2020 Election

Checks and Balance: This summer's conventions may be a bit unconventional
Some lobbyists aren’t entirely convinced the show is worth the investment

The Clintons and Kaines gather on stage as balloons drop at the end of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS | The quadrennial political conventions, where the party faithful publicly coalesce in cheerleading for their respective White House picks, play a lesser-known role — as sleep-away camp for K Street.

Away from the convention’s main stage, K Streeters are booking concert halls, hotel ballrooms and chic restaurants in the host cities for brunches, receptions and late-night, booze-infused concerts to fete their favorite politicians and bring them together with the corporate clients they represent.

Dropped from NDAA, 'forever chemicals' fight to linger into 2020
Getting the EPA to regulate the chemicals could emerge as an issue in next year's elections

Kildee spoke at a Fight Forever Chemicals Campaign kick off event on Capitol Hill on Nov. 19ember 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

House and Senate negotiators dropped from the final defense policy bill language to force the federal government to regulate so-called forever chemicals, pushing into 2020 a partisan debate over how to regulate the toxic legacy of products such as Teflon and fire-resistant clothing.

In a bipartisan summary released Monday night, lawmakers included a provision that would ban the Pentagon from using firefighting foam made with the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS,  after Oct. 1, 2024, except aboard military ships, and would immediately prohibit its use in training exercises at military bases. 

Capitol Ink | Center Stage

Impeachment looms large in House Democrats’ town halls over recess
Vulnerable freshmen face protests as safe-district incumbents explain process, Trump's offenses

Rep. Max Rose was one of the last Democrats to endorse the Trump impeachment inquiry. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has been a central concern at town halls for House Democrats across the country, with both safe and vulnerable members of the caucus fielding questions from Trump’s defenders and voters who want him removed from office.

While recent polls suggest that support for impeaching the president has grown over the last three months — 58 percent of respondents to a Washington Post/Schar School poll this week approved of the House’s decision to launch an inquiry — Democrats have used feedback at town halls over the two-week October recess to assess how their constituents feel about the matter.

Capitol Ink | Special Cocktail

McConnell bristles at ‘hyperventilating hacks’ criticizing his blocking of election security legislation
Senate majority leader calls critiques ‘modern-day McCarthyism’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., fought back Monday against criticism of his handling of election security legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did something Monday he rarely does — he got riled up and responded directly to criticism as he defended his decision to block election security bills last week that Democrats attempted to bring to the floor by unanimous consent.

He took particular aim at a recent Washington Post opinion item by Dana Milbank titled “Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset,” calling it a “smear.”

Health care law supporters launch August tour
Route will include states where Republican senators face competitive reelection races

Advocacy group hopes to draw a contrast between Democrats, whose health care plans focus on increasing affordability and coverage, with the Trump administration and Republicans, who oppose the 2010 health law (File photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 An advocacy group that supports the 2010 health law will launch a national tour next month with the hope of carrying its success from last year’s campaigns into the 2020 election cycle.

Protect Our Care, a group formed to defend the law, plans at least 22 events in August across the country, according to information first shared exclusively with CQ Roll Call.

Capitol Ink | Republican Party Ostriphant

Capitol Ink | The Tortoise and the F/A 18

Trump delivers unifying July 4 message, but few see it helping reelection
GOP strategist: Military-heavy event likely ‘gauche and unnecessary’ to key voting bloc

Supporters of President Donald Trump try to stay dry at the 'Salute to America' featuring military flyovers he staged to mark Independence Day on the National Mall. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump was more a measured statesman than political streetfighter Thursday during his much-anticipated Independence Day address. But expectations are low that his patriotic — even, at times, unifying — message will boost his reelection odds.

Impressed early in his term as the guest of honor at France’s 2017 Bastille Day celebration, which featured an elaborate military parade, the U.S. commander in chief on Thursday deployed Air Force One, jets from the Air Force and Navy, helicopters from the Army and Marines — and even a Stealth Bomber — to the National Mall. And, in a speech that connected Thomas Jefferson with the Apollo crew that landed on the moon nearly 50 years ago, Trump struck a rare unifying tone.