Politics

Trump to Headline Rally for Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas Ahead of Midterms
Dem opponent O’Rourke is mounting one of most expensive campaigns in history to unseat Cruz

President Donald Trump will rally for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, next Monday, Oct. 22. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will rally Texans for Sen. Ted Cruz in Houston next Monday, Oct. 22, as Cruz’s race with Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke enters the home stretch before the Nov. 6 midterm elections there.

Trump had promised in August to campaign on Cruz’s behalf, a promise Cruz heartily welcomed.

Bob Casey Pulls Ad After Barletta’s Emotional Appeal
Ad that slams Barletta on votes to repeal health care law will still play statewide except in his home market

While Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey’s campaign said he has included a constituent’s story of her children’s fight with cancer in speeches for years, but he would pull an ad that strikes close to home for Republican challenger Rep. Lou Barletta in his hometown market. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey has pulled a television ad from his opponent’s home market, giving in to Republican Rep. Lou Barletta’s criticism that the family in the ad too closely resembles his own personal troubles.

The ad hit Barletta on his vote for the American Health Care Act during Republicans’ prolonged effort to roll back the 2010 health care law last year. The ad accurately states that the AHCA would have weakened protections for patients with preexisting conditions, but Barletta took issue with the ad’s parallels to his family.

Lindsey Graham Wants to ‘Sanction the Hell Out of Saudi Arabia’ Until Crown Prince is Ousted
South Carolina senator has no doubts about murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Sen. Lindsey Graham will not return to Saudi Arabia until Crown Prince Mohamed bin  is removed from the Kingdom’s power structure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham plans to, “sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia” in the aftermath of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“You know, we deal with bad people all the time, but this is in our face. I feel personally offended. They have nothing but contempt for us,” the South Carolina Republican said Tuesday morning. “Why would you put a guy like me and the president in this box?”

Indicted Rep. Chris Collins Limping to Finish Line in Poll, Fundraising
New York Republican raised just $80 from individuals within the 27th District in the third quarter

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., raised just $80 from individual contributors in his district in the third filing quarter of 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New York Rep. Chris Collins has seen his lead over his Democratic opponent dwindle and individual contributions to his campaign vanish since he was indicted in August on insider trading charges stemming from his investment in an Australian biotech company.

The Buffalo-area Republican collected just $33,000 in campaign contributions in the third filing quarter, according to a Federal Elections Commission summary of his receipts.

Duncan Hunter Calls in Backup to Accuse Opponent of Being National Security Risk
Three retired generals who are lobbyists back up Hunter’s allegations against Campa-Najjar

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, imperiled by an indictment over campaign finance law allegations, has circulated a letter in the final weeks of his re-election campaign — signed by three retired generals — asserting his opponent presents a national security risk.

Critics say the letter doubles down on a racist line of attack based on Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar’s Arab heritage.

Porter Knocks Walters on GOP Tax Overhaul in Joint TV Ad With DCCC
Walters voted for the bill, while some other California Republicans opposed it

California Democrat Katie Porter is challenging GOP Rep. Mimi Walters in the 45th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrat Katie Porter is going on offense against Republican Rep. Mimi Walters, launching a new television ad highlighting the congresswoman’s support for last year’s GOP tax overhaul and tying her to President Donald Trump. 

Walters, who’s in her second term representing California’s 45th District,  backed the GOP tax measure, which some of her fellow Golden State Republicans opposed because it limited the deductions for state and local taxes. And now Porter is highlighting that vote in a negative spot, which is a joint ad with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Trump Says Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test is ‘Bogus’
President unleashes invective on Democratic senator who might be 2020 opponent

President Donald Trump slammed Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who he again referred to as “Pocahontas,” the day after she released a DNA test which she says proved her Native American lineage. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The DNA test released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren showing a distant Native American ancestor is “bogus,” President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday as his feud with the Massachusetts Democrat escalated.

Warren on Monday made public the results of a DNA test conducted by a Stanford University expert she says supports her claims of Native American ancestry. Other experts had questioned her claim and Trump said he would donate $1 million to charity if it was proved true.

