Jackie Walorski

For Joe Donnelly, a Long History of Bucking His Party
Indiana Democrat faces challenging re-election, which is also nothing new

Sen. Joe Donnelly often goes his own way on hot-button policy positions, and has since his time in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The fate of Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly’s re-election bid next year may lie in his ability to convince Hoosiers he’s not always on the same page as the national Democratic Party. Fortunately for him, he has a lot of practice, and has been highly successful at it, going back more than a dozen years.

“The party occasionally gets mad, I really don’t care,” said one of the Democrats’ most endangered incumbents.

Word on the Hill: Capitol Hill Could Save You Money
Ryan in New Hampshire, Williams at nonprofit, Murphy’s march continues

Save some money, move to Capitol Hill. Above, Tennessee’s David Kustoff arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel for new member orientation on Nov. 14, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s some good news for congressional staffers: Capitol Hill was ranked the fourth best place in D.C. to save money if you’re living off an annual salary of $50,000.

The financial planning app Rize released a list of the 14 best and worst places to live in D.C. on a $50,000 salary. Petworth, NoMa and Southwest Waterfront ranked first, second and third, respectively. Georgetown was ranked last.

Democrats Tie Senate Candidates to House GOP Health Care Plan
DSCC memo outlines ‘new health care dynamic’ for 2018

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is a top target for Democrats in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats plan to hold Senate Republicans — and House Republicans who may run for the Senate — accountable for the health care plan proposed by House GOP leadership this week. 

“The new health care dynamic: GOP Senate candidates own this plan” is the subject line of a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee memo released to interested parties Thursday and obtained first by Roll Call.

NRCC Staffs Up for 2018
Press and political shops mix fresh faces with NRCC veterans

John Rogers, executive director for the NRCC, is announcing hires for the committee’s press and political shop Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John Rogers, the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, will announce hires for the committee’s political and communications shops on Friday.

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, are a mix of NRCC veterans and former Hill staffers with a range of experiences working on House, Senate and presidential campaigns.

For 20, a New Year’s Boost in House Legislative Sway
How the winners of top committee assignments made their own luck

Keep an eye peeled for these House members with plum new committee assignments, from left to right, first row: Pete Aguilar, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Katherine M. Clark, Ryan A. Costello, Carlos Curbelo; second row: Suzan DelBene, Debbie Dingell, Brian Higgins, John Moolenaar, Grace Meng; third row: Dan Newhouse, Scott Peters, Mark Pocan, Raul Ruiz, David Schweikert; fourth row: Terri A. Sewell, Scott Taylor, Tim Walberg, Jackie Walorski and Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark, Meredith Dake-O’Connor and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos. Scott Taylor courtesy Scott Taylor for U.S. Congress)

Specialization seasoned with seniority is the surest recipe for a meaningful legislative career in the House, which is more than big enough to swallow all the dilettantes and short-timers without a trace. It’s finding a substantive niche, then fitting in over the long haul, that proves perennially frustrating for many members. 

But the goal of becoming a successful and substantive lawmaker just got a whole lot easier for a score of them.

Dick Cheney on New Rep. Cheney: ‘If She Wants My Advice, She’ll Ask for It’
Former vice president accompanies daughter Liz for her swearing in to House

Former Vice President Dick Cheney looks on as daughter Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., takes the oath of office on the House floor on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For an hour on Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney was back in the House chamber where he once served.

Cheney sat on the House floor, second row from the front on the GOP side, playing the role of the proud patriarch to his daughter Liz who took the oath to serve in the job Cheney himself had from 1979 to 1989: sole House member from Wyoming.

Republican Gender Gap Could Grow in the House
Ideology, not gender, is often driving factor in open primaries

Reps. Ann Wagner of Missouri, right, and Jackie Walorski of Indiana could both run for higher office in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will be down one woman next year. And with administration picks forthcoming and a handful of female members weighing runs for other offices, the party’s gender gap could grow. 

With their largest majority in more than 80 years, Republicans were mostly on defense in 2016. 

Facts Hard to Come by on Guantanamo Detainees' Dangers
Some say email to senator was not a complete representation of what the government knows

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said she" fought tooth and nail" to get transparency from the Obama administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If U.S. officials have a reliable assessment of how many Guantanamo Bay detainees are likely to be jihadists after being transferred to other countries, they won’t reveal it to the public.

The risk of Guantanamo prisoners returning to the fight has been a critical national security issue and will remain one for the next president and Congress. But Washington policymakers can’t even agree on what the official assessment of that danger is.

Word on the Hill: Swing State Steaks
Bernie Sanders' birthday and coins in Rayburn

Sen. Bernie Sanders celebrates a quarter century today. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Today is 61 days until Election Day and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 75th birthday.

For the next 10 weeks until Nov. 12, Charlie Palmer is serving a “swing state cut” of the week. Drawing inspiration from battleground states, the steakhouse’s chef Michael Ellis is introducing a new three-course prix fixe and wine pairing each week.

Georgia Runoff Will Decide State's Next Congressman
Two Republicans face off in race to replace Lynn Westmoreland

The House race in Georgia between Mike Crane, above right, and Drew Ferguson is getting attention from far outside the state. (Mike Crane for Congress/YouTube)

One of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s first stops after his controversial speech at the Republican National Convention last week, in which he didn’t endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump, was in Georgia’s 3rd District.

Cruz has endorsed state Sen. Michael Crane, who’s running in a Tuesday runoff against Drew Ferguson, the former mayor of West Point, Georgia, to fill the open seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.