Lobbyists reported an uptick in tax and other federal policy work during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, but the money spent to influence the federal government still didn’t surpass the inaugural year of the Obama administration, a Roll Call review of new disclosure reports found.
The number of federal disclosure reports that lobbyists filed last year — 50,000 — fell short of the 58,000 reports filed during 2009, President Barack Obama’s first year in office. Despite the fewer reports last year, companies and trade organizations spent roughly the same amount of money to influence Congress and the executive branch — $3.9 billion — in both years.
On the day that government funding is set to expire, confusion has gripped the Capitol as the House-passed continuing resolution faces long odds in the Senate. If lawmakers pull out a fix to keep the lights on past midnight, it will most certainly be with only hours remaining before a deadline.
This is completely normal.
President Donald Trump came into office with two chambers of Congress controlled by his own party. So it’s not surprising he got his way on almost all the votes he took a position on — a fairly typical barometer of a president’s legislative success.
But there’s another metric we can use almost exclusively for this president to measure his relationship with Congress: his Twitter account.
Democratic candidate Doug Jones raised a total of $11.5 million in the Senate special election through Nov. 22, while Republican Roy Moore totaled $5.2 million. Donors from outside the state funneled millions of dollars into the election, going mostly to Jones.
Alabama Democrat Doug Jones received almost a quarter of his $3.2 million itemized donations from within the state between Oct. 1 and Nov. 22, according to records newly released by the Federal Election Commission.
That’s more than the Senate candidate’s opponent, Republican Roy Moore, who netted 20 percent of his $861,000 itemized contributions from within the state during the same period of time.
The Republican candidate for Alabama’s Senate seat, Roy Moore, raised three times more in big-dollar donations from donors outside his state than from those within Alabama, according to newly released Federal Election Commission data that covers Oct. 1 through Nov. 22
Moore, the former chief judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, raised nearly $680,000 in itemized donations from outside of Alabama during that time, and only $172,000 from donations within the state.
BY ANDREW MENEZES AND SEAN MCMINN
U.S. and coalition strikes against the Islamic State terrorist group have fallen dramatically in the last month, despite President Donald Trump’s assertion last week that the military had hit the group “much harder” in response to a terrorist attack in New York City.
On Nov. 1 and 2, the days on which Trump said the military had stepped up attacks against ISIS, coalition forces launched 24 strikes in Iraq and Syria. That is less than half the two-day strike average for coalition forces since March 31, according to a Roll Call analysis of Defense Department news releases.
A gunman began firing on Sunday in Las Vegas on a country music festival. At publication time, at least 58 people were dead and over 500 were estimated to be injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Here’s a series of charts depicting the status of guns in America:
Sandwiched between two of the most recognizable senators in Kansas history was a former lieutenant governor who served in the chamber for only five months.
The state’s governor chose Republican Sheila Frahm to take over Sen. Bob Dole’s seat in 1996 when he resigned to run for president. Frahm promptly lost a party primary to her successor, Sen. Sam Brownback, and her time in the national spotlight was over.
Democrats are energized. They’re running for Congress. And they’re raising money — lots of it.
And for nearly a dozen Democratic challengers who have raised at least $50,000 in individual contributions worth at least $200 each during the first half of this year, more than 90 percent of the money raised came from outside their districts, a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission data found.
BY SEAN MCMINN AND RYAN KELLY
As health care came to the forefront this year in Washington, groups focused on the issue continued using their political action committees to attempt to influence the debate.
The House on Thursday passed a nearly $790 billion security-themed, four-title spending package, marking the first set of must-pass appropriations measures to be cleared on either chamber floor this year.
But before they could take the final vote on the so-called minibus, House rules — which are agreed to in committee — set debate parameters that allowed for votes on amendments to the bill. Lots of amendments.
Corrected at 5:28 p.m. on July 24 | Republicans may hold the House majority, but that doesn’t give them every advantage.
With their first two fundraising deadlines behind them, Democratic newbies in the chamber are demonstrating their ability to out fundraise their Republican colleagues.
Republicans may be uneasy about the lack of productivity so far this Congress, but it’s not for a lack of time spent working.
Through the first half of 2017, the 115th Congress had more voting days than any previous Congress in the same time period, since at least 2009, a Roll Call review of CQ vote data found. The House held floor votes on 75 days and the Senate on 77 days. That means the chambers voted, on average, about three out of every seven days.
Ivanka Trump’s voluntary $0 salary at the White House has been widely reported, but she’s not the only woman making less than her male colleagues there.
The annual report to Congress from the Executive Office of the President, released Friday, shows that women earn an average of $84,500, compared to $105,000 for men, according a Roll Call analysis of the salary data. That means female office staffers at the White House are making, on average, 80 percent of what their male colleagues make.
BY SEAN MCMINN and JINGNAN HUO
The White House has picked up its pace of sending nominations to the Senate, though senators have continued to drag their feet on those submissions.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, one of the more prolific tweeters of the House, will need a new Twitter handle soon. The Utah Republican, or @jasoninthehouse as he’s known on the social media platform, submitted his resignation letter to the chamber June 23. He will officially step down Friday. His years in the House, which began in 2009, have closely aligned with Twitter’s rise in the political arena.
Among his compatriots in the freshman class of 2008, Chaffetz has been the most active tweeter. His 7,600 tweets and 276,000 followers are the highest counts among the House members who started their service in the chamber alongside him. His most popular tweets, measured by retweets, have all been about scandals surrounding last year’s presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump.
Throughout last year’s election and continuing into 2017, Democrats and Republicans alike have called for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. Members of Congress, however, have not faced such pressure to disclose their tax information. Roll Call reporters Stephanie Akin and Sean McMinn set out to answer this question: how many members of Congress will release their own tax returns?
THE SOURCE FOR NEWS ON CAPITOL HILL SINCE 1955
Want insight more often? Get Roll Call in your inbox