Darrell Issa

Here’s How Republicans Reacted After Trump (Again) Flip-Flopped on Charlottesville
Many in president’s own party countered his stance

A man carries an American flag during a protest against racism and the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 14, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

An unprecedented outpouring of congressional Republicans reacted Tuesday as President Donald Trump flipped his position (again) on last weekend’s violent outburst in Charlottesville, Virginia.

First Trump held “both sides” responsible just after protesters demonstrating in support of a General Robert E. Lee statue clashed with counterprotesters. Then a prepared speech Monday had the president condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s and the violence generally. Finally, Tuesday night Trump came back to two-sided rhetoric when he said some members of the far-right organized demonstration were “very fine” people.

Far-Right Protesters in Virginia Included ‘Very Fine’ People, Trump Says
Trump says ‘both sides’ to blame for Charlottesville unrest

President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower on Tuesday. He appeared to defend some of the white supremacist groups who help spawn deadly violence Saturday in Virginia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended some of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who were part of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, protests last weekend, saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of the racially charged unrest.

A defiant Trump, just a day after slamming the pro-white groups who organized the two-day protests of the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, appeared to give some of their members cover. “There is blame on both sides,” he told reporters during what amounted to a brief impromptu press conference at Trump Tower in New York.

Who Did Former Members of Trump’s Manufacturing Council Donate to?
None made contributions to Trump, but many hedged their bets on both parties

Merck Pharma CEO Kenneth Frazier, right, was the first of four CEOs to resign from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after the president’s remarks on the demonstration and violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

An analysis of political contributions of the four CEOs who resigned from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after his Charlottesville remarks show they are deep-pocketed donors who have contributed to both parties.

Notably, none of them donated to the president’s 2016 campaign, as many major business donors were wary of then-candidate Trump.

Opinion: GOP Tax Dilemma — Somebody’s Got to Pay More
There’s a reason tax reform doesn’t happen often

South Dakota Sen. John Thune believes that traditional budget scorekeeping underestimates the dynamic effects of tax cuts on the economy, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Any deduction you look at in the tax code has a constituency behind it,” John Thune said last week as we chatted about taxes in his Senate office. “If you are going to do tax reform that is revenue-neutral … that means that you have to kill some deductions or scale them back.”

Too often Republican oratory depicts tax reform as across-the-board rate reductions where everyone wins and nobody loses. It is like Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon — “where all the children are above average” — but a lot richer.

California GOP Incumbents Will Make Democrats’ Challenge Expensive
Democrats hope to flip nine of 14 Republican-held seats in 2018

Rep. Ed Royce is one of several California GOP incumbents gearing up for expensive re-election fights. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

National Democrats hope disapproval of President Donald Trump will help flip nine of California’s 14 Republican-held congressional seats, but campaign finance reports show Republican incumbents will make it expensive for them.

Six of them raised at least $750,000 during the first half of 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. While Democratic challengers have raised less so far, they’ll get help from the party and outside groups past the primaries.

Polis Pushes Congress to Support Risk-Takers
Colorado Democrat is visiting four startups in his district, holding roundtable for Startup Day

For last year’s Startup Day, Colorado Rep. Jared Polis visited a company that makes 100 percent American-made watches. (Courtesy Polis’ office)

Members of Congress are marking Startup Day Across America on Tuesday to support and promote startups in their districts, and Rep. Jared Polis has a busy schedule. 

The Colorado Democrat, who is vacating his seat to run for governor, was an internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist before entering Congress, and he’s now committed to supporting those with aspirations similar to his.

Ex-Staffer’s Country Music Tip Sheet Hasn’t Left D.C.
After leaving Capitol Hill, Kurt Bardella started ‘The Morning Hangover’

From left, Kurt Bardella, country music singer Kalie Shorr, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., pose for a photo at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game, where Shorr performed. (Courtesy Kurt Bardella)

Former staffer Kurt Bardella is still finding ways to stay engaged with the world of Capitol Hill. 

In June, he arranged for country music singer Kalie Shorr to perform at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

Ex-Staffer Started CrossFit Newsletter Because He Loved Talking About CrossFit
Justin LoFranco moved back to California to launch Morning Chalk Up

Justin LoFranco, right, was digital director for the House Oversight Committee under chairman Rep. Darrell Issa in 2013. (Courtesy of Justin LoFranco)

The first rule of CrossFit is you have to talk about it and one former Capitol Hill staffer has devoted his career to doing just that.

Justin LoFranco spent seven years working in communications while also trying to make time for his favorite workout.

Former Candidate Launches New PAC to Flip California House Seats
Michael Eggman wants to build up the Democratic bench

Democrat Michael Eggman is launching “Red to Blue California.” (Courtesy Michael Eggman Congress Facebook page)

Former congressional candidate Michael Eggman is starting a new group to achieve what he could not do alone: flip House seats in California from Republican to Democrat.

Eggman is launching the “Red to Blue California” political action committee Monday, targeting seven House Republicans who represent districts in the Golden State that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. 

Gowdy Picked by Steering Committee to Chair Oversight Panel
Full House Republican Conference will vote on Tuesday

Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, was chosen by a select group of GOP House members to be the next chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy was selected by the Republican Steering Committee on Thursday to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, in announcing the decision, lauded Gowdy’s “deep commitment to transparency and accountability.” The selection will be ratified by the full GOP conference on Tuesday.