Next week the Senate will vote on legislation — the so-called continuing resolution or CR — that will address Zika, veterans programs, severe flooding, the heroin and prescription opioid crisis, and fund the operations of the government through December. After many weeks of bipartisan negotiations, there is some understandable confusion over just what is and is not in that bill. I’m happy to clear it up.

First, this is what’s known as a “clean” CR.

It’s a clean bill because of what it doesn’t have: controversial policy riders from either party. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

It’s a good bill because of what it does have. It contains funding for all current government operations at agreed-upon, bipartisan spending levels and under the terms and conditions President Obama signed into law last December and that more than 30 Senate Democrats supported.

It contains funding for the new laws President Obama just signed, like the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act that will allow us to fight the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.

It contains a significant down payment on flood relief for the many states like Maryland, Texas, West Virginia, and Louisiana that have recently been impacted by severe flooding. It also contains record levels of funding for our veterans.

Both parties and, more importantly, our constituents have called for all of these provisions and we've included them, as well as the funding we need to fight Zika. This bill contains the resources necessary to get the mosquito population under control, bring advanced diagnostics and treatments online, and develop vaccines to finally ensure expectant mothers and their babies are safe.

It was unfortunate to see Democrats block this essential anti-Zika funding several times over the summer, but the concerns they raised then have been addressed in this bill in a bipartisan way. Now, with thousands infected by Zika already, there is no time to lose and zero reason to stall this essential relief again. Democrats like Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida understand that urgency and support this common sense package.

“This bill provides a clean $1.1 billion to help stop the spread of Zika virus with no political riders,” Sen. Nelson said, “and I will support it.”

Sen. Nelson, a Democrat, and Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, have both seen first-hand the devastating toll Zika has already taken in their home state and across our country.

We’ve all seen the devastating toll that severe flooding and the heroin and prescription opioid crisis have taken from coast to coast to coast.

Think how unfair it would be for senators to block this bill’s critical funding for the victims of Zika, the prescription opioid and heroin crisis, and severe flooding after senators voted 95-3 just last week to help the people of Flint, Michigan.

This bill is the result of weeks of bipartisan negotiations, it addresses priorities of both parties, it contains zero controversial policy riders, it adheres to already agreed-upon, bipartisan spending levels, and — with government funding set to run out on Sept. 30 unless we pass it — the time for action is now.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is the majority leader of the United States Senate.

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Cruz Backs Trump for President

By Bridget Bowman
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By Toula Vlahou

Until recently, Nate Silver was every Democrat's favorite polling analyst, a statistical oracle hailed for the preternatural accuracy of his Barack Obama victory projections in 2008 and 2012. But lately, the God-like aura that once surrounded Silver has been replaced by liberal dismay over his soothsaying.

The reason for the fall from grace is that Silver now gives Donald Trump a 40-percent chance of winning in November. The widespread skepticism that the bilious billionaire might be elected prompted an exasperated Silver to recently tweet, "Never seen otherwise-smart people in so much denial as they are about Trump's chances. Same mistake as primaries. Brexit."

Hillary Clinton, speaking to a union audience Wednesday, expressed her own form of incredulity when she asked rhetorically, "Why aren't I 50 points ahead?" Plausible answers range from "You're a badly flawed candidate yourself, Hillary" to "The news media, especially cable TV, can't get over its ratings-mad fixation with Trump."

But even the most euphoric Trump triumphalist would admit that the GOP nominee's realistic route to victory depends on a narrow passage along the electoral map. As an illustration, giving the GOP nominee almost all of the swing states (but not Pennsylvania) and one of Maine's four electoral votes would lead to an Electoral College verdict of Trump 270 and Clinton 268.

Such calculations serve as a reminder than the Electoral College consists of flesh-and-blood electors rather than disembodied numbers on a map. And even if the Republicans prevailed on Nov. 8, a handful of electors could cost Trump the White House.

[Disgruntled Activists May Target Electors]

Samuel Miles — a Quaker from Philadelphia and a brigadier general during the Revolutionary War — was the first faithless elector. In 1796, even though he was pledged to Federalist John Adams, Miles cast one of Pennsylvania's electoral votes for Thomas Jefferson, whom he judged less likely to plunge America into a war with France.

