Barbara Comstock

Democrats Mix Politics With Policy Rollout in Virginia
‘Better Deal’ agenda seeks to unite party factions

Congressional Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, center, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, left, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján, right, rolled out their new agenda on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and BRIDGET BOWMAN

BERRYVILLE, Va. — The visit by House and Senate Democrats to a rural Virginia county that voted for President Donald Trump wasn’t technically all about politics, but they were unavoidable.

Democrats Cast Wide Net in Shaping ‘Better Deal’ Platform
DCCC spent seven months working on agenda and talking to stakeholders

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján chairs the DCCC, whose staff have worked to find consensus on an economic message for the Democratic Party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are set to unveil their “Better Deal” agenda Monday afternoon. Over the past seven months, the House Democrats’ campaign arm has sought to foster unity around an economically focused agenda through meetings with stakeholders and conversations with voters.

The goal for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was to create a unifying message on the economy and jobs that could also be tailored to an individual congressional district. The party is looking to flip at least 24 seats next year to win back the House.

Word on the Hill: Happy Recess!
What to do for the Fourth, and Mall concert series lineup

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham walks through the Capitol’s Senate subway on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Fourth of July recess is finally here.

Enjoy the long weekend, and if you’re looking for things to do, check out our roundup of eight different ways to spend the Fourth of July in the DMV. Also check out our calendar for Tuesday in D.C. and logistics you should know.

Word on the Hill: Comey Time
Seersucker Thursdays begin

D.C. will be watching as former FBI director James B. Comey testifies today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former FBI director James Comey is heading to Capitol Hill this morning and D.C. is preparing in many different ways.

The Capitol will be hectic leading up to the 10 a.m. hearing. For those outside of the Capitol complex, or able to leave work for a couple of hours, there are a handful of bars in D.C. opening early, pouring cleverly titled drinks, and taking advantage of some great TV.

White House Turmoil Ramps Pressure on Vulnerable Republicans
Some are speaking out, others still waiting for more facts

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, said she cannot defend the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

No matter what he did or how much he tweeted during his first four months in office, President Donald Trump has mostly held on to the loyalty of congressional Republicans — even those who might have the most to lose at the ballot box next year. 

Paul Ryan Comments on Classified Info Back in Spotlight
Spokesman says speaker wants facts about Trump disclosure

Speaker Paul D. Ryan once suggested Hillary Clinton be barred from classified briefings but stopped short on calling for the same for President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s sharing classified information with senior Russian officials has critics pointing to Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s suggestion during the campaign that Hillary Clinton be barred from getting such briefings.

Ryan, who is third in line for the presidency, had asked then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to revoke the Democratic presidential nominee’s access to classified material after the FBI found she had mishandled such information while she served as secretary of State but stopped short of recommending prosecution.

Political Reaction to Comey Strikes Familiar Pattern
Democrats see opportunity, Republican responses vary

FBI Director James B. Comey’s firing has appeared to knock the issue of the GOP health care bill off the front pages. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A familiar pattern emerged after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey: Democrats pressured Republicans to weigh in, vulnerable Republicans tried to distance themselves, and others stayed quiet.

With the 2018 midterms still 18 months away, political operatives in both parties say it’s difficult to predict what issues will dominate the campaigns. But what followed Comey’s dismissal suggests that both parties may be continuing strategies they developed during last year’s elections: Democrats seek to tie Republicans to Trump, and Republicans try to stay above the the fray of the ever-changing news cycle. 

Health Care Vote Takes Away GOP’s Offensive Campaign Message
Repeal has been winning message, but GOP now has plan of its own to defend

Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, a Freedom Caucus member and Democratic target, voted for the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For nearly seven years, Republicans have run — and won — on the campaign promise to get rid of the 2010 health care law.

But now that House Republicans are on record on their own replacement plan, that unifying offensive message has faded, especially since some of their most vulnerable incumbents are at odds with leadership and the White House on what’s being touted as the party’s first major legislative victory this Congress.

Democrats Pounce on Health Care Vote, Attacking All Republicans
DCCC launched digital ads targeting Republicans who voted against the bill

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock voted against her party’s health care bill, but she’s already the target of DCCC digital ads against the legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats seized on the health care vote in the House Thursday afternoon to attack Republicans — and not just those who supported the legislation.

Minutes after the vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it was launching digital ads in 30 GOP districts. On their target list were several members who voted against the bill, including Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, Ohio Rep. David Joyce, Pennsylvania Reps. Ryan A. Costello and Patrick Meehan, Texas Rep. Will Hurd and Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock

Meet the Republicans Who Voted ‘No’ on the Health Care Bill
All of them outran Trump in their districts in 2016

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voted against the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

Twenty Republicans bucked their party and voted against the health care overhaul on Thursday.