Meredith Shiner

Goodlatte to Fundraise in Silicon Valley as Tech Community Pushes Immigration Fix

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., is scheduled to hold a high-dollar fundraiser in Silicon Valley next week — but frustrated tech donors are already grumbling about the event, disappointed by the lack of progress from House Republicans on one of their top policy priorities: immigration legislation.  

According to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call, the Goodlatte fundraiser is organized by TechNet, which bills itself as the "preeminent bipartisan political network of CEOs and Seniors Executives that promotes the growth of technology-led innovation." Suggested contribution levels for Wednesday's round table and reception with the powerful chairman range between $10,000 and $40,000 for the Goodlatte Victory Committee.  

Tim Walz Cooks Up Second Consecutive Minnesota Hotdish Win

For four years, one title has eluded Michele Bachmann, and it's not "president."  

The Minnesota congresswoman and one-time Republican presidential hopeful just wanted to win Sen. Al Franken's annual hotdish off Wednesday before leaving Congress.  

McConnell Supports Kentucky Ballot Change Pushed by Paul to Allow Multiple Candidacies

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he supports legislation passed by a Kentucky Senate committee Wednesday to change the state's election law to allow one candidate to run in multiple federal races on the same ballot.  

The law would potentially benefit current Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is up for re-election to his Senate seat in 2016 but has his eye on a potential White House run.  

Landrieu: Flood Insurance Decided Florida's Special Election

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., said Wednesday that she believes flood insurance legislation was the deciding factor in Tuesday's special election in Florida, not health care.  

Landrieu has championed the legislation in the Senate and, as CQ Roll Call reported previously , has her own political motivations for doing so, given her own tough re-election bid in 2014. But the Louisiana Democrat said Wednesday that House GOP leaders saw the importance of the issue in the Florida gulf district and pushed through a bill, which the Senate could take up as soon as this week, to its own political benefit. "The Florida special election was more about flood insurance than it was about health insurance and I'm proud to have raised that issue because that district cares a lot about flood insurance," Landrieu said. "That's one of the reasons that the leadership in the House moved quickly on a flood insurance bill, because they knew that it could be very difficult for their Republican candidate to try to get here without having addressed the No. 1 concern of the people of that district, which is flood insurance."  

Tim Walz Cooks Up Second Consecutive Minnesota Hotdish Win

For four years, one title has eluded Michele Bachmann, and it’s not “president.”

The Minnesota congresswoman and one-time Republican presidential hopeful just wanted to win Sen. Al Franken’s annual hotdish off Wednesday before leaving Congress.

Vulnerable Democrats Missing From All-Night Climate Change Debate

Thirty Senate Democrats are scheduled to stage an all-night talkathon to address climate change and its deniers, but notably missing from the extensive roster of speakers are moderate Democrats, especially those who are up for re-election in 2014.  

According to a list of participating senators provided by Democrats, the most politically vulnerable among them will not speak: Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and John Walsh of Montana. Interviews with several moderate Democrats on Monday suggested they were not invited to contribute to the event, while GOP campaigns hit Senate Democrats generally for staging such a stand on the floor.  

McConnell Dodges Criticism From Both Sides With Vote on Gillibrand Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made what appeared to be a politically savvy move Thursday, voting to advance a measure from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to remove the prosecution of serious crime, including sexual assault, from the military chain of command.  

McConnell was one of 11 Republicans to vote to break a filibuster of the bill, which had the support of conservative firebrands Rand Paul, also of Kentucky, and Ted Cruz. Though the measure failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to proceed , McConnell's vote could potentially inoculate him from attacks on both his left and right flank.  

Condoleezza Rice Headlines McConnell Fundraiser at Rupp Arena

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is headlining a fundraiser in Lexington, Ky., Thursday for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a spokesperson for the campaign confirmed.  

The event, which will also feature McConnell's wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, is scheduled to be held in the locker room at Rupp Arena, where the University of Kentucky plays basketball.  

Vote on Controversial Nominee Exposes Political Risk of Nuclear Option

Likely fearful of attack ads, seven Senate Democrats joined Republicans on Wednesday to block the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to be the next assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.  

