Kansas

Rating Change: Democratic Challenger Puts Utah Seat in Play
Rep. Mia Love facing competitive race with Salt Lake County mayor’s entry

Utah Rep. Mia Love faces a competitive re-election contest next year. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

It’s not hard to see Democratic takeover opportunities in districts where Hillary Clinton prevailed or President Donald Trump won narrowly last fall, but Democrats have expanded the map with at least a couple of recruits who should make Republicans work to defend some deeper red territory next year.

Former Kansas state Rep. Paul Davis, for example, announced his candidacy in August, giving Democrats a credible candidate in the Sunflower State’s 2nd District, which Trump carried by 18 points, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections. Davis, a former state House minority leader, carried the district in his 2014 gubernatorial bid, and when he entered the congressional race for retiring Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ open seat, we changed the rating from Likely Republican to Leans Republican.

Capitol Police Score Early, Beat Members’ Team in Congressional Football Game
Win fourth straight game, 7-0

The Guards’ Chad Nieto, center, tries to catch a pass in the end zone as California Rep. Pete Aguilar, left, and Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin break it up during the Congressional Football Game for Charity on Wednesday night. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Even Santana Moss and Herschel Walker couldn’t help the members’ team. The Capitol Police won the Congressional Football Game for Charity, 7-0, their fourth consecutive win.

The members’ team — the Mean Machine — was made up of a bipartisan group of congressmen and congresswomen plus former NFL players, and the Capitol Police team was called the Guards, a reference to the classic football film “The Longest Yard.”

Want to Know How to Curb Gun Violence? Don’t Ask Congress
Majorities have blocked gun-related research for decades

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords turns to shake her fist at the Capitol as her husband, retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, looks on during a news conference after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The mass shooting in Las Vegas last week — like every high-profile mass shooting — raised a host of questions about why such horrors happen and how they can be prevented. But don’t look to Congress to help provide the answers.

Could gunman Stephen Paddock have been stopped while he was stockpiling dozens of weapons ahead of his rampage if law enforcement officials had tracked and flagged suspicious gun purchasing patterns?

Hawley Announces Bid Against McCaskill
Incumbent’s campaign responds: ‘He broke his promise not to climb the political ladder’

Missouri Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Tuesday he will run against Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in 2018. (Hawley Campaign via YouTube)

In a highly anticipated move, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley released a video Tuesday to announce his run for Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s seat.

The 37-year-old Missouri attorney general is just 10 months into his first year holding elected office but has been in contact with an all-star roster of GOP officials and officeholders about challenging McCaskill.

Members Prepare to Take On Capitol Police in Football
Capitol Police have won the last three Congressional Football Games

Illinois Rep. Robert J. Dold looks for an open man to pass the ball as former NFL player Ken Harvey blocks the Guards’ Irvin Washington during the 2015 Congressional Football Game for Charity. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress has been celebrating the Capitol Police for keeping them safe, especially after two officers took down a gunman in June at the Republicans’ baseball practice.

Members will get another chance at an upcoming charity sporting contest for Capitol Police officers. 

Eisenhower Memorial Given the Final Go-Ahead to Begin Construction
Groundbreaking date tentatively set for early November

An artist’s rendition of the vista from the Eisenhower Memorial looking toward the Capitol. (Courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

After 17 years of bickering among lawmakers, U.S. Fine Arts commissioners, National Capital Commission planners, and a family with the last name Eisenhower, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission finally has the go-ahead to break ground on an ambitious four-acre park to enshrine the supreme allied commander in World War II and 34th United States president.

Republicans Struggle to Define Whom Their Tax Overhaul Will Help
Echoes of failed health care effort in senators’ lack of specificity on tax goals

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker supports a tax overhaul that won’t increase the deficit and promotes growth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans are still weighing who specifically will benefit from their pending overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

When asked, many were unable to communicate exactly which income brackets they would want to see reductions directed toward, instead opting to use catch-all phrases such as “hard-working Americans” or “ordinary people.”

House GOP Shows ‘Overwhelming’ Interest in Bipartisan Bump Stock Bill
Speaker Paul Ryan opens door for House to consider legislative action on the devices

Rep. Carlos Curbelo said his office has been “overwhelmed” by bipartisan support for a forthcoming bill restricting access to bump stocks, rifle accessories that increase the rate of fire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s office has received dozens of calls from lawmakers in both parties who have demonstrated interest in a bill he and Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts plan to introduce that will limit access to bump stocks, rifle accessories that effectively convert semiautomatic rifles into rapid-fire ones.

The Florida Republican said he has been “overwhelmed” by interest from GOP colleagues in the measure he and his staff are producing.

DCCC’s First National TV Buy Spotlights Paul Ryan, not Donald Trump
DCCC attacks Ryan and “establishment Republicans” for health care repeal efforts

The DCCC launched a six-figure cable TV and radio buy going after Ryan and “establishment Republicans” on health care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched its first national TV buy on cable Thursday morning. 

The TV ad, which will run on MSNBC and CNN for one week, is part of a six-figure buy that also includes radio ads running in 11 districts for three weeks. 

Lobbyists Use of Capitol Meeting Space Raises Questions
Former Rep. Connie Mack organized discussion on Ukraine

Former Florida Rep. Connie Mack, arranged to use a Capitol meeting room on behalf of a lobbying client. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A recent panel discussion about alleged governmental corruption in Ukraine, organized by lobbyist and former Rep. Connie Mack, has raised questions about the appropriate uses of meeting rooms under the House speaker’s jurisdiction.

It also offers a glimpse into the often murky world of lobbying on behalf of foreign clients seeking to use the nation’s capital as a way to advance policies abroad.