Rod Blum

DCCC Names First 11 Candidates in ‘Red to Blue’ Program
2018 program will include more targeted and frequent additions

Angie Craig, back for a rematch against Rep. Jason Lewis in Minnesota’s 2nd District, is one of 11 candidates named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday in the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits.

The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive Republican-held seats and in an open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

One Year Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents in 2018
Eight Republicans and two Democrats are most likely not to return next cycle

California Rep. Darrell Issa is among the ten most vulnerable House incumbents in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A year out from Election Day, eight of the top 10 most vulnerable House incumbents are Republicans. These are the members least likely to return to Congress in 2019.

Twenty-three Republicans sit in districts Hillary Clinton won last fall, but only four of them make the top 10. Two Democrats, both in districts President Donald Trump won, take two spots near the bottom. GOP strategists admit that if they can’t pass a tax overhaul, more Republicans will be in trouble because the party risks lower turnout from a disappointed base.

Does Iowa Still Matter to Democrats?
Democrats in Iowa and other rural states worry the national party will abandon them

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton speaks during the Polk County Democrats’ Steak Fry in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 30. (Charlie Neibergal/AP file photo)

DES MOINES, Iowa — As Democrats try to find a way to win back the White House and control of Congress, party members in Iowa and other rural states are worried about being abandoned by the national party.

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price was in Las Vegas last week for the Democratic National Committee’s fall meeting and said Democrats cannot take Midwestern states like Iowa for granted.

Word on the Hill: Volunteers for Tiniest Opioid Victims
Smucker on Israel, and Murphy’s still walking

Ohio Rep. Michael R. Turner, center, is flanked by volunteers at a local hospital. (Courtesy Turner via Premier Health)

Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, recently visited volunteers who cuddle with infants going through opiate withdrawal in Dayton. 

The volunteer Infant Cuddle Program at Miami Valley Hospital was launched recently and Turner got to thank the cuddlers last week.

Word on the Hill: Get Cultured in Rayburn
Yappy hour, and honoring the Mooch

A preview of the artwork from Asian-American artists on display in Rayburn today. (Courtesy Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation)

There are three different opportunities today to check out Asian-American artists and history in the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is hosting an art exhibit “War and Refuge: Reflections on the Vietnamese Refugee Experience and Its Applicability to the Global Migration Crisis” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the building’s foyer. The foundation works to educate people about the ideology, history, and legacy of communism in order to create “a world free from the false hope of communism.”

Word on the Hill: This Isn’t ‘House of Cards’
Girls Nation, tennis and whisleblowers

Actor Paul Sparks spoke about being diagnosed with diabetes at 28-years-old at a Senate Aging Committee hearing Wednesday. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

The author writing a book about Frank and Claire Underwood in Netflix’s “House of Cards” was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday — well, the actor who plays him was.

Paul Sparks, who plays Tom Yates on the show and also stars on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” testified before the Senate Aging Committee on diabetes research.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

Photos of the Year, So Far: 186 Days Into a New Washington
The first half of 2017 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

JANUARY 26: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., as he arrives on stage while Vice President Mike Pence looks on, at the GOP Congressional retreat in Philadelphia. House and Senate Republicans held their retreat there through Friday in Philadelphia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool)

BY BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

2017 is now more than halfway complete. That's right, this weekend was the six-month mark on a year that’s brought a great deal of change to the nation’s capital.

GOP Group Launches Health Care Ad Ahead of CBO Score
American Action Network spending additional $2 million to promote bill

California Rep. Jeff Denham is one of the 21 lawmakers whose districts are the targets of a new ad campaign by the American Action Network. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A conservative issue advocacy organization is spending an additional $2 million on a nationwide television ad campaign to promote the Republicans’ health care plan ahead of the release of the Congressional Budget Office score, which is expected Wednesday. 

The American Action Network, which has close ties to House GOP leadership, is debuting the campaign on Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The ad will also air in 21 congressional districts.

Republicans' Latest Health Care Challenge: Selling Their Bill
Only one major outside GOP group defending the plan on air

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur says outside groups are “intentionally confusing people” about the GOP health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the Republican health care plan continuing to earn negative headlines and unfavorable poll numbers, House GOP lawmakers returning to Washington this week have a public relations challenge of epic political proportions.

They succeeded — barely — at passing their health care bill. Now they need to sell it.