Niels Lesniewski

This Swing-District Republican Is Sticking With Donald Trump
Danny Tarkanian is running for Nevada Rep. Joe Heck's open seat

LAS VEGAS — Most Republicans running for Congress in tossup seats might be distancing themselves from Donald Trump, but Danny Tarkanian is proving the exception.

A perennial candidate now seeking a House seat with a slight Democratic registration advantage, he’s dismissing the notion that the presidential contest is anything other than a binary choice.

Democrats Draw Line Over LGBT Provision in Defense Authorization Bill
Senate Democrats strongly oppose amendment they say would allow for discrimination

Senate Democrats and the White House are drawing a line in negotiations over the defense authorization bill, signaling strong opposition to a provision they say would allow for discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The issue has emerged as one of the hurdles in the negotiations over the National Defense Authorization Act. An amendment added to the House version of the bill would expand protections and exemptions to “any religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution, or religious society” that receives a federal contract.

Sessions: Trump Will Use 'Legal Rights Like Al Gore'
Trump backers weigh in on his hedge on accepting election results

Some of Donald Trump’s supporters in Congress were quick to downplay the unorthodoxy of the Republican presidential nominee’s refusal during Wednesday night’s debate to say whether he would accept the results of the election.

They suggested that what Trump had in mind wouldn’t be any different from the 2000 election, when the courts intervened in a recount of ballots in the contest between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Harry Reid's Last Senate Stand
Silver State election could help swing the Senate back to Democrats

HENDERSON, Nev. — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid isn’t on this year’s ballot, but he has at least one heavyweight bout left in him.

Since returning to his home state over the weekend, the Senate Democratic leader has been the focus of near-constant attention, doing interviews, holding events and rallying the party faithful for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and for Catherine Cortez Masto to succeed him. Nevada has emerged as a critical battleground in the Democrats’ efforts to retake control of the Senate.

Members of Congress Take Vegas, and the Spin Room
Sessions and many Democrats circulate around Sin City

LAS VEGAS — It was hard to traverse Sin City this week, or the presidential debate spin room Wednesday night, without running into a member of Congress.

But unlike a customary day in the Speaker’s lobby at the Capitol, most of the lawmakers have been Democrats.

Harry Reid Has Some Advice for Washington Nationals
Trea Turner 'has no arm', team needs more pitching, Reid says

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — When Harry Reid isn’t following 2016 politics, he’s following the baseball playoffs, and he has some advice for the now-eliminated Washington Nationals.

“I’ve watched them closely, listened to them, all of them,” the Senate Minority Leader said. “It’s obvious the Nationals have to have a centerfielder. Trea Turner’s a shortstop or — he’s an infielder. He has no arm,” the Nevada Democrat said in an interview between campaign stops in Reno and Sparks. “You’ve heard all the pundits that he doesn’t play centerfield very well. He heads in the wrong direction, which, if it weren’t for his blinding speed, it would be a lot worse than it has been.”

DCCC Chairman: Trump Video Will Lead to More Democratic House Seats
Lujan won't predict total gains, but he is bullish about Election Day

LAS VEGAS — Democrats will win more House seats because of the leaked Donald Trump video.

The man in charge of winning seats for House Democrats isn’t much for predictions, but Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján was willing to wager that the release of a 2005 recording of the Republican presidential nominee talking about groping and kissing women would cost Trump’s party.

Reid: Garland Confirmation Unlikely in January
Minority leader suggests Clinton could nominate someone else if elected

RENO, Nev. — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in an interview Monday that if Judge Merrick Garland is not confirmed to the Supreme Court in the lame-duck session, there would be no real way to confirm him in the short window between the swearing-in of the new Congress and the arrival of the next president.

The Nevada Democrat also opened the door to the possibility that should she be elected, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton might nominate someone else to fill the seat that’s been vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February.

Harry Reid Calls Trump Campaign 'Fat, Ugly and Dirty'
Minority leader touts poll showing Cortez Masto ahead in Nevada Senate race

RENO, Nev. — Asked to compare Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to a boxer, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid didn’t disappoint.

The retiring Nevada Democrat and former amateur middleweight boxer offered up “Two Ton” Tony Galento — who had fought, among others, Joe Louis at Yankee Stadium in 1939.

Heck Hopes to Mimic Reid in Nevada But for GOP
Trump leads Clinton in the Silver State

HENDERSON, Nev. — Rep. Joe Heck doesn’t merely want to succeed Harry Reid in the Senate.

