New Mexico

Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall
As DHS waives its way across Texas, Congress is rethinking a thirteen-year-old law

Barriers at the southern border hem in more than people, environmentalists say. Wildcats, tortoises and other animals can get trapped. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

When rains pushed the Rio Grande River to flood stage in 2010, an existing border wall acted as a flood barrier, protecting some lowlands but also trapping some animals. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club noted the discovery after the flooding of shells from “hundreds” of Texas tortoise, which that state lists as a threatened species.

“Animals caught between the river and the flood wall that could not escape around the edges of the floodwalls likely perished,” said the report. Endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, both small wildcats, also might have died, according to the report.

DCCC Raises $15.4 Million in August
Nearly half came from online donations, House Democrats’ campaign arm says

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján says Democrats are in “a strong position to take back the House.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is boasting its best August fundraising numbers ever, raking in more than $15.4 million last month, according to figures provided first to Roll Call.

That’s $4.5 million more than the committee’s fundraising total in August 2016, and $5.1 million more than the committee raised in August 2014.  Nearly $7 million of last month’s total came from online donations, with an average donation of $20.

GOP Outside Money, Gerrymandering Worry DCCC Chairman
Rep. Ben Ray Luján still confident Democrats will win back the House

New Mexico Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján chairs the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján expressed confidence Thursday his party will take control of the House, but he remains concerned about the impact of outside Republican money and gerrymandered districts.

“As far as what keeps me up at night, Republicans have committed what seems like unlimited amounts of money to these elections,” the New Mexico Democrat told reporters Thursday. “We’re seeing Super PAC after Super PAC on the Republican side continue to tear in.”

What Would Pete Domenici Think?
Current lack of fiscal discipline would’ve alarmed late Senate Budget chairman

Senate Budget Chairman Pete Domenici, second from right, celebrates a budget deal with the White House on July 29, 1997, along with, from left, Speaker Newt Gingrich, House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer, Senate Finance Chairman William V. Roth Jr. and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Surrounding them on the House steps are tour groups of Boy Scouts and schoolchildren.(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — One year ago this week, we lost a great statesman and legislator. Pete Domenici’s storied career in public service, most notably as a U.S. senator, spanned more than three decades. He will forever be the longest-serving chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Equally remarkable, he was a Republican from traditionally blue New Mexico — and its longest-serving senator. That says something about his personal and policy appeal to the public, regardless of party.

Stivers Thinks House GOP Can Grow Number of Women but That’s Unlikely
Six GOP women aren’t running for re-election to the House

Republican Diane Harkey is running in California’s 49th District to succeed GOP Rep. Darrell Issa. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Despite a quarter of the women in the House Republican Conference not running for re-election, the head of the House GOP’s campaign arm said he is “very confident” the party can increase its female members in the chamber next year. 

But looking at the number of female GOP lawmakers leaving the House and how few Republican women won nominations in open seats this year, just breaking even might be hard for House Republicans. 

6 Takeaways From the 2018 Primary Season, So Far
President, female candidates play key roles in drawing the midterm battle lines

New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez set the internet ablaze with her upset of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, but overall, the 2018 primaries have been kind to incumbents. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

With only three states left to hold primaries this year, the battle lines have firmed up for a midterm election that could also determine the future for President Donald Trump.

Democrats need to net 23 seats to take control of the House, which would give them a platform to block the president’s agenda and launch their own investigations of his finances and the 2016 election that could rival those already underway at the Justice Department.

Meet More Likely New Members of Congress
For all of them, winning the primary was tantamount to winning the general election

Clockwise from top left, Ben Cline, Anthony Gonzalez, Deb Haaland, Dan Meuser, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone, John Rose, Andy Levin, Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean. (Courtesy Bill Clark/D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call, Anthony Gonzalez for Congress, Meuser for Congress, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, David Trone for Congress, John Rose for Congress, Andy Levin for Congress, Friends of Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean for United States Congress)

With control of the House up for grabs and the number of competitive seats growing to 86, many congressional hopefuls have two more months of grueling politicking to look forward to as they barrel toward Election Day.

But not all of them.

Rubio to Alex Jones: ‘I’ll Take Care of You Myself’
Senator and InfoWars host get into altercation before hearing on foreign influence and social media

Alex Jones of InfoWars holds a news conference in Dirksen Building outside a Senate hearing in which Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media. Jones was recently banned from social media platforms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Marco Rubio told InfoWars’ Alex Jones he would “take care of you myself” outside a Senate hearing Wednesday after Jones asked the Florida Republican if he was going to have him arrested for touching him.

Rubio was talking to reporters outside a hearing on foreign influence in social media when Jones started shouting questions at Rubio, at one point putting his hand on Rubio’s shoulder. Political activist Cassandra Fairbanks recorded the exchange.

That Time John McCain Showed Me Around the Grand Canyon
Remembering a softer side of the late senator from Arizona

In this 2016 file photo, Sen. John McCain gets a kiss from his wife Cindy at the urging of the fiddle player as part of the entertainment on the train from Williams, Ariz., to the Grand Canyon Wednesday. (Daniel A. Anderson for CQ Roll Call)

I visited the Grand Canyon with John McCain.

It would be hard to overstate how many times I have said that sentence over the last weeks and months, as it became clear that the Republican senator from Arizona who died Saturday didn’t have much time left.

Senate Panel Abruptly Cancels Markup of Election Security Bill
Anti-hacking measure would require paper ballots, post-election audits

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she’s “disappointed” by the decision to postpone a markup of her election security bill, which had bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats like Sen. Mark Warner. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate committee on Wednesday abruptly postponed the planned markup of a key election security bill that had bipartisan support and would have imposed new audit requirements on states.

The markup of the Secure Elections Act, authored by Oklahoma Republican James Lankford and Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, is “postponed until further notice,” the Senate Rules and Administration Committee said on its website.