GOP Ad Defends Rep. David Joyce on Health Care Protections
Ad doubles down on strategy to run Republican as health care centrist

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, who has voted with his party multiple times to repeal the 2010 health care law, is depicted as a centrist on the issue in an ad released Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group supporting Rep. David Joyce is releasing an ad Tuesday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to “protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.” 

The $125,000 ad buy from Defending Main Street, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, doubles down on Joyce’s campaign strategy of painting the candidate as an independent voice who has bucked his party on health care and who has “stood up to President Trump.” 

Could Republicans in Competitive Districts Pursue NRCC Top Job?
NRCC head has usually been someone who can travel, fundraise for others

California Rep. Mimi Walters may be interested in chairing the NRCC if the position is open. First, she has to win re-election in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With many Republicans conceding their poor prospects of holding the House next month, attention outside the conference is beginning to turn to who will helm its campaign committee for the next cycle. 

Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, who’s running for a fifth term in a safe Republican seat, is the current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It’s not uncommon for there to be turnover at the end of a cycle, and it’s largely understood Stivers is unlikely to remain in charge should the GOP lose its majority.

Menendez, Pompeo Feud Over Diplomatic Nominees
Secretary of state accuses New Jersey Democrat of ‘putting our nation at risk’

From right, Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Robert Menendez, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker arrive for a hearing on July 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A tiff between New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is slowing down the confirmation of nominees for the nation’s diplomatic corps, already understaffed at a time of mounting global challenges.

Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, is objecting to some State nominees over their qualifications even as he continues to press Pompeo to fulfill long-standing oversight document requests.

‘Treason’ Accusation Punctuates Heated Arizona Senate Debate
Democrat Sinema condemns Republican McSally for smear tactics

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., faces Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the Arizona Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the most contentious moments of the Arizona Senate debate Monday night involved Republican Martha McSally accusing Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of “treason,” bringing a more predictable back-and-forth to a dramatic end.

Over the course of the hourlong debate — their only scheduled one — the two congresswomen running to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake split over health care, immigration, and the Supreme Court’s newest justice. Sinema stressed that she would be independent of her party, while McSally touted the accomplishments of GOP-controlled government.

At Debate, Spanberger Reminds Brat He’s Not Running Against Pelosi
Democrat is challenging two-term Republican in Virginia’s 7th District

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., and Abigail Spanberger, his Democratic challenger in Virginia’s 7th District, shake hands Monday after a debate at the Germanna Community College in Culpeper, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At her first and likely only public debate with Virginia Rep. Dave Brat on Monday, Democrat Abigail Spanberger felt the need to remind the Republican congressman that he is running against her, and “certainly not” against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Abigail Spanberger is my name,” the Democratic challenger in Virginia’s 7th District said to punctuate her closing statement.

Former Senate Intelligence Committee Security Chief Pleads Guilty
James A. Wolfe admits to one count of making false statements to FBI

James A. Wolfe, right, seen here with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The former head of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee has pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI.

The guilty plea, which was announced by the Justice Department on Monday, comes along with a commitment by the government to move to dismiss related charges.

Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Again Sparring Over Judicial Nominations Schedule
Argument about October nomination hearings could be Kavanaugh fallout

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and ranking member Dianne Feinstein are once again sparring over the judicial confirmation process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even with senators having left the Capitol, the battle over the pace of judicial nominations is not slowing down.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, led panel Democrats in protesting the scheduling of nomination hearings for federal judgeships while the Senate is holding only pro forma sessions.

Police Investigate ‘Ricin Letter’ at Sen. Susan Collins’ Home
Maine GOP senator was not at home when authorities arrived

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was not at home in Bangor when the authorities arrived to investigate a suspicious letter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:53 p.m. | Republican Sen. Susan Collins will be able to spend Monday night at her residence in Bangor, Maine, after a suspicious letter was received by her husband there.

“Senator Collins’s husband, Tom Daffron, today received a threatening letter that the writer claimed was contaminated with ricin, a highly hazardous substance which was used in a previous attack against the United States Senate,” Collins spokeswoman Annie Clark said in a statement.