepping more aggressive oversight of the Trump presidency, including its foreign policy.

[Trump Predicts ‘Deal-Making,’ Many Fights Ahead With Democrats]

And in a new twist delivered via a Tuesday morning tweet, Trump appears to be defending Russian President Vladimir Putin instead of Macron — even as House Democrats are poised to rekindle that chamber’s investigation of Russia’s 2016 election meddling and possible coordination with Trump’s campaign.

Incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York says once he takes the gavel, the panel will look into Russia’s 2016 meddling efforts, including hearings that, in part, will seek to determine whether Russians worked with members of the president’s inner circle.

“We’ll clearly look into [Russian interference],” Nadler said.

Trump’s siding with Putin on Tuesday over the French leader came as some Republican lawmakers continue to defend the president’s actions toward traditional U.S. allies.

Trump seems agitated by a speech Macron gave during 1918 Armistice festivities in France on Sunday, during which he took a clear shot at Trump’s self-description as a “nationalist.” The French leader called nationalism a “betrayal of patriotism.”

Asked Sunday if he is concerned that Trump’s “nationalist” philosophy and actions toward American allies are threatening the post-World War II order, Senate Armed Services member Lindsey Graham responded: “Oh, no.”

“I think he’s got a political problem at home, Macron does, and probably picking a fight with Trump is good politics,” Graham, a Trump critic-turned-confidant, told CBS Sunday. “I like the idea of President Trump pushing NATO to pay more. … I think the main friction is getting out of the Iran deal, which I thought was bad for America and really bad for the world. So, Republican presidents always have a hard time in Europe. I’m not really worried about this at all.”

Trump hit the same note Tuesday, suggesting Macron’s struggles with his own countrymen led Macron last week to suggest European countries should depend less on the United States to defend them against Russia.

The remark triggered a critical Trump tweet as Air Force One was about to land in Paris on Friday, followed by less-than-warm body language between Trump and Macron all weekend. The tensions continued Tuesday, when Trump suggested Macron is wrong to view Putin and his military as a threat.

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia,” Trump wrote. “But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two — How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along.”

President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!

The unique and aggressive messaging of this presidency continued with that tweet. U.S. presidents of both parties have described defeating Adolf Hitler’s Germany as something America and Europeans — and Russia — did together rather than something America did mostly on its own. The rhetoric is part of the reason Trump received a muted response from many European leaders on the weekend trip.

[Most House Democrats Will Be in Majority for First Time Ever]

“The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%,” Trump wrote, adding of Macron’s call for a European military: “He was just trying to get onto another subject.”

The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He was just trying to get onto another subject. By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!........

......MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!

Some foreign policy analysts say that despite his best efforts, Macron’s initial chumminess toward Trump has failed to make the U.S. president more engaged in Europe. And his more recent tough talk, experts say, has failed to make clear he or any other European leader can replace a disengaged and “nationalist” America.

“The Trump-Macron relationship is based on what I call a ‘compartmentalized cooperation,’ which mirrors both Trump’s transactionalism and Macron’s pragmatism,” said Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, who heads the German Marshall Fund’s Paris office.

“France [and] its European partners [have] also realized that they don’t have the influence nor the capacity to ‘replace’ U.S. leadership on many … core issues,” she added, noting Macron and others are learning that “geopolitical partners-spoilers like Russia, China or Turkey were actually seeking bilateral confrontation and dialogue with the U.S. — and not with Europe.”

So as Congress returns and judging from the evolution of the Trump-Macron relationship, there might be little lawmakers can do to force any president — but particularly Trump — into playing nicer with allies and being tougher on foes like Putin.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

Most House Democrats in the next Congress will be new to the majority and an overwhelming majority of Republicans will be new to the minority — a dynamic that could create a steep learning curve for members as they grapple with party strategy and messaging changes under the new power structure.

Even more significant is that a majority of leadership candidates for both parties have not served in a Democrat-led House.

Republicans have controlled the House since 2011, and next year’s power shift will be new territory for old and new members alike. 

Of the 227 Democrats who are guaranteed to be serving in the 116th Congress — 10 House races remained uncalled at press time — 58 percent will be new to the majority. That includes 79 members who have served in Congress already and 53 new members. Only 95 Democrats returning next year have experienced life in the majority. 

