Tom Curry

Appointed Senators: Some Stay, Some Go
Alabama’s Luther Strange faces the voters on Aug. 15

Being appointed to the Senate seems like a politician’s dream come true. Skip the hard work and tedium of campaigning and go directly to the Senate chamber.

But an appointed senator at some point must face the voters if he wants to continue serving. For Alabama Republican Sen. Luther Strange, (who was appointed to the Senate to replace Jeff Sessions), the first encounter with voters will come next week when he will be one of nine Republicans on the Aug. 15 primary ballot.

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

In Ralph Norman, Trump Gets a Strong Ally
Incoming South Carolina congressman gives president an A-plus

Republican Ralph Norman, a developer of hotels, shopping centers, and retail stores, won a House seat 11 years after his first unsuccessful bid for the same South Carolina seat in 2006.

In Tuesday’s 5th District special election to replace former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who resigned from the House to become head of the Office of Management and Budget, Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs executive and tax lawyer by an unexpectedly close 51 percent to 48 percent margin.

Estes a Stalwart but Unflashy Conservative
Kansas congressman-elect should fit comfortably within House GOP mainstream

Ron Estes, who eked out a victory in a surprisingly close special election in Kansas’s 4th District Tuesday, is a stalwart but unflashy conservative with a background in engineering and state finance. 

Estes, the state treasurer of Kansas, succeeds Mike Pompeo who resigned from the House on Jan. 23 to become director of the CIA.

House Democrats Who Opposed Obamacare Say Trump Never Approached Them
Collin Peterson: “I’d like to work with them, but they have not reached out“

“We had no votes from the Democrats. They weren’t going to give us a single vote, so it’s a very difficult thing to do,” lamented President Donald Trump to reporters about 90 minutes after House Speaker Paul D. Ryan canceled the floor vote on the Republicans’ health care bill on March 24. 

But if Trump wanted Democrats, why didn’t he approach those who’d opposed President Barack Obama’s signature health care law in 2010?

Jimmy Panetta Takes a Hard Line on Military Spending
Son of Defense secretary represents Monterey County

When the House approved the $577.9 billion fiscal 2017 defense spending bill on March 8, only 48 members — including four freshmen — voted against it. It’s politically difficult to vote against a measure that pays for the weapons U.S. forces need and supplies the funds for a 2.1 percent pay increase for Americans in uniform.

One of the freshmen was Jimmy Panetta, the youngest of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s three children. He explained that he opposed the bill because it did not spend enough. “It could have done more to help my area on the central coast of California,” Panetta says.

Dick Cheney on New Rep. Cheney: ‘If She Wants My Advice, She’ll Ask for It’
Former vice president accompanies daughter Liz for her swearing in to House

For an hour on Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney was back in the House chamber where he once served.

Cheney sat on the House floor, second row from the front on the GOP side, playing the role of the proud patriarch to his daughter Liz who took the oath to serve in the job Cheney himself had from 1979 to 1989: sole House member from Wyoming.

With California Race in Doubt, Jones Shows Up for Orientation
7th District race still not called with more than 90,000 votes left to count

Sometimes you need to go through what Corporate America calls the “onboarding process” even before you know whether you got the job.

Republican Scott Jones was at the orientation for newly elected House members Monday, even though he doesn’t yet know if he defeated Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in California’s 7th District.

One Third of Florida Delegation Retiring
Nine House members, one senator heading back home to Sunshine State

Florida is renowned as a great place to retire. That's exactly what 10 members of its congressional delegation plan to do this year.

But they aren't giving up politics together: Four House members are running for the Senate, and another may run for governor.

New York GOP Freshman Has Confidence In Trump

Some congressional Republicans are skittish about the idea of Donald Trump at the head of their ticket this fall, but not first-term New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.  

Trump “would annihilate” Hillary Clinton in his suburban New York district if he’s the GOP candidate and Clinton is his Democratic opponent this November, Zeldin said Tuesday. Clinton is “wildly unpopular” in the district, he said.  

Obama Cuts Army Corps of Engineers' Budget

The Obama administration is proposing $4.6 billion in budget authority for the Army Corps of Engineers for fiscal 2017, a 2 percent decrease from what it proposed in its fiscal 2016 budget blueprint and a 23 percent cut from what Congress enacted.

What You Missed: Senate Hearing on Heroin Epidemic

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States.

Library of Congress Showcases First Book Printed in U.S.
 

To mark the holiday season, CQ Roll Call introduces you to a very special piece of American history now at the Library of Congress: the Bay Psalm Book, printed by the Puritans in 1640 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

It is the first book printed in what is now the United States.

Tale of the Tape: Rubio vs. Cruz

With a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg survey of Iowa Republicans showing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz taking a 10-point lead over Donald Trump in that state, Cruz’s rivals are sharpening their criticism of him.

Few Precedents for a Prolonged Speaker Battle

The Constitution is terse about the election of a new speaker: “The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers . . . .”

Ethical Woes Have Driven Speakers out of House

The forced removal of House speakers has little precedent throughout history. However, although a motion to vacate the speakership has only been made once before in the House (albeit unsuccessfully), several of the 53 speakers in history left their positions unceremoniously.

Pope Re-Introduces Americans to Dorothy Day

In his address to Congress, one of the four Americans Pope Francis chose as inspirational figures was a woman whom even many American Catholics today may not know.

CQ Now: Grassley Celebrates 82nd Birthday (Podcast)
 

CQ Roll Call’s Tom Curry profiles Iowa’s Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the long-time senator and long-distance runner who celebrates his 82nd birthday Thursday.

Grassley Eyes Birthday Run Thursday, Re-Election Run Next Year (Audio)

Iowa’s senior senator, Republican Charles E. Grassley, who celebrates his 82nd birthday Thursday, is a long-distance runner, both in his political career (first elected to public office in 1958 as a member of the Iowa Legislature) and in his exercise regimen.

Here’s how Grassley told us he plans to celebrate: “I normally get up at 4 o’clock and run 3 miles, four times a week. But on my birthday, I run from my home to the Dome, my home in Arlington to the Capitol building” — about 6.1 miles, he said.

LaHood Is a Link to a Bygone House

The newest member of the House, Illinois Republican Darin LaHood, who will succeed Aaron Schock, has connections to Congress that go back more than 25 years to when his father, Ray LaHood, was a staff member for Robert H. Michel, the House minority leader at the time.  

When Michel retired, Ray LaHood won his Illinois district in 1994 which he represented until becoming Transportation secretary in 2009.