Darrell Issa

Ryan-Aligned Group Drops $2.2 Million on Ads to Oppose Obamacare
Will be featured in multiple swing congressional districts

American Action Network, which supports Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is spending big on anti-Obamacare ads in swing districts across the country. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A conservative outside spending group is dropping $2.2 million in multiple districts that Democrats are targeting in efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The ads from American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) sister organization of the Congressional Leadership Fund, feature a pregnant woman named Elizabeth Jacinto talking about how her health care plan was canceled.

Fight for the House Centers on Five States
More than one-third of targeted districts reside in a handful of states

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján is tasked with leading House Democrats back to the majority, including picking up handfuls of seats in a few key states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both parties haven’t wasted any time unveiling their House target lists for next year’s midterm elections, and a few states have emerged as early battlegrounds. 

At the end of January, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an ambitious list of 59 Republican-held districts, followed by the National Republican Congressional Committee’s ambitious list of 36 Democratic-held districts just more than a week later.

Republicans Identify Vulnerable Members for 2018
NRCC announces initial round of Patriot Program

Minnesota freshman Rep. Jason Lewis is part of the NRCC’s initial Patriot Program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has named 10 members to its Patriot Program for incumbents who are expected to face tough re-election races in 2018.

“Our Patriots are a group of battle-tested members who won hard-fought races in 2016 and are ready to win once again,” Rep. Steve Stivers, the NRCC chairman, said in a statement Wednesday. 

House Poised to Block D.C. Suicide Law but Senate May Not Act
Oversight committee approves resolution overturning the law

Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup introduced the resolution to overturn the District of Columbia’s assisted suicide law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Monday approved a resolution to overturn a District of Columbia law that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients who request them. The 22-14 vote was the culmination of an emotional markup that pitted Democratic support for local governance against the Republican majority’s assertion of congressional power over D.C. law.

The D.C. law is similar to those in five other states and requires the physician to assert that the patient is mentally competent, along with other safeguards, before the drugs are administered. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed it into law in December after an 11-2 council vote.

The Incredible Shrinking Split Tickets
Midterm campaign field starts with just 35 crossover House districts

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is the only Republican up for re-election in 2018 in a state not carried by Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For the latest evidence of the nation’s polarized politics, the granular returns from November offer these slivers of bright purple insight:

Voters in just 35 congressional districts, or 8 percent of the total, elected a House member from one party while preferring the presidential candidate of the other party — the second election in a row where the share of ticket-splitting seats was in the single digits. Before that, 1920 was the last time the number of such crossover districts fell below one out of every nine.

House GOP Group Launches Digital Campaign for Health Care Plan
American Action Network will target 28 House districts

American Action Network is running digital ads about the House Republicans’ health care law replacement efforts in Ohio’s 4th District, held by former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An outside group affiliated with House GOP leadership is ramping up its advertising campaign for a Republican alternative to the 2010 health care law, running $400,000 in digital ads across 28 congressional districts. 

American Action Network, a conservative nonprofit advocacy organization, is launching its first digital campaign of the year Friday, when the House is expected to vote on the budget resolution that would begin the process of repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. 

Newest Blue Dog Sides with GOP on Repeal of Midnight Rules
Democrat Josh Gottheimer campaigned as a fiscal conservative

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer was one of only four Democrats to vote for legislation allowing for the repeal of recent regulations finalized by the Obama administration. (Courtesy Josh Gottheimer Facebook page)

The three Blue Dog Democrats who voted for the Republican-backed Midnight Rules Relief Act last November had some new company Wednesday night, when the House again passed California Rep. Darrell Issa’s reintroduced legislation.

The House voted 238-184 to allow Congress to repeal en bloc multiple regulations approved in the last 60 legislative days of President Barack Obama’s administration. 

Cutting Federal Workforce Not the Way to Eliminate Waste, Fraud and Abuse
Using data to proactively assess risks

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del.; and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., discuss government entities and programs identified as "high risk" for waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to “attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government.” Within weeks of the election, President-elect Trump announced plans to implement federal hiring freezes and curtail or eliminate protections that federal employees have had for more than a generation.

Waste, fraud and abuse in government are significant problems and President-elect Trump is right to focus on eliminating them. But cutting the federal workforce is not the path to doing so. A 1982 Government Accountability Office report found, for example, that the federal hiring freezes imposed under Presidents Carter and Reagan led to the loss of 445 IRS revenue agent and auditor staff, which resulted in government losses of tax revenue of more than 20 times the amount saved in salaries and benefits.

Questions Loom for House’s Top Inquisitor
Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz faces a crossroads on Trump

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz has used his perch atop the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to pursue both bipartisan and partisan inquiries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As one of Congress’ chief inquisitors, Jason Chaffetz shot to national prominence using the same playbook that has worked for both parties — he relentlessly investigated the opposition. 

His targets were often officials in President Barack Obama’s administration and Hillary Clinton. For Clinton, had she won the November election, there was no end in sight — Chaffetz said he had years of material lined up.L

Will Applegate’s Rematch With Issa Be Successful?
Mixed record for California challengers on their second chance

California Rep. Darrell Issa will face another challenge from Doug Applegate, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No one paid much attention to Doug Applegate’s challenge to California Rep. Darrell Issa until there were only five months left in the campaign, and the Democrat came within 2 points of knocking off the Republican incumbent.

Applegate didn’t waste any time and has already announced his 2018 candidacy, but will more time be enough to put him over the top?