House and Senate primaries

Pentagon Strategy Outstrips Its Budget Process
After slow staff-up, Defense Department is trying to make up for lost time

The Pentagon will be waiting another budget year to fully match its strategy to its fiscal requests.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Pentagon is churning out a frenzy of strategy documents that bolster President Donald Trump’s calls for a massive — and pricey — military buildup that includes new weaponry and more troops. The department’s own budget process, however, has not yet caught up.

On Friday, the Defense Department rolled out the National Defense Strategy, coming on the heels of the National Security Strategy and a leaked draft of the Nuclear Posture Review. These documents detail policies that come with hefty price tags, such as surpassing China and Russia in fiercely competitive areas like cyberspace and outer space.

Supreme Court Halts North Carolina Redistricting
2018 midterms will likely proceed under existing map

The Supreme Court said North Carolina does not immediately have to redraw its congressional map. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Thursday evening said that North Carolina does not have to redraw its congressional map by the end of January, as a lower court had instructed it to do earlier this month.

The high court’s order granting a stay of the lower court’s decision, pending the disposition of the state’s appeal, likely means the existing congressional map will be in place for the 2018 midterms. 

At the Races: 2018 Starts in PA-18
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in House and Senate races

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. Subscribe here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget BowmanThis week … Trump is wading into another special election, Democrats went after one of their own and Tim Pawlenty said “no thanks” to a Senate run.

Ward and McSally Slam Flake’s Freedom of Press Speech
Ward called it ‘embarrassment to the state of Arizona’

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives in the Capitol on Wednesday before making his floor speech on press freedoms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona’s Republican candidates for Senate slammed Sen. Jeff Flake for his speech criticizing President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who planned to challenge Flake in a primary before he announced he would not seek re-election, called his comparisons to Joseph Stalin “appalling and an embarrassment to the state of Arizona” in a statement.

Trump Might Avoid Republican Primaries
President tells Reuters he plans to campaign heavily for GOP candidates in midterms

President Donald Trump said he’ll spend “probably four or five days a week” campaigning for Republican candidates in the midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump says that he will campaign frequently for Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections, but might avoid getting involved in primaries.

“I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans,” he told Reuters. “To get the real agenda through, we need more Republicans.”

Two Democratic Lawmakers Go After One of Their Own in Illinois
Schakowsky and Gutiérrez endorse Marie Newman in Democratic primary

Marie Newman, center, speaks during an event in Washington on Wednesday to receive the endorsements of Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis V. Gutiérrez in her primary challenge to their fellow Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are optimistic about their chances of kicking out GOP incumbents in 2018, but first a few sitting Democrats would like to kick out one of their own.

Illinois Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis V. Gutiérrez on Wednesday endorsed a primary challenger to fellow Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski, a Blue Dog Democrat who’s opposed to abortion rights. 

How John Kennedy Sees Things
‘This is why the aliens won’t talk to us.’

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., speaks with reporters in the Senate subway in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Since arriving in the Senate last year, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has become a gift to Capitol Hill reporters for his colorful use of language.

Most recently, he has said that the dispute about whether President Donald Trump called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “why the aliens won’t talk to us.”

Poll: 44 Percent of Americans Think Trump is a Racist
Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words

President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s rough rhetorical style was thrust under the microscope (again) last week after he called Haiti and parts of Africa “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States, multiple lawmakers who were at the meeting with the president confirmed.

Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words, a new poll found.

Former Takai Staffer Still Getting Paid From Campaign Cash
Paid himself a monthly salary of $5,759 a month from late congressman’s campaign account

A former staffer for the late Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, is still being paid a salary after Takai's death. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former staffer for the late Hawaii Rep. Mark Takai  is still getting paid thousands of dollars from Takai’s campaign coffers after the congressman’s death more than a year ago.

Dylan Beesley was Takai’s campaign manager and said that after Takai died of pancreatic cancer he became campaign treasurer at the request of the family, according to Hawaii News Now.

Democrats See New Opportunity in McSally’s Old House Seat
Democrats see Arizona’s 2nd District as a top pickup opportunity

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is running in Arizona’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Martha McSally’s decision to enter the Arizona Senate race has opened up her hotly contested House seat, giving Democrats even more hope that they can win back the seat in 2018.

Republicans say they still have a chance at holding the 2nd District seat in southern Arizona, especially with the right candidate. But Democrats see energy on their side, fueled in part by a backlash to President Donald Trump. And they are hopeful the race will be an example of a Democrat flipping a seat that Hillary Clinton carried in November.