Marsha Blackburn

Senators Threaten Legislation Over Social Media Firms' Content

Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune said he was more focused on oversight than legislation for social media companies and their content. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Big social media companies made a case against new legislative mandates by emphasizing their voluntary efforts to root out terrorism-related material and other objectionable content on their sites during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

But senators from both parties warned representatives of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of legislative action even as Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said he was focused on oversight rather than legislation, which could further open the companies to lawsuits. The committee approved a bill that would allow online businesses to be sued and prosecuted for sex trafficking content, but Thune indicated he wasn’t ready to do the same over terrorism content.

Budget Chairman Race: Three Candidates, Few Differences
Republican Steering Committee meets Tuesday to recommend Diane Black’s replacement

From left, Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Bill Johnson of Ohio, and Steve Womack of Arkansas are vying to be the next House Budget chairman. The Republican Steering Committee will meet Tuesday to make its recommendation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Three Republican congressman elected in 2010 who want Congress to overhaul mandatory spending programs and believe they have the consensus-building skills to make it happen are all competing to be the next House Budget chairman. 

The three-way race between Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio has largely been conducted behind the scenes as the candidates have reached out to colleagues on the Republican Steering Committee.

Blackburn Announces $2 Million Haul
Has $4.62 in cash on hand

Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Steve King, R-Iowa, are seen outside a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn is set to report she raised $2 million since she announced her candidacy for Tennessee’s Senate seat. 

Blackburn’s campaign also announced that the average donation for her campaign was $341. 

GOP Candidates Shun Bannon After Trump ‘Treason’ Remarks
Former chief strategist praises POTUS after controversy

Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, aides to President Donald J. Trump, are seen on the West Front of the Capitol after Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The brigade of insurgent GOP candidates backed by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon showed signs of disunity Wednesday after controversial remarks Bannon made for a book about links between the Russian government and some members of President Donald Trump’s campaign team.

“I strongly denounce the comments by Steve Bannon as quoted by Michael Wolff,” said Michael Grimm

Opinion: Democrats’ Picks to Repeat Alabama Upset in the South
Some feel good about their chances in the 2018 midterms

Alabama Sen.-elect Doug Jones will be one of only two Democratic senators to represent states in a Republican-red swath from Texas to North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race last week, Jones became the first Democrat to be elected statewide there since 2006. When he is sworn into the Senate a few weeks from now, he will notice he’s not like the others, since he and Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida will be the only two Democrats to represent states in a deep red swath of the Deep South from Texas to North Carolina.

But a combination of the Jones victory, along with a group of unusually promising candidates and a polarizing president in the White House, has Democrats in the South feeling genuinely decent about their chances in the 2018 midterm elections. They’re not exactly whistling Dixie, but they are humming a different tune for once.

Some GOP Senate Candidates Follow Party’s Evolution on Moore
Like McConnell, candidates moved away from calling on Ala. Republican to step aside

Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita said he’d be “comfortable” with Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore in the Senate. He previously suggested Moore should drop out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While many sitting Republican senators — including Alabama’s own Richard C. Shelby — have continued to criticize Roy Moore, a few candidates who’d like to join them in the Senate have taken a more measured tone leading up to Tuesday’s election.

In several cases, that warmer embrace (or less forceful rejection) of the Alabama GOP Senate nominee is a change in tone from their previous public statements.

Ratings Update: Tennessee Senate Remains Solid R for Now
Democrats may still have uphill battle, even with Bredesen

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. (Courtesy the American Academy of Arts and Sciences)

Democrats made a big splash this week with the entry of former Gov. Phil Bredesen into the Tennessee Senate race, but the party still has an uphill battle in a state President Donald Trump won convincingly, and it’s not even clear Bredesen gives Democrats the best chance of winning.

On the surface, having a former two-term governor running for an open seat (GOP Sen. Bob Corker is not running for re-election) looks like a great takeover opportunity for Democrats, but there are some signs that the race should still be considered a long shot.

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen Running for Senate in Tennessee
Democrats already have an Iraq War veteran in the open-seat race

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said his experience prepares him to “fix the mess in Washington” in announcing his campaign for retiring Sen. Bob Corker’s seat. (Bredesen for Senate via YouTube)

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is running for the open Senate seat in Tennessee. 

“I’m running for the Senate because I have the right kind of experience, and the actual track record that it will take to start working across party lines to fix the mess in Washington,” Bredesen said in announcement video Thursday morning. 

Who Is Running the Mysterious PAC Supporting Roy Moore?
Treasurer Brooke Pendley is a hard person to find

Former judge Roy Moore is the Republican nominee in next week’s special election for the Alabama Senate seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brooke Pendley is a self-described “fire-breathing young female conservative patriot” out “to save Judge Roy Moore” with a newly formed political action committee, but good luck trying to find her beyond the fundraising emails.

On Oct. 17, Pendley filed a statement of organization for Club for Conservatives PAC with the Federal Election Commission, listing herself as the treasurer. Over the course of less than three weeks, Pendley has sent out at least 10 fundraising emails.

Bipartisan Group Wants to End Taxpayer Money for Harassment Settlements
Members led by Rep. Ron Desantis also aim to disclose settlements dating back to 1995

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is interviewed by a TV news crew outside of the House chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of members announced legislation that would end the practice of using taxpayer money to settle claims of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

Republican Reps. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn were joined by Democratic Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Jim Cooper also of Tennessee and Kathleen Rice of New York.