Ryan Zinke

The Largest Congressional District, Montana’s, Also Had the Highest Turnout
In contrast, California’s 21st District saw fewest number of voters show up

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., won a first full-term representing Montana’s at-large district, defeating Democratic opponent Kathleen Williams by 5 points. Above, the two talk at the Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., on Aug. 18. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., appears at left. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The turnout for the midterm elections was the highest — 49 percent of those eligible to cast ballots did — since 1914, according to the United States Election Project.

But the enthusiasm was not evenly spread. The number of votes cast in some House districts was much higher than others and it did not depend on the competitiveness of the races.

Capitol Welcomes George H.W. Bush to Rotunda for the Last Time
Congressional leaders, dignitaries on hand for arrival of 41st president, who will lie in state

President Donald Trump salutes as First Lady Melania Trump holds her hand over her heart at former President George H.W. Bush's casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:45 p.m. | The sounds of military cannons rattled the Capitol Rotunda on Monday. Over and over. Twenty-one somber times as Congress paused to welcome former President George H.W. Bush for the final time.

With votes set aside in both chambers, Republican and Democratic members gathered in the ornate room under the building’s signature dome, black bunting adorning its doorways.

‘Bulldog’ Jim Jordan Still in Position to Fight for Trump
Strategist: Conservative grappler now ‘has more time to appear on Fox News’

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters after the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Raúl Grijalva, Ryan Zinke Punch, Counterpunch in Nasty Back-And-Forth
Calls for resignations, accusations of drinking, even the Tune Inn gets dragged into it

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., has called on Ryan Zinke to resign as Interior secretary. The secretary took exception. And then the accusations flew. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Democrat expected to lead the committee that will oversee the Interior Department is calling for its secretary, Ryan Zinke, to resign. And Zinke has fired back with charges of heavy drinking and his own call for Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva to step down.

Grijalva is in line to take over the House Natural Resources Committee in January and he penned a scathing USA Today op-ed, published Friday, that went straight to the point with this opening sentence: “Ryan Zinke needs to resign immediately as Secretary of the Interior.”

Forest Fires Add Snag to Getting Farm Bill Passed
House-passed version would change forest management policies that opponents say would ease oversight

A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through earlier this month in Magalia, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Forestry provisions have emerged as the latest snag in farm bill negotiations, sending the issue to congressional leaders for talks to break the impasse.

The forestry provisions in the House-passed version of the farm bill say the proposed changes to federal forest management policies would prevent forest fires — an issue that is now at the forefront after the deadly California fires. Opponents say the proposed changes would ease federal oversight and safeguards needed to limit logging on public lands that could destroy forests habitats and reduce protections for endangered wildlife.

Zinke Circles Back to Familiar Scapegoat for California Fires
Cost of combating blazes will be ‘well into the billions,’ Interior secretary says

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, right, seen here in Paradise, Calif., earlier this month with California Gov. Jerry Brown and FEMA Administrator Brock Long, center, is blaming the Golden State’s devastating forest fires on environmental groups. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As the dead and damage continue to be tabulated from California’s Camp Fire, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday continued the administration drumbeat that environmental groups are to blame for the devastation, saying they have prevented officials from forestry practices that reduce the risk of deadly blazes.

Forest experts, scientists and resource managers say a combination of factors, including drought exacerbated by climate change and urban and rural development patterns, have helped lead to the current situation. But Zinke on several occasions during fire season has put the blame squarely on environmental groups that are frequently at odds with Republican politicians. 

Trump Signals Cabinet, Staff Changes After Midterms
President says he plans to ‘take a look’ at allegations of wrongdoing against Zinke

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he likes his cabinet “for the most part,” but changes might be coming after the midterms. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signaled Monday he expects Cabinet and staff changes after Tuesday’s midterms, but stopped short of saying embattled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might be ousted amid corruption charges.

He also said he intends to name a nominee to replace Nikki Haley as UN ambassador by the end of the week. (He leaves Friday for a Armistice Day visit to Paris.)

Ryan Zinke Violated Travel Policy, Interior Watchdog Finds
IG report details family member ride-alongs, $25,000 in vacation security

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke invited family members ride with him in government vehicles, an inspector general reporter found. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Interior Department watchdog found that Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal policy when he let his family members travel with him in government vehicles, although he had reimbursed the department.

A copy of the department’s inspector general report was sent to Congress and was provided to Roll Call by a congressional aide on Thursday.

Trump Praises Gianforte for Physically Assaulting Reporter
‘Any guy who can do a body slam — he’s my guy,’ president says

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for his first full term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for physically assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election last year.

Addressing a rally in Missoula on his third trip to Montana this year, Trump at first only alluded to the 2017 incident. “Never wrestle him,” he said after calling Gianforte onstage.

North Dakota Senate Race Could Come Down to Fossil Fuels
The problem? Heitkamp and Cramer have strikingly similar stances on energy

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer are vying for North Dakota’s Senate seat. They’re also racing to show off their energy chops. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two candidates in the North Dakota Senate race — a tight matchup with massive implications for control of the chamber next Congress — are touting their Capitol Hill energy policy chops to gain an edge in one of the closest contests of the midterms. 

The race has triggered an escalating argument between vulnerable Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp and her GOP challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, over which one is the best champion of the state’s fossil fuel industries that rank among the most productive in the nation.