elections

Lawmakers Predict GOP Bill Will Be 2018 Campaign Issue
Republicans may still be tethered to a bill that was never put to a vote

Former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference where Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced the vote for leadership’s health care plan had been canceled. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated March 25

Republicans won’t have a recorded vote on leadership’s health care plan but that doesn’t mean their position on it won’t be used against them in campaign ads in 2018. 

Indiana Headed for Another Member-on-Member Senate Primary
Messer close to announcing a bid and Rokita expected to follow

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer is assumed to be running for Senate, but he could be joined by another member of the Indiana delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hoosier politicos call it the “Wabash mafia.” And now two graduates of the tiny, all-male college in Indiana are likely to face off in the Republican primary to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in 2018.

GOP Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita graduated from Wabash College just one year apart. And while neither has officially entered the race, they’re both making moves that suggest this cycle’s primary could again feature member-on-member theatrics.

Battle of Wills Over Health Care Bill
Absent a deal, Trump and GOP leaders or Freedom Caucus will lose face in Thursday’s vote

President Donald Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price met with the House Republican Conference on Tuesday in the Capitol, where Trump called on Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and his group to get on board with the GOP health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The GOP health care debate has quickly become a battle of wills between the House Freedom Caucus and Republican leadership in the House and White House. And if the vote proceeds as planned on Thursday without changes to the bill, it will be a battle over reputations.

Absent a compromise between the conservative caucus and House leadership and/or the President Donald Trump and his administration, one of the two sides will emerge from Thursday’s vote significantly scathed.

White House Health Care Full-Court Press Changes Few Minds
Trump, Ryan lack needed 216 votes in House, says Freedom Caucus chairman

President Donald Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price arrive in the Capitol to meet with the House Republican Conference about the party’s health overhaul bill on Tuesday morning. Despite Trump’s full-court press, there was little evidence he changed many minds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A White House in full-court press mode deployed President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to call out and fire up Republican members about the party’s health care overhaul bill, but there was scant evidence it worked.

Trump made a rare morning trek to the Capitol’s basement in his quest for the 216 Republican votes, where he addressed the GOP House caucus with his signature brashness: Members present said he called out reluctant members, including Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, by name. A few hours later, Pence tried to keep skeptical GOP senators in the loop about what kind of bill they might soon receive.

Opinion: Are Republicans Storming the Castle or Walking the Plank on Health Care?
Upcoming health care vote could have consequences for 2018

Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, was singled out by President Donald Trump at Tuesday’s House GOP conference meeting for not yet voicing his support for the Republican health care plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are getting leaned on, hard, to vote for the GOP health care bill. First came the invitations to the White House Bowling Alley. Then the lunch dates. Still hunting for votes over the weekend, President Donald Trump flew members to Mar-a-Lago. But by Tuesday, with a floor vote looming, President Trump was naming names at the GOP caucus meeting. “Mark Meadows?” the president said, looking for the leader of the Freedom Caucus, who has still not said he’ll vote for the bill. “Stand up, Mark. … Mark, I’m going to come after you.”

The White House later said that the president was “just having fun” at the caucus meeting. But when a White House goes into full whip mode, which this White House obviously has, it’s time for the members on the sharp side of the whip to ask themselves whether they’re being asked to storm the castle or walk the plank. In other words, will their vote on health care this week help deliver a successful, necessary legislative victory, or are they being asked to support a bill that may not pass, may not work, or may cost them and their party their seats in two years’ time.

The Return of Nevada’s Sharron Angle
Three-time failed candidate makes fourth bid for federal office in Silver State

Sharron Angle, Nevada’s 2010 GOP Senate nominee, is back for her fourth attempt at federal office. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Almost a year to the day she announced her last bid for federal office, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle on Tuesday announced a primary challenge to GOP Rep. Mark Amodei in the 2nd District. 

The 2010 Senate nominee ran for Senate again last year, losing to former Rep. Joe Heck in the GOP primary, 65 to 23 percent. The tea party favorite previously ran for the 2nd District when it was held by now Sen. Dean Heller

Minnesota’s Tim Walz Close to Decision on Gubernatorial Run
He could leave open a top target for Republicans in 2018

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz, seen here campaigning for fellow DFL Rep. Rick Nolan last fall, will likely decide about a gubernatorial bid within the next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz is close to making a decision about running for governor in 2018, which would leave open a congressional seat Democrats barely won in 2016. 

“I am interested in doing it, I feel very strongly about it, am passionate about Minnesota. I believe the issues that are coming up are going to be fought at the state level, and so I expect to make a decision in the very, very near future,” Walz told Roll Call on Monday night outside the House chamber. 

Former Rep. Fleming Joining Price at HHS
Says he’s not ruling out another run for elected office.

Former Rep. John Fleming, R-La., will join the Trump administration in the Department of Health and Human Services. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Louisiana Republican Rep. John Fleming is joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Fleming, who is a physician, accepted the job as deputy assistant secretary for health technology, NOLA.com reported.

Opinion: James Comey and the Art of the Shiv
FBI director has the credibility to oppose the White House

In his testimony Monday, James B. Comey dropped enough bombshells to solidify his reputation as the most significant FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Late in Monday’s marathon hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey reminded the nation that he was something of a hostile witness, reluctantly summoned to talk about Russia, Donald Trump and the 2016 campaign.

“I’d rather not be talking about this at all,” Comey said. “Now we are going to close our mouths and do our work.”

Fundraiser with Trump Raises $30 Million for House Republicans
NRCC sets fundraising record for this year’s March Dinner

The NRCC raised a record sum for its largest annual fundraiser, which President Donald Trump is keynoting Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $30 million for its largest fundraiser of the year, which is being headlined by President Donald Trump Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. 

The haul for this year’s March Dinner, obtained first by Roll Call, breaks the $20.5 million record set at last year’s dinner