Bridget Bowman

Sledders cheer up Capitol Hill while shutdown stalemate continues

Children cut the rancorous mood in Washington and flew down Capitol Hill on sleds.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When up to a foot of snow walloped Washington over the weekend, it gave joyful kids a reason to play, sledding down Capitol Hill and cutting the rancorous mood over the partial government shutdown. 

Furloughed federal workers have been stuck at home for weeks, and those required to work are going without paychecks. But many found that sledding down the massive slope on the West Front under the Capitol Dome is a great way to blow off steam. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

Henry Cuellar says liberals targeting him don’t understand his district
Texas congressman says his polling shows his Democratic constituents are moderates

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, is among the more conservative Democrats in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar said Friday that the liberal Democrats recruiting primary challengers against him are in for a rude awakening. 

The Washington Post first reported that Justice Democrats, a group targeting sitting Democratic lawmakers, launched a fund to support a primary challenge against Cuellar, one of the more conservative House Democrats.

Iowa governor won’t support Rep. Steve King over primary challenger
Gov. Kim Reynolds criticized King’s white nationalist postings only after the midterm election was over

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King served as one of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ campaign co-chairmen last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds indicated Wednesday she won’t support Republican Rep. Steve King over his primary challenger in 2020.

The Republican governor’s rebuke of the congressman comes on the heels of an announcement by Republican state Sen. Randy Feenstra that he will run against King for his 4th District seat.

Steve King primary challenger slams his ‘caustic nature’
Iowa Republican won re-election by just 3 points in solid GOP district

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King is facing a GOP primary this cycle after a narrow re-election in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Controversial Iowa Rep. Steve King will face a Republican primary challenger next year, with state Sen. Randy Feenstra announcing Wednesday that he is running in the 4th District.

Feenstra, the assistant majority leader in the state Senate, did not mention the nine-term incumbent by name in his statement announcing he was forming a congressional campaign committee, but slammed King’s lack of influence.

Democrats use vote on health care lawsuit to pressure Republicans on pre-existing conditions
GOP leaders not expecting their members to take Democrats‘ bait

Democrats made health care a central issue in the 2018 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s only the second week of the 116th Congress, but Democrats are already trying to put Republicans on record on protecting people with pre-existing health conditions.

Democrats made health care a major issue in the 2018 midterms on their way to picking up a net of 40 seats and taking control of the House. A vote Wednesday to defend the 2010 health care law — designed in part to illustrate Republicans’ opposition to it — is a sign Democrats see the issue as one that can help them hold their majority in 2020.

Roberts’ retirement likely to spark crowded GOP primary
Roberts announced Friday he would not run for re-election

Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is not running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts announced Friday that he would not run for re-election in 2020, launching what is expected to be a competitive Republican primary for his seat. 

“I have had the honor and privilege of representing Kansas for 16 years in the House, 22 years so far in the Senate,” Roberts said at an event in Manhattan, Kansas, on Friday. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become the longest serving member of Congress in Kansas history.”

Vulnerable new Democrats savor first day as 2020 looms
Democrats now shift to defense after winning back the House

Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Okla., said voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker was in the best interest of her district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Standing a few strides away from the House floor on Thursday, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips put his arm around another new Democrat, Haley Stevens of Michigan.

“It’s for real!” Phillips exclaimed.

Feinstein signals 2020 support for Biden over Harris
Calif. Democrat says she loves Kamala Harris but it’s a “different kind of thing”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., signaled Thursday she’d support former Vice President Joe Biden if he runs for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday that it would be difficult not to support former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. if he runs for president in 2020.

“I’ve worked with him, I saw him in action, I saw him as vice president, I saw his growth, his ability, and I saw his humanity,” the longtime senator told reporters. “He’s an incredible human being, so it’s very hard for me, if he runs, to ignore that.”

Arizona Governor to Appoint Martha McSally to McCain’s Senate Seat
Sinema will be sworn in first, with McSally becoming the state's junior senator

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will appoint Republican Rep. Martha McSally to fill the late Sen. John McCain’s seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is appointing GOP Rep. Martha McSally to the late Sen. John McCain’s Senate seat. 

After McCain’s death in August, Ducey tapped former Sen. Jon Kyl to fill the post. Kyl is vacating it at the end of the year.

Kevin McLaughlin Returns to the NRSC as Executive Director
McLaughlin served as the committee’s deputy executive director in 2016

Incoming NRSC Chairman Todd Young, R-Ind., is welcoming a new committee executive director, Kevin McLaughlin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kevin McLaughlin is returning to the National Republican Senatorial Committee as its new executive director, Chairman Todd Young announced Friday.

McLaughlin was the committee’s deputy executive director for the 2016 cycle, when Young was elected to the Senate in Indiana, and he served as a senior adviser in the 2014 cycle. Like 2016, Republicans are largely on defense in 2020. Twenty-two GOP senators are up for re-election compared to 12 Democrats.