John Carter

House Republicans identify vulnerable members for 2020
NRCC announces initial eight members of Patriot Program

The NRCC has added New York Rep. Lee Zeldin to its Patriot Program for the 2020 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eight House Republicans, including the three from districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, have been named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s list of incumbents expected to face tough re-elections. 

Members of the Patriot Program typically benefit from fundraising and organizational assistance. The list can be a signal to donors to direct checks to members in need.

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

California Rep. Josh Harder, a freshman Democrat, raised the most money of all the Democrats the NRCC is targeting in 2020. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

Democrats launch Tax Day ad attack aimed at GOP overhaul
Effort on Facebook signals 2018 messaging on tax law is here to stay for 2020

The DCCC is attacking Texas Rep. Pete Olson in its latest round of digital ads (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To coincide with Tax Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out digital ads on Monday attacking 12 Republicans for the GOP tax plan that passed during the 115th Congress.

The new Facebook ads, obtained first by Roll Call, signal Democrats will continue to use the 2017 tax overhaul, which passed with only Republican votes, as a key part of their economic message heading into 2020, when the party will be trying to protect their midterm gains and expand the map by investing heavily in such places as Texas.

EMILY’s List eyes Texas Senate race amid Castro speculation
Pro-abortion rights group is in talks with three potential female candidates

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, is considering running for Senate in Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro is considering jumping into the Texas Senate race, but he might not have the primary to himself if EMILY’s List gets its way. 

The influential group, which backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, is in talks with three potential candidates: Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who lost a House race in 2018;  Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards; and former state Sen. Wendy Davis. 

Members of Congress are rich with student debt
Reauthorization of Higher Education Act could affect repayment, affordability

68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members have student loan debt. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

As lawmakers look to reshape the federal loan process in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a cohort knows firsthand the pain of rising college costs — 68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members are mired in student debt.

Collectively, the 44 Democrats and 24 Republicans have higher education liabilities of $2.5 million, according to recent financial disclosures. The median student loan debt is $15,000, while average debt is $37,000.

EMILY’s List names 2020 House and Senate targets
Pro-abortion rights group is targeting 43 House Republicans and six senators

EMILY’s List plans to target Minnesota GOP Rep. Pete Stauber in 2020, although he was not listed as an initial DCCC target. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EMILY’s List is looking to expand the Democratic House majority and flip the Senate next year, naming 43 House Republicans and six GOP senators on its initial list of 2020 targets, shared first with Roll Call.

“EMILY’s List is actively recruiting and working with potential candidates in these flippable districts,” Stephanie Schriock, president of the pro-abortion rights group, said in a statement. “We look forward to sending even more pro-choice Democratic women to Congress next year to fight for health care, economic justice, and to end corruption.”

Pentagon wants Congress to replenish funds Trump taps for border wall
Wasserman Schultz calls plan an end-run around Congress

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the House Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee, described the Pentagon’s plan as “circumventing Congress to get funding for the wall.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pentagon every year comes to Congress to defend its ever-growing budget, highlighting the decrepit military installations and decades-old equipment that must be refurbished or replaced to defend the nation.

But now, Pentagon officials are telling lawmakers that diverting dollars from defense projects to build President Donald Trump’s desired border wall is justified and won’t weaken the military — so long as Congress replenishes the accounts Trump could tap to build the wall.

You lost a House race in 2018? Now run for Senate in 2020
Some losing House candidates may try to ‘fail up’ to the Senate

National Democrats are encouraging Kentucky’s Amy McGrath, who narrowly lost a race for the 6th District last fall, to consider challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020. (Jason Davis/Getty Images file photo)

“What’s next?” is a question J.D. Scholten often hears when he’s at the grocery store.

For most failed House candidates like Scholten, the answer doesn’t include running for Senate. But the Iowan is not your average losing candidate.

DCCC sets its eyes on Texas suburbs and beyond for 2020
House Democrats unveiled their offensive targets for presidential year

Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, won re-election to his suburban Dallas seat last fall by just 3 points. He’s on the Democrats’ target list for 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the heels of their historic midterm success, the House Democratic campaign arm has identified 32 Republican-held seats it’d like to peel off in 2020. 

Democrats netted 40 seats in the chamber last fall by going after the suburbs and areas of diverse and rapid population growth where President Donald Trump has been unpopular. The party is looking to the next tier of these districts to help them make more gains next year. 

DCCC hits Republicans on shutdown in first digital spending of 2020 cycle
Facebook ads target 25 Republicans for missed pay for national security workers

The DCCC’s first digital expenditure of the 2020 cycle uses the government shutdown to attack GOP incumbents like Minnesota’s Jim Hagedorn, pictured above in his Mankato, Minn., campaign office last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s first digital spending of the 2020 cycle attacks House Republicans for the shutdown.

The DCCC ads, obtained first by Roll Call, will target 25 House Republicans, specifically blaming them for national security workers missing their second paycheck. The static ads begin running Friday and will be geotargeted on Facebook.