Kansas

Photos of the Week: Puppies, Pence and Press Conferences
The week of Feb. 13 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks with reporters after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As a resignation and withdrawn Cabinet nominee rocked the White House this week, Congress was at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue proceeding through consideration of several other Cabinet nominees, debating Obamacare alternatives and much more. 

On the lighter side of this Valentine's Day week, some pets up for adoption stopped by the Capitol to bring love to staffers and members alike.

Georgia Candidates Are Not Afraid to Embrace Donald Trump
But is there room for multiple Trump loyalists in district that only narrowly voted for him?

Several Georgia Republicans are vying to take succeed newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the state’s 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump only carried Georgia’s 6th District by a point and a half last fall. But that’s not stopping multiple Republicans from wrapping their arms around him in the upcoming special election to replace newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price

Bruce LeVell, executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, and technology executive Bob Gray are vying to become the first Trump loyalists elected to Congress during his administration. Republican committeemen picked the establishment candidate over a Trump campaign staffer in last week’s nominating convention for Kansas’s 4th District.

Ivanka Incident Shows That Trump Is No Truman
Presidency is more than business deals and profits

President Donald Trump, seen here greeting former President Barack Obama on Inauguration Day as Trump’s family looks on, is no Harry Truman, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It has taken less than three weeks of the Donald Trump presidency to establish the “A Democrat Did It First” principle of aggressive right-wing defense. For no matter what Trump does amid his dizzying daily assaults on White House decorum, there will always be claims — no matter how ludicrous — of a Democratic presidential precedent.

So when the president targeted Nordstrom for the unforgivable sin of not continuing to stock Ivanka Trump goods, it suddenly became time to blame Harry Truman. To Rush Limbaugh and company, Trump’s use of a White House Twitter account to excoriate a department store chain was the equivalent of Truman threatening a music critic over a scathing review of his daughter Margaret.

Kansas GOPers Pick Establishment Candidate for Pompeo Seat
State Treasurer Ron Estes chosen over a Trump campaign staffer

Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes is likely the next congressman from the 4th District. (Courtesy Kansas for Estes Facebook page)

Ahead of the first special election of Donald Trump’s presidency, a small group of Kansas Republicans has effectively handpicked an establishment-backed candidate as the next congressman from the Wichita-based 4th District.

At a special nominating convention Thursday night, 126 district committeeman elected state Treasurer Ron Estes to be the GOP nominee for the open seat, which was vacated by Mike Pompeo after his confirmation as CIA director. Estes received 66 votes on the final ballot.

GOP Leaders Move to Shore Up Shaky DeVos Nomination
Education nominee moves up in the floor queue

Betsy DeVos’ nomination for Education secretary lost key support Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Incredible Shrinking Split Tickets
Midterm campaign field starts with just 35 crossover House districts

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is the only Republican up for re-election in 2018 in a state not carried by Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For the latest evidence of the nation’s polarized politics, the granular returns from November offer these slivers of bright purple insight:

Voters in just 35 congressional districts, or 8 percent of the total, elected a House member from one party while preferring the presidential candidate of the other party — the second election in a row where the share of ticket-splitting seats was in the single digits. Before that, 1920 was the last time the number of such crossover districts fell below one out of every nine.

Three Trump Campaign Aides Who Could Get Elected to Congress
Candidates trying to leverage presidential connection to upset victories

Mike Pompeo’s departure from Congress for a new job as CIA director gives Alan Cobb, a Trump campaign official, a shot at the 4th District seat in Kansas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

During the campaign, there probably weren’t enough full-throated Donald Trump supporters on Capitol Hill to fill a minivan. But two Trump campaign aides could get elected in House special elections later this year, while another adviser may challenge a Republican senator in a primary next year.

Their candidacies will test the popularity and allure of Trump at the local level (since each of them would start their races as underdogs against establishment candidates) and indicate how interested the new president is in interjecting himself into local fights.

Lynn Jenkins Won’t Seek Any Political Office in 2018
Jenkins won’t run for 6th term in the House, may move into private sector

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., won’t run for re-election in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from the 2nd District, announced Wednesday that she will not seek a 6th term in Congress, nor will she run for any political office in 2018.

“I will not be running for any office in 2018,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “In two years, at the conclusion of this Congress, I plan to retire and explore opportunities to return to the private sector, allowing a new citizen legislator to step up and serve Kansans,” Jenkins wrote.

Becerra, Pompeo Prepare to Leave House
Appointments bring the number of the House down by two

California Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra  will become his state’s attorney general Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Xavier Becerra is expected to be sworn-in as the next attorney general of California Tuesday after he formally resigns from Congress.

The California Democrat had been handpicked for the position by Gov. Jerry Brown shortly after the November election. The state Senate voted to approve his nomination Monday.

Cabinet Votes Possible as Senate Hearings Continue
Committees will vote on 5 nominees on Tuesday

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators could potentially vote on more of President Donald Trump’s executive nominees Tuesday before leaving town for the rest of the week, though it’s not clear which of their nominations will come up on the floor.

The Senate adjourned Monday night without locking in votes for the next day, though GOP leaders have expressed interest in confirming the less divisive nominees as soon as possible. The Senate will not be in after Tuesday for the rest of the week due to the joint Republican retreat in Philadelphia.