David Joyce

Federal court strikes down Ohio congressional map as partisan gerrymander
Republicans last year got 52 percent of the vote, won 12 of 16 districts

Ohio Rep. Rep. David Joyce defeated his Democratic challenger by more than 10 points last fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal three-judge panel on Friday struck down Ohio’s congressional map as a partisan gerrymander, providing fodder for voting rights advocates seeking a definitive Supreme Court ruling about the way electoral lines are drawn.

The ruling comes a week after a different federal court in Michigan also ordered district lines redrawn to address boundaries that unfairly benefitted one party. In both cases, the maps favored Republicans, and the decisions gave Democrats hope of making inroads in 2020.

Marijuana bill could help Cory Gardner’s re-election chances. Will Senate GOP leaders get behind it?
Bipartisan measure would end federal interference in states that have legalized cannabis

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, center, says the STATES Act would pass if it got to the House and Senate floors, though the latter may be harder to accomplish. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday to clear away some of the weedier legal issues between federal marijuana law and states that have legalized cannabis.

The bill, co-sponsored in the Senate by Colorado Republican Cory Gardner and Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and in the House by Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer and Ohio Repbublican David Joyce, would amend the federal drug law so its marijuana provisions no longer apply to individuals acting in compliance with state or tribal laws.

Trump contradicts his own plan to slash Great Lakes preservation funds
His budget proposed a 90 percent cut to the initiative’s budget, but Trump told supporters he would fund the program

President Donald Trump greets supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids was the final city Trump visited during his 2016 campaign. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

For the third year in a row, President Donald Trump has proposed nearly wiping out funding for the Great Lakes preservation program. And yet on Thursday night, less than a month after proposing to slash 90 percent the initiative’s budget, Trump told supporters at a rally in Michigan that he would fund the program.

The reality is, Congress controls the federal purse strings and has in the past disregarded his calls for those sharp cuts, instead continuing to approve the funding at higher levels. A key appropriator called Trump’s assertions that he supports the program “phony.”

Congress is finally going to pot
Bills to loosen marijuana laws are gaining traction in both parties

Legalizing marijuana is no longer a single-party issue. Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic presidential contenders have found common ground with Republicans like Cory Gardner. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

An unlikely coalition of lawmakers is plotting how to revise the nation’s marijuana laws during the 116th Congress — a mission that’s become much more viable in recent years as public support for legalizing cannabis shoots up and members introduce bills in higher numbers than ever before.

That legislation languished at the bottom of the hopper during the last Congress as GOP leaders remained steadfast in their opposition. But now advocates are optimistic that Democratic control of the House and mounting pressure to clean up the disparity between state and federal laws could propel some incremental changes through the Republican-controlled Senate — even if it will be a challenge.

Wait, there’s a Cannabis Caucus? Pot proponents on the Hill say it’s high time for serious policy debate
 

Since 2012, a total of 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana and support among the American public for legal pot has jumped to 66 percent. CQ Roll Call policy reporter Jennifer Shutt explains what that change means for the Cannabis Caucus, a bipartisan group of members who, alongside allies in the House and Senate, are hoping to hash out the differences between state and federal cannabis laws.

EMILY’s List names 2020 House and Senate targets
Pro-abortion rights group is targeting 43 House Republicans and six senators

EMILY’s List plans to target Minnesota GOP Rep. Pete Stauber in 2020, although he was not listed as an initial DCCC target. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EMILY’s List is looking to expand the Democratic House majority and flip the Senate next year, naming 43 House Republicans and six GOP senators on its initial list of 2020 targets, shared first with Roll Call.

“EMILY’s List is actively recruiting and working with potential candidates in these flippable districts,” Stephanie Schriock, president of the pro-abortion rights group, said in a statement. “We look forward to sending even more pro-choice Democratic women to Congress next year to fight for health care, economic justice, and to end corruption.”

Rep. Joyce’s former treasurer embezzled nearly $80,000 from his campaign, per letter

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, believes his former campaign treasurer embezzled more than $80,000 from his campaign committee coffers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. David Joyce’s campaign believes his former treasurer embezzled more than $80,000 from its committee coffers from 2015 to 2018, the campaign wrote in a letter to the Federal Elections Commission last week.

Cleveland.com first reported on the letter.

House Republicans block passage of anti-shutdown resolution despite removal of language blaming Trump
Meanwhile, House Democrats pass bill to increase federal employees’ pay for 2019

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., dismissed a Democrat-authored resolution expressing disapproval of government shutdowns as a negotiating tactic as a "glorified press release." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illustrating the deep partisan divisions that remain following the 35-day partial government shutdown that ended last week, the House on Wednesday rejected a symbolic resolution expressing disapproval of shutdowns as a negotiating tactic.

The resolution fell short, 249-163, because most Republicans opposed it, despite Democrats amending it Tuesday to drop language the GOP found objectionable

Here are lawmakers diverting pay in solidarity with shutdown employees
Thousands of civilian workers will not receive paychecks due next week if deal to end shutdown isn’t reached

Sen. Mazie Hirono said she will donate her paycheck to food banks in Hawaii during the shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several lawmakers have declared they will decline their paycheck or will donate it to charity in solidarity with civilian workers furloughed or working without pay.

Federal workers received their regular paychecks last week for work completed before the shutdown, but if a spending agreement is not reached soon, thousands could see a delay in paychecks scheduled for next Friday.

GOP Ad Defends Rep. David Joyce on Health Care Protections
Ad doubles down on strategy to run Republican as health care centrist

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, who has voted with his party multiple times to repeal the 2010 health care law, is depicted as a centrist on the issue in an ad released Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group supporting Rep. David Joyce is releasing an ad Tuesday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to “protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

The $125,000 ad buy from Defending Main Street, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, doubles down on Joyce’s campaign strategy of painting the candidate as an independent voice who has bucked his party on health care and who has “stood up to President Trump.”