According to research by the advocacy group FairVote, 81 other electors in history have pulled a similar trick. In modern times, faithless electors have been motivated by ideology (votes for Barry Goldwater in 1960 and Ronald Reagan in 1980) and idiosyncrasy (an Alabama elector opted for home-town circuit court judge Walter Jones in 1956).

Normally, in a close election, party loyalty trumps any attempt by electors to jigger with the outcome. In fact, it is safe to say that there are few places in America where independent judgment is less prized than in the Electoral College.

But 2016 — in case anyone hasn't noticed — is not a normal election. Already, Baoky Vu, a Republican elector in Georgia, has taken himself off the ballot because he could not bring himself to vote for Trump.

And Politico reported in late August that a Texas GOP elector, Chris Suprun, a Dallas paramedic, also had deep reservations about backing Trump.

I spoke briefly by phone on Thursday with Suprun, who was about to participate in an all-day vigil for the first responders who died on 9/11. "The article is a mischaracterization of my statements," he said. "I got into this with all intentions of supporting the nominee of my party."

[Roll Call's 2016 Election Guide: President]

If there is already this much public ferment over the sentiments of Republican electors, it is easy to imagine the potential firestorm if, say, Trump ekes out a hairsbreadth victory on Nov. 8. Republican electors would be monitored hourly for any signs of maverick tendencies up until the moment they cast their paper ballots for president and vice president in their respective state capitals in mid-December.

Nothing that we have learned so far in this campaign suggests that President-elect Trump would be magnanimous and reassuring in the first weeks after the election. Maybe he would start talking idly about dropping a nuclear device on ISIS or suddenly announce that Donald Jr. would make a primo justice of the Supreme Court. It doesn't take much imagination to contemplate a wave of buyer's remorse sweeping through the reasonable wing of the Republic Party.

Also, remember that anti-Trump GOP electors would have choices other than making Clinton president. Under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, if no candidate won a majority in the Electoral College, the House would choose the 45th president among the three highest finishers.

Three? Trump, Clinton and who else?

Going back to my original 270-to-268 electoral vote scenario, all it would take is for one Republican elector to write in a name like, well, Paul Ryan. (Yes, I know that you thought all saving President Ryan scenarios ended with no second ballot at the Cleveland convention).

In that case, the choice would rest with the Republican House voting by individual states. (Currently, the GOP controls 33 delegations, the Democrats 14 and 3 states are evenly split). Maybe Trump would still prevail, but I wouldn't rule out the election of a conservative Republican president who actually knows what the nuclear triad is.

For, in the end, Trump isn't just running against Clinton. He is also running against Samuel Miles and the powerful precedent he set in 1796.

Roll Call columnist Walter Shapiro is a veteran of Politics Daily, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and the Washington Post. His book on his con-man great-uncle was just published: "Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Fuhrer." Follow him on Twitter @MrWalterShapiro.

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Conventional wisdom suggests that any "generic" Republican would easily beat Hillary Clinton in November — and any other Democrat would destroy Donald Trump.

But what if that's wrong? Increasingly, the notion that Trump could actually win seems less absurd. As I write this, the election forecasting site FiveThirtyEight says that if the election were held today, he’d have close to a 47 percent chance of winning. It’s not crazy to theorize that Trump, with all his faults, might actually be better positioned than any traditional Republican would be.

Let me explain. For years, conservatives have lamented liberal media bias. This bias becomes even more recognizable the closer we get to Election Day. And whether it’s coverage of Hillary Clinton’s fainting flap or the re-emergence of the “birther” story, the media seems to once again have put its thumbs on the scales in favor of the Democrat.

In the past two cycles, Republicans have nominated serious candidates who were thoughtful and irenic. John McCain went so far as to correct his own supporters when they suggested in 2008 that then-Sen. Barack Obama was "an Arab." "No, ma'am," McCain said. "He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about."

