Simone Pathé

Democratic Lawmakers Feel Boost from Women’s March
Minority party hopes movement will help Congress rein in Trump

The Capitol Dome was more than just a symbolic backdrop for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. It was the intended target of hundreds of thousands of voices of frustration with President Donald Trump. 

For all of the anti-Trump placards — both crude and shrewd — many marchers descended on the nation’s capital to send a message to the branch of government that, they hope, will be a check on the new president.

Attempts to Find Bipartisan Mood Challenged at Start
Despite hope among both parties, partisanship rears ugly head

President Donald Trump’s inauguration ushered in hopes from both sides of the aisle for some bipartisan comity. But shortly after Trump departed the Capitol Friday, those feelings ran headfirst into the partisan scars of the previous Congress.

Some Democrats see the GOP reaping the rewards of what they call a strategy of obstruction in the last Congress, and it might be difficult for them to heed calls for bipartisanship, even if it’s something they might believe needs to happen. 

Here Are the Democrats Skipping Trump’s Inauguration
Nearly 70 Democratic House members won’t attend Friday’s swearing-in

Even before President-elect Donald Trump attacked Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Twitter over the weekend, a handful of Democratic lawmakers had planned to boycott Trump's inauguration on Friday.

But by the end of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday night, that group had ballooned. As of Friday morning, nearly 70 Democrats in the House said they will not attend out of protest. Several other House Democrats are not attending for medical or other reasons. No Democratic senators have announced intentions to boycott. 

Maine Democrat to Trump: L.L. Bean Doesn't Need Your Help
Chellie Pingree sees no reason for liberals to boycott the retailer

Liberals should not be boycotting L.L. Bean just because a board member supported Donald Trump, Maine’s sole Democrat in Congress, Rep. Chellie Pingree of North Haven, said Friday.

“It’s a great company and those are American-made boots,” said Pingree, who can often be spotted strolling through the House with one of the Maine-based company’s canvas totes slung over her shoulder.

House GOP Group Launches Digital Campaign for Health Care Plan
American Action Network will target 28 House districts

An outside group affiliated with House GOP leadership is ramping up its advertising campaign for a Republican alternative to the 2010 health care law, running $400,000 in digital ads across 28 congressional districts. 

American Action Network, a conservative nonprofit advocacy organization, is launching its first digital campaign of the year Friday, when the House is expected to vote on the budget resolution that would begin the process of repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. 

NRCC Names First Female Head of Recruitment
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik will help find 2018 candidates

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers has named New York Rep. Elise Stefanik the committee’s vice chairwoman for recruitment for the 2018 election cycle. 

Stefanik is the first woman to lead recruitment efforts for the party, a significant appointment given that the GOP trails Democrats in the number of women in Congress. Democrats have 62 female members in the House, while Republicans have just 21.

Rutherford Recuperating in Hospital After House Health Scare
Freshman congressman suffering from ‘acute digestive flare up’

Updated 1/12/17 at 9 a.m.

Florida Rep. John Rutherford is recuperating at a Washington, D.C. hospital after being carried from the Capitol on a stretcher Wednesday evening during House votes. 

Freshmen Backed by Freedom Caucus Aren’t Committing to Joining
Caucus leaders expect some non-freshmen to help replenish their ranks

The House Freedom Caucus is currently down seven members from the 114th Congress — and possibly two more.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney is awaiting confirmation as President-elect Donald Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Texas’ Sam Johnson Won’t Seek 14th Term
Congressman’s retirement opens up safe GOP seat

Texas Republican Rep. Sam Johnson won’t seek a 14th term in Congress, he announced Friday morning. 

“For me, the Lord has made clear that the season of my life in Congress is coming to an end,” the 3rd District congressman said in a statement.

Elizabeth Warren Running for Re-Election in 2018
Massachusetts senator could face challenge from Curt Schilling

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren will seek a second term in 2018. Her announcement came in an email to supporters Friday morning, The Boston Globe reported. 

