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Senate E-filing Launches New Era in Campaign Disclosures
Advocates for political money transparency praised the move away from snail-mail reports.

With the signing of a spending bill on Friday, Senators and Senate candidates are required to file campaign finance information to the Federal Election Commission electronically. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been a good week for advocates of faster, and more, political money disclosure.

With President Donald Trump’s signature Friday, it’s official: Senate candidates now must file their campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, making it easier for reporters, voters and opponents alike to sift through donor and spending disclosures.   

House Members Plan Election Hacking Demonstration
Katko and Quigley have legislation to create a federally backed hacking competition

The House will host a voting system hacking demonstration next week.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two House members are planning to host a demonstration of a voting system hacking next week.

Republican Rep. John Katko of New York and Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois are leading the event on Wednesday, Sept. 26, which will feature the director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society, J. Alex Halderman.

Despite New Tariffs, China Still Not Budging on Trade Tactics, White House Says
Senior official indicates Canada no closer to joining Mexico trade deal than it was when talks started

U.S. and Chinese flags on a table where military leaders from the two countries met in 2014. Four year later, the economic giants are in the midst of a bitter trade dispute. Depsite President Trump’s tariff's little progress has been made, an official said Friday. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle)

The Trump administration is not aiming to “cleve off” the U.S. economy from China’s, but it intends to continue pressuring the Asian giant even though tough moves like repeated rounds of tariffs have yet to bring the fundamental changes President Donald Trump is demanding.

“Our goal is not to totally divorce our economies from each other,” said a senior official who briefed reporters Friday at the White House about trade matters. “Our goal is for China to stop behaving unfairly.”

North Dakota Senate Race Could Come Down to Fossil Fuels
The problem? Heitkamp and Cramer have strikingly similar stances on energy

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer are vying for North Dakota’s Senate seat. They’re also racing to show off their energy chops. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two candidates for the Senate seat in North Dakota — a toss-up race with massive implications for control of the chamber next Congress — are touting their Capitol Hill energy policy chops to gain an edge in one of the tightest races in the 2018 midterm election.

The race has triggered an escalating argument between Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and her GOP challenger Rep. Kevin Cramer over which one is the best champion of the state’s fossil fuel industries that rank among the most productive in the nation.

How to Read Midterm Polls
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 121

A voter arrives at the Philomont, Va fire station in Virginia's 10th Congressional district, Rep. Barbara Comstock's district, on primary election day in Virginia on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While Washington is obsessed with the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, voters — Republicans and Democrats— are more concerned about the economy, says Democratic pollster Brad Bannon, who adds that the positive top-line numbers cloak Americans' continuing economic fears.

Show Notes:

Words Are Hard: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Sept. 17, 2018

There are a total of 535 seats in Congress, which means 535 names that lawmakers have to remember and pronounce. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. The House was in recess this week and the Senate gaveled out early, so instead of the usual week-in-review, Hits and Misses is looking back at some of the best name-flubs — and overall mispronunciations — of the year so far.

Trump Reverses Self on DOJ, FBI Documents He Says Show Bias
President says Justice Department, ‘key allies‘ asked him to reconsider

President Donald Trump departs the White House on Thursday for a campaign rally in Nevada. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump reversed himself on Friday on the release of reams of Justice Department and FBI documents he claims show an internal bias to wreck his 2016 campaign and then his presidency.

Trump earlier this week announced the text messages and other documents would soon be made public, per the request of House Republicans. But he backtracked in a Friday tweet, saying Justice Department officials and “key allies” urged him to avoid a huge document dump.

Senate Majority Leader Vows Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed Soon
While Judiciary Committee negotiates testimony, Mitch McConnell tells conservatives it will be over soon

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told a conservative crowd that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court soon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell clearly doesn’t think the sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be anything more than a stumbling block on his path to confirmation to the Supreme Court.

“President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual. You’ve watched the fight. You’ve watched the tactics, but here’s what I want to tell you: in the very near future Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Esty’s breakfast advice, Ohio members bask in Browns win, and new socks for Black

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.