Dana Rohrabacher

Photos of the Week: Ice Cold to 60s, a Happy Alabama Fan and More as Full Congress Returns
The week of Jan. 8 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A visitor from Vietnam poses for a picture on the frozen Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool on Monday. A member of the National Park Service subsequently told people to leave the ice and said that 12 people had recently fallen through. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House returned to Washington this week (after the Senate gaveled in last week), officially kicking off the second session of the 115th Congress. Temperatures were frigid as the week began, but the city thawed out by Friday, when highs hit around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Stable Genius Act, celebrating a perfect season, and save the Capitol Hill Circulator route

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., talks with reporters before the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Royce Retirement Prompts Foreign Affairs Successor Questions
Potential successors, Smith and Rohrabacher, have histories of bucking party

With Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, left, retiring at the end of this term, fellow California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a potential successor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce announced his retirement Monday, joining a wave of fellow senior Republicans in the House and Senate declining to seek re-election in a tough political environment.

The 13-term California lawmaker had only one year remaining on his term as committee chairman, but his retirement announcement nonetheless casts a spotlight on his potential successors, two of whom have histories of bucking the party.

Ratings Change: Open Seat Shifts California Race to Toss-Up
Rep. Ed Royce’s retirement gives Democrats a shot

California Rep. Ed Royce announced Monday he would not run for re-election. That gives Democrats an opportunity take over a seat without having to defeat an incumbent, Nathan L. Gonzales writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have been targeting California’s 39th District ever since Hillary Clinton carried it over Donald Trump in the last presidential race. But Republican Rep. Ed Royce’s retirement announcement Monday gives them an opportunity to take over a seat without having to defeat an entrenched incumbent who had $3.5 million in his campaign account at the end of September.

The scope of the Democratic opportunity in Southern California depends on whether Clinton’s performance is the new normal (she carried the district 52 percent to 43 percent) or whether 2016 was an aberration. The 39th District could still be fundamentally Republican, considering 2012, when Mitt Romney carried it 51 percent to 47 percent and Republican Elizabeth Emken outperformed Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein 51 percent to 49 percent, even though she lost statewide by 25 points.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce Announces Retirement
Royce was Democratic target in midterm elections

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ed Royce announced Monday he will not be running for re-election. The California Republican is in his final term as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“In this final year of my Foreign Affairs Committee chairmanship, I want to focus fully on the urgent threats facing our nation, including: the brutal, corrupt and dangerous regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran, Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to weaponize information to fracture western democracies, and growing terrorist threats in Africa and Central Asia,” Royce said in a statement.

Democratic Candidate Misspeaks When Asked About Potential Influence
California’s Hans Keirstead suggested he would sit on an influential committee and become a chairman

Democratic candidate Hans Keirstead said leadership wanted to give him an “early appointment” on Appropriations. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidate Hans Keirstead faced a familiar question at a local party meeting in November: What kind of committees could you sit on, and how would that benefit the district?

But his answer has caused some confusion.

Just One House Member Flips Vote on GOP Tax Overhaul
GOP leadership expects bill to pass Senate

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., was the only House member to change position on the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:46 p.m. | Despite immense pressure from GOP leaders, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, vulnerable New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, voted “no” for the second time on a Republican tax overhaul.

Just one of the 13 Republicans who voted against the House tax overhaul bill in November switched their vote to “yes” as the House passed the conference committee report Tuesday, 227-203, sending it to the Senate for final approval.

Rohrabacher to Testify About Assange Meeting Before House Select Intelligence
California Republican maintains Russians were not responsible for 2016 DNC email hack

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., arrives for the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "An Insider’s Look at the North Korean Regime" on Nov. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee later this month about his August meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in which the two discussed who stole Democratic National Committee emails leading up to the 2016 elections.

The Russian government directed the email heist, U.S. intelligence officials have alleged. Rohrabacher has urged since his meeting with Assange that these allegations are not true. The California Republican has been criticized sharply for his perceived defense of the Russian government, and he sees his impending testimony as a chance to prove his intentions are pure.

In House, California Dreamin’ on Tax Deductions
Tax break for state income taxes are back in negotiations on measure

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem leave a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republican leaders and tax writers are working to at least partially revive the state and local income tax deduction in a bid to solidify support from California GOP lawmakers in any final tax bill.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, himself a Golden State Republican, said Wednesday the proposal he’s discussing to restore the income tax deduction would be as an alternative, not in addition, to the break for property taxes.

Income Tax Deduction on Table to Attract California GOP Votes
“It would make a lot of difference to me,” Rohrabacher says

California Reps. Darrell Issa, left, and Dana Rohrabacher voted against the GOP tax bill because of concerns over the curtailing of the state and local tax deduction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady confirmed Wednesday that at least a partial revival of the state and local income tax deduction is under consideration as part of the tax code overhaul, but did not provide details.

“We just continue to explore ways to make sure that we provide tax relief to families regardless of where they live,” the Texas Republican said. “That’s a commitment I’ve made to lawmakers in high-tax states and I’m going to continue to work to improve it.”