How did McCain’s benevolent nature benefit Republicans? "When the media got through with a good man like McCain," writes Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review, "he was left an adulterous, confused septuagenarian, unsure of how many mansions he owned, and a likely closeted bigot."

The next GOP nominee would meet a similar fate. "[Mitt] Romney was reduced to a comic-book Richie Rich, who owned an elevator, never talked to his garbage man, hazed innocents in prep school and tortured his dog on the roof of his car,” Hanson continues.

[Clinton Fainting Flap Reveals Media's Liberal Bias]

To be sure, Clinton is much more vulnerable than Obama, and rising-star Republicans like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz might have fared better than retreads like McCain and Romney. But who’s to say the mainstream media machine wouldn’t have destroyed these conventional candidates, too? It’s entirely possible that the same media that turned Romney’s efforts to hire female executives into a scandal (“binders full of women!”) might have found a way to destroy, say, Rubio or Cruz in an attempt to stop the GOP from electing the first Hispanic president.

What are the odds that we wouldn't have suddenly been treated to old allegations about Rubio’s personal use of the Florida Republican Party’s credit card — and told that this made him the most evil man in the history of the world?

Such attacks don’t seem to be working on Trump, and, it turns out, this is a huge advantage. For one thing, his refusal to bow to political correctness only excites his base (unlike McCain’s more responsible rhetoric, which elicited boos from his audience). It’s no fun to attack a guy who isn’t the least bit embarrassed or contrite. What's more, his decades in the public eye have created an indelible brand that seems to inoculate him from attacks. His status as a legitimate celebrity (not a political one) has taught him how to manipulate the media.

Trump is increasingly at home in an irreverent world where pop culture is more important than substance. His recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show, for example, was so good that it drew criticism from liberal observers who were apoplectic that Fallon dared to treat (gasp!) a Republican the same way he would treat any other guest — which is to say he didn’t have a double standard that required attacking or “otherizing” the GOP nominee.

Make no mistake, in our 21st century world, it’s vital that politicians can appear on these shows and come off well. Now, I’ve seen pols like Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie manage this, but not six weeks before a presidential election when the knives are out and sharpened. It’s possible that Rubio (being young and charming) might have been able to go on and talk about hip-hop and pop culture, or that Cruz might have gone on and done Simpsons impersonations, but these sorts of fluff interviews are generally not reserved for a Republican nominee with just a few weeks to go until Election Day.

[We're Underestimating the Donald Trump Debacle]

So where does that leave us? No, I haven’t become a Trumpkin. I still fear that if he is elected, he will do long-lasting damage to the Republican Party and, ultimately, to America.

But if we’re talking solely about 2016, you could argue that Trump might be the only Republican who can handle the media onslaught — and who has the media smarts to manage it. Republicans who voted for The Donald in the primary wanted a street fighter who could fight fire with fire. We will soon know if their wish came true.

Roll Call columnist Matt K. Lewis is a Senior Contributor to the Daily Caller and author of the book “Too Dumb to Fail.” Follow him on Twitter @MattKLewis.

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By Toula Vlahou

How do you define success for colleges? For students, it’s fairly simple: to graduate on time with the skills and talents needed for a job of their choosing, and without unmanageable debt.

Yet for colleges, there seems to be as many definitions of success as there are colleges.

This has led to a crisis where a record number of students never finish college and are left with an unmanageable level of debt that they cannot pay off.

That’s what led us to look at this issue from a student’s perspective. What we found was a system of colleges and universities with no common goal of what defines success.

We have one group of schools consistently “ranked” as some of the best in the country. These schools are highly selective and graduate almost all of their students within four years. With abundant resources, they can tailor education programs to the aspirations of admitted students, most of whom come from wealthy or upper-middle-class backgrounds.

We also have a group of schools that rarely make it onto any college rankings list. With diminished resources, overwhelming percentages of students who attend these schools do not graduate in six years, let alone four. These colleges aren’t able to provide the same opportunities for their students and they serve disproportionate numbers of working-class and middle-income students.

