New Jersey

Senate Democrats Likely to Oppose Push to Block Health Insurance Mandate
Desire to keep contentious amendments off spending bills might prevail

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., chairs the Appropriations subcommittee where any amendment on the D.C. health insurance mandate might come up first in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Republican amendment to a House-passed spending package that would ban the District of Columbia from implementing an individual health insurance coverage requirement is unlikely to gain steam as the Senate prepares to take up a similar measure.

It’s not clear yet if any Senate Republicans will introduce a similar amendment when the Financial Services and Interior-Environment package reaches the Senate floor, but it would likely face fierce minority opposition in the chamber, where Democrats are defending the 2010 health care law at every opportunity.

Tim Ryan Announces Support for Legalizing Marijuana Nationwide
Ohio Democrat writes, ‘I find the social and economic injustices of our marijuana policy too big to ignore’

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, announced his support for legalizing marijuana nationwide in an op-ed for CNN. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan announced his support for legalizing marijuana nationwide.

The Ohio Democrat wrote in an op-ed for CNN that as co-chairman of the House Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, he was reluctant to support legalization.

Former DC Interns Share How They Got Their Feet in the Door
Meet four interns who entered the political world through programs

Vashti Hinton applied to 30 Hill offices before landing a full-time position working for Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill interns are often assumed to be college students with a natural political network. They’ve got an “in” in D.C. or they have — a word most people hate — “connections.”

But for the thousands of interns who flock to the Hill and Washington over the summer, who you know isn’t the only path to the nation’s capital. There are a number of programs that help them get a foot in the political door.

Senate Democrats Question ICE Arrests of Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Cite examples of separations at USCIS offices

Sen. Robert Menendez has led a letter questioning immigration enforcement practices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some Senate Democrats are alarmed by what may be a pattern of ICE making arrests when immigrants are conducting routine business at citizenship and immigration services offices.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Ronald Vitiello, a group of 10 Senate Democrats cited examples of married couples being separated at USCIS facilities when one partner may not have legal status but the other member of the couple is an American citizen.

House Republicans Increase Messaging Votes Ahead of August Recess
GOP leaders prepare for break by seeking contrast with minority party

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., sees value in some of the messaging votes the House will take up before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House floor is seeing an uptick in messaging bills as Republicans prepare for a monthlong district work period in a midterm year when they are defending most of the seats in play.

Case in point was a resolution the House adopted Wednesday expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency — a stance some progressive Democrats are pushing.

Democrats Call On Trump-Putin Interpreter to Testify, Republicans Say No
Marina Gross may be the only one with answers to what happened in the Trump-Putin summit

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats looking for information about what happened during the private meeting between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin want the U.S. interpreter to testify.

New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell called Wednesday on Reps. Trey Gowdy and Elijah Cummings, chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight committee, to ask Marina Gross to testify publicly before the committee.

State Department Nominees Could Be In For Procedural Headache
Robert Menendez warns of making life difficult if questions go unanswered

Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., attend a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on the nominations of Brian J. Bulatao and Denise Natali for State Department positions on July 18, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey has made a thinly veiled threat against pending State nominations if the Trump administration is not more responsive to questions about their interactions and agreements with foreign leaders.

“If the administration is unwilling to consult with this committee in a meaningful fashion on vital national security issues, then we must consider all appropriate responses with regards to nominees before this committee,” the Foreign Relations ranking member said at a Wednesday hearing.

‘The Hawk’ Boosts Celebration of Baseball Integration Anniversary
Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, members honor players who broke the color barrier

From left, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, and Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., talk before a news conference Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Baseball legend Andre Dawson was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, helping to get an early start on marking the 75th anniversary of the integration of Major League Baseball. 

He joined lawmakers at a news conference to talk about legislation that would create a commemorative coin in the shape of a baseball home plate depicting baseball pioneers Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby. 

Democrats Keep Raking In the Cash After Costly Primaries
Challengers in key races have on average twice as much money in the bank

California Democrat Katie Porter reported a significant boost in her cash on hand since the pre-primary reporting period in her race against GOP Rep. Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The surge in Democratic candidates running for the House raised a critical question at the start of the cycle: Would crowded and costly primaries weaken the eventual nominees by draining their campaign cash? So far the answer appears to be “no.”

On average, Democrats in competitive races who faced expensive primaries have more than doubled their cash on hand from shortly before their primary elections to the end of the most recent fundraising quarter, campaign finance reports show. 

Vulnerable Senate Democrats Have Another Thing to Worry About: Diversity on Their Staffs
Conference voluntarily released data on its diversity statistics for the second year

Vulnerable Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin III, left, and Jon Tester have offices that are 93 percent and 92 percent white, an analysis of data released by Senate Democrats found. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators gearing up for competitive re-elections tend to have whiter staffs, according to a Roll Call analysis of data released by Senate Democrats.

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, who finds himself in a race rated Tilts Democratic by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, has a staff that is 93 percent white. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, also in a Tilts Democratic contest, was just behind him, at 92 percent.