Banking and Finance

Pro-Pot Lawmakers to Join Forces, Launch Cannabis Caucus
Move comes amid uncertainty for state marijuana laws under Trump

Inventory including “Merry N’Berry” on display at the medical marijuana dispensary Takoma Wellness Center, in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers looking to draw attention to pet issues have formed groups in favor of everything from auto care to zoos. Now, there’s a caucus for cannabis. 

Rep. Earl Bluemenauer said the move — to be announced at a press conference Thursday — is a sign of how mainstream the drive for marijuana legalization has become.

Jason Kander May Have Made a Big Mistake
Missouri Democrat hits national stage with potential long-term consequences

Jason Kander’s recent association with national Democratic super PAC could complicate his chances in future elections in Missouri, Gonzales writes. (Courtesy Jason Kander Facebook page)

Missouri Democrat Jason Kander came close to getting elected to the Senate after he burst onto the scene last year with a memorable campaign ad and a strong challenge to GOP incumbent Roy Blunt. Now Kander is widely viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but his postelection choices may complicate future bids for higher office.

Last year, Kander gained national attention for his ad, “Background Checks,” in which he reassembled a rifle blindfolded. It was one of the most memorable ads of the cycle, if not recent campaign history.

Republicans Identify Vulnerable Members for 2018
NRCC announces initial round of Patriot Program

Minnesota freshman Rep. Jason Lewis is part of the NRCC’s initial Patriot Program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has named 10 members to its Patriot Program for incumbents who are expected to face tough re-election races in 2018.

“Our Patriots are a group of battle-tested members who won hard-fought races in 2016 and are ready to win once again,” Rep. Steve Stivers, the NRCC chairman, said in a statement Wednesday. 

Harris Was Only 2016 Senate Democratic Candidate to Get Cash From Mnuchin
And she voted against him for Treasury secretary

California Sen. Kamala Harris received a $2,000 campaign contribution from Steven Mnuchin last year, but voted against confirming him as Treasury secretary on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the 2016 election cycle, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin donated to only one Democratic Senate candidate. 

But it wasn’t Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the only Democrat who voted to confirm him for the position Monday night and who is up for re-election next year. It was freshman Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has her own history with the new Cabinet official and voted against Mnuchin’s nomination.

Year-End Coffers Pad the Two-Year Fundraising Sprint
Some senators started 2018 cycle with millions; others with much less

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign committee ended 2016 with $3.2 million in cash on hand, ahead of what is likely to be very competitive re-election for the two-term senator next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the 2018 election cycle underway, incumbents gearing up for re-election will begin fundraising in full force this spring.

It helps to have a stockpile of cash already in the bank, but not everyone starts with an equally comfortable cushion. 

Hensarling’s Offensive on Dodd-Frank Seen as Negotiating Move
Texas Republican’s new bill strips much more of CFPB’s authority

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling was considered by President Donald Trump for the Treasury secretary position. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling appears to be doubling down on his Dodd-Frank repeal legislation, adding more features objectionable to Democrats in the wake of a White House announcement of a four-month review of the nation’s financial laws and regulations. 

In a staff memo circulated last week, Hensarling filled five single-spaced pages with changes to a bill approved by his committee in September 2016 over the opposition of every Democrat and one Republican. Among other things, the Texas Republican’s new bill would strip much more of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s authority than last year’s version.

Chris Collins Will Not Hold Town Halls
'Because what you get are demonstrators who come and shout you down and heckle you'

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., prefers one-on-one meetings to town hall gatherings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite his colleagues’ continued attempts, New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins has no intention of holding a town hall meeting.

“Because what you get are demonstrators who come and shout you down and heckle you. They are not what you hope they would be which is a give and take from people actually interested in getting some facts,” Collins told WGRZ-TV in Buffalo.

DCCC Raises $7.8 Million in January
House Democratic campaign arm breaks digital fundraising record

The DCCC, chaired by New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, had its best month for off-year digital fundraising in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $7.8 million in January, according to figures obtained first by Roll Call. 

The House Democratic campaign arm ended the month with nearly $9.9 million in the bank, putting it in a stronger financial position than it was at the end of January 2015.

NRSC Raises $4.2 Million in January
Most online donations were less than $250

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner recently took over as chairman of the NRSC for the 2018 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $4.2 million last month, making it the committee’s best off-year January haul since 2005.

The committee ended the month with $9.8 million in the bank, according to data obtained by Roll Call. 

NRCC Staffs Up for 2018
Press and political shops mix fresh faces with NRCC veterans

John Rogers, executive director for the NRCC, is announcing hires for the committee’s press and political shop Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John Rogers, the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, will announce hires for the committee’s political and communications shops on Friday.

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, are a mix of NRCC veterans and former Hill staffers with a range of experiences working on House, Senate and presidential campaigns.