Politics

Bill Nelson Concedes Florida Senate Race After Hand Recount
Governor Rick Scott’s victory over Nelson boosts GOP’s Senate majority

Florida Gov. Rick Scott held the hand of his grandson, Auguste, at his election night party in Naples, Fla. The Associated Press declared Scott the winner after a recount. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has conceded Florida’s Senate race to his Republican opponent Gov. Rick Scott following a hand recount.

“I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service. This victory would not be possible without the hard work of so many people,” Scott said in a statement. “Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that’s where we need to leave it.”

Incoming Freshman Chrissy Houlahan Running for Democratic Leadership Post
Pennsylvania member-elect announces bid for Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair

Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., is running to be one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pennsylvania member-elect Chrissy Houlahan is launching a bid for Democratic leadership, arguing that the nearly 60 incoming freshmen should be represented as the caucus crafts its messaging strategy for defending its newly obtained majority.

“I think that people recognize that there is this great big class of people who are coming in with kind of fresh experience and fresh legs and fresh ideas and that if we would like to maintain the majority that we need to make sure that we’re listening to everybody,” she said in an interview. 

Jonestown Revisited: Jackie Speier, a 40-Year-Old Audio, Heroism and Difficult Memories
Long-lost audio tape shows Rep. Ryan planned to rescue willing residents

(Editor’s Note: Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of a still-shocking mass-killing that left more than 900 people dead in “Jonestown,” a remote settlement in Guyana founded by cult leader Jim Jones.  Most were poisoned  with a cyanide-laced drink.  Leo J. Ryan, a Democratic lawmaker from San Francisco, had traveled to Jonestown to investigate reports of people being held against their will in Jonestown. Ryan and four others were fatally shot at a nearby airstrip. Rep Jackie Speier, D-Calif., then a Ryan staffer, was among several more who were shot repeatedly and left for dead at the airstrip. The mass killing began soon afterwards.)

Democrats Complete Sweep of Orange County, Once a GOP Haven
Nearly two weeks after Election Day, Democrats won their fourth Republican-held seat there

Democrat Gil Cisneros’ race in the 39th District was the last Orange County race to be called. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Democrat Gil Cisneros’ victory in California’s 39th District, Democrats have defeated all four Republicans in Orange County, an area former President Ronald Reagan once referred to as the place “where the good Republicans go before they die.”

Cisneros, a Navy veteran and lottery winner, defeated former GOP state Assemblywoman Young Kim in the increasingly diverse 39th District. He had garnered 50.8 percent of the vote compared to Kim’s 49.2 percent when the Associated Press called the race nearly two weeks after Election Day. He won by roughly 3,500 votes.

Trump and Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown — Strange Company on Climate Change?
President says his views, those of Brown and Gov.-elect Newsom, ‘not as different as people think’

President Donald Trump indicated Saturday that his views on climate change and those of California Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newson are “maybe not as different as people think.” (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Saturday stopped just shy of saying he believes climate change is a legitimate scientific phenomenon, a statement that likely would not sit well with his conservative base and most GOP lawmakers.

“We have different views but maybe not as different as people think. Things are happening. Things are changing,” he said aboard Air Force One in California, flanked by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

Trump Heading to Mississippi to Give Hyde-Smith a Runoff Boost
Senator has drawn national headlines for controversial comments

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will make an eleventh-hour attempt to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in Republican hands later this month when he headlines two rallies there the day before a runoff election.

His campaign organization announced Saturday the president will hold two rallies on Nov. 26 on behalf of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. He will be in Tupelo at 5 p.m. and then in Biloxi three hours later.

Trump Casts Himself as Pelosi’s Speaker Savior
‘I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants,’ president claims

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she has ample support among Democrats to become the next speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Saturday said he can twist enough House Republican arms to give Nancy Pelosi the necessary votes to become speaker.

The California Democrat publicly says she has ample support within her own caucus to secure the gavel. But all indications are a floor vote could be close, meaning Republicans could opt — for a list of reasons — to put her over the top.

