Frank A LoBiondo

FAA Authorization Still Grounded in Senate
Congress could be looking at sixth straight extension as Sept. 30 deadline approaches

Los Angeles International Airport in March. Congress could be headed toward its sixth straight extension of FAA authorization if it fails to meet a Sept. 30 deadline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration in June of last year. But the measure’s proponents have struggled ever since to get it to the floor, even as another deadline approaches at the end of this month.

Congress could be headed toward its sixth straight extension of FAA authorization if both chambers can’t pass a yet-unfinished conference bill before Sept. 30. House leaders on the issue, who steered easy passage of their measure earlier this year, have blamed the other chamber, which hasn’t passed its own bill.

Key Players in FAA Conference Negotiations
Committee leaders come with their own priorities for FAA reauthorization

House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., left, and ranking member Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., both want to do a long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the Sept. 30 deadline to renew Federal Aviation Administration programs approaches, members of both parties are working to reach a deal on a consensus bill that could be acceptable to both chambers.

The process has been slowed because the Senate did not pass its committee-approved bill. Negotiators in an informal conference committee don’t know how many of up to 90 amendments offered to the Senate measure could be in play or whether any senator will object to a final bill that doesn’t include his or her priorities.

Rating Change: GOP House Open Seat in New Jersey Shifts to Likely Democratic
Republicans face uphill battle to retain seat of retiring Frank LoBiondo

Rating change for New Jersey's 2nd District race: The open seat contest to replace retiring GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo, pictured here, shifts to favor Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sometimes political handicapping can be difficult. Shifting a well-liked Democratic senator in North Dakota, who has won a close and competitive race previously, to Tilts Republican from Toss-Up wasn’t an easy decision. But Republican Seth Grossman is making it easy for political analysts.

The former Atlantic County Freeholder won the GOP nomination in New Jersey’s 2nd District on June 5, but the National Republican Congressional Committee disavowed him on Monday after multiple offensive statements came to light. “Bigotry has no place in society — let alone the U.S. House of Representatives,” said NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers of Ohio.

DCCC Picks Easily Win Democratic Nods in New Jersey
Sen. Menendez underwhelms in primary win over little-known challenger

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill, seen here marching in a March for our Lives event in Morristown in March, won the party nomination for the open 11th District seat. (Simone Pathé/Roll Call file photo)

Former Navy pilot and prosecutor Mikie Sherrill easily secured the Democratic nod for New Jersey’s open 11th District seat Tuesday night.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, she had 77 percent of the vote over four other Democrats, according to The Associated Press. Family advocate Tamara Harris, who had financial backing from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and California Sen. Kamala Harris, came in second with 15 percent.

4 Things To Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Eight states will have primary contests

Democratic candidates in California’s 39th District — Mai Khanh Tran, left, Andy Thorburn, second from right, and Sam Jammal — talk with “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” correspondent Ashley Nicole Black after an informal candidate forum in Rowland Heights on May 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eight states are hosting primaries Tuesday, but all eyes will be on California — where the threat of Democrats getting shut out of a few top pickup opportunities they hope will help them win back the House looms large.

Several matchups will also be decided in competitive general election contests in Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico and Montana.

The Blue Dogs Are Barking Again
Moderate Democrats, nearly wiped out in 2010, have hopes for a comeback this year

Current Blue Dog Democrats include, from left, Reps. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Jim Costa, D-Calif., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and  Brad Schneider, D-Ill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brendan Kelly is running in a district in southern Illinois that went for Donald Trump by nearly 15 points in 2016, so his message shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“We see a system that is rigged for a powerful few,” he said in a voice full of gravel. He rails against “elites on the coasts” and understands why many are “frustrated” and “angry” over low-paying jobs and high health care costs.

Farm Bill Flux: Moderate Republicans Not Lining Up to Support
Freedom Caucus senses opportunity to leverage influence

Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., is among several moderate Republicans opposed or leaning to opposition to the farm bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several moderate House Republicans are firmly opposed to the farm bill or considering voting against it, providing leverage to conservatives who are trying to make their support contingent on securing a separate vote on an immigration bill.

New Jersey Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Christopher Smith, Leonard Lance and Rodney Frelinghuysen said they are “no” or leaning “no” on the farm bill.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Banning Sports Gambling
The 1992 law violates the 10th Amendment, justices find

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned sports gambling. New Jersey lawmakers like former Governor Chris Christie, above at the court in December, had railed against the law for years. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Congress took the wrong path when it effectively banned sports gambling, in an opinion that appears to open the door for New Jersey and other states to get in on the action unless Washington steps in again.

In a 6-3 opinion, the justices struck down key provisions of a 1992 federal law, known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, finding that it violates the 10th Amendment’s delegation of regulatory power to the states.

Rothenberg’s Dangerous Dozen Open House Seats
Republicans find themselves more on the defensive as November looms

Former Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan, seen here after being pulled from the Congressional Baseball Game in 2014, has left behinda an open seat that is the most likely to flip party control, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Yes, it’s time for another of my “dangerous dozen open House seats” columns, which I have been writing since shortly after the establishment of the Jamestown Settlement (or so it seems).

This cycle’s version has a plethora of seats to choose from, given the 38 Republican and 19 Democratic seats where an incumbent is not seeking re-election, either because he or she is retiring or running for a different office. (The number does not include those districts where a special election has already filled a vacancy or will be held before November.)

Brooks Suggests Republicans Are Retiring Because of Assassination Fears
Pointed at the large number of GOP members on baseball team who are leaving Congress

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks to reporters at the Republican baseball team's first practice of the year at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks suggested in a radio interview that Republicans are retiring en masse because of assassination fears.

Brooks was speaking on “The Dale Jackson Show” about the first Republican practice the Congressional Baseball Game after last year’s shooting that left Majority Whip Steve Scalise severely injured.