Speaker Ryan

Sheldon Adelson Breaks Spending Record on Midterm Elections, Surpassing $100M
Conservative megadonor outpaces his 2016 spending

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, attends a forum on guarding against a nuclear Iran in March 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Conservative megadonors Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Adelson have doled out more than $100 million to aid Republicans in the midterm election, far outpacing their giving during the 2016 presidential cycle.

A new $25 million donation puts the billionaire benefactors’ total spending toward helping Republicans hold on to both chambers of Congress at $113 million, Bloomberg reported. The donation was to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump Pushes New Tax Cuts Before Election Day
But with both chambers gone, it’s a guessing game as to what the president was talking about

President Donald Trump says his administration is working on “a very major tax cut for middle-income people.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration was working with House Republicans on new tax cuts ahead of Election Day.

Trump said his administration was “looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people.”

Ryan Zinke Violated Travel Policy, Interior Watchdog Finds
IG report details family member ride-alongs, $25,000 in vacation security

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke invited family members ride with him in government vehicles, an inspector general reporter found. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Interior Department watchdog found that Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal policy when he let his family members travel with him in government vehicles, although he had reimbursed the department.

A copy of the department’s inspector general report was sent to Congress and was provided to Roll Call by a congressional aide on Thursday.

Budget Overhaul Proposals Likely to Stay in Play After Nov. 30
Joint Committee expected to offer recommendations next month

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack, R-Ark., says that proposals that aren’t accepted by other lawmakers could work their way into future legislation. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The legislative proposals under development by the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform could enjoy a life of their own after the special panel’s work is done later this year.

Members of the 16-member bicameral committee are hoping to agree on a package of proposed changes to improve the budget process by a Nov. 30 deadline, allowing their recommendations to be submitted to Congress for action.

Trump Praises Gianforte for Physically Assaulting Reporter
‘Any guy who can do a body slam — he’s my guy,’ president says

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for his first full term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for physically assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election last year.

Addressing a rally in Missoula on his third trip to Montana this year, Trump at first only alluded to the 2017 incident. “Never wrestle him,” he said after calling Gianforte onstage.

House GOP Incumbents Spent Hundreds of Thousands in Legal Fees to Head Off Crises
Mia Love, Scott Taylor, Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter all face competitive races

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., spent nearly $185,000 in campaign money on legal fees in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least six House Republicans combined to spend more than $325,000 in campaign funds in the most recent quarter alone on legal or crisis management fees related to brewing scandals that have wended their way into the court of public opinion — and, in some cases, real courtrooms.

New York Rep. Chris Collins, whom federal authorities indicted on Aug. 8 on 10 counts related to insider trading and securities fraud, shelled out $30,980.25 from his campaign account to the D.C.-based law firm BakerHostetler just three days later.

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

2 New Polls Tell Different Stories in Open Michigan Seat
More than a quarter of voters still undecided in GOP survey

Michigan Rep. Dave Trott isn’t running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two new partisan polls of the open-seat race in Michigan’s 11th District, where Republican Rep. Dave Trott is not seeking re-election, tell slightly different stories about the contest. 

Polling conducted for the GOP nominee, businesswoman Lena Epstein, and the National Republican Congressional Committee showed a neck-and-neck race with the Democrat narrowly ahead and more than a quarter of voters still undecided. 

Trump Already Facing 2020 Foes on Campaign Trail
Democrats will be making their own Western campaign swings in the week ahead

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who visited Culinary Worker’s Union Local 226 in Las Vegas to launch early voting in 2016, will be back this Saturday in Vegas. Also pictured, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is getting ready for a swing through the Mountain West for campaign rallies, but he won’t be alone. Many of his potential 2020 rivals are hitting the trail themselves, serving as surrogates for Democratic candidates in 2018.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will find himself in Nevada on the same day as one of the president’s “Make America Great Again” spectacles Saturday, though they might as well be on different planets.

Their Districts Are at Risk. But They Still Vote ‘No’ on Climate Action
High waters and toxic blooms haven’t scared these lawmakers

Storm surge and waves from Hurricane Michael batter homes in the Florida Panhandle community of Shell Point Beach on Oct. 10. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

He lives just half a mile away from the beach in Sarasota, Florida, but Len Seligman, a local musician, has barely enjoyed the sun and sand by the waterside recently, discouraged by the stench of dead fish and other marine animals washed ashore, poisoned by toxic algal blooms.

“In the last few months, there have only been a few days that it’s been tolerable,” the 63-year-old retired computer researcher said. “You just can’t breathe when the red tide is bad.”