Mississippi

Half of 2020 Map Makers Will Be Decided This Cycle
Experts say 2018 midterms are still important for upcoming redistricting

Gerrymandering activists Helenmary Ball, left, posing as Maryland’s 5th District, and Rachael Lemberg, posing as the 3rd District, gather on the steps of the Supreme Court as the court prepares to hear the Benisek v. Lamone case in March. The case challenges Maryland’s 2012 congressional redistricting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:00 p.m. | More than half of the state elected officials deciding new district lines in 2020 will be elected this year, a new study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found.

Three-fifths of governors and one-third of all state senators elected during the 2018 midterms will still be in office during the next redistricting cycle, the state government policy research group found. While redistricting seems a long way away, experts say the governorship and state races mean parties should be focusing on this year’s midterms.

Court Sides With Employers Over Workers in Arbitration Case
Gorsuch: Court not free to substitute economic policies for those chosen by people’s representatives

Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice nominee, right, opens the door for Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., before a meeting with Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., in the Dirksen Building last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that arbitration clauses in employment contracts can prevent workers from pursuing class-action lawsuits on minimum wage and overtime disputes, prompting some justices to call for congressional action to protect workers’ rights.

In the 5-4 opinion, the conservative justices sided with corporate interests to find that Congress, in a 1925 law, instructed federal courts to enforce arbitration agreements according to their own terms. That includes terms that require individual — and not class — proceedings.

Zombie Zumwalt: The Ship Program That Never Dies
Two ships have been ‘delivered’ but don’t exactly work as planned

The US Navy’s new guided missile destroyer DDG 1000 USS Zumwalt is moored to a dock on October 13, 2016, in Baltimore, Maryland. The Zumwalt is the lead ship of a class of next-generation multi-mission surface combatants and is named for Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt, former chief of naval operations. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In 2006, Congress started funding construction of the first of three Navy destroyers named after the late famed Navy chief Adm. Elmo Zumwalt. But nearly a dozen years later, none of the Zumwalt ships is ready to fight.

None will be for years. And hundreds of millions more dollars will be required to get there. The ships, known as DDG 1000s, may yet become capable and, with enough additional money, they may even become warships of unprecedented lethality. But the extent of the program’s problems to date — and the remaining cost to make things right — has not been fully appreciated even among many defense experts.

Opinion: As Hurricane Season Approaches, It’s Time to Fix Disaster Funding
Our federal government should stop treating natural disasters as surprises

A school bus crosses a makeshift bridge for vehicles in Morovis, Puerto Rico, in December near where the original bridge was washed away by Hurricane Maria flooding. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is just over ten days away. As the nation continues to grapple with the emotional and economic scars of last year’s natural disasters, it is hard to fathom the possibility of a new spate of storms. And while we can’t predict the extent of trauma that awaits us in 2018, one thing is for sure — we are not prepared.

Last year, the United States saw 16 weather-related disasters that each exceeded $1 billion in costs and damages. Total costs of disaster recovery for the year are expected to surpass $300 billion.

Success Stories: Creating a More Diverse Capitol Hill
Jennifer DeCasper and Hope Goins on how they have done it

Hope Goins says half of her staff are women of color. (Bian Elkhatib/ CQ Roll Call)

Some offices on Capitol Hill make an extra effort to reflect the diversity of America. And while the lawmakers they serve might get the credit, the office directors in charge of hiring are the ones who make it happen.

“It’s been a huge priority of our office, just because our boss is obviously a diverse candidate, we come from a diverse state, and so our office needs to represent our state,” said Jennifer DeCasper, chief of staff for Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. “Diversity means that it includes everything of value to your constituency. Our constituency is not homogeneous, and so my office should not be homogeneous.”

New House Bill Would Prohibit Lawmakers from Sleeping in Offices
Speaker Ryan, who sleeps in his office, won’t support bill, spokeswoman says

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., introduced a bill Thursday to prohibit House members from sleeping in their congressional offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi introduced a bill Thursday to prohibit House members from sleeping overnight in their congressional offices as a way to save money.

The bill also would grant members a tax deduction for living expenses so they can better afford to make second homes in Washington during the work week while they're away from their home districts.

Political Foes Turned Podcasting Friends
Democrat Ali Lapp and Republican Liesl Hickey bring House race expertise to podcast

Democratic strategist Ali Lapp and and Republican strategist Liesl Hickey chat before recording an episode of their podcast “House Talk with Ali and Liesl” at the EMILY’s List office in Washington, D.C. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ali Lapp spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to defeat Rep. Mark S. Kirk in 2006. The Illinois Republican, whose office was led by Chief of Staff Liesl Hickey, held on.

Fast forward 10 years, and the two women met for the first time at Tonic, a bar in Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, for what they jokingly call their “blind date.”

W.Va. Race Offers Hope That GOP Women Will Get Help in Primaries
Small investment for West Virginia candidate seen as early encouraging sign

West Virginia state Del. Carol Miller, who is seeking the GOP nod in the 3rd District, participates in a National Day of Prayer event in Point Pleasant, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Republicans have a woman problem, and they know it.

While the party is recruiting female candidates, many say that’s not enough. The next step, operatives suggest, needs to be helping the women through GOP primaries. 

Special, Special, Special Elections
Gearing up for the midterms amid one special election after another

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Take Five: Cindy Hyde-Smith
The first woman to represent Mississippi in the Senate wants to be an example for others

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., says former Sen. Thad Cochran left her some big shoes to fill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, 59, a Mississippi Republican, was sworn in on April 9 to replace Sen. Thad Cochran, who resigned for health reasons. The new senator talks about why her dog is named Pence, where she was when she heard she was going to be appointed senator and a hobby that might surprise her colleagues.

Q: What is different about Congress that you didn’t expect?