Georgia

Opinion: The Obama Effect — Pros and Cons for Republicans and Democrats
Former president could unite a party in distress

Former President Barack Obama’s influence could unite a Democratic Party that showed togetherness after President Donald Trump’s win but is already breaking apart on issues such as abortion rights, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Barack Obama, the charismatic former president, can cause a scene just by walking into a coffee shop, as the rapturous crowds in usually blase New York City demonstrated at one of his cameos. So as he gently re-entered the public and policy eye this week, it’s no surprise that he could throw both Democrats and Republicans off balance — though of course for very different reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave President Donald Trump possibly his most important first-100-day achievement by spearheading the maneuver to transform Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Antonin Scalia into the conservative Neil Gorsuch, whose first significant vote allowed an Arkansas execution to proceed. McConnell’s obstruction and subsequent “nuclear option” may have played a part in breaking the democratic process, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a win —  at least I’m sure the president feels that way.

GOP Super PAC Pours Millions More Into Georgia Runoff
Congressional Leadership Fund invests additional $3.5 million to boost Handel

The Congressional Leadership Fund is more than doubling its spending in the special election runoff for Georgia’s 6th District to boost Republican nominee Karen Handel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Now that the Republican field has been winnowed from 11 to one in Georgia’s 6th District, a major GOP super PAC is increasing its spending to boost GOP nominee Karen Handel in the June runoff. 

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC endorsed by House GOP leadership, is investing an additional $3.5 million in the race, bringing their total investment in the district to $6.5 million. 

One Month Until Republicans’ Latest Round of Excuses
Special election for Montana seat moves from Solid Republican to Likely Republican

If Republicans struggle to hold Montana’s at-large district, where Republican Greg Gianforte, left, takes on Democrat Rob Quist in a May special election, it would be yet another indication of the effect President Donald Trump is having on Democratic enthusiasm, Gonzales writes. (Photos courtesy Greg for Montana, Rob Quist for Montana)

When it comes to special election results, Republicans always have an excuse, and their stumbles are never a national trend.

In Kansas, Republicans turned a 27-point victory for Donald Trump in 2016 into a recent 7-point special election victory for state Treasurer Ron Estes even though Democratic lawyer James Thompson had virtually no support from local or national Democrats.

Should Democrats Turn to South Carolina’s Special Election Next?
Next week’s primaries could set up another competitive contest

Archie Parnell is the leading Democrat running for the seat left behind by former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who’s now the director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Screenshot, Courtesy Archie Parnell for Congress)

Democrats enthused by last week’s primary in Georgia, and their strong showing in Kansas earlier this month, have been making noise about playing more aggressively in upcoming elections that were previously dismissed as long shots — specifically Montana.

Mentioned less often, however, is South Carolina.

Ethics Group Questions Hank Johnson’s Ossoff Help
Conservative nonprofit says Georgia Democrat used House website to help 6th District campaign

Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson is being accused of using his House website to help the campaign of John Ossoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A conservative-leaning ethics foundation filed an inquiry Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics, asking it to look into Rep. Hank Johnson’s use of official resources to help Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign.

Johnson, himself a Georgia Democrat, posted links to stories about Ossoff and problems with people finding where to vote in that state’s 6th District on his official House website, violating the chamber’s ethics code, according to a copy of the inquiry lodged by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, also known as FACT.

Ossoff Campaign Steps Up Field Efforts for June Runoff
Georgia Democrat’s campaign spent $2 million in field for primary

A volunteer for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff arrives at a campaign office to canvass the district the day before the April 18 open primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ahead of the June runoff in Georgia’s 6th District, Democrat Jon Ossoff’s big-spending campaign is ramping up its “field-first” strategy for the next two months.  

Ossoff’s team spent nearly $2 million on its field efforts for last week’s primary, including paying for a Lyft code in the district so that voters without a ride could get to the polls on Election Day.

Rob Portman's Plan to End Government Shutdown Showdowns
Revives bill to provide automatic continuing resolutions

Sen. Rob Portman wants to end the threat of federal funding lapsing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the risk of a government shutdown at week's end, Sen. Rob Portman is making another attempt at ending such threats once and for all.

The Ohio Republican, who led the Office of Management and Budget in the last GOP White House, will be reintroducing legislation that he has spearheaded since arriving in the Senate in 2011 that would provide for automatic continuing resolutions when Congress fails to advance appropriations bills before fiscal year funding deadlines.

Tenney’s Son Received a Surprise Call From Trump Before Deployment
Sen. David Perdue tipped off the president about deployment of lawmaker's son

Rep. Claudia Tenney’s son left for Iraq on Saturday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York GOP freshman Rep. Claudia Tenney’s son received a phone call from President Donald Trump before he deployed to Iraq on Saturday.

Before Marine Corps 1st Lt. Trey Cleary left for a six-month deployment, he was surprised to hear Trump’s voice on the other end of a Friday phone call, Syracuse.com reported.

Controversy Lingers Over Capitol Art Competition
Deadline for student art submissions is Thursday

Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. passes by the painting by Missouri high school student David Pulphus after it was rehung in the Capitol tunnel in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Submissions to this year’s Congressional Art Competition for high school students close on Thursday while the controversy from last year’s contest still hasn’t dissipated.

Debate still lingers over the painting by David Pulphus, a constituent of Rep. William Lacy Clay, that depicted police-community relations in Ferguson, Missouri. Some Republican members took matters into their own hands and removed the painting from where it hung with others in the Capitol tunnel.

Word on the Hill: Earth Day Celebrations
Smoothies and staffer shuffles

Tomorrow is the annual day to celebrate nature. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Happy Friday and last day of recess.

Tomorrow is the 47th annual Earth Day and here are ways you can celebrate Mother Nature.