2018

GOP Senators Dislike Trump’s Threat of Tariffs on Car Imports
“Any time you start raising taxes and tariffs, I’m not very happy about it,” Hatch says

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says “a lot of people are upset” over President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators expressed unease Thursday about the president’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles during a Senate lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, amid a widening debate over contentious trade talks with a number of countries, including allies.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said the Commerce Department’s national security review of imported automobiles was “deeply misguided.”

Senate Passes Bill to Address Harassment on Capitol Hill
But critics say measure “may have unintended negative consequences”

Senate Rules ranking member Amy Klobuchar is one of the authors of the new anti-sexual harassment bill along with Rules Chairman Roy Blunt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill by voice vote that would crack down on sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and update the onerous process for employees to report harassment and discrimination.

The overhaul measure was quickly brought to the floor, after being released Wednesday with the backing of the Senate’s Republican and Democratic leaders.

After All That, Virginia’s Tom Garrett Seeking Re-Election
Freshman Republican addressed 2018 plans at end of rambling press conference

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett speaks to the press Thursday about his accomplishments as a lawmaker before announcing that he will be running for re-election. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett laid to rest rumors he wasn’t seeking re-election in a bizarre press conference Thursday afternoon. 

“There’s no way in heck I’m not going to be here in 2019,” the Republican lawmaker told a handful of print and TV reporters (and his Facebook followers on a livestream) from a Capitol Hill row house.

Senate Energy-Water Bill Advanced Amid Nuclear Weapons Debate
Concerns raised about funding low-yield nuclear weapon

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was the lone vote opposing a $43.8 billion draft Energy-Water fiscal 2019 spending measure that the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced Thursday.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced 30-1 Thursday a $43.8 billion draft Energy-Water fiscal 2019 spending measure before entering into a lengthy consideration of how to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium and the development of new low-yield nuclear weapons.

The bill would boost spending for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers and related programs by $566 million compared to fiscal 2018 enacted appropriations and is $7.2 billion more than the Trump administration requested. The House version would fund the same agencies at $44.7 billion.

Immigration Discharge Petition Will Get Final Signatures, Deputy GOP Whip Says
Crafting immigration policy in an election year ‘is one of the biggest reaches of this Congress,’ McHenry says

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., predicts an immigration discharge petition that’s five signatures away from the 218 needed will get there after the recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry on Thursday said an immigration discharge petition that GOP leaders oppose will get to 218 signatures after the recess, and the only way they can stop it is finding legislation Republicans can pass — something he acknowledges is a big reach. 

The discharge petition, which is just five signatures shy of the 218 needed, would force a vote on a queen of the hill rule that would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above the required simple majority threshold prevailing. The process is likely to produce a bill that a majority of Democrats and a minority of Republicans support.

Could Negative Campaigning in California Primaries Dampen Democratic Energy?
Hard feelings hit crowded Golden State contests two weeks out from the primary

Dave Min and Katie Porter, both Democrats running for California’s 45th District, participate in the DEMOC PAC’s candidate forum in Irvine on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

IRVINE, Calif. — When some volunteers and organizers arrived Tuesday night at the University Synagogue, they found some orange and red pieces of paper on the chairs in the auditorium.

“NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ALERT” read the paper in bold black letters. “The Dave Min campaign is running attack ads against multiple other Democrats! IS THIS WHAT ORANGE COUNTY WANTS?”

Moulton Adds 3 More Veterans to Leadership PAC’s Endorsement List
Massachusetts congressman riding high after notching win in key Kentucky race

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., has endorsed 19 veterans who are running for Congress for the first time in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Seth Moulton is apparently riding high after a candidate he endorsed in a key Kentucky race won her Democratic primary Tuesday.

The Massachusetts Democrat added three more military veteran candidates to his Serve America leadership PAC endorsement list on Wednesday: a former Obama administration official in New Hampshire, a state senator in Nevada, and a retired Navy commander who was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear program.

Half of 2020 Map Makers Will Be Decided This Cycle
Experts say 2018 midterms are still important for upcoming redistricting

Gerrymandering activists Helenmary Ball, left, posing as Maryland’s 5th District, and Rachael Lemberg, posing as the 3rd District, gather on the steps of the Supreme Court as the court prepares to hear the Benisek v. Lamone case in March. The case challenges Maryland’s 2012 congressional redistricting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than half of the state elected officials deciding new district lines in 2020 will be elected this year, a new study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found.

Three-fifths of governors and one-third of all state senators elected during the 2018 midterms will still be in office during the next redistricting cycle, the state government policy research group found. While redistricting seems a long way away, experts say the governorship and state races mean parties should be focusing on this year’s midterms.

Grayson Releases First Ad of Campaign for Florida 9th
Darren Soto swiped the former congressman’s seat while he ran for Senate

Former Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., is challenging Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., for the seat he used to occupy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson released his first ad in his attempt to take back his former House seat from the incumbent Democrat.

Grayson’s video shows liberal figures like filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Martin Sheen praising him and saying “we need that kind of courage.” It also features current MSNBC host Chris Hayes and former host Ed Schultz.

Democratic McClintock Opponent Drops Six Figures on Ad
Challenger Jessica Morse hits incumbent for not living in the district

“It’s easy to vote against the interests of your district when the people aren’t your neighbors,” Democrat Jessica Morse says of incumbent GOP Rep. Tom McClintock. (Jessica Morse for Congress via Facebook)

A Democratic opponent of California Rep. Tom McClintock dropped six figures for an advertisement criticizing him for not living in California’s 4th district.

Jessica Morse’s ad hits McClintock for abandoning the interests of the district by voting against money to prevent wildfires and help homeowners rebuild afterward.