2018

Liberal ‘dark money’ groups spent more in 2018 than conservative groups
Majority Forward led the list of top liberal nonprofit spenders

For the first time since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, liberal “dark money” groups outspent conservative groups in an election cycle, according to a new report from Issue One.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The new Democratic House majority is making campaign finance overhaul a central part of its sweeping good governance agenda, capitalizing on an anti-money-in-politics platform that many candidates rode to Congress.

But when it comes to the big-money world of outside spending, over which candidates have little control, it appears that liberal groups had a banner year in 2018.

White House looking at ‘Plan B’ if State of the Union is delayed
Top spokeswoman does not dismiss report that Texas rally is being considered

President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address last year. He might hold a rally at an alternate site this year due to the partial government shutdown. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

The White House is mulling multiple locations where President Donald Trump might deliver an address - or hold a raucous rally - Tuesday evening to inform the country about his assessment of the direction of the country.

Trump’s top spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was asked Wednesday morning about reports the White House is looking at other locations than the U.S. Capitol building’s House chamber for an address in place of the president’s second State of the Union address. She did not try to knock down those reports, notably.

Covington Catholic lawyer adds Rep. Ilhan Omar to ‘libel,’ ‘get sued’ list
Minnesota Democrat deletes tweet that blamed teens for confrontation with Native American last week

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar deleted a tweet Wednesday morning that blamed Covington Catholic students for the confrontation last weekend with a Native American protester. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ilhan Omar is the latest public figure to catch the attention of the attorney for the Covington Catholic students, Robert Barnes, who is threatening to sue just about anyone who he thinks spread “libel” against his clients.

“This is libel. Retract, or get sued,” Barnes tweeted, quoting a now-deleted tweet from the Minnesota Democrat in which she claimed the teens were at fault for the confrontation Saturday at the Indigenous People’s March in Washington, D.C., between the students from the Northern Kentucky school and Native American Nathan Phillips.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismisses Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on climate change
White House press secretary says they’ll listen to ‘a much, much higher authority’ than freshman congresswoman

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question during the daily briefing at the White House December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Regarding man-made climate change, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the White House would rather listen to “a much, much higher authority” than Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Fox New host Sean Hannity asked Sanders on Tuesday night to respond to a statement by Ocasio-Cortez that greenhouse gas emissions have to be dramatically curbed the next twelve years to avoid catastrophe.

‘Amnesty Don’ returns? Trump curiously challenges his conservative base
GOP strategist: ’He runs the risk of the movement passing him by‘ if they feel betrayed

Supporters of the so-called DREAM Act march to the Capitol on March 5, 2018, to call on Congress to pass the legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The timing, to say the least, was curious. Even by President Donald Trump’s unpredictable standards.

First, he angered his conservative base with a Saturday pitch to end a partial government shutdown that included temporary protections for the so-called Dreamer population. The next day, the president, once dubbed “Amnesty Don” by a popular far-right news site, made a surprising — even defiant — return.

House Democrats’ gun agenda to start with where they might get GOP votes
Early bills will be more narrow in focus to avoid a pileup of go-nowhere legislation

Rep. Mike Thompson  is chairman of the House Democrats’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic supporters who helped sweep in a new class of lawmakers promising a gun law overhaul might have to wait longer than they’d like for that agenda to materialize in the form of bills.

While Democrats wrestled back the majority in the House, Republicans still control the Senate, and Donald Trump is still in the Oval Office.

Anti-legalization group releases first pot lobby tracker
Political donations to federal candidates mark growth in industry, shift in focus from states

Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are among the biggest recipients of pot industry money to date, according to a new database maintained by an anti-legalization group. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group opposed to the legalization of marijuana on Tuesday unveiled a tool to track industry donations to federal candidates. 

Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or SAM, is the first major opposition group to attempt to quantify the industry’s federal-level lobbying efforts,a sign of the growing profile of the legalization movement.

Court Rules Against Mark Harris in Unresolved North Carolina House Race
Harris had sought Wake County court to certify election results that are under investigation

A court denied Mark Harris' request to force the state board of elections to certify him as the winner of the 9th District election. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

It’s been more than two months since the midterms, but the election in North Carolina’s 9th District is still unresolved. And a hearing in Wake County Tuesday did not bring it any closer to resolution, with a judge declining to force certification of the election on behalf of Republican Mark Harris.

Harris, who led by 905 votes in the wake of the November election, had requested that Wake County Superior Court Jude Paul Ridgeway intervene to declare him the winner, despite a pending state investigation into the contest, which has been marred by allegations of election fraud.

Trump raises possibility of amnesty, a move that could further infuriate his base
President also says he won’t insist on a reform bill that would include funds to deport millions here illegally

President Donald Trump, flanked from left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S. Dak., Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stops to speak to the cameras following his lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wed. Jan. 9, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump Sunday raised the possibility of amnesty for  hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants who came to United States as children, a move that could further rankle his conservative base.

The announcement, via Twitter, comes a day after far-right groups panned immigration policy changes he proposed as a way out of the partial government shutdown.

White House flashes urgency on shutdown — but actual goal is murky
Do Trump and Pence want to ‘resolve this’ or blame Dems for missed paychecks?

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Jan. 9. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | Though faint, a crucial missing element to ending a partial government shutdown in its 29th day, was almost visible Saturday: Senior White House officials flashed a sense of urgency to end their standoff with Democrats.

But what was less clear on a cold and damp evening in Washington was whether White House officials bucked their own views about the stalled talks because they are eager to end the stalemate or eager to blame Democrats if nearly one million furloughed federal workers don’t get paid again next Friday.