Keystone XL Pipeline

GOP Knocks Casey for Supporting Assault Weapons Ban
Casey is running for re-election in a state Trump narrowly won

Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa., is co-sponsoring a bill banning assault weapons. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bob Casey was the only Democrat in a competitive 2018 race to sign onto a bill banning assault weapons, and Republicans wasted no time criticizing the move. 

The Pennsylvania Democrat has evolved on gun control issues since he was first elected in 2006. And Republicans are accusing him of misleading Pennsylvania voters.

Murphy Will Not Seek Re-Election Following Affair Revelations
Pennsylvania Republican announced his decision Wednesday

Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy announced Wednesday he would not run for re-election after revelations about his affair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tim Murphy announced Wednesday that he would not seek re-election, following revelations that he urged a woman with whom he had an affair to get an abortion.

The Pennsylvania Republican said in a statement that he would not run for a ninth term in Congress. He said there was still work to be done and he would serve out the remainder of his term.

Rating Change: Dent Retirement Puts Seat in Play
Pennsylvania Republican says seventh term will be his last

Just days ago, it looked like Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent was preparing to fight it out for an eighth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent capped a tumultuous week for Republicans on the Hill by announcing he would not seek re-election in 2018, leaving his 15th District open and vulnerable to a Democratic takeover.

Dent’s decision is the biggest news to come out of Allentown since earlier this summer when Philadelphia Phillies rookie slugger Rhys Hoskins was called up to the major leagues and hit home runs at a faster initial pace than any player in history, after batting 29 home runs with 91 RBIs for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Why Democrats and Republicans See Opportunity in One House Race
Brian Fitzpatrick is a Democratic target, but Republicans say he is in a strong position

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., talks with guests during a town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BENSALEM, Pa. — Republicans like Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick who have bucked their party will likely have to answer the question he faced after a town hall meeting here: What do you say to President Donald Trump’s supporters who are upset with you?

“It’s very easy. You call balls and strikes individually with every issue that comes up,” Fitzpatrick said. “It shouldn’t matter whether the president supports it or opposes it, whether Nancy Pelosi supports it or opposes it.”

Congress Is Broken, and Staff Members Know Why
Survey reveals dissatisfaction with key performance measures

Staff members rated key areas of congressional dysfunction in a survey released Tuesday, including the low level of staff experience, a lack of time for members to focus on important issues and a paucity of access to nonpartisan reports. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress will return in September to a glut of complex and technically challenging tasks, including tax policy, the debt ceiling, and Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

But they won’t have the staff expertise, time or outside resources to do the job.

How the Courts Could Upend Gerrymandering
Democrats and voter rights groups pin hopes on high court case

A new, mathematical approach to proving partisan gerrymandering will be tested at the Supreme Court this fall in a case about Wisconsin’s state Assembly district lines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By RANDY LEONARD and TODD RUGER

Congressional maps in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania have shifted the political balance of Congress toward Republicans — but that could soon change.

Energy Pipeline Permitting Bills Passed by House

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., authored a bill that would transfer pipeline permit authority from states to the federal government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Republicans rush to join the Trump administration’s efforts to boost oil and gas production, the House pushed two measures on Wednesday aimed at easing the permitting process for pipelines that cross state and international lines.

Lawmakers voted, 254-175, to pass a bill by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., which would transfer authority to issue permits for pipelines and power transmission lines that cross international borders from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mullin and other Republicans argued the measure is necessary to keep politics out of the pipeline permitting process.

Climate Change Activists Flood Capitol to Lobby Lawmakers
Merkley, Whitehouse and Fitzpatrick address concerned parents

Children join in as organizers set up a play area on the Upper Senate Lawn Thursday as part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration on the Hill organized by Moms Clean Air Force. (Griffin Connolly/CQ Roll Call)

Climate change activists from all 50 states met with more than 150 lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill on Thursday, armed with personal anecdotes and data booklets to persuade members to take action on environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming.

The meetings were part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration, organized by the anti-pollution advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force, which brought parents and their children to the Hill.

League of Women Voters Files Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit
Plaintiffs say case is about “one of the greatest threats to American democracy”

Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan’s district was named in the lawsuit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the Keystone State’s congressional map was illegally drawn.

“This case is about one of the greatest threats to American democracy today: partisan gerrymandering,” the plaintiffs, which include the group and several voters, wrote in their complaint.

Trump Encouraging Barletta to Challenge Casey in Senate
Pennsylvania congressman was one of Trump's earliest supporters

Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., is being pushed by President Donald Trump to run for Senate against Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is encouraging Rep Lou Barletta to run against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr., the Pennsylvania Republican confirmed Wednesday.

Barletta confirmed that Trump and others have encouraged him to challenge Casey, who is running for re-election in 2018. Barletta said he and Trump spoke over the phone Monday night, a conversation first reported by the The Associated Press