The numbers of Republicans serving in the minority for the first time is even more staggering. Of the 198 Republicans elected so far, 73 percent will be new to the minority. 

Even a majority of returning Republican members — 112 — will be serving in the minority for the first time; another 32 are incoming freshmen. Only 54 Republicans serving next Congress have been in the minority before. 

“There will be a learning curve on both sides,” said Molly Reynolds, a governance studies fellow at the Brookings Institution.

New-to-Dem-majority

The House is a majority-run institution that, unlike the Senate, provides the minority with little power. 

Democrats who have never served in the majority don’t know what it’s like for their party to be able to decide what issues committees get to work on, what bills come to the floor and what amendments are made in order, Reynolds said. 

“Republicans, the flip side is true,” she said. “You’ve only ever been in the chamber where your party gets to make those decisions.”

House Republicans will have to adjust their strategy and messaging since they’ll no longer be operating from the same playbook as they have the past two years under unified Republican control of Congress and the White House. 

“They have mainly been focusing on trying to legislate,” Reynolds said. 

While that would seemingly be the Democrats’ role in the majority, they won’t be able to do too much of that with Republicans still in control of the Senate and the White House.

Rather, much of the Democrats’ legislative and messaging decisions will be aimed at laying the groundwork for what would happen if they have unified party control in 2020, Reynolds said. 

Toward the end of the Obama administration, Republicans, who controlled both chambers of Congress by then, tried that — to varying degrees of success — with “trial runs” on repealing the 2010 health care law and other priorities, she said. 

Also Watch: The Border Wall Funding Fight Could Lead to Another CR, or Partial Federal Shutdown

Republicans will also need to familiarize themselves with procedural tools of the minority, like the motion to recommit — a move to send legislation back to the committee, which gives minority-party lawmakers the opportunity to suggest how they would have handled the issue. 

Another major difference in the parties flipping power is the operation of committees. Democrats will get more seats and staff, while Republicans will get fewer. 

There are other “more mundane logistical things” that the majority party benefits from, such as better office space and preferential treatment for room rentals, Reynolds said. 

While there would seem to be a major experience gap, some members have backgrounds serving in state and local legislative bodies where they’ve experienced the power structure they’ll encounter in the House next year.

Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, who came to Congress in 2013, noted that he spent some time in the majority during his time in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

The co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus also said that Democrats are more prepared for holding the majority because they’ve been proactively developing policy proposals while in the minority. 

“The good part is our caucus has always been not just about opposition but about trying to put forward progressive, bold ideas,” he said. “Now the challenge will be to convince our colleagues.”

For Democrats, working to develop consensus on legislation, rather than vote uniformly — or occasionally, not — against Republican bills will also be new to many members. 

Interestingly enough, most of the Democrats running for leadership positions in the House have never served in the majority.

That doesn’t include the candidates for the top three positions — speaker, majority leader and majority whip — who have all served in the majority before.

The races for the No. 4 and No. 5 slots each include one candidate who has served in the majority — New Mexico’s Ben Ray Luján for assistant Democratic leader and California’s Barbara Lee for Democratic Caucus chair — and one candidate who hasn’t — Rhode Island’s David Cicilline for assistant leader and New York’s Hakeem Jeffries for caucus chair. 

Both candidates for Democratic Caucus vice chair,  Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California, have never served in the majority. 

Nor have any of the four candidates running to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Suzan DelBene and Denny Heck of Washington were all elected in 2012 and have only ever campaigned from the minority position. 

Likewise, the only declared Republican running to chair the National Republican Congressional Committee, Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, has never served in the minority. He was first elected in 2014.

And the three candidates running for House Republican Conference leadership positions — Wyoming’s Liz Cheney for chair, North Carolina’s Mark Walker for vice chair and Missouri’s Jason Smith for secretary — have also never been in the minority. 

Only the Republican candidates seeking the top two leadership positions — California’s Kevin McCarthy and Ohio’s Jim Jordan running for minority leader and Louisiana’s Steve Scalise running for minority whip — have served in the minority before.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...
12,000
12,000