Sean Patrick Maloney

House recruiter to GOP: ‘Do a better job of looking like America’
Rep. Susan W. Brooks putting ‘significant’ emphasis on female candidates, people of color

Indiana Republican Rep. Susan W. Brooks is the head of NRCC recruitment this cycle. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks made a point of telling her Republican colleagues this week about several new candidates who are women and people of color.  

“It’s important that we, as a conference, do a better job of looking like America, and better representing the very diverse country that we have,” Brooks, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruitment chair, told Roll Call after Tuesday’s meeting of the GOP conference.

This Democrat wants free tampons and pads available in all federal buildings
Rep. Grace Meng’s push for access to menstrual products includes schools and prisons

Rep. Grace Meng proposed a measure to require all public federal buildings, including those on the Capitol campus, to provide free menstrual products. (Katherine Tully-McManus/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Grace Meng introduced a bill Tuesday that would require all public federal buildings, including those on the Capitol campus, to provide free pads and tampons in the restrooms.

The bill, called the Menstrual Equity For All Act of 2019, would give states the option to use federal grant funding to provide students with free menstrual products in schools, and it would require Medicaid to cover the cost of menstrual products for recipients. The proposal would also amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to require the Department of Labor to issue a rule requiring private employers, with not less than 100 employees, to provide free menstrual hygiene products for their employees.

O’Rourke gets early backing from former colleagues in Congress
Texas Democrat hits the campaign trail at Keokuk, Iowa, coffee shop

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke runs onto the stage at a campaign rally during his Senate race last year at the Gaslight Baker Theatre in Lockhart, Tezas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke gave a speech and took questions from supporters for the first time as a presidential candidate on Thursday in Keokuk, Iowa.

The 46-year-old Democrat spoke to supporters at a coffee shop just hours after he announced that he is seeking the party’s presidential nomination. His White House bid brings the number of Democrats running for the party’s nomination to a baker’s dozen.

Tampons to be stocked in House supply store; allowed for purchase with office funds
The feminine hygiene products will be stocked in the Longworth House Office Building

Tampons and other menstrual products will soon be available in the House office supply store for purchase with office funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers will soon be able to purchase and provide tampons to staff and constituents on campus with office funds, following an inquiry from three Democratic members pushing for wider access.

In a letter released late Monday night, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairperson of the House Administration Committee, instructed that menstrual products be stocked in the House office supply store for purchase with Members’ Representational Allowance funds.

House members want official office supply store to stock tampons
Three House lawmakers seeking clear guidance on using office funds for feminine hygiene products

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is among the members who want clarity on using official funds for feminine hygiene purchases. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three House lawmakers are asking the new leadership of the House Administration panel to clarify if tampons and other feminine hygiene products can be purchased with official office allowances.

It’s the latest development in a saga that started last summer when Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a New York Democrat, was denied permission to buy tampons for his office using his Members’ Representational Allowance.

Ilhan Omar called ‘anti-Semitic’ for tweet criticizing pro-Israel lobby
The spat spurred a conversation about the political influence of AIPAC

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted about the influence of AIPAC, received swift rebuke. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., received an onslaught of criticism Sunday night for her tweet that ascribed Republicans’ fierce opposition to boycotting Israel to the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, D.C.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar tweeted Sunday in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. 

Republicans name 55 House Democrats as 2020 targets
A majority of the targets represent districts that backed Trump

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., chairs the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans will be targeting 55 House Democrats in 2020, the majority of whom are new members, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced Thursday.

The lengthy target list, shared first with Roll Call, includes all 31 Democrats in districts President Donald Trump carried in 2016. The list also includes 20 districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that were previously represented by Republicans.

Democrats identify 44 vulnerable House members to defend in 2020
Almost all the members named to the Democrats’ Frontline Program are freshmen

Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, left, and Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin are among the freshmen whom the DCCCC has named to its Frontline program for its most vulnerable incumbents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats made historic gains in the House last fall, and now they need to defend those seats heading into the 2020 election. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Thursday named 44 members to its Frontline Program for its most vulnerable incumbents.

Some battleground Democrats voice support to constituents for a barrier at the border
Freshman Democrats in purple districts host their first post-shutdown town halls

Rep. Anthony Brindisi, who narrowly defeated a first-term Republican incumbent last year, held his first town hall over the weekend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The continuing resolution passed by Congress on Friday brought a three-week reprieve to federal employees and allowed lawmakers to depart for their districts and get face time with constituents over the weekend. 

A handful of Democratic freshmen who flipped battleground districts from Republican control in the midterm “blue wave” last year both praised the temporary restoration in funding to federal agencies while voicing support for more spending at the southern border in their first town halls since being sworn into office.

Cheri Bustos Elected DCCC Chair
Illinois Democrat was in charge of ‘heartland engagement’ during 2018 cycle

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, center, is the new head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats elected Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos on Thursday to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2020 election cycle.

Bustos won in the first round of voting, finishing ahead of Washington Reps. Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene. The tally was 117 votes for Bustos, with Heck at 83 and DelBene at 32.