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House Democrats Rebuffed on Getting Census Documents
Quest to get answers on citizenship question blocked by party-line committee vote

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., says his resolution of inquiry was “about making sure we hold the administration accountable.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats tried this week to make the Commerce Department disclose documents about the decision-making behind a citizenship question on the 2020 census. But they were blocked by Republicans. 

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday voted 20-16 along party lines to reject the resolution of inquiry by California Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez and unfavorably report the measure. The vote prevents the resolution from moving to the House floor.

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.”

Voters Challenge Ohio Congressional Map as Partisan Gerrymander
Supreme Court expected to rule on similar cases before term ends in June

Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty represents the 3rd District, which the lawsuit says is “shaped like a snowflake.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Civil rights groups and Ohio voters filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the state’s congressional districts as unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court readies decisions in similar cases about whether maps can be rejected if they entrench an advantage for one party.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, seeks a new congressional map for Ohio. But it almost certainly comes too late in the 2018 election cycle to affect districts ahead of the November vote. Ohio already held its primary election under the current map on May 8.

Lizzie Fletcher Wins Closely Watched Texas Democratic Runoff for Culberson Seat
Democrats are targeting Houston-area seat that Clinton carried in 2016

Texas Rep. John Culberson is a Democratic target this year, after Hillary Clinton carried his Houston-area 7th District in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher won the Democratic runoff in Texas’ 7th District on Tuesday, defeating activist and writer Laura Moser, whom the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee considered a weak general election candidate.

With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Fletcher led Moser, 68 percent to 32 percent, according to The Associated Press. 

Clarke Tucker Wins Democratic Primary in Arkansas
State representative will meet GOP Rep. French Hill in November

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic nomination for Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State Rep. Clarke Tucker won the Democratic primary in Arkansas’ 2nd District on Tuesday, to face Republican Rep. French Hill in November.

Tucker was one of four Democrats vying for the nomination, and he comfortably averted a June 19 runoff.

Democrats Get Preferred Candidates in House Races in Texas
GOP sees mixed fortunes for establishment candidates in runoffs

Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones won the Democratic nomination for Texas’ 23rd District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

General election matchups in Texas were set following Tuesday’s runoffs, including a few expected to be competitive in the fall. 

Democrats saw new opportunities in the Lone Star state after Hillary Clinton carried three Republican-held seats in 2016. Each of those races on the Democratic side went to a runoff after no one took more than 50 percent of the vote in the March 6 primary. A slew of Republican retirements sparked crowded GOP primaries, which led to runoffs in five open seats. The winners of most of these contests are likely to come to Congress from the Republican-leaning districts.

3 Ways Nancy Pelosi Won’t Be Speaker Next Year
GOP could well lose the boogeywoman who keeps its base energized

There are at least three scenarios in which House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi won’t become speaker again, Gonzales writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nancy Pelosi is a drug that Republicans just can’t quit, and the GOP hopes that the threat of her becoming speaker of the House again will awaken any potentially apathetic base voters. While that might work for Republicans for yet another cycle, it might be the last cycle with their favorite boogeywoman, considering there are at least three scenarios in which the California Democrat won’t regain the leadership mantle.

Given the presence of a polarizing President Donald Trump in the White House and historical midterm trends, falling short of a majority in November would be a catastrophe for Democrats.

DCCC Launches Joint TV Ad With California’s Harley Rouda
Democrats work to avoid getting shut out in 48th District jungle primary

California Democrat Harley Rouda attends a campaign rally in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is teaming up with businessman Harley Rouda on a joint television ad two weeks before the critical California primary.

Rouda is the DCCC-backed candidate in the 48th district held by Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. The ad, shared first with Roll Call, is part of a Democratic push to mobilize voters to vote in the June 5 primary.

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

Opinion: As Hurricane Season Approaches, It’s Time to Fix Disaster Funding
Our federal government should stop treating natural disasters as surprises

A school bus crosses a makeshift bridge for vehicles in Morovis, Puerto Rico, in December near where the original bridge was washed away by Hurricane Maria flooding. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is just over ten days away. As the nation continues to grapple with the emotional and economic scars of last year’s natural disasters, it is hard to fathom the possibility of a new spate of storms. And while we can’t predict the extent of trauma that awaits us in 2018, one thing is for sure — we are not prepared.

Last year, the United States saw 16 weather-related disasters that each exceeded $1 billion in costs and damages. Total costs of disaster recovery for the year are expected to surpass $300 billion.