Randy Leonard

Appropriators Softening Trump's Proposed Fiscal 2018 Cuts
How House and Senate levels agreed upon by leaders compare to Trump's

Appropriators are not giving President Donald Trump the degree of overall cuts that he asked for in fiscal 2018 funding. The House passed a package of four titles last week and has cleared the remaining eight through full committee, while the Senate has cleared six titles through full committee. Appropriators are softening Trump’s cuts by more than $50 billion.

Here's a look at how Trump's budget request for the coming fiscal year compares to levels agreed upon by Appropriations leaders in the House and Senate:

How the Courts Could Upend Gerrymandering
Democrats and voter rights groups pin hopes on high court case

By RANDY LEONARD and TODD RUGER

Congressional maps in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania have shifted the political balance of Congress toward Republicans — but that could soon change.

What the GOP Wants to Keep or Gut from Obamacare
One Republican health plan is heading toward the House floor next week

By RANDY LEONARD and ERIN MERSHON CQ Roll Call

A GOP proposal to repeal and replace portions of the 2010 health care law is making its way though the House, but it faces an uncertain fate.

Graphic: How Trump Cabinet Compares to Other Presidents' First Cabinets
Expect fewer lawyers, more military experience

By SEAN MCMINN and RANDY LEONARD CQ Roll Call

Donald Trump’s picks for his Cabinet have less government experience and schooling than the first Cabinets of the past three presidents. Trump's skews older, much wealthier and has fewer minorities. 

The Convoluted Process for Dismantling Obamacare
Budget reconciliaton, explained

In the early hours of Jan. 12, the Senate took the first step in the convoluted process of dismantling and replacing the 2010 health care law. To overcome the potential filibuster power of Senate Democrats, GOP lawmakers are relying on budget reconciliation, the same procedural mechanism their counterparts across the aisle used seven years ago to implement parts of the health care overhaul.

The budget reconciliation process is filled with procedural complications — and in this case, political uncertainty — as GOP leaders and President-elect Donald Trump have signaled various ideas about the timing of changes.

Party Diversity Gap to Remain in 115th
A look at the demographics of the next Congress

Though the next Congress will see slight increases in women and racial minorities, it will still consist mostly of white males, especially among Republicans. On the Republican side, 11 House members and three senators come from racial minority groups, compared to the Democrats’ 81 House members and six senators.

Note: 2016 counts do not include four undecided House races and one undecided Senate race as of press time, and do not include delegates. 

A Museum Opens Following a Century of Effort
The winding road to the building of an African-American history museum

After numerous challenges and outright opposition, the quest for a national museum documenting the history and cultural contributions of African-Americans has been realized.

Follow the decades of history, full of starts and stops, below:

Congress Weighs Weed: The March Toward Legalization
Four states and D.C. allow recreational use

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McMullin Presidential Run an Uphill Battle, per State Filing Deadlines
Reports have surfaced that GOP political operative is launching an anti-Trump campaign

Could a #NeverTrump Republican really launch an independent campaign for president right now? Not a successful one, according to a Roll Call analysis of state filing deadlines for independents to get on the ballot across the U.S.

Evan McMullin, a longtime GOP Hill operative and former CIA officer, is planning a presidential campaign for those Republican loyalists distancing themselves from the party's nominee, Donald Trump. He's launched a website saying just that.

Chart: How the Senate Race Ratings Have Changed Since Early 2015
34 seats are up for election this 2016 cycle

As Roll Call's Alex Roarty reported on Wednesday , new candidates and disappointing nominees have changed expectations for 2016 Senate races since the start of the election season.  

No races have seen bigger shifts than the ones in Indiana and Florida, where the return of political stars Evan Bayh and Marco Rubio have turned each election on its head.    