The three-term congressman wants to build a Republican Party apparatus in the state that rivals what Reid’s led.

Biden Takes on Trump, Plays the Union Base
Vice president rallies culinary workers in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — There might be no politician alive more at home outside a union hall than Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

And his trip west for a campaign rally at the home base of the Culinary Workers Local 226 was no exception.

Hillary Clinton Pushes Boost in Refundable Tax Relief
Proposes doubling child tax credit for people with young children

Hillary Clinton wants to expand access to tax credits for lower-income parents.

The Democratic presidential candidate is set to outline a new proposal Tuesday that would eliminate a $3,000 earned income threshold before parents can get money through a refundable child tax credit.

Reid Predicts Clinton, Cortez Masto Will Carry Nevada
Minority leader rejects polls showing Democratic Senate candidate behind

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid thinks the polls in Nevada are underestimating Latino voters again.

"We're doing well with Hispanics. We're going to do better the next 32 days," the retiring Nevada Democrat told reporters Thursday. "Clinton's going to win Nevada. Cortez Masto's going to win Nevada, and one of the main reasons is we'll have a very, very strong Hispanic vote."

LSU-Florida Football Game Postponed Due to Hurricane Matthew
Sen. David Vitter had pushed to reschedule Saturday's game in Gainsville

Update 5:45 p.m. | Louisiana Sen. David Vitter will be pleased to hear that the Southeastern Conference has now announced the postponement of the football game between LSU and Florida that had been scheduled for Saturday in Gainsville.

"We had a very productive phone call today with a great spirit of cooperation between the universities' presidents and athletics directors and it became clear that the University of Florida could neither host nor travel to a game this weekend considering the circumstances," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. "The developments of the hurricane in the last 24 hours, the projected magnitude of its impact and the unknown aftermath of this storm have resulted in this decision to seek another date to play the LSU-Florida game.”

Senate Democrats Press Lynch to Investigate Wells Fargo Officials
Letter wants Justice Department to look into their actions in fake accounts scandal

Senate Democrats have written to Attorney General Loretta Lynch pressing the Justice Department to specifically investigate the actions of senior Wells Fargo officials in the recently revealed scandal about fake accounts.

“While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency settlements in this case are a good first step toward providing restitution to Wells Fargo’s customers, they are no substitute for a thorough Justice Department investigation into potential wrongdoing by senior executives at the bank,” wrote the 14 Democratic caucus members, led by Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii.

Republican Senators Blocked From Political Victories
Incumbents on the ballot blame Harry Reid

Republican senators on the 2016 ballot left the Capitol last week without quite as many accomplishments to tout as they would have hoped.

They blamed obstructionism led by Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada for their bills not getting through in the final days of the pre-election session. And they engaged in election year objection theater to make their point.

Exclusive: Republicans Launch Willie Horton-Style Attack on Kaine
RNC releases video ahead of Tuesday's vice presidential debate

The day before Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine takes the debate stage in his home state, Republicans are attacking his record on the death penalty.

In a new web ad that recalls the Willie Horton attack on the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, the Republican National Committee is highlighting two of Kaine's clients when he was a defense attorney.

Finance Committee Mourns Loss of Longtime Republican Staffer
Jim Lyons was a veteran tax counsel

Longtime Senate Finance tax counsel Jim Lyons died Thursday, the committee confirmed Friday morning.

"Smart as a whip, Jim was a tough but fair negotiator during some of Congress's most consequential economic debates and a dogged defender of pure, sound tax policy. His quick wit brought ease during times of gridlock," Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch of Utah said in a statement. "His keen political sense often put naysayers back on their heels during the toughest of tax debates. Even more, Jim had the heart of a lion."

Republican Senator Seeks Radical Changes to Budget Process
David Perdue floats combining appropriations and authorizations

Senate Republican freshmen have seen enough to know that the way Congress approaches the federal budget is broken.

And a prospective fix that one of them is unveiling Thursday is nothing short of radical — at least by the standards of the often creaky Senate.

One Murphy's Gun Safety Group Backs Another Murphy
Rep. Patrick Murphy among Democrats winning support of Sen. Chris Murphy

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy will roll out a new set of political endorsements on Thursday that are built around his effort to promote gun safety.

The Connecticut Democrat has made measures such as expanded background checks for gun buyers a personal cause since the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home state. And he has increasingly taken his campaign from the Senate floor to the ballot box.