In the months we spent looking into this issue, we found upwards of 100 elite colleges across the country with high graduation rates that serve strikingly small numbers of low-income and first-generation college students — far fewer than are qualified to attend. On the flip side, we also found a near equal number of four-year colleges — public and private schools — with dropout rates in the 80 percent range and higher.

One of the great tragedies in our higher education system is that a significant number of students are racking up student debt but aren’t graduating, leaving them without the degree needed to get a good job to pay off their loans.

We think this is unacceptable. That’s why we teamed up to tackle both ends of the college access and college completion problem so that colleges start meeting students’ definition of success.

We were surprised by how little has been done to address these dual problems. Yet the solutions we found are simple and well within affected schools’ capabilities.

Under our plan, selective, wealthy colleges that do a poor job of recruiting and admitting low-income students would have four years to boost low-income student enrollment or be required to pay a fee to participate in any federal student assistance program. High-access, low-performing colleges would have the option to get up to $2 million a year for four years to improve student outcomes. But if they fail to improve, they’d be cut off.

For schools already making strides to improve completion rates, including minority-serving institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, additional competitive funding will be available

We know some colleges on both ends of the spectrum don’t believe change is possible. Some selective, wealthy colleges say there aren’t enough low-income students who meet the high academic standards these schools require for admission. But that simply isn’t true.

According to data from the College Board, every year up to 30,000 students who score in the top 10 percent of the SAT either enroll at less selective institutions than their scores would predict or don’t attend college at all.

On the other hand, some colleges with low graduation rates will point to a real lack of resources that keep them from better supporting their students, which we acknowledge is a large contributing factor.

But there also are low-cost, effective ways for schools to graduate more students without lowering academic standards. Just look at Georgia State, which has increased its graduation rate by over 20 percent over the past decade and entirely closed the achievement gap between Pell grant and non-Pell grant students.

Today, college access and completion rates reflect two different visions of success. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

By expanding access at resource-rich schools and improving graduation rates at under-resourced colleges, our ASPIRE Act can help make sure all students have a range of high-quality college options. We believe in a higher education system that reflects the fundamental American ideal of equal opportunity for all.

On Wednesday, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., introduced a major higher education reform bill they’ve been working on for more than a year.

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Capitol Ink | Boehner on K Street

By Robert Matson

For anyone following gun control (or gun safety) as political issue, it would be easy to dismiss 2016 as just another year where a whole lot happened, but nothing changed.

There have been 224 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, including the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the July attack on Dallas police officers. After every major incident, Washington followed the now-familiar script of outrage, calls from Democrats for gun restrictions, denial from Republicans that guns are the problem, and then, as usual, gridlock.

But as Election Day gets closer, an incremental, but important shift has modified gun safety as a usually partisan campaign issue. A handful of Republicans in must-win Senate seats are now running on their willingness to embrace even modest gun reforms, while outside interest groups are crossing the aisle to reward those Republicans for doing it.

The highest profile Republican who may be changing the rules on guns is Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, who is locked in a dead-heat race in Pennsylvania against Katie McGinty. Toomey blazed into the Senate in 2008 as an unapologetic conservative and former president of the Club for Growth with an A rating from the National Rifle Association. So it was striking when he joined Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School to sponsor legislation to expand background checks for firearms purchases.

Toomey joined Democrats this year on a similar bill after the San Bernadino shootings and voted over the summer to cross check gun purchases against the terror watch list.

The Washington politics on guns may be complicated for Toomey, but attitudes on the issue at home in Pennsylvania are unambiguous. A PPP poll of the state in August showed 85 percent of all voters in the state in favor of background checks on all gun purchases, including 80 percent of Republicans.

[Gun Control Meets Congressional Dysfunction]

The issue is usually a potent partisan issue for Democrats, who typically portray Republicans as puppets of the gun lobby, but Toomey's decision to sponsor and vote for gun restrictions has made that almost impossible for Katie McGinty, especially after PACs led by Gabby Giffords and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Toomey in recent weeks.

The Bloomberg PAC, Independence USA, is running nearly $750,000 of ads in the Philadelphia suburbs, where he has to perform well to win reelection. An especially powerful ad features the daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary's principal, who was killed protecting children at her school.