What Are Undecided Voters Thinking About the Election?
How those mulling a presidential pick stand on key issues

In an Aug. 1 poll, undecided Americans said they are more likely to end up voting for GOP nominee Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton. But ideologically, they appeared to have more in common with Democratic Clinton backers.  ...
Thinking Ahead: Who Could be the Next Woman to Lead a Ticket?
Hillary Clinton cracked the glass ceiling, and that changes the dynamic for 2020 and beyond

Whether or not Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November, her place in history as the first female nominated to lead a major party was cemented this week.  

Although the race is far from over, her success has added a new dynamic to presidential politics in the United States for both parties. What may not have been possible before, now is, and for many women on the rise, it's time to think bigger.  

A Quick Look: Immigration Reform in Washington
A timeline dating back to 2001 will get you up to speed on the issue

Immigration policy has been a dominant topic on both convention stages these past two weeks. But what are the specific policy initiatives that are being debated?  

CQ Roll Call has a brief recap of what's happened to immigration policy on the House and Senate chamber floors in recent years.  

Chart: How the GOP Fared in the Past 6 Presidential Elections
Republican stronghold states are more loyal than Democratic ones

With the Republican National Convention days away, Election Day isn't far behind.  

A Roll Call analysis of the GOP presidential vote percentage in general elections dating back to 1992 shows Republicans with many loyal states. However, Utah — the most Republican state in 2012 with 73 percent of the vote — is possibly in jeopardy this year because Mormon voters aren't embracing presumptive nominee Donald Trump .  

Puerto Rico's Economic Crisis in One Chart
The territory faces another default on a debt payment on July 1

Facing a $72 billion public debt, Puerto Rico defaulted on a $422 million payment last month, stoking fears that the commonwealth's fiscal situation needs drastic intervention. As the territory is facing a $2 billion payment due July 1, Congress is considering a measure to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its debt under the purview of a mediation board or in federal court.  

Many Americans are unaware the territory is part of the U.S. — this is how Puerto Rico compares to the states.  

Trump and Cruz Scramble for Remaining Delegates
Ohio, Florida, Illinois join others at the polls

One quarter of the remaining delegates are at stake tonight in the race to the Republican nomination. As Ohio, Florida, Illinois and more head to the polls, here's where the candidates stand, and what's next in the few months left.  

Super Tuesday Vote Closer Than it Appeared

The most important result from Super Tuesday was not whether a candidate won a state, but by how much he or she won.

Political watchers are hailing Donald Trump’s seven first-place finishes on the biggest day of the primary season so far as a clear victory for the Republican front-runner. But the winner of a state carries less significance in the race for delegates at this point in the campaign, with the GOP’s winner-take-all system not kicking in until March 15.

Super Tuesday Vote Closer Than it Appeared

The most important result from Super Tuesday was not whether a candidate won a state, but by how much he or she won.  

Political watchers are hailing Donald Trump's seven first-place finishes on the biggest day of the primary season so far as a clear victory for the Republican front-runner. But the winner of a state carries less significance in the race for delegates at this point in the campaign, with the GOP's winner-take-all system not kicking in until March 15.  

Parsing Obama’s Words Over 8 Addresses to Congress

Delivering his final State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama relied on key phrases and terms that dominate his previous addresses to Congress.  

Obama’s dependence on certain words, however, has changed over the years. When he first addressed Congress as president in 2009, he mentioned terms such as “government,” “tax” and “budget” 59 times. On Tuesday, such terms were used just nine times.  

Speaker Ryan’s Staff: Where Have They Been?

Updated 6:02 p.m. | Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s initial staff is a mix of longtime confidants of the Wisconsin Republican, experienced Washington lobbyists and a contingent of former Speaker John A. Boehner’s aides.

A CQ Roll Call analysis of the work experience of the 22 staffers confirmed as part of the new speaker’s team shows many have spent considerable time in other congressional offices. There’s a cumulative 48 years with former Speaker John A. Boehner during his 24-year tenure on Capitol Hill. The staffers have accumulated 38 years working with Ryan.