Politics

Democratic House Challengers Raise More Than Senate Candidates
New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill raised $1.9 million in second quarter

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill raised nearly $1.9 million in the second quarter in her quest to flip a longtime GOP House seat. (Courtesy Mikie Sherrill for U.S. Congress)

It used to be normal for fundraising by Senate candidates to dwarf that of House candidates. Not this year.

New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat trying to flip a longtime Republican stronghold, raised nearly $1.9 million during the second quarter of the year.

The House Democrats Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Most are keeping their options open for now

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, center, lost his primary last month, which opens up his leadership slot in the next Congress. Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján are current members of leadership who could seek to move up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a potential wave election, few House Democrats have declared their interest in running for specific leadership positions. But more than a dozen are keeping their options open as the caucus members consider how much change they wants to see in their top ranks next Congress.

The number of potential Democratic leadership contenders has ballooned since Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley lost his primary in New York’s 14th District late last month. His leadership position is the only one guaranteed to be open for the next Congress, but his loss has also raised questions about who can usher in the next generation of Democratic leaders

Blue Dog Democrats Vote With GOP More in 2018
Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider had biggest drop in party unity score

Illinois Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider saw his party unity score drop in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Blue Dog Democrats tend to move to the right in election years, which is understandable given that they typically represent swing districts.

And lately no district has swung more than Illinois’ 10th, in the affluent suburbs north of Chicago. Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider is currently serving his second, nonconsecutive term, having defeated Republican Robert J. Dold in 2016.

House To Vote Wednesday on Resolution to Support ICE
Plan to vote on bill to terminate ICE dropped after Democrats said they’d oppose it

The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution by Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., expressing the chamber’s support for ICE officials and rejection of calls to abolish the agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans have abandoned a plan to vote on a Democrat-sponsored bill to terminate the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency after the bill’s authors said they and their colleagues would vote against it.

But GOP leaders are still planning to hold a vote on a resolution by Louisiana GOP Rep. Clay Higgins expressing the House’s support for all ICE officers and personnel and denouncing calls to completely abolish the agency.

Meadows, Jordan Ask DOJ to Investigate Rosenstein
Letter alleges Rosenstein threatened to subpoena Republican staffers’ communications

Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left, and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are asking the Department of Justice to investigate Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Freedom Caucus Republicans asked the Justice Department’s inspector general Monday to investigate allegations that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to subpoena the email and phone records of House Intelligence Committee staff.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina and caucus co-founder Jim Jordan of Ohio made the request in a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which alleges Rosenstein threatened the subpoenas in a tense January meeting about oversight requests from committee Republicans.

Russian Spy Indictment an Aftershock to Trump’s Helsinki Statements
Justice Department unveils charges hours after Finland summit

Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Justice Department further roiled an already tense Capitol Hill with an indictment Monday accusing an alleged Russian agent of efforts to influence Republican politicians during the 2016 election.

The indictment came on the heels of President Donald Trump’s joint press conference in Finland where, standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he rebuffed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Analysis: Congress Mere Passenger in Trump Foreign Policy Express
Despite condemnation across the aisle, few efforts under way to alter path

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., responds to President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump just concluded a European foreign policy swing that resembled a runaway car, and Congress is merely a passenger with seemingly no intention, at least from those setting the agenda, of taking the wheel.

Germany is “totally controlled” by Russia. The European Union is “a foe.” And when asked Monday if he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin ran an effort to interfere in the last U.S. presidential election, Trump responded: “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Trump ‘Insults’ District Residents With Unilateral Court Picks, D.C. Delegate Says
Trump administration wants to nominate D.C. prosecutor to supervisory position

Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said Monday that the Trump administration has bypassed her on selections of federal law enforcement officials serving the district. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The District of Columbia’s congressional delegate took the Trump administration to task Monday for “refusing to consult with her” on the nominations of a series of federal law enforcement officials who would serve the district.