“Pat Toomey crossed party lines to do the right thing," she says.

[Democrats 'Not Worried' About Punishment for House Sit-In, Hoyer Says]

In an op-ed for CNN, Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly praised both Toomey and Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk as principled on the issue that nearly cost her her life when she was shot by a constituent at a town hall meeting.

The endorsement came at a pivotal time for Kirk, who has trailed behind Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth and must have support from cross-over Democrats in the state, which is even more in favor of tougher gun laws than the rest of the country. Kirk has long been on the outs with the NRA. More important for Kirk is Gifford's praise as an independent pragmatist, the brand Kirk has been working to push.

[Gun Compromise Faces Challenges From Right and Left]

In all-important Florida, guns have become a crucial issue in that state's Senate race. Sen. Marco Rubio said the Pulse night club shooting so moved him that he decided to run for another term.

Last week, Eric Garcia reported that Rubio introduced legislation to notify the FBI if the subject of a federal terrorism investigation in the last 10 year tries to buy a gun. Rubio's opponent, Rep. Patrick Murphy, dismissed the bill as Rubio's effort "paper over" a weak record, but it's astonishing, nonetheless, to see a conservative Republican introduce a gun bill less than two months before Election Day.

In 1994, the assault weapons ban was blamed as the reason dozens of Democrats lost their seats. In 2016, a similar decision by Republicans may be the reason some Republicans keep their jobs. If that's the result, 2016 will end up being the year the politics of guns changed, no matter what legislation ended up passing on Capitol Hill.

Roll Call columnist Patricia Murphy covers national politics for The Daily Beast. Previously, she was the Capitol Hill bureau chief for Politics Daily and founder and editor of Citizen Jane Politics. Follow her on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.

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Guests at the dedication of the Thomas Edison statue in the Capitol on Wednesday got a sneak peak — by mistake.

Five minutes before the start of the Statuary Hall ceremony, the fabric covering the statue accidentally dropped.

Members of the Capitol Police Honor Guard then took a few minutes to try and get it back on.

While the crowd laughed as the guards struggled to refit the sheet, a guard lifted his hand, jokingly implying that people shouldn’t look.

By the time Speaker Paul D. Ryan kicked off the event 15 minutes later, Edison was fully covered once again.

Every state contributes two statues to the Capitol collection. In 2015, Ohio decided to replace a statue of former Gov. William Allen with one of Edison.

The Ohio Historical Society held a statewide poll on Allen, also a former congressman and senator, which showed that many Ohioans objected to him in part due to his pro-slavery positions. He was also openly critical of President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

[Barry Goldwater Statue Unveiled in the Capitol]

Ohio's junior senator, Republican Rob Portman, greeted the room Wednesday, saying that he loves having fellow Buckeyes in town.

“The people of Ohio made this decision,” Portman said. “I will say, it was not an easy decision. We have a lot of remarkable Ohioans to choose from … but I think they got it right.”

The rest of the Ohio delegation also attended.

Edison was born Thomas Alva Edison in 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He died at age 84 in West Orange, New Jersey.

“He embodies the spirit of our state,” Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said, before listing other notable Ohioans and innovations across the state.

“He lives on in the soul of the people of the state,” Brown added.

Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur added a list of “early hardships” Edison faced — including being home-schooled, failing his college exams and being fired from his first jobs.

“Your state’s got a lot to be proud of. Cream of the crop right here today,” Ryan said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted that Edison had connections to New Jersey, as well as other states. “The Buckeyes just seriously upped the ante with this bronze statue,” he said. “So I’m staying out of that.”

[In Statuary Hall, Snapchats and Notorious RBG]

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, McConnell and Ryan, were joined by Ohio state House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger in unveiling the statue.

And for the (second) first time, the crowd saw the new Edison statue standing in Statuary Hall.

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Journalists beat the reigning champion lawmakers in the “Politicians v. Press Spelling Bee” at the National Press Club.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the last politician standing, lost in round 12 by misspelling “jambalaya” with a “g”, while Art Swift of Gallup won for the journalists by correctly spelling “apothecary.”

