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Analysis: The GOP Civil War Continues Without Even a Pause
Battle for Trey Gowdy’s open seat in South Carolina a bitter affair

The battle for the open seat of retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has laid bare the ongoing GOP civil war. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While many dissected Corey Stewart’s recent Virginia Republican Senate primary victory and South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford’s defeat in his bid for renomination, an even more interesting runoff race is underway in the Palmetto State.

The June 12 Republican primary in Trey Gowdy’s open 4th District seat produced a runoff pitting first-place finisher Lee Bright, a former state senator, against William Timmons, a first-term state senator.

Iowa Rep. Blum Spends Big on Taxpayer-Funded Mass Mailings
Republican is fighting to hold onto hotly contested seat

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, spent more on taxpayer-funded “franked” mailings than any other House member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rod Blum, an Iowa Republican waging a tough battle for re-election, has spent more on taxpayer-funded mass mailings to constituents than any other House representative.

Blum spent more than $400,000 in taxpayer money on mass mailings and mass communications to his district from January of 2017 through March 31, according to expense records reviewed by the Associated Press.

At the Races: He’s Off the Trail
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Why Republicans Aren’t Sweating After 2 Incumbents Lose Primaries
For one, GOP lawmakers who publicly criticize Trump are getting scarcer

Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a primary runoff last week, largely over her past criticism of candidate Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The defeat of one of the party’s most notorious political survivors this week wasn’t enough to scare House Republicans.

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, the disgraced former governor, had never lost an election before Tuesday. But his criticism of President Donald Trump did him in.

Analysis: Trump Trip Showed New Approach to Presidency
But lawmakers doubt future presidents will follow such a path

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a Tuesday signing ceremony during a meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

First, Donald Trump remade the Republican Party in his own image. And after his double-dip of G-7 and North Korea nuclear diplomacy, it’s even more obvious he’s doing the same to the presidency.

Some congressional Democrats are worried the former reality television star’s eagerness to break with decades-old norms and traditions is soiling the office and influencing future chief executives to mirror Trump’s ways. And though a handful of Republican members publicly share those concerns, most are helping him transform the highest — and long the most revered — job in the land.

Trump Nominates New Director of Government Publishing Office
Robert C. Tapella will return to GPO and succeed Da Vita Vance-Cooks

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and former GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks review production of the budget for Fiscal Year 2018 at the Government Publishing Office's plant on North Capitol Street on May 19, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | President Trump announced Tuesday his intent to nominate Robert C. Tapella as the Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.

Tapella will succeed Da Vita Vance-Cooks, the first African American and first woman to fill the role. Andrew M. Sherman has been serving as the GPO’s acting director since November, following Vance-Cooks’ departure.

Ethics Office Nominee Easily Advances to Senate Floor
Tone from the top critical to fostering strong ethics culture, Rounds says

Emory Rounds cleared the latest hurdle, getting approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to becoming the next head of the Office of Government Ethics. (Courtesy C-SPAN screengrab)

Emory Rounds III is one crucial step closer to taking over the top spot at the Office of Government Ethics, an increasingly high-profile job in the Trump era.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination by voice vote Wednesday, paving the way for the full chamber to vote on Rounds’ nomination.

How Mark Sanford Proudly Failed His Loyalty Test
No regrets from second House Republican ousted by someone claiming stronger Trump allegiance

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., spent heavily but lost narrowly Tuesday in the Republican primary in South Carolina’s coastal low country to a state legislator who aligned closely with President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Today’s Congress deserves its reputation for uniformity in the ranks. Gender and ethnicity aside, the place is overrun with members priding themselves on their message discipline, policymaking tunnel vision and personal lives scrubbed and shielded from public view. And for the Republicans, of course, unflinching loyalty to President Donald Trump is now the core of the homogenized brand.

So is Hill survival even possible anymore for a member capable of thoughtful departures from his partisan talking points, open to ideological subtlety, with a home life that’s been a national melodrama — and who on top of all that has called out the president on more than one occasion?

Moderates Punt on Immigration Petition as GOP Goals Drift
House plans to vote on 2 proposals next week, but compromise remains elusive

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., arrives at the office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday for a meeting on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the month since moderate Republicans launched a discharge petition to force the House to take up immigration legislation to protect so-called Dreamers, they’ve continuously moved the goal posts on what it is they want to achieve. On Tuesday, they shifted the target again.

The moderates have effectively agreed to drop their discharge petition on the “queen of the hill” rule — which would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above a majority prevailing — even though there’s not yet agreement on alternative legislation that can pass the House. 

Opinion: Verdict on Singapore — Better Real Estate Deals Than Bombing Runs
Summit hype and hoopla may have the lasting significance of an infrastructure week

People at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, watch a TV report of President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

For a president who normally adheres to his own doctrine of infallibility, Donald Trump displayed a few flickering moments of uncertainty in the aftermath of the Singapore summit.

Asked by George Stephanopoulos in an ABC interview whether he trusts Kim Jong Un to dismantle his nuclear program, Trump replied, “I do trust him, yeah. Now, will I come back to you in a year and you’ll be interviewing and I’ll say, ‘Gee, I made mistake?’ That’s always possible.”