Democrats Who Ran Anti-Pelosi Campaigns Show Signs of Cracking
Two in New Jersey, one in Michigan leave door open to supporting Pelosi after spurning her during campaign

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on November 15, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some of the newly elected Democratic House members who said on the campaign trail they would not support Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for speaker have already shown signs of cracking as Pelosi ramps up the pressure for them not to divide the party before it even takes control of the chamber in January.

Rep.-elect Mikie Sherrill, a New Jersey Democrat who said during her campaign that the party needs “new leadership, and it starts at the top,” declined to affirm that statement after meeting with Pelosi on Friday.

Ethics Committee Finds Mark Meadows in Violation of House Rules

The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., in violation of House rules due to how he handled a sexual harassment allegations against one of his staff members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Mark Meadows failed to take “prompt and decisive action” to handle alleged sexual harassment in his congressional office, according to a Friday report.

The committee also found Meadows violated House rules by failing to take action to ensure his office was not engaging in discrimination.

Photos of the Week: Lame Duck, New Member Orientation and Official Class Photos
The week of Nov. 12 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep.-elect Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., arrives for New Member Orientation at the Courtyard Marriott in Southeast D.C., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The midterms have come and gone and it’s back to the Hill for members new and old. The lame duck sessions in the House and Senate gaveled in Tuesday while new member orientation kicked off its first week.

The chambers, along with orientation, recess next week for the Thanksgiving holiday and will start up sessions again the week of Nov. 26.

Ruben Kihuen Harassed Women, Ethics Committee Finds
Nevada Democrat had refused to resign after allegations surfaced in December

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., was the subject of a months-long House Ethics investigation.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen harassed women who worked with him and violated the House’s official code of conduct, according to a House Ethics Committee report released Thursday. 

“Kihuen made persistent and unwanted advances towards women who were required to interact with him as part of their professional responsibilities,” the report says. The advances included kissing, grabbing and comments about underwear.

Meeting With Pelosi Doesn’t Deter Marcia Fudge From Speaker Bid
‘No,’ Fudge said when asked if Pelosi asked her not to run

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, walks into her Rayburn Building office after talking with reporters on Friday about her possible run for House speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:00 p.m. | Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi met with her potential competition for the speaker’s gavel on Friday, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who left the meeting still contemplating a bid.

“No,” Fudge told reporters when asked if Pelosi asked her not to run. “What she asked me was basically how we could get to a point where I could be supportive.”

Trump Says He’s Giving Mueller Questions a Personal Touch
‘I’ve answered them very easily,’ the president says

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump implied Friday that he — and not his legal team — will be personally answering written questions from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“I’ve answered them very easily. I’m working on them,” he told reporters during a bill-signing event in the Oval Office.

After 181 Years of No Hats in Congress, Dems Eye Exception for Religious Garb
Ilhan Omar will become the first federal legislator to wear a religious headscarf

Member-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., will be the first member of congress to wear a hijab. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hats have been banned from the House chamber of the Capitol for nearly two centuries — 181 years, to be exact. Under a new proposal from Democrats, the rule would be relaxed to allow religious headwear, like a hijab or kippah. 

The change was proposed jointly by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Incoming Rules Chairman Jim McGovern and member-elect Ilhan Omar as part of a larger overhaul package.

Trump Campaign Tests Out Nickname Game for 2020
NRSC, outside groups leaned into tactic to vanquish Heitkamp, Donnelly in midterms

Expect a batch of new nicknames for President Donald Trump's political opponents as the 2020 campaign heats up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s campaign team is experimenting in its laboratory with potential nicknames for his potential opponents in the 2020 presidential election.

The president’s trademark campaign tactic from 2016 — the birth year of “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, “Little” Marco Rubio, and “Lyin’” Ted Cruz — became so ubiquitous in his speeches and campaign literature that it spawned an exhaustive Wikipedia list of everyone whose name Trump has manipulated for political gain.