Elections

New Jersey Republican Couldn’t Escape Trump at Town Hall
Lance is the first Republican in a Clinton district to hold a town hall

New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance holds a town hall meeting at the Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J., on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BRANCHBURG, N.J. — The soft-spoken Leonard Lance, a moderate Republican from affluent New Jersey, is an unlikely politician to attract national media to his backyard. 

But as one of just a handful of GOP congressmen — and the only Republican in New Jersey — holding a town hall during the Presidents Day recess, Lance is a rare breed. He’s the first Republican representing a district Hillary Clinton won to hold a town hall since President Donald Trump took office.

White House Signals Own Path on Health Care
Reference to president’s own plan signals dual tracks for GOP

That President Donald Trump could roll out his own health care overhaul plan was something his top spokesman would not rule out on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Updated 4:40 p.m. | The White House declined Wednesday to rule out that President Donald Trump will push his own plan to replace the 2010 health care law rather than pursue one course with congressional Republicans.

When asked if there will be a single White House-congressional GOP plan, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer left the door open for Trump to roll out his own plan — no matter what lawmakers do. Minutes later, Spicer referred to “the president’s plan” when discussing how the administration intends to achieve one of its top campaign goals.

Intelligence Committee Could Subpoena Trump Tax Returns
Susan Collins says panel will go where Russia inquiry leads it

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is confident the Intelligence Committee will be able to conduct a thorough investigation into alleged Russian hacking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins said she thinks the Intelligence Committee could subpoena President Donald Trump’s tax records as part of its investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election if that’s where the evidence leads.

“I don’t know whether we will need to do that,” the Maine Republican said Wednesday. “If it’s necessary to get to the answers, then I suspect that we would.”

Georgia Democrat Picks Up Progressive Endorsement
End Citizens United backs Jon Ossoff in special election

Democrat Jon Ossoff is one of 18 candidates vying for Georgia’s 6th District seat. (Courtesy Jon Ossoff for Congress Facebook page)

End Citizens United, a liberal political action committee, is throwing its weight behind Democrat Jon Ossoff in the race to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District. 

The endorsement is the latest sign that Democrats want to make a play for the district, which President Donald Trump carried by less than 2 points last fall, and that Ossoff is their top candidate. 

Ellison Gets Unlikely Boost From Trump in DNC Chairman Race
President touts Minnesota Democrat as soothsayer

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison could become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison picked up a semi-endorsement from an expected — and potentially unwelcome — source Wednesday morning in his bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee: Donald Trump.

With DNC members set to vote on a new leader in just three days, the Republican president, apparently while watching morning cable news talk shows, felt the need to weigh in. He did so in a tweet pointing out that Ellison predicted Trump would become the 45th chief executive.

House Democrats Look Beyond DNC Chairman Race
They have no say in the election but hold high hopes for the winner

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is the only member of Congress running for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional Democrats have little sway over who the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee will be. But the eventual winner — to be elected by DNC members this weekend in Atlanta — may play an important role in shaping the direction of a party that desperately needs help articulating its message and organizing ahead of the 2018 midterms.

“Right about now, they do nothing with the Congress. So anything would be an improvement,” Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, a former DNC member, said of the committee last week, outside the House chamber. 

With No Vote in Congress, D.C. Residents Find Power in Cash
District voters are supporting Jason Chaffetz’s challenger in Utah

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is fast becoming a target of Washington, D.C., residents, upset about his efforts to overturn local laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was only the second political contribution Sarah Carr had made in her life. A $100 gift to an obscure politician from a distant state whose values hardly align with her own.

But Carr, a 41-year-old marine scientist who lives on Capitol Hill, had a clear goal: she wanted to support anyone who might oust Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Mama Bear’s Unlikely Run (and Win) for Mayor
Campaign lessons from a famous family in children’s literature

“The Berenstain Bears and Mama for Mayor!” offers some political wisdom for political candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As an elections analyst, it can be hard to stop thinking about politics even when I get home for the day. Sometimes, I see political themes in my kids’ books even when they aren’t political books. And a few nights ago at bedtime, one of my sons brought me “Mama for Mayor” from the famous Berenstain Bears series, and I critiqued her campaign page by page.

The book (and journey) begins with an innocent car ride through Bear Country, but the family’s life is drastically changed when they hit a hole and a bump in the road.

Tennessee, Texas Stand Out for Strengthened Hill Sway
In Roll Call’s Clout Index for this Congress, California delegation’s longtime hold on top spot is threatened

Party affiliation and longevity have helped propel members of the Tennessee delegation such as Sen. Bob Corker into positions that convey authority and power, Hawkings writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No state in this decade has seen a more meaningful boost than Tennessee in institutionalized congressional influence.

Only eight states, all with much bigger delegations because they’re much more populous, have more overt sway at the Capitol this year. That is one of several notable findings from the new Roll Call Clout Index, which the newspaper uses to take a quantifiable measurement of every state’s potential for power at the start of each new Congress.  

Word on the Hill: Last Week of Black History Month
Tim Scott goes to a museum with Donald Trump

The Museum of African American History and Culture is a great place to celebrate Black History Month in D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As February comes to an end, so does Black History Month.

D.C.’s free film festival to celebrate the month is on Sunday, hosted by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office on African American Affairs and actor Lamman Rucker at Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St. NW) from 2 to 10 p.m.