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As Trump Waffles, House Republicans Confident They’ll Avert Shutdown
Still president, conservatives wary of GOP leaders’ government funding strategy

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is confident there will not be a government shutdown despite President Donald Trump’s mixed signals on the matter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans prepare a legislative strategy with President Donald Trump seemingly on board, only for the president to catch them off guard with a last-minute tweet suggesting his opposition to the plan.

That scenario has played out a few times this year as lawmakers debated immigration and appropriations bills. And it could realistically happen again next week as Congress plans to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown that Trump has already signaled he might force.

Cruz, O’Rourke Steal Spotlight, but House Races in Texas Are Heating Up Too
Democrats eye multiple pickup opportunities in Lone Star State

Democrats say energy around Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign could help their House candidates in Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Texas Senate race has been grabbing headlines lately, but Democrats hoping for good news in November from the Lone Star State might want to focus further down the ballot, where several contests could be critical to House control.

Both parties have ramped up their activities in a handful of competitive Texas districts, with the Republican and Democratic campaign committees launching television ads in key races last week.

How the Republicans Fell for Trump’s Overconfidence Game
With the base seeing all criticism as ‘Fake News,’ the GOP could be in for a rough November

Convinced that polls are rigged for the Democrats, strong backers of President Donald Trump have convinced themselves that the Republican Congress is an impregnable fortress, Shapiro writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION  — The topic never pops up in statistical analyses or pundit roundtables on cable TV, but one of the most underappreciated factors shaping politics is overconfidence.

Historically, second-term presidents have been particularly vulnerable to arrogant overreach. For eight decades, the prime example has been Franklin Roosevelt’s ill-fated plan following his 1936 landslide re-election to pack the Supreme Court with six new justices. (A personal plea: Please don’t mention this scheme to Donald Trump.)

It Can Take Years for a Lawmaker to Get a Bill Enacted
Candidates freely share ideas for bills they’d like to pass, but then reality sets in

Michigan Rep. Sander M. Levin, who entered Congress in 1983, waited 23 years before getting his first bill passed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional candidates are crisscrossing the campaign trails with less than two months until the election, pitching voters their ideas for bills to pass. But those who make it to Washington will likely have a long wait before seeing their legislation become law.

Less than a third of the current members of the House had one of their bills signed into law in their first term. The Senate, with fewer members and generally more legislative experience, has a steeper learning curve. Only 12 of the current senators completed or went past their first term with a law to their name.

Congress’ Hurricane Caucus Keeps On Growing
Sheila Jackson Lee: ‘You’re answering phones. You’re answering questions. You’re giving hugs’

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s district weathered Hurricane Harvey last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the days after a hurricane, a member of Congress is “an information post, a local comforter, a problem solver,” Sheila Jackson Lee said.

The Texas Democrat knows what her colleagues hit by Hurricane Florence are going through. Her district weathered Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

McCaskill to Vote ‘No’ on Kavanaugh
Missouri Democrat is one of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she will not support Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill announced Wednesday that she will not support Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Democrat attributed her decision mostly to the nominee’s positions on “dark, anonymous money that is crushing our democracy.”

12 House Ratings Changes: Democrats Are More Likely Than Not to Win Majority
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales — an authoritative look at where things stand for 2018

Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales has a dozen updates to his House ratings, all in favor of Democrats. Watch the video for more on Republicans' efforts this September to discredit Democrats in key races as the midterm election is now just seven weeks away.

High Court, High Political Drama — Probably for Years to Come
Political Theater, Episode 37

Regardless of the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the high court figures to be a more prominent, and political, part of American life for the foreseeable future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the middle of a singularly rough Supreme Court nomination fight, the business of the high court goes on. The fate of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court, is still up in the air. But the  direction of the court, regardless of what happens with Kavanaugh, seems to be moving inexorably negative, at least politically, say CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger and senior writer Kate Ackley in the latest Political Theater podcast.

 

Chris Collins to ‘Actively Campaign’ and Serve if Re-Elected
New York Republican made announcement in email to supporters Wednesday

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., leaves the Capitol Hill Club after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, February 7, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indicted Republican Rep. Chris Collins wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he would continue to serve in Congress if re-elected. 

The New York Republican had previously suspended his campaign after being indicted on charges of insider trading, but he reversed course Tuesday after GOP leaders attempted for weeks to find a way to remove Collins from the ballot. Local GOP leaders were reportedly blindsided by his decision to remain on the ballot.

Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward
Cristina King Miranda went to all-girls prep school with Christine Blasey Ford

The entrance to the Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland, is shown recently. A classmate of Christine Blasey Ford, who attended the all-girls prep school, backed up her accusation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who attended the all-boys Georgetown Preparatory School, assaulted her when the two were students. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

An schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, backed Ford’s claim Wednesday in a letter she posted to Facebook.

“Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her,” wrote Cristina King Miranda, who graduated a year ahead of Ford at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school whose students frequently socialized with Kavanaugh’s all-male alma mater, Georgetown Prep.