2018

Kyrsten Sinema Becomes First Female Senator Elected From Arizona
She’s also the first Democrat to win an Arizona Senate election in 30 years

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has won the Arizona Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has made history by becoming the first woman elected to represent Arizona in the Senate. She defeated Republican Rep. Martha McSally after several days of ballot counting.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Sinema led McSally 50 percent to 48 percent when The Associated Press called the race six days after Election Day.

League of Women Voters, Common Cause File Suit to Remove Scott From Recount Process
Nelson also called on Scott to recuse himself from any role in recount

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is leading by about 12,000 votes in Florida’s Senate race, a margin that has triggered a machine recount. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Common Cause Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida have filed a lawsuit to keep Republican Gov. Rick Scott from having any involvement in the recount of the Senate race.

Scott is currently leading Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in that race by just over 12,000 votes, a margin that has triggered a statewide recount.  

14 Democrats Push Back on Raising Caucus Threshold for Speaker Race
Caucus threshold should remain simple majority; members should unite behind winner, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to run for speaker again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of 14 Democrats who support Nancy Pelosi for speaker are pushing back on a proposal from some of their anti-Pelosi colleagues to raise the caucus threshold for nominating a speaker candidate. 

House Democratic Caucus rules make all of their elected leadership positions subject to a simple-majority vote. Then, under House rules, the speaker nominee chosen by the caucus needs to win votes from a majority of the entire chamber — 218, if everyone is present and voting. 

Former Arizona Rep. Ron Barber Returns to District Director Roots
Democrat accepted position with Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick

Former Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., will return to his district director role, this time for Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Ron Barber will return to service as district director for the seat he once represented in Congress, starting in January, according to an announcement from 2nd District Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick

“I asked Ron if he would serve as District Director because no one knows Southern Arizona better than him,” the incoming congresswoman said in a statement. “There’s no one who loves Tucson and Cochise County more than Ron. He is one of my top advisors, and I’m thrilled that he and Nancy are willing to step back into the arena to serve the people of Southern Arizona.”

With an Ambitious Policy Agenda, Pelosi is Poised to Lead the House Again
Calls increased from Democratic incumbents and candidates asking for new generation of leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in the Capitol on Nov. 7, the day after Democrats had retaken control of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi is focused on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership.

Kyrsten Sinema Pulls Ahead As Trump, Others Falsely Claim Vote Fraud
The Democrat’s lead over Martha McSally stands at 33,000 votes as of Monday morning

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Rep. Kyrsten Sinema outpaced Republican Rep. Martha McSally late Thursday and has remained ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has widened her lead over Rep. Martha McSally as the ballot totaling process in the Arizona Senate race stretches into its second week.

The Democrat’s lead stands at about 33,000 votes, according to the latest vote count. 

Rep. Steve King Called Immigrants ‘Dirt’ in Recorded Conversation
Iowa Republican had previously denied making the comments

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, called immigrants “dirt” in a pre-election meeting with constituents last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

News outlet The Weekly Standard released an audio recording of Rep. Steve King referring to immigrants from the West Coast as “dirt” during a conversation with constituents before the midterm elections last week.

King, who staved off a challenge from Democrat J.D. Scholten by 3 points last week, had previously denied he made the comments and called for the audio’s release.

Nadler Wants to Hear From ‘Political Lackey’ Whitaker as First Order of Business
Acting AG’s only qualification seems to be ‘hatchet man to destroy the Mueller investigation,’ Nadler says

New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the likely incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said reports that President Donald Trump was involved in negotiations over hush money payments before the 2016 election to two women he allegedly had affairs with could constitute an impeachable offense. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The top Democrats who will be in charge of conducting oversight on the Trump administration have begun laying out a rigorous investigative plan, they said over the weekend.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the presumed next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the first official his committee will want to hear from is new acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, whom the New York Democrat called a “political lackey” bent on undermining the Russia investigation.

‘Public Hanging’ Remark Provokes Outrage, Draws New Attention to Mississippi Senate Runoff
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comment evokes lynchings, critics say

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., has provoked widespread outrage for joking about "public hanging" at a campaign event in a newly surfaced video. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At a campaign event earlier this month, Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and her supporters laughed as she quipped about being in the front row of a “public hanging,” according to a newly surfaced video.

“If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row,” the Republican said in an embrace with one of her supporters, according to a video posted by an independent journalist to Twitter and Facebook on Sunday.

Republican Study Committee to Decide Between Mike Johnson, Tom McClintock for Next Chairman
Both candidates want to boost the RSC’s role in developing and communicating conservative policy ideas

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is running to be the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans aren’t shying away from their conservative beliefs after they lost more than 30 seats to Democrats in last week’s midterm election. If anything they’re doubling down and trying to hone in on a more conservative message heading into 2020.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, has long wrestled with questions about what it means to be a conservative and how to enact conservative policy in a divided Congress. Even with unified Republican government these past two years, the RSC struggled to enact some of its key priorities, such as pro-life policies and work requirements for government benefits.