conservatives

How the Koch Network Could Sink Tax Overhaul
Lobbying network poised for policy win

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: Americans for Prosperity Foundation chairman and Koch Industries Executive Vice President David H. Koch (C) listens to speakers during the Defending the American Dream Summit at the Washington Convention Center November 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conservative political summit is organized by Americans for Prosperity, which was founded with the support of Koch and his brother David H. Koch. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The lobbying and political network of Charles and David Koch, bogeymen to Democrats for years, is poised for a significant policy win — but it will come at the expense of fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Their victory also could derail a policy goal they share with those same Republican lawmakers: a permanent comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

Opinion: Where Will GOP Be When the Crazy Train Comes Off the Rails?
Republicans blaming Nancy Pelosi and Democrats will only get them so far

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and the Republicans can’t keep blaming Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats while ignoring President Donald Trump, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If you want to know how Republicans will campaign in the 2018 midterm elections, you don’t have to wait. House Speaker Paul Ryan gave an early preview Monday night at a rally for Karen Handel, the Republican candidate in the runoff for Georgia’s 6th District seat. 

If you’re just tuning in to the race, Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state and would be the first Republican woman elected to Congress from the Peach State. She is running against Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old Democrat and former Hill staffer who nearly won the seat outright last month, when he received 48 percent of the vote. The suburban district is wealthy, highly educated, and newly politically turbulent. The longtime GOP stronghold went for President Donald Trump by just 1 percent in November.

South Carolina GOP Runoff Heading for Recount
Ralph Norman leads Tommy Pope by 200 votes

Ralph Norman leads Tommy Pope by 200 votes in the Republican primary runoff for South Carolina’s 5th District. (Courtesy Ralph Norman for Congress Facebook page)

Updated May 17, 12:56 p.m. | The Republican primary runoff for South Carolina’s open 5th District seat is heading toward a recount.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, former state Rep. Ralph Norman led state House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, 50.3 to 49.7 percent, The Associated Press reported. The margin of just 200 votes is narrow enough to trigger an automatic recount, under state law.

For Freedom Caucus, No Place Like Home
Constituents appreciate group’s influence in Congress

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, answers questions from protestors in Morganton, North Carolina, about the health care bill and Russia investigations. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Washington may not always understand or appreciate the House Freedom Caucus, but its constituents generally do.

At events in the districts of three caucus members last week — Mark Meadows in North Carolina, and Dave Brat and Morgan Griffith in Virginia — a variety of constituents interviewed had not only heard of the hard-line conservative group but showed a good grasp of its mission: to provide a voice for people outside the Beltway who lack backing among Washington’s special interests. 

Republicans' Latest Health Care Challenge: Selling Their Bill
Only one major outside GOP group defending the plan on air

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur says outside groups are “intentionally confusing people” about the GOP health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the Republican health care plan continuing to earn negative headlines and unfavorable poll numbers, House GOP lawmakers returning to Washington this week have a public relations challenge of epic political proportions.

They succeeded — barely — at passing their health care bill. Now they need to sell it.

Freedom Caucus May Push for More Than Tax Overhaul in Next Budget
Reconciliation instructions for overhauling welfare system among issues caucus plans to discuss, Meadows says

Rep. Mark Meadows signs pictures taken of him with constituents to send the constituents as a thank you for their time. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are considering a push for broader reconciliation authority in the upcoming fiscal 2018 budget resolution that would allow Republicans to pursue policies beyond a tax code overhaul.

“We believe that writing the instructions more broadly will give us greater flexibility not only to get tax reform but also to address other areas simultaneously,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said in an interview here Friday.

Western North Carolina Notices Meadows’ Newfound Notoriety
Supporters and protesters greet Freedom Caucus chairman back home

Rep. Mark Meadows gives advice to middle school students in McDowell County, North Carolina preparing for a cardboard boat competition. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mark Meadows has long been a household name in western North Carolina, but his newfound notoriety outside the 11th District has not gone unnoticed by those back home.

“If you watch TV at all you know that our congressman is very much a mover and shaker in Washington, D.C.,” South Caldwell High School teacher Tony Crump said, as he introduced Meadows at a masonry competition Thursday for three area high schools.

Maverick McCain Re-Emerges on Methane Vote
Surprise vote sinks resolution

Arizona Sen. John McCain, center, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, left, talk with reporters in the Capitol on May 10, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JEREMY DILLON, ANDY VAN WYE, and ELVINA NAWAGUNA, CQ Roll Call

Sen. John McCain was thought to be a yes. But he says he was always a no. In the end, the Arizona Republican helped sink a resolution to upend an Obama administration climate change policy.

Ryan to Sell Tax Overhaul Benefits in Ohio
But business leaders remain wary of border adjustment tax proposal

House Speaker Paul Ryan, left, walks to the House floor in the Capitol for the vote on the Republicans’ health care legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is taking his sales pitch for a tax overhaul on the road with a high-profile stop Wednesday in Ohio, where lobbying groups have mobilized against one of the Wisconsin Republican’s signature proposals.

Ryan, during an event with local manufacturers in New Albany, will argue that a mega tax bill “will create good jobs and bolster American manufacturing,” according to a notice of the event. But the speaker’s ability to ultimately seal the deal depends on how President Donald Trump comes down on the most controversial elements of the blueprint and whether he, like Ryan, will rally support for the overhaul.

Club for Growth Steps Into South Carolina GOP Primary
Group's super PAC debuts ads for Ralph Norman

Screenshot of a Club for Growth Action ad.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff in South Carolina’s 5th District, the Club for Growth is endorsing former state Rep. Ralph Norman. Its affiliated super PAC will begin an ad campaign for him on Wednesday.

Norman faces off against Tommy Pope, the state House speaker pro tempore, in Tuesday’s GOP runoff. They both finished with 30 percent of the vote in the seven-candidate primary on May 2. Pope earned 118 more votes, according to The Associated Press