Niki Tsongas

Motivational Speakers: Members Hit the Graduation Circuit
Harris, Booker, Flake and Warner among those sending off this spring’s graduates

Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine  and Mark Warner are both speaking at graduation ceremonies in their home state next month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politicians, often blessed with the gift of the gab, are rarely shy about sharing stories about how they got to where they are.

And some of them will be sharing their wisdom and inspiration at graduation ceremonies, beginning next month. Students wrapping up their college or graduate school experiences can expect to hear about following their dreams or — considering the number of Trump critics among the speakers — what not to do. 

Maybe They’re Too Rich for Congress?
Seventeen members departing the Capitol are millionaires

California Rep. Darrell Issa is not running for a 10th term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The wealthy are heading for the exits.

So far, 44 current lawmakers, or one in 12, have announced they are retiring at the end of the year or seeking new offices away from the Capitol. And collectively, they now account for nearly a third of the $2.43 billion in cumulative riches of the 115th Congress.

Dominican-American Candidate Pledges to be Trump’s ‘Worst Nightmare’
Juana Matias is fourth Democrat to enter race for retiring Rep. Tsongas’ seat

“I'm Donald Trump’s worst nightmare — I’m an immigrant who’s the product of the American Dream,” says Massachusetts House candidate Juana Matias. (Juana Matias via Facebook)

Massachusetts State Rep. Juana Matias on Thursday became the fourth candidate to jump into the Democratic primary to replace Democratic Rep. Niki Tsongas.

“I’m Donald Trump’s worst nightmare — I’m an immigrant who’s the product of the American Dream,” she said.

House Retirement Tide Is Coming
Current number of House members retiring is far below average

With Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s upcoming retirement, Democrats are favored to pick up her south Florida seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A large crop of House members are likely to retire in the coming months, not necessarily because President Donald Trump is polarizing, the parties are divided, or Capitol Hill is “dysfunctional” — but because 40 years of history tell us it’s going to happen.

Since 1976, 22 House members, on average, have retired each cycle without seeking another office. Thus far this cycle, just five members fit that description: Republicans John J. Duncan Jr. of Tennessee, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, Sam Johnson of Texas, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, and Democrat Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts.

Niki Tsongas Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
Her retirement opens up safe Democratic seat in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas was first elected in 2007. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas announced Wednesday she won’t be seeking a sixth full term in 2018.

“I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times,” Tsongas said in a statement. 

Energy Pipeline Permitting Bills Passed by House

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., authored a bill that would transfer pipeline permit authority from states to the federal government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Republicans rush to join the Trump administration’s efforts to boost oil and gas production, the House pushed two measures on Wednesday aimed at easing the permitting process for pipelines that cross state and international lines.

Lawmakers voted, 254-175, to pass a bill by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., which would transfer authority to issue permits for pipelines and power transmission lines that cross international borders from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mullin and other Republicans argued the measure is necessary to keep politics out of the pipeline permitting process.

Word on the Hill: Golf Day on Capitol Hill
Free pretzels and shuffling staffers

It's National Golf Day. Here is Florida Rep. Tom Rooney teeing off as Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, California Rep. Duncan Hunter and Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle watch during the First Tee Congressional Challenge golf tournament in 2015. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s National Golf Day, which means golf industry leaders and PGA Tour winner Billy Hurley III will be on Capitol Hill.

A coalition of golf’s leading organizations, known as WE ARE GOLF, is scheduled to meet with members of Congress to discuss the sports economy and impact.

Members Standing Up for Big Cats
Denham, Tsongas and Jones introduce bill to protect leopards, lions and tigers

A bill would prohibit individuals from owning big cats like leopards. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Get your leopards, lions and tigers while you still can.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act was reintroduced this Congress, which would prohibit the possession and breading of such animals by private individuals and other unqualified parties.