Politics

Cash Grab: Obama Picks Up Fundraising Pace
Recent Seattle-area dinner netted party up to $66,800 per ticket

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The departing president and leader of the Democratic Party is picking up the pace of his efforts to raise money for candidates up and down the ballot. Party insiders expect Obama will do even more as general election races heat up.  

So far this year, Obama has participated in 20 fundraising events for the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and for individual campaigns. June was his most prolific month, with six fundraisers, according to White House and other records of his public schedule. From January to March, he did nine.  

Ethics Committee Extends Inquiry Into Williams
Williams had come under fire for endorsing Cruz in a House email

Texas Rep. Roger Williams has come under criticism for an amendment he sponsored. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee announced it would extend its look into a matter regarding Texas Republican Rep. Roger Williams.  

"The committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee," the press release stated.  

Treasury Secretary Pushes for Vote on Puerto Rico
McConnell sets cloture vote for Wednesday

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew wants the Senate to act on Puerto Rico legislation before July 1. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew is pushing the Senate to take up a House-passed compromise measure this week to address the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico.  

"The Senate should take up the matter immediately. Delay will only jeopardize the ability of Congress to conclude its work before July 1, a critical deadline Puerto Rico's leadership has publicly highlighted for months," Lew wrote Monday in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  

Roll Call Columnists on SCOTUS Abortion, McDonnell Decisions
'Where's the consistency, people?'

Pro-choice demonstrators at the U.S. Supreme Court cheer on Monday as they learn the court struck down a Texas abortion law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

What we've seen from federal courts lately is a distaste with the way government prosecutors pursue corruption cases against high-ranking public officials, from the late Sen. Ted Stevens to Gov. Bob McDonnell. I'm not the first to say this, but scandalous behavior and criminal activity are not one and the same. Often, the scandalous aspect of a public official's action is that distasteful things are technically legal. It's important that the court clarified a definition of what constitutes a quid pro quo exchange.  

[ Supreme Court Overturns McDonnell's Bribery Conviction ]  

Internal Poll: Huelskamp Primary a Dead Heat
Kansas Republican considered vulnerable over opposition to farm bill

Roger Marshall, Republican candidate for Kansas' 1st congressional district, is interviewed in the Roll Call offices on October 6, 2015. (JM Riger/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican primary opponent of Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp says their Kansas race is a dead heat — and he has a poll to prove it.  

A survey from Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies shows OB-GYN Roger Marshall drawing 41 percent of the GOP primary vote in the state's 1st Congressional District, effectively even with Huelskamps's 42 percent of the vote.    

Former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy Arrested After Years as a Fugitive
He was picked up at Virginia airport on charges of fraud and failing to appear in court

Former D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy as he appeared in a photo provided Monday by local authorities. (Loudoun County Sheriff's Office)

Walter E. Fauntroy, a prominent figure of the civil rights era and the first delegate to represent the District of Columbia in Congress, was arrested in Virginia on Monday over outstanding warrants after spending years abroad as a fugitive.  

U.S. Customs and Border agents picked up Fauntroy, 83, at Dulles airport after he arrived on a flight from Dubai, the agency said in a statement.  

Democrats' Benghazi Report Seeks to Shield Clinton from Blame
Release pre-empts Republican-led report expected to hit Clinton hard over terror attack

Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., spar during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in October. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never denied requests for additional security at a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that was overrun by militants in 2012, Democrats said in a finding that pre-empted the release of a Republican-led report on the deadly attack.  

In their own report , the Democratic members of the Select Committee on Benghazi found that State Department security measures at the doomed government compound were inadequate, but sought to shield Clinton, the party's presumptive presidential nominee, from direct blame.  

America Still Obsessed with ‘The West Wing’
Fans quiz Podesta about Leo McGarry

John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, talks with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp before a Senate policy luncheon in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The show has been off the air for more than a decade. Yet fans of the Emmy award-winning drama, "The West Wing” — including Clinton administration aide John Podesta — can’t stop talking about the Washington that producer Aaron Sorkin effectively tattooed onto the collective consciousness.  

Turning to TV for leadership is not how President Barack Obama would like to see the 2016 presidential election play out.  

Abortion Rights Advocates Laud High Court Decision
Women's health battle reverberates on campaign trail

Pro-abortion rights demonstrators at the U.S. Supreme Court cheer as they learn the court struck down the Texas abortion law on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court ruling Monday that voided Texas requirements that abortion clinics meet certain safety standards and that providers be affiliated with nearby hospitals is reviving a fight over women's health that is reverberating on the campaign trail.  

The 5-3 decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt refocused attention on the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans have refused to consider President Barack Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, to fill the position, leaving the court with eight justices.  

Koch Brothers Invest Heavily in Nevada, Ohio Senate Races
Billionaire investors declined to bankroll Trump campaign

Senate hopeful Rep. Joe Heck stands to benefit from the $1.2 million in Nevada advertising bought by the Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super PAC financed by the Koch brothers. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC aligned with the conservative Koch brothers has spent millions on advertising in tight Senate races in Nevada and Ohio, and elsewhere after the billionaire industrialists announced they would not bankroll Donald Trump's presidential campaign.  

The Koch brothers and the conservative donor network they oversee had planned to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to politics and policy in 2015 and 2016, putting them on par with both the Democratic and Republican parties and positioning the group to wield unparalleled influence on conservative campaigns. The group has so far spent $19.3 million in a handful of states, according to NBC news. 

Supreme Court Overturns McDonnell's Bribery Conviction
Ex-Virginia governor had been sentenced to two years in prison

Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell previously faced two years in prison after being convicted on corruption charges. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a unanimous decision Monday, the Supreme Court vacated the bribery conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell.  

McDonnell and his wife had been indicted by the federal government for accepting more than $175,000 in gifts and loans from a businessman whose dietary supplement they promoted through arranged meetings and events.  

Congress Reacts to Abortion Ruling
Supreme Court strikes down Texas restrictions

Pro-abortion rights demonstrators at the U.S. Supreme Court cheer as they learn the court struck down the Texas abortion law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The congressional reaction to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down elements of a Texas law that imposed strict rules on abortion clinics was swift and, in many cases, predictable.  

Democrats heralded the decision as a victory for women's right to seek an abortion, since the Texas regulations had effectively shut down half of the state's abortion clinics. Republicans emphasized that the rules were aimed at protecting women's health.  

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortions Restrictions
Law required clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers

Pro-abortion rights demonstrators at the U.S. Supreme Court cheer as they learn the court struck down the Texas abortion law on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Texas abortion law that required clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and forced doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The 5-3 decision is seen as a major victory for abortion rights advocates who said this was the most significant abortion rights case in decades.

Supreme Court to Hear N.C. Gerrymandering Case
Challenges affect districts held by Butterfield, Adams

North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield's district is one of two where the Supreme Court will look at how the boundaries were drawn. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from the state of North Carolina next term over racial gerrymandering challenges to the 1st and 12th congressional districts in North Carolina.

The state had appealed a lower court ruling that found those two districts were illegally packed with black voters, thereby diluting their influence in the rest of the state.

Elizabeth Warren's History of Snubbing Hillary Clinton
The two campaigned together in Ohio Monday

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren makes her first campaign appearance with Hillary Clinton since the former secretary of state became the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigned with Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati Monday, the latest chapter in the former secretary of State's rocky relationship with the progressive favorite.  

Warren endorsed  Clinton after her primary contest against Sen. Bernie Sanders was largely decided. But there are still a number of progressives who wish Warren was the Democratic candidate.