“The Trump administration continues to ignore the voice and input of D.C. residents when selecting federal officials to serve them,” Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a press release.

Trump's Putin Leniency Suggests Kremlin Has Dirt on Him, Dems Say
If not kompromat, ‘what the heck could it be?’ Schumer asks

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday slammed President Donald Trump’s comments made during a summit with Russian President Putin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top Democrats on Capitol Hill responded to President Donald Trump siding with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence agenices by saying more forcefully the Russian president might have compromising information about him.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., last week suggested Putin might have damaging information about the U.S. businessman-turned-president. On Monday, she went a step further, saying the president’s “weakness” during the Helsinki summit “proves” the Kremlin has something on him.

‘Pathetic Rout,’ ‘Tragic Mistake’ and ‘Painful’ — John McCain Holds Little Back in Describing Helsinki
Senate Armed Services chairman lets loose blistering critique of Trump and Putin meeting

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the damage done by the Trump-Putin summit may be hard to understand. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Of all the critical statements issued about Monday’s Helsinki happenings, the one by Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain perhaps stood out the most, as the Arizona Republican accused President Donald Trump of making a “tragic mistake” in his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the joint press conference that followed. 

The Republican pulled no punches in his latest verbal fisticuffs with the president, issuing a lengthy statement from Arizona about what may he thinks may be incalculable damage to U.S. foreign policy.

Critics Pan Plan to Publish Congressional Research
Transparency advocates say thousands of documents would be left off website

The Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building is pictured from the observation area at the top of Capitol Dome. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Government transparency advocates were thrilled last spring when Congress ordered its in-house think tank to publicly release its reports.

Now, groups that lobbied for years to end the secrecy surrounding the Congressional Research Service say the website scheduled to launch in September would leave out crucial documents and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more than it should.

Trump Takes Putin’s Word for it on Russian Meddling in Elections
Putin says charges against Russians wouldn’t have a ‘fighting chance’ in U.S. courts

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin answer questions about the possible Russian meddling in the 2016 elections during a joint news conference after their summit on Monday in Helsinki, Finland. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump said Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling into U.S. elections has hurt relations between the U.S. and Russia and has been a “disaster for our country.”

Taking questions from reporters, Putin denied his country had engaged in “so-called interference” and said it had no plans to do so in the future.

Proposals Would Help Homeowners, Make Ex-Presidents Pay for Office Supplies
Financial Services spending bill amendments also could affect local post offices

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., wants to bar the U.S. Postal Service for expanding its offering of financial services. Other proposed amendments to the Financial Services spending bill would help homeowners with bad foundations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Local post offices would be barred from offering most banking services, homeowners with crumbling foundations would get some help and ex-presidents would have to pay for their own office supplies under proposals to amend the House’s fiscal 2019 Financial Services spending bill.

Proposed amendments also include some of the usual suspects: keeping the District of Columbia from enforcing certain local laws, allowing federally insured banks to take deposits from companies in the marijuana industry, and barring federal funds from being spent at properties owned by President Donald Trump.

Republican John Chrin Launches Opening Ad in GOP Targeted District
Chrin is challenging Pennsylvania Democrat Matt Cartwright

Republican John Chrin is challenging Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania’s 8th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call)

Republican John Chrin launched his opening argument Monday in his campaign against Democrat Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania’s 8th District. The seat represents a rare pickup opportunity for the GOP this cycle in which it is largely on defense.  

Republicans, hoping to stave off potential losses in the House, are looking to win in districts like the 8th, one of a dozen held by a Democratic lawmaker that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.  

MJ Hegar Outraises Carter in Longshot Bid in Texas
Attributes much of it to introduction video that went viral

The Democratic challenger to Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, out raised him in the most recent fundraising quarter. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MJ Hegar, who is challenging Texas Rep. John Carter, outraised the incumbent nearly 4-1 in the most recent fundraising quarter, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

Hegar, a U.S. Air Force veteran, announced her campaign raised $1.1 million in the last fundraising quarter while Carter raised $265,725.