“The people of Massachusetts didn’t send me to Washington to roll over and play dead while Donald Trump and his team of billionaires, bigots, and Wall Street bankers crush the working people of our commonwealth and this country,” Warren wrote. “This is no time to quit.”

Newest Blue Dog Sides with GOP on Repeal of Midnight Rules
Democrat Josh Gottheimer campaigned as a fiscal conservative

The three Blue Dog Democrats who voted for the Republican-backed Midnight Rules Relief Act last November had some new company Wednesday night, when the House again passed California Rep. Darrell Issa’s reintroduced legislation.

The House voted 238-184 to allow Congress to repeal en bloc multiple regulations approved in the last 60 legislative days of President Barack Obama’s administration. 

Is There Space for a Republican EMILY’s List?
Litmus tests might not work the same way on the right

As recently as the second Reagan administration, Republicans had more women in Congress than Democrats. Then EMILY’s List took hold.

The political action committee, founded in 1984, dedicated itself to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, becoming an influential force in primaries even when it clashed with the wishes of party leaders. Now, of the 104 women in the 115th Congress, 75 percent are Democrats.

Hail to the Chiefs
Incoming members look to different corners for chiefs of staff

With President-elect Donald Trump rounding out his Cabinet, new members of Congress have been going through a similar — although more predictable — process of filling out their congressional offices. 

The first and most important hires are almost always the chiefs of staff, who come from all walks of political life. Most commonly, new members tap their campaign managers or the chiefs of departing members. They also often retain members of their kitchen cabinets, or close personal advisers, as their chiefs. 

Self-funder Among GOP Members Asking Colleagues for Debt Help
Indiana’s Trey Hollingsworth is worth nearly $60 million

Indiana Rep.-elect Trey Hollingsworth loaned his campaign more than $3 million of his own money to get elected in the 9th District this year. But he’s now asking his new colleagues in the House to help with his unpaid campaign bills. 

Hollingsworth is one of ten members-elect on a list of candidates with campaign debt that the National Republican Congressional Committee distributed to the House GOP caucus. Two returning congressmen were on this year’s list, Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Will Hurd of Texas. Lawmakers can use their own campaign accounts or leadership PACs to help their indebted colleagues.

Zinke Appointment Would Open Up Montana At-Large Seat
Democrat Denise Juneau hasn’t ruled out another run for public office

Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke won re-election last month by 16 points, but now that President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly offered him the job of Interior secretary, there’ll likely be another race for the at-large seat. 

Trump won the state with 56 percent of the vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 36 percent, according to the Montana secretary of state’s office. Mitt Romney carried the 87 percent white state by a smaller 13-point margin. 

Even After Electoral Defeat, Campaign Email Lists Don’t Die
Email lists still have value after the election — for candidates and others

The pace of campaign correspondence slows considerably after Election Day, with candidate fundraising emails making way for holiday salutations. 

But it doesn’t stop completely.

Louisiana Runoffs Increase Republican Majorities in Senate and House
State Treasurer John Kennedy easily outpaces Democratic challenger

Republicans increased their Senate majority to 52 seats in the 115th Congress and also retained two House seats after Saturday’s Louisiana runoffs, the final elections of 2016. 

GOP state Treasurer John Kennedy easily outdistanced his Democratic opponent, Public Services Commissioner Foster Campbell, 61 percent to 39 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. He replaces Republican Sen. David Vitter, who is retiring after two terms.

Democrat Wastes No Time Announcing for 2017 Washington Special Election
But Trump team yet to confirm McMorris Rodgers’ selection as Interior secretary

Updated Dec. 12 | As of Friday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump had not officially announced Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as his pick for secretary of the Interior. 

But that didn’t stop Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, a Democrat, from congratulating McMorris Rodgers “on her appointment” and announcing his bid for a special election to replace the six-term congresswoman in Washington’s 5th District.  

Democratic PAC Transitions to Advocacy Role in 2017
End Citizens United taps into 2016’s frustration with establishment

2016 wasn’t the year Democrats wanted it to be.

But for one PAC created this cycle to elect Democrats at the federal level, this year’s election results may actually validate support for their mission: getting big money out of politics.