Three of those Democrats — Chris Coons of Delaware, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and John Walsh of Montana — are on the ballot this fall. The others either had regional ties to the controversy dogging Adegbile or are from red states. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa. voted against cloture, as did Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.  

Democrats Take Aim at Ryan Budget Senate GOP Doesn't Want

With few remaining options for enacting major public policy before the November election, Democrats instead are looking to set a political trap for Republicans on income inequality issues and hoping the GOP takes the bait.  

According to several sources, some Republicans, especially on the Senate side, are reluctant to have House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., push forward with his annual budget framework, which he telegraphed this week would focus on the federal government's antipoverty programs. Senate Republicans, several of whom are caught between primary challengers on the right and Democratic upstarts on the left, would rather talk about something else, as opposed to being forced to contend with issues better suited to the Democratic party line.  

Udall Campaign Hits Gardner for 'Shady Scheme'

Now faced with a top-tier Republican challenger, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall's campaign on Thursday painted the GOP's swap of candidates between races as a partisan backroom deal unfit for the state's independent nature.  

GOP Rep. Cory Gardner dropped his House bid Wednesday in favor of the Senate race, which immediately put Udall's seat in more danger . Meanwhile, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, an unsuccessful Senate candidate in 2010 and a long-shot to defeat Udall, dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner's seat.  

Harry Reid's War On Koch
Manchin Heading to Alaska for Begich Fundraiser

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., will travel to Anchorage this weekend to campaign for Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska., according to multiple sources in both camps familiar with the trip.  

Manchin will appear at two fundraisers at the home of former Democratic Gov. Bill Sheffield, each with a different suggested contribution level. Sources would not confirm the specific, suggested dollar amounts. The events are co-hosted by Sheffield and Wally Hickel Jr., son of former Gov. Wally Hickel.  

African-American Senators Reflect on Their Own History

Chaplain Barry Black stood in front of a packed auditorium Tuesday and discussed one of the two times he was late to open the Senate because of D.C. traffic.  

Former Sen. William “Mo” Cowan of Massachusetts had been the freshman Democrat delegated that day to preside over the chamber and gavel Black in. Though Black said he is loathe to pick favorites among lawmakers and parishioners, Cowan is one because on that morning, he offered the Senate prayer in the chaplain’s place.  

Cruz, Lee Top Club for Growth's 2013 Conservative Scorecard

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, were the only two senators to receive perfect scores from the Club for Growth for their 2013 voting records, according to the conservative group's annual scorecards released Monday.  

Four House Republicans, including three from Arizona — Matt Salmon, Trent Franks and David Schweikert — also had 100 percent rankings .  

N.C. Conservatives in a Race to a Runoff

For almost 95 years, the dominant question facing any North Carolinian has been over shades of blue: Duke or UNC.

Governor to Reid: 'None of Your Damn Business' Whom I Appoint to Senate

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday he told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to mind his own "damn business" when the Nevada Democrat phoned him last year in an effort to influence his appointment to succeed Max Baucus in the Senate.  

According to an account in the Helena Independent Record , Bullock told Montana reporters about his terse words with Reid. The phone call occurred before the administration's announcement that Baucus would be nominated to be ambassador to China.  

McConnell, Cornyn Walk Plank on Debt Limit to Ire of Conservatives

Senate Republican leaders Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and John Cornyn of Texas on Wednesday voted to advance legislation that would increase the nation's borrowing capacity — but not before they spent 40 minutes of the open vote trying to get others to do it for them, likely out of fear of the conservative blowback that came almost immediately.  

Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, demanded the 60-vote procedural move, which put McConnell and Cornyn in the uncomfortable position of having to find five Republicans to join Democrats in supporting the debt ceiling measure. By doing so, Cruz gave perfect fodder to tea party groups and candidates, like the Senate Conservatives Fund and McConnell opponent Matt Bevin, against in-cycle Republicans who would need to vote for the bill as opposed to just letting Democrats do it themselves with a simple majority.