Lynn Jenkins

House Seats You Think Can’t Flip but Might
Political wave elections create their own race dynamics

Rep. Sue W. Kelly lost her re-election bid in 2006 even though she appeared safe, having won two years earlier with 67 percent of the vote in a New York district carried by President George W. Bush. The result is a reminder that wave elections produce their own dynamics. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Responses to the “generic ballot” poll question suggest a partisan electoral wave is building. But the fight for control of the House isn’t a single national election. It will be fought district by district, and national Democrats face challenges on the ground even with the generic ballot favoring them.

In Michigan, according to America Votes 2007-2008, the statewide congressional vote shifted noticeably from 2004 to 2006 — from 49 percent Republican and 48 percent Democratic to 53 percent Democratic and 44 percent Republican — but that popular vote surge for the Democrats didn’t translate to a shift of even a single House seat.

Take Five: Karen Handel
‘One of the greatest moments ever’ was when Donny Osmond called her about Mitt Romney

Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., says there’s a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde syndrome in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Karen Handel, 55, a Georgia Republican, talks about her friendship with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, her intense race for the House and her love of football. 

Q: What has surprised you so far about Congress?

DCCC Names First 11 Candidates in ‘Red to Blue’ Program
2018 program will include more targeted and frequent additions

Angie Craig, back for a rematch against Rep. Jason Lewis in Minnesota’s 2nd District, is one of 11 candidates named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday in the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits.

The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive Republican-held seats and in an open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

GOP Tax Bill: The Fine-Tuning and Defense Begins
House Republicans hope to vote on measure by Thanksgiving

From left, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan and South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem at a news conference in the Longworth Building on Thursday to unveil the House GOP tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Republican tax bill will undergo lots of tweaking, but the generally positive response so far indicates that leadership’s plan to vote on the overhaul by Thanksgiving is still within reach.

The stakes are high for Republicans as they search for a major legislative achievement ahead of the 2018 elections. Members agree a win is needed under President Donald Trump’s leadership after the effort to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law collapsed in the Senate.

GOP Tax Overhaul May Bring Back Extenders
Party admits making some tax deductions permanent could be too costly

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady once spoke of making tax extenders permanent, but that may no longer be the case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Certainty is a word Republicans used repeatedly in 2015 to make the case for permanently renewing dozens of temporary tax incentives known as extenders.

Now, that term has all but disappeared from the GOP vernacular as the party seeks to overhaul the tax code for the first time since 1986.

House Adopts Budget Resolution Paving Way for Tax Package
Measure could increase deficit by $1.5 trillion

The House adopted a budget resolution that is the GOP’s vehicle for a tax overhaul measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday adopted a fiscal 2018 budget resolution by a narrow margin, with supporters acknowledging it was little more than a vehicle for a still-developing tax measure.

“Most importantly this budget that we passed today brings us one step closer to tax reform,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said. 

Republicans Look to Make Up Loss of House Women
Nearly a quarter of women in GOP conference aren’t seeking re-election

South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem isn’t seeking re-election, but the state’s secretary of state, a woman, is running for her seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nearly a fourth of the Republican women in the House aren’t coming back next term.

And another handful could lose competitive re-elections next fall.

In GOP Retirements, Some See an Omen
As the Ways and Means exodus continues, observers wonder what it means for tax overhaul

Rep. Dave Reichert, shown here in 2015, is one of seven Republicans on the powerful Ways and Means Committee who have announced they will leave Congress or retire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The departure of key Ways and Means Republicans could be a sign of diminished optimism for major legislative achievements, but some GOP observers say it may actually signal confidence about getting a landmark tax bill signed into law.

Six Republicans on the powerful committee with broad sway over taxes, health care and trade are running for higher office or planning to retire at the end of this term while the GOP is at the height of its power in Washington.

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.

Word on the Hill: Highest Congressional Honor for Dole
Historical society lectures, cancer advocates, and former member updates

Legislation to give former Sen. Bob Dole the Congressional Gold Medal is headed for the president’s desk. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid all the action in Congress this week, you might have missed a vote honoring former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan.

The House approved on Tuesday a bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., to present Dole with the Congressional Gold Medal. It had already passed in the Senate, where it was introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. The measure now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.