conservatives

In Appropriations Endgame, All Roads Lead to Border Wall
Dec. 7 funding deadline fast approaching

Border Patrol vehicles stand guard along the United States-Mexico border fence in on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. The fence runs through the cities of Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sooner or later, President Donald Trump will have to confront the political reality that Congress is extremely unlikely to provide the $5 billion he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That realization has to occur in less than a month, with the House and Senate both in session for only 12 legislative days before the current stopgap funding measure expires Dec. 7.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will ‘Relish’ Time in New York Before DC Move
Mark Pocan to incoming members with DC housing concerns: ‘She and everyone is welcome to crash at my place’

In recent days conservative media’s criticism of New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has centered on a more parochial subject than most political dustups: her rent. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Incoming New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress last week, but she is in no hurry to move to the nation’s capital. 

“I don’t need to move to DC until work starts anyway, and I am really taking this time to relish the last couple of months that I have full time with my communities in the Bronx and Queens,” Ocasio-Cortez said Monday at a news conference held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reuters reported.

With Divided Congress, Health Care Action Hightails It to the States
Medicaid expansion was the biggest winner in last week’s elections

As health care debates raged over the last few years, Congress was smack dab in the middle. After Tuesday’s elections, most of the action moves to the states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Newly-elected leaders in the states will be in a stronger position than those in Washington to steer significant shifts in health care policy over the next couple of years as a divided Congress struggles with gridlock.

State Medicaid work requirements, prescription drug prices, insurance exchanges and short-term health plans are among the areas with the potential for substantial change. Some states with new Democratic leaders may also withdraw from a multistate lawsuit aimed at killing the 2010 health care law or look for ways to curb Trump administration policies.

Trump Predicts ‘Deal-Making,’ Many Fights Ahead With Democrats
First up, both sides face border funding test in lame-duck session

President Donald Trump talks to reporters Wednesday, the day after the midterm elections. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appears ready to make some deals — except when he’s threatening Democrats with “warlike” tactics.

Despite losing the House and several governorships in states that could be key for Trump’s 2020 re-election prospects, the president used a press conference last week to send widely divergent messages to lawmakers about just how much he wants to get done in the lame-duck remainder of the 115th Congress and after the 116th is seated in early January.

Rep. Steve King Called Immigrants ‘Dirt’ in Recorded Conversation
Iowa Republican had previously denied making the comments

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, called immigrants “dirt” in a pre-election meeting with constituents last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

News outlet The Weekly Standard released an audio recording of Rep. Steve King referring to immigrants from the West Coast as “dirt” during a conversation with constituents before the midterm elections last week.

King, who staved off a challenge from Democrat J.D. Scholten by 3 points last week, had previously denied he made the comments and called for the audio’s release.

Republican Study Committee to Decide Between Mike Johnson, Tom McClintock for Next Chairman
Both candidates want to boost the RSC’s role in developing and communicating conservative policy ideas

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is running to be the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans aren’t shying away from their conservative beliefs after they lost more than 30 seats to Democrats in last week’s midterm election. If anything they’re doubling down and trying to hone in on a more conservative message heading into 2020.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, has long wrestled with questions about what it means to be a conservative and how to enact conservative policy in a divided Congress. Even with unified Republican government these past two years, the RSC struggled to enact some of its key priorities, such as pro-life policies and work requirements for government benefits.

Rohrabacher Loss Marks End of an Era in Orange County
Longtime Republican congressman loses to Democrat Harley Rouda

GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher lost to Democrat Harley Rouda in California’s 48th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After 30 years representing the longtime conservative bastion of Orange County, California, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will not be returning to Congress next year. 

Democrat Harley Rouda led the 15-term Republican congressman by more than 8,500 votes in the 48th District, 52 percent to 48 percent, when The Associated Press called the race Saturday night. 

Donald Trump’s Trans-Atlantic Tweetstorm on Air Force One
President said he was focused on ‘the world.’ He spent hours attacking domestic foes

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One on Oct. 30 in Pittsburgh. On Friday, the president fired off a number of tweets from the plane while traveling with his wife to Paris. (Shealah Craighead/White House via Flickr)

President Donald Trump assured reporters as he left the White House Friday morning for Paris he was “thinking about the world.” Only, he wasn’t.

The president and first lady Melania Trump boarded Marine One just before 9:30 a.m. and lifted off to link up with Air Force One a few minutes later. By 10 a.m., the executive jet was wheels up for a diplomatic trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Rep. Chris Collins Is Combative in Post-Election Interviews
New York congressman says he will finish next term, but he faces insider trading trial before his next election

Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York blamed the negative perception of him among Republican voters on Democratic opponent Nathan McMurray and the media. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Chris Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president. These days, Collins sounds a lot like him.

Collins diminished the serious legal charges he faces, vilified the media and accused a critical constituent of being a “left-wing, radical liberal” in a series of defiant post-Election Day interviews with local media in in his Buffalo-area district.

Republicans Missed Opportunities to Retain House Majority, Jim Jordan Says
‘If we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House’

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, waits to do a television news interview in Statuary Hall in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, who is running for minority leader, has a tough message for his colleagues: If House Republicans had done more to change Washington and deliver on their campaign promises, they would still be in the majority.

“This might be a tough pill to swallow, but I believe that if we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House of Representatives,” the Ohio Republican wrote in a dear colleague letter first obtained by Roll Call.