Pennsylvania

Photos of the Week: Puppies, Pence and Press Conferences
The week of Feb. 13 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks with reporters after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As a resignation and withdrawn Cabinet nominee rocked the White House this week, Congress was at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue proceeding through consideration of several other Cabinet nominees, debating Obamacare alternatives and much more. 

On the lighter side of this Valentine's Day week, some pets up for adoption stopped by the Capitol to bring love to staffers and members alike.

Fight for the House Centers on Five States
More than one-third of targeted districts reside in a handful of states

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján is tasked with leading House Democrats back to the majority, including picking up handfuls of seats in a few key states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both parties haven’t wasted any time unveiling their House target lists for next year’s midterm elections, and a few states have emerged as early battlegrounds. 

At the end of January, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an ambitious list of 59 Republican-held districts, followed by the National Republican Congressional Committee’s ambitious list of 36 Democratic-held districts just more than a week later.

Like Democrats Before Them, GOP Dismisses Town Hall Threat
There’s little data to gauge electoral threat protests pose for 2018

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen says he’ll be sticking with tele-town halls for the near future. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ask Republican lawmakers about the specter of protests in their districts next week, and they’ll likely shrug off constituent outbursts as “manufactured” or “scripted.” 

The GOP is largely adopting the Democratic posture from the summer of 2009 that angry voices at town halls don’t represent a political threat. That may be true. The question is how Republicans now, and Democrats back then, arrived at that conclusion. 

Republicans Identify Vulnerable Members for 2018
NRCC announces initial round of Patriot Program

Minnesota freshman Rep. Jason Lewis is part of the NRCC’s initial Patriot Program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has named 10 members to its Patriot Program for incumbents who are expected to face tough re-election races in 2018.

“Our Patriots are a group of battle-tested members who won hard-fought races in 2016 and are ready to win once again,” Rep. Steve Stivers, the NRCC chairman, said in a statement Wednesday. 

White House Puts GOP in Awkward Position
Flynn fallout, security considerations keep dominating news

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to talk about Cabinet nominations on Tuesday. But most of the questions at his press availability were about the latest scandals coming from the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s domination of the news, whether due to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn or the spectacle of the president discussing national security at his Mar-a-Lago resort’s dining room, is putting Republican leaders in an awkward position.

“Look, I — I — you’ll have to ask those — the White House those kinds of questions,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday at his traditional media availability after the Republicans’ policy lunch. 

Make the U.S.-Israel Alliance Great Again
Meeting between Trump and Netanyahu should reaffirm shared values and interests

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On Wednesday, Israel’s prime minister will come to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump. The last time Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington, he only spent time at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue — delivering a controversial address to Congress urging it to reject then-President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, a tactic that riled Obama and his aides.

The final year of the Obama presidency included an agreement under which the United States will provide Israel with $38 billion in aid over the next decade. But that was the exception to the rule of Obama placing what he infamously termed “daylight” between his administration and Netanyahu’s Likud government.

Trump Tries to Change the Subject on Flynn
'The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?' president tweets

President Donald Trump had little to say about National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, but plenty to say about the leaks that exposed him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Normally a prolific morning tweeter, President Donald Trump was notably silent until mid-morning after the resignation of his national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump didn’t mention his former adviser by name, but instead commented on the situation surrounding Flynn’s departure and the leaks about the White House.

Democrats Want Probe of ‘Unfit’ Flynn’s Russia Ties
Cummings, Conyers want Justice briefing before President’s Day holiday recess

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, at podium, and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign event at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Ave., NW, in Washington. On Monday night, Flynn resigned as Trump's national security adviser. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats are applauding the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, labeling him “unfit” for the office and calling for the Justice Department to fully disclose his ties to Russia.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an “bipartisan, independent, outside commission” to investigate President Donald Trump’s and his administration’s connections with Russia.

At DGA, Pearson Quietly Pulling Democrats Back to Prominence
Executive Director is a leading strategist in party’s redistricting effort

Elisabeth Pearson, Executive Director, Democratic Governors Association (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic lawmakers probably wouldn’t recognize Elisabeth Pearson if she walked into their Capitol Hill office, but they might be owing her their jobs before too long. 

As executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and a leading strategist in the party’s redistricting efforts, Pearson’s success will determine how long members stay in Washington.

House Democrats’ ‘All of the Above’ Approach
A party seeking unity pursues multiple paths to success

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and her caucus spent their issues conference in Baltimore taking stock, but did not appear to coalesce around a specific strategy going forward. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BALTIMORE — House Democratic leaders say their caucus is united, but even a minimal survey of lawmakers indicates skepticism of the messaging, an unclear path on strategy, and merely the beginning of grappling with what went wrong in an election that left them in the minority six years running.

“The mood of the members is very positive, open, confident, humble enough to listen to other ideas,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at the Democrats’ issues retreat here. “There’s a real, deep commitment to working families in our country and that’s what unifies us.”