Illinois

GOP-Held Illinois District Pounded with Outside Money as Election Nears
Six-term incumbent Roskam facing Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., faces Democrat Sean Casten in Illinois’ 6th District on Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outside groups are descending on Illinois’ 6th District just weeks before the midterm elections — and bringing their money with them —  as six-term GOP Rep. Peter Roskam tries to stave off a bid from Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten.

The Chicago Tribune first reported these figures.

Republicans Restart Push for Lower Court Judges
Democrats object to the process

Eric E. Murphy, nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit, introduces his wife, Michelle, and daughters Isabelle, 7, right, and Grace, 9, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on judicial nominations in Dirksen Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With the fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh behind them, Republicans on Wednesday restarted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s push to confirm lower court judges with a hearing on a pair of nominees that Democrats staunchly oppose for their legal work on health care, LGBT rights and other issues.

The hearing featured almost everything Democrats have complained about the confirmation process during President Donald Trump’s administration — including scheduling more than one circuit court nominee in a single hearing and doing so over the objections of a home state senator.

Republicans Need a Cold Compress With Less Than One Month to Go
Presidential pain still plagues vulnerable incumbents ahead of the midterms

President Donald Trump may turn out Democrats better than any Democrat could. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Weather metaphors are often used (and overused) in election analysis, but there’s a better way to describe the Republicans’ challenge in 2018. The GOP is dealing with many headaches as it tries to preserve the Republican congressional majorities.

From tension to cluster to migraine, they can vary in frequency and severity. And Republicans’ ability to alleviate them will determine control of the House and Senate in the 116th Congress.

Photos of the Week: Kavanaugh Protests and Tension on High as Senators Cast Historic Vote
The week of Oct. 1 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Ben Bergquam, left, who supports Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, argues on Thursday with protesters opposed to the nomination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

All eyes were on the Senate last week. Results of the FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were considered late Wednesday and Thursday by senators. And by Friday, a majority of them were ready to vote

Protests against the nominee erupted across the Capitol throughout the week as activists made their opinions known, both for and against.

Mitch McConnell Sees Electoral Gains From Fight Over Brett Kavanaugh
Interview with Roll Call came ahead of confirmation vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell makes his way through the Capitol for a TV interview before the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Brett Kavanaugh was on the verge of confirmation Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was sounding sure the Supreme Court battle will prove a benefit to Senate Republicans at the polls in November.

In an interview with Roll Call a month ahead of Election Day, the Kentucky Republican said the debate was really driving up base enthusiasm for the 2018 mid-terms.

House GOP Moving Right, Democratic Direction Less Clear
With pragmatists in fewer supply among Republicans, conference will be in less of a mood to compromise

The retirement of pragmatic Republicans like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., threatens to move the House Republican Conference further to the right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — We don’t know exactly how many House seats Democrats will gain in November, though Democratic control of the chamber next year looks almost inevitable. But even now it is clear that the midterm results will move Republicans further to the right. Where the Democrats will stand is less clear.

In the House, GOP losses will be disproportionately large in the suburbs and among members of the Republican Main Street Partnership, the House GOP group that puts “country over party” and values “compromise over conflict,” according to its website.

Drug Prices Could Become a Divisive Issue for Democrats
Internal tensions over Big Pharma could be on full display next Congress

Divisions among Democrats over the pharmaceutical industry could hurt their party’s efforts to address high drug costs if they win a majority next year. (Courtesy iStock)

Democrats are making the cost of prescription drugs a pillar of the party’s health care agenda in the midterms, but if they win a majority for the 116th Congress, the party will have to grapple with internal divisions over the issue that might be magnified next year.

This campaign season has been notable for candidates pushing the party to reject corporate influence. For emboldened progressive Democrats, the party’s current plans might not be enough. Their views compete with those of new candidates from politically moderate areas with a big pharmaceutical industry presence that might be more inclined to join with longtime incumbents who sympathize more with the industry’s perspective.

Your Boss Is Becoming More Vulnerable. When Do You Move On?
A breakdown of when your paychecks will stop coming in

If election night doesn’t look like this for you and your boss, how long will you have to pound the pavement? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Staffers, start updating your résumés. Your job security just took a hit in the latest round of ratings changes from Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

Inside Elections downgraded the re-election chances of 21 Republican House members last week. Of the GOP incumbents running for another term, 22 are now either underdogs or dead even in their bids.

Cheri Bustos Joins Race for Assistant Democratic Leader
Sets up contest that could show diversity of House Democratic caucus next year

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has joined the race for assistant Democratic leader. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Cheri Bustos has formally announced she wants to move up in House Democratic leadership, setting up a contested race with candidates from different parts of the caucus.

The Illinois Democrat said her candidacy for assistant Democratic leader will focus on efforts to support the most vulnerable members of the House Democratic caucus, and that will include significant support for new staff.

Dems Have Walked Out Over Guns, and Now Kavanaugh
Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono aren’t the only ones to make a dramatic exit in the Trump era

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and a handful of other Democrats headed for the exits Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As a group of Democrats strode out of the hearing room Friday morning, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wasn’t pleased.

“You folks who are photographers know that you’re supposed to sit down,” he said over the clicking cameras.