Ann Wagner

Stefanik launches PAC to boost female candidates, now with GOP leadership support
New York Republican says party’s problem with women goes beyond Trump

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., aims to help more Republican women win primaries in the 2020 cycle through early political money and mentorship. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans have trouble electing women. And for at least one afternoon in Washington, everyone recognized that problem.

House GOP leadership, consultants, members and former candidates all showed up Thursday to a five-hour confab just off Capitol Hill to help New York Rep. Elise Stefanik launch her rebranded leadership PAC, which will be dedicated to helping women in primaries.

Trump Will Not Sign Senate-Passed Stopgap Funding Bill, Paul Ryan Says
Shutdown starts getting closer with no path to passage

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., seen here Wednesday at the Library of Congress, says President Donald Trump is leaving Congress on his own terms, a rarity for a speaker. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump has rejected a stopgap funding bill passed by the Senate, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said following a meeting at the White House. He said House GOP leaders will try to add border security to the Senate measure before a Friday night deadline.

“He will not sign this bill,” Ryan said outside the executive mansion. 

Happy New Year, Republicans! It’s Downhill From Here
Get ready for another no good, very bad year, complete with a looming constitutional crisis

If you think 2018 was bad, just wait for 2019. Above, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, walks past the annual Christmas sign in the basement of the Capitol on  Dec. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — 2018 will go in the books as a bad one for most Republicans. They picked up two seats in the Senate, but lost 40 in the House. Their numbers among women in the House shrank from 23 to 13, and President Donald Trump can’t give away his chief of staff job.

Ask anyone who’s been there: The only thing worse than losing the majority in Congress is every day after that, when chairing committees and holding press conferences is replaced by packing boxes and saying goodbye to staff.

Elise Stefanik Wants to Play in Primaries to Help Republican Women
NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer thinks playing in primaries is a “mistake”

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is stepping back from her role at the NRCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik recruited more than 100 women as the first female head of recruitment at the National Republican Congressional Committee. But only one of them prevailed, with many failing to make it through their primaries.

So Stefanik is stepping back from the NRCC to be involved where she thinks it matters.

House Republicans Launch Quick Campaigns for Leadership Elections Next Week
Contested races emerge for minority leader and conference chair

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, waits to do a television news interview in the Capitol on Wednesday. Jordan is making his case to his House Republican colleagues that he should lead them as minority leader in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a disappointing midterm performance, House Republicans spent Wednesday gearing up for their leadership elections next week, with candidates promising they’ll spend the next two years helping their party reclaim their lost majority.

“I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this, and I have what it takes to do it again,” California Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in a letter to colleagues. “That is why I have decided to run for Republican Leader and humbly ask for your support.”

Hawley Beats McCaskill in Missouri After Stressing Supreme Court Fight
Republicans believe Kavanaugh battle helped energize their voters

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley defeated Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill on Tuesday night. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images file photo)

Republican challenger Josh Hawley defeated incumbent Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race, perhaps solidifying the state’s move to the right and proving that the Supreme Court battle was an effective GOP campaign message.

With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Hawley led McCaskill 53 percent to 44 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Paid Family Leave Could Make It To Next Congress After Midterm Boost
Elections have seen unprecedented push for paid leave

Vangie Williams, the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 1st District and a mother of six, says her support for paid family leave comes from her experience balancing work while caring for a sick daughter and returning to work shortly after childbirth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vangie Williams, a mother of six, was facing foreclosure and a pile of medical bills for her 2-year-old daughter’s rare lung condition when she wrote to her congressman. She wanted help. But she got a form letter, she recalled.

The experience was one of many that convinced the Virginia Democrat several years later to challenge 1st District Republican Rep. Rob Wittman on a platform that includes paid leave so families caring for sick relatives can avoid some of the impossible financial decisions that she faced.  She and her husband ended up tapping out their retirement accounts and losing their home, she said. 

House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. All three men are looking to move up in leadership next Congress . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will have a new leader next Congress since Speaker Paul D. Ryan is retiring, but will there be additional changes in their top ranks?

The answer to that question will depend in large part on whether Republicans can hold onto their majority in the November midterms, and if they do, how the speaker’s race unfolds.

Clay Fends Off Democratic Primary Challenge in Missouri
Nurse and activist Cori Bush gained late attention from progressives

Missouri Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay fended off a primary challenge on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay beat back a Democratic primary challenge from his left Tuesday night, defeating nurse and activist Cori Bush in a race that highlighted the divisions within the Democratic Party.

With 57 percent of precincts reporting, Clay led Bush 58 percent to 35 percent when The Associated Press called the race.

Texas Tough: Hensarling Hammers Trump Administration on Trade, Treatment of Allies
Comments made at opening of testimony with Treasury secretary

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, shown here at a February 2017 hearing, had strong words for the Trump Administration about trade policies and how U.S. allies are being treated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling sharply rebuked the Trump administration Thursday over its treatment of allies and the handling of trade, urging it to unite with “traditional allies to confront China.”

Hensarling, R-Texas, made his comments at the opening of testimony by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and in the wake of President Donald Trump’s trip to Europe, where the president said both that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was strong and yet criticized its members, most of which are close trading partners.