Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, Through the Years, in Photos
The first chairwoman of the House Rules Committee is dead at 88

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter is dead at 88. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call 2015 file photo)

Rep. Louise M. Slaughterdied early Friday morning at age 88. The oldest member of Congress and first chairwoman of the powerful House Rules Committee leaves behind a legacy of three decades in Congress.

She fell at her home last week and suffered a concussion, according to her office.

At the Races: Keystone State Nail-Biter
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns


Mark Your Calendars: The second congressional primaries in the country are in Illinois on Tuesday. Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in the state, where EMILY’s List has played an early, influential role backing candidates it thinks will be viable in the general election. But the Prairie State primary that’s received the most attention is actually in a solid Democratic seat. EMILY’s List is involved in this race too (although it took a while for the group to endorse), and it’s quickly become a flashpoint in the fight over the identity of the Democratic Party. On one side is first-time candidate Marie Newman, who’s backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (who carried the 3rd District in 2016), two members of the Illinois delegation (pictured above), New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, SEIU and a coalition of reproductive rights and progressive groups.

Pennsylvania’s 18th District Race Too Close to Call
But Democrat Conor Lamb declares victory over Republican Rick Saccone

Democrat Conor Lamb led late Tuesday in a special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District late Tuesday, but the race was too close to call. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 12:57 a.m. | A hotly contested special election in southwestern Pennsylvania was too close to call late Tuesday night. Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone were neck and neck as votes were still being counted.

Lamb, a 33-year-old Marine veteran and former prosecutor, led Saccone, a 60-year-old Air Force veteran, 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent — a difference of 579 votes — with 100 percent of precincts reporting.  

Podcast: Abortion Rift Slows Spending Bill Progress
CQ Budget, Episode 51

Former House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers expressed support for an omnibus, 12-bill approach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

CQ budget and appropriations reporter Jennifer Shutt explains how the latest negotiations to arrive at a fiscal 2018 catchall spending bill have been mired over funding that could reach Planned Parenthood, always a contentious issue for lawmakers. Also, Congress considers changing the start of the fiscal year.

Trump Says He Needs Rick Saccone Ahead of Pennsylvania Special Election
Thousands of steelworkers live in 18th District, site of Tuesday’s contest

President Donald Trump spoke Saturday night at a rally for Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a wide-ranging speech Saturday night outside Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump touted his agenda and plugged supporters to vote for Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone in next week’s special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, telling voters he needs more GOP lawmakers in Congress to support his agenda. 

“The other opponent, his opponent, is not voting for us,” Trump said in Moon Township, referring to the Democrat nominee Conor Lamb. “He can say all he wants, there’s no way he’s voting for us ever, ever … Rick is going to vote for us all the time, all the time.”

Opinion: Democrats’ Own Spanish Inquisition Could Burn Party
How Democratic ‘restisters’ stand to hurt party’s chances in November

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign stage a sit-in at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. With the party’s progressive wing flexing its muscle in primaries, Democrats run the risk of nominating general election candidates far out of the mainstream, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When a Democratic candidate picks up nomination papers, to quote Monty Python, “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” — that is until now. More and more, Democratic primary candidates are being treated to a litmus test that feels more grand inquisition than great debate.

A particular brand of progressivism rooted in the “Resistance” is growing in its distemper and disassociation with what these activists see as outdated, traditional Democratic ideology, further dividing their leaderless and, as they see it, increasingly aimless Democratic Party.

Biden Rallies the Troops for Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania
Former vice president hits campaign trail a week before House special election

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., seen here at a 2016 campaign event for Hillary Clinton in Scranton, Pa., returned to the Keystone State on Tuesday to rally support for Democratic House candidate Conor Lamb. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

MOON, Pa. — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. traveled to the Pittsburgh suburbs one week before the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District with a message aimed squarely at the middle class.

At separate events before a crowd of union workers in Pittsburgh and then a packed room of supporters here at Robert Morris University, Biden said Democrat Conor Lamb understands the people of the southwest Pennsylvania district. Invoking a military slogan, he said a Lamb victory would send a message across the country.

Analysis: Why the Gun Issue Has Shifted (It’s Not What You Think)
When courting swing voters, gun rights crowd is less part of the equation

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, seen here on the East Lawn on Feb. 21 with students who were calling for action on gun control, represents the kind of suburban district that was once reliably Republican, but no longer, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The gun debate has shifted dramatically. Suddenly, it looks as if the issue will benefit Democrats in November, not Republicans.

The reason for the shift doesn’t rest primarily on the intelligence and commitment of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, although many of them have been articulate and persuasive.

Lipinski Warns About ‘Tea Party of the Left’
Illinois Democrat has been criticized for positions on social issues, faces primary challenge from left

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., faces a primary from his left against Democrat Marie Newman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As he faces a primary challenge for his positions on social issues in Illinois’ 3rd District, Rep. Dan Lipinski warned Democrats risked creating a left-wing tea party.

In an interview on 720 WGN AM, Lipinski said there is a “battle” for the meaning of the Democratic Party, the Chicago Tribune reported.

10 Policy Issues to Watch in Omnibus Spending Bill
Policy debates could complicate process

Immigration rights demonstrators hold signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington in September to oppose the president’s decision to end the DACA program for “Dreamers.” The omnibus is the next opportunity for lawmakers to extend protections.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A swath of sticky policy debates could entangle an upcoming final spending package for fiscal 2018, as lawmakers aim to attach their pet policy “riders” to the must-pass bill.

Negotiators are aiming to complete work on the massive $1.2 trillion bill and pass it before March 23, when the fifth stopgap funding measure of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, expires. Before they do, they’ll need a deal on which policy issues, from guns and immigration to Russia’s election meddling, will ride alongside the spending package.