The event kicked off about 30 minutes behind schedule due to late votes in the House. The politician team — all democrats — seemed eager to get started and defend reigning champion Rep. Don Beyer's, D-Va., title. Elimination came after players misspelled their second word.

In the third round, dubbed “Neighbors to the North,” the first participant struck out when a journalist received her second strike after spelling “Sudbury” incorrectly. She had previously misspelled “Frankfort” and let out a certain four letter word. (We won't spell it out.)

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., cringed.

Beyer was the first casualty of the politician team.

He misspelled the word “allomorph” during the fourth round entitled “Spelling and Grammar.”

[Word on the Hill: How Do You Spell Cloture?]

The competition was full of witty 2016 election anecdotes and playful banter from competitors at the podium.

“This is why you have staff,” Sen. Durbin said before he misspelled the word “cataphora,” leading to his elimination.

By the end of the fourth round, the press team had only five players remaining, 19 points, and the politicians had four players and 17 points.

[Jeff Flake Fears No Contest at Spelling Bee]

At the end of round five, team press was up 23 to 21 points.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., was the third member out when he misspelled, “congaree.” By the end of round six, the press had 27 points and four players and the politicians had 24 points and three players.

Members who struck out stayed for the outcome and cheered on their team.

By round eight, the press had 34 points and the politicians had 30. Just three players remained on both teams.

[Kaine Prepares to Defend Spelling Bee Crown]

By round ten, Rep. Mark Tanako, D-Calif., and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., were out, leaving only Deutch.

This year was just the fourth annual spelling bee at the National Press Club in this century. The spelling bee started in 1914 but took a long break until 2013.

The spelling bee was sponsored by the education technology company Blackboard, Inc. and officiated by Jacques Bailly, former winner and official pronouncer of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Judges were 2015 co-champions Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga.

Throughout the Wednesday night competition, #NPCbee was the top D.C. trending hashtag.

Proceeds from the event went to the National Press Club Journalism Institute, which provides education opportunities to current and aspiring journalists.

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For Ami Sanchez, military veterans represent the intersection of her work inside and outside her Capitol Hill office.

Sanchez, 35, is minority general counsel for the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In her spare time, she is a member of Team Red, White and Blue, a nonprofit that connects veterans through physical and social activities.

“In my official capacity, as part of my policy portfolio, I handle veterans entrepreneurship,” she said. “For me, I come from a family of Army veterans.”

Four of her eight uncles are Army veterans, she added.

“Professionally, it means a lot to me. Personally, it also means a lot to me,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez has been the committee's general counsel since April 2009 and a member of Team Red, White and Blue for a year and half. The balancing comes easy, she said, with the volunteer work strengthening her committee work.

“You make time for it. And then, handling veterans issues, the more interactions I get with veterans in the community, the better I am at my job,” Sanchez said.

[Balancing Your Job and Activism on the Hill]

Team Red, White and Blue holds weekly activities, including runs around town and yoga classes at the Lululemon in Georgetown. They also organize social activities such as happy hours, and volunteer opportunities for members like Sanchez.

In September, Timothy Kopra, former commander of the International Space Station, held a Q&A for members. “He’s familiar with Team Red, White and Blue and wanted to give back in his way,” Sanchez said.

Whether it's a veteran in her office or the committee’s ranking Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Sanchez said everyone is very supportive.

“Supporting veterans — no one’s against that,” she said.

Last year at the Sept. 11 memorial run, she found out that a few other staffers on the Hill are members of the group too.

“Everything leads back,” she said. “A lot of these organizations [like Team Red, White and Blue] do a lot of work with the Hill, so there’s always an opportunity to network and find people who have a direct professional correlation to what we’re doing — whether it’s appropriations or budget or the CR.”

Sanchez added, “There’s no shortage of people who are interested in what we’re doing.”

Team Red, White and Blue has 110,000 members nationally and more than 5,500 in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. About 70 percent of the group's members are veterans.

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By Toula Vlahou
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