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The Lone Leadership Hopeful Not Yet Backing Pelosi for Speaker
Most leadership candidates have made sure to let the press know they support Pelosi

Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., who is running for one of the three Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair slots, is the only leadership candidate who has not yet committed to supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All but one House Democrat running for an elected leadership position is supporting Nancy Pelosi for speaker. 

The lone candidate who hasn’t yet backed the California Democrat in her quest to retake the gavel is Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright

These Planes Will Fight Fires, If You Can Wait 10 Years
Stalled Air Force conversions show how a seemingly straightforward job can take years in the arcane federal acquisition system

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., spearheaded the recent legislative mandates to convert the transport planes into fire tankers. It’s taking too long, she says. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In 2013, Congress ordered the Air Force to convert seven Coast Guard transport planes into firefighting tanker aircraft, but now the first of the planes may not be ready to fight fires for several more years, nearly a decade after the initial plan was launched. 

The story of the seven planes illustrates how a seemingly straightforward job can take years in the arcane federal acquisition system, even when the equipment is a matter of life and death. 

Nancy Pelosi Is the Best Woman for the Job
To dismiss her and her pile of achievements is to buy into GOP propaganda

Nancy Pelosi held her party together time and time again. That’s why she’s the best speaker for the Trump era, write three Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — For speaker of the House, we support Nancy Pelosi, the most effective legislative mastermind and political tactician in modern history.

The only woman ever to serve in the top leadership of Congress, Nancy is also one of the most able and multi-skilled leaders in House history. Yes, she has been demonized by untold millions of dollars of political attack ads — but nonetheless she led the party toward a phenomenal victory, which hardly constitutes a reason to abandon her.

Hyde-Smith Says Her Public Hanging Comments Were ‘Twisted’
Mississippi senator and Mike Espy debated a week before special election

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith did not address the media after Tuesday’s debate, instead sending fellow Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker onstage in her place. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With less than a week to go until a special election in Mississippi that’s attracted outsize national attention, both Senate candidates in Tuesday’s debate at times looked unaccustomed to the spotlight.

Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the open Senate seat earlier this year, didn’t even bother taking press questions after the debate concluded. Mississippi’s other GOP senator, Roger Wicker, came onstage in her place.

Marcia Fudge Forgoes Speaker Bid, Will Support Pelosi
Pelosi intends to name Fudge chairwoman of a House Administration subcommittee on elections

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, has declined to enter the speaker's race after securing concessions from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Marcia Fudge has decided not to run for speaker and agreed to back Nancy Pelosi for the gavel after securing some concessions from the longtime Democratic leader. 

“My consideration was due in large part to the lack of sustained efforts that ensure diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the House,” the Ohio Democrat said in a statement, noting Pelosi has assured her that black women will have a seat at the decision-making table. 

Lawmakers Want to Push Back at Saudi Arabia With or Without Trump
Question may be whether there is a veto-proof majority for legislation

Sen. Lindsey Graham expects bipartisan support for sanctions against Saudi Arabia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least when it comes to Congress, Tuesday’s afternoon statement from President Donald Trump might not prove helpful to the cause of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family.

Even some of Trump’s strongest supporters on Capitol Hill are insisting the legislative branch will act to respond to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, even though there is still no sign of it on the legislative agenda.

Watch: A Year with Roll Call ‘At the Table’
 

As everyone prepares to gather around the Thanksgiving table, Roll Call looks back at this year’s memorable moments with lawmakers At the Table (our occasional series where we sit down at a local restaurant with members to talk food, policy and everything in between). Whether you’re on the Hill or at home, Roll Call wishes you a happy holiday.

Check out this year's episodes of ‘At the Table’

Trump Slams 9th Circuit as a ‘Disgrace,’ Intends to File ‘Major Complaint’
President also defends daughter Ivanka Trump over email use

President Donald Trump says he plans to file a “major complaint” against the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a “disgrace,” saying he intends to file a “major complaint” against it for a ruling against his attempts to cease asylum grants to migrants.

Without providing specific potential moves, he told reporters on the South Lawn that the country must “look at” the 9th Circuit because other countries take cases against the U.S. there for an “automatic win.”

Trump Goes There While Pardoning Turkeys. Of Course He Did
President warns both Peas and Carrots that House Dems may subpoena them

Peas, a South Dakota-bred turkey, appears in the White House briefing room Tuesday a few hours before receiving a presidential pardon. (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

Peas, one of the South Dakota-bred turkeys that received a presidential pardon Tuesday, pleaded the Fifth. But President Donald Trump had a warning for the creature about House Democrats.

The bright white bird merely pranced around in the Rose Garden and let out nary a gobble as Trump warned him that he may be among the first target of several investigation-minded House committees next year.

Rating Change: Mississippi Senate Race No Longer Solid Republican
Hyde-Smith remains the favorite but some uncertainty has crept into the contest

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., faces former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy in the Nov. 27 special election runoff in Mississippi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are not on the cusp of winning a Senate seat in Mississippi. But if we learned anything over the last two years, it’s that Republicans find new ways to make special elections more close and exciting than they should be.

First of all, go read Stu Rothenberg’s column on the race and the dynamic. He does a good job of laying out the electoral challenge in front of former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy, even if appointed GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is not a stellar candidate.

Trump White House Goes With Saudi Story in Jamal Khashoggi Murder
CIA reportedly said Mohammad bin Salman was responsible

President Donald Trump is siding with Saudi royal family. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump again broke with U.S. intelligence Tuesday, this time siding with senior Saudi leaders and their denials they ordered the killing of a Washington Post journalist.

It came in a most unusual written statement from the White House, issued as the press corps on duty ahead of Thanksgiving gathered in the Rose Garden for the generally light-hearted turkey pardoning.

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. 

Farm Aid Payments to City Dwellers Prompt Call for Limits on Program
Study found more than 1,000 recipients had city addresses

The current reauthorization of the farm bill might become a vehicle to tighten eligibility to certain forms of farm aid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly 1,150 recipients who qualified for aid under a $12 billion Trump administration program to offset foreign tariffs on U.S. farm products maintain city addresses, an interest group found in an initial survey, prompting calls for overhauling the program.

The Environmental Working Group argued Monday that the data should prompt lawmakers working on a pending reauthorization of federal farm and nutrition programs to impose tougher standards to reduce the number of “city slickers” eligible for farm subsidies.