Politics

Special Election For Farenthold’s Seat Set For June 30
If necessary, runoff would likely be in September

The special election to replace former Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold is set for June 30. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called a June 30 special election to fill former Rep. Blake Farenthold’s seat.

The filing deadline for candidates is Friday at 5 p.m. local time. Registered voters in Texas’ 27th District can cast their ballots during the early voting period from June 13 through June 26.

Hunter Trying to Set Up Legal Defense Fund
Comes as he faces federal investigation over use of campaign funds

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., faces a challenge from two other Republicans, three Democrats and an independent in his bid for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Embattled California Rep. Duncan Hunter is trying to set up a legal expense fund as he faces a federal criminal investigation for misuse of campaign dollars.

The legal defense fund would allow people to contribute more than the limits set for campaign contributions, the San Diego-Union Tribune reported.

Protesters Stage ‘Retirement Party’ for Issa
Weekly protests against retiring Republican congressman come to an end after more than a year

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced in January that his ninth term in the House would be his last. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Demonstrators at outgoing California Rep. Darrell Issa’s district office threw the Republican a “retirement party” after protesting there weekly for more than a year.

Issa critics had been holding protests at the congressman’s office for roughly 65 weeks, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

White House Uses Obama to Try to Salvage Jackson Nomination
Trump opens door to let VA nominee see himself out, Democrats question White House vetting

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves the Dirksen Senate Office Building after a meeting on Capitol Hill with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House is trying to salvage Ronny Jackson’s nomination for Veterans’ Affairs secretary by citing former President Barack Obama, even after President Donald Trump publicly advised him to step aside.

Hours after Trump told reporters he would not continue as the nominee if he were in the White House physician’s shoes, a senior official shared information touting Jackson’s record. The information included praise from Obama, including the 44th president’s recommendation that Jackson, a Navy officer, be promoted ahead of his peers.

Macron Expected to Avoid ‘Netanyahu Approach’ in Joint Address
French president takes his pitch for revised Iran deal to Capitol Hill

The flags of France, the United States, and Washington, D.C., fly on Pennsylvania Ave. on Monday, the day French President Emmanuel Macron arrived for an official visit to the U.S. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Iran nuclear deal will be front and center when French President Emmanuel Macron addresses a joint meeting of Congress Wednesday — but he is not expected to strike the same bellicose tone as the last world leader who discussed the pact in the House chamber.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took his place in the House chamber on March 3, 2015, and delivered a forceful speech that warned House and Senate members that the then-emerging deal would “inevitably” cause a war.

Heitkamp Highlights Family Ties in First TV Ad
North Dakota Democrat is among the most vulnerable senators

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is running for re-election in a state President Donald Trump carried by 36 points. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is highlighting her family in her first television ad of the 2018 election cycle. The North Dakota Democrat is looking to stress her ties to the state as she bids for a second term.

Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election this year, running in a state President Donald Trump carried by 36 points in 2016. Watch: Will the Chambers Flip? Redditors Want to Know

Republican Debbie Lesko Wins Arizona Special Election
Victory keeps seat in GOP hands but margin could give Democrats hope

Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko is heading to Congress after winning the special election in Arizona’s 8th District. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko/Flickr)

Updated Wednesday, 12:04 a.m. | Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the special election in Arizona’s 8th District on Tuesday night, but her victory margin for a seat that President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016 appeared to be relatively slim.

The Associated Press called the race with Lesko leading Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, 53 percent to 47 percent in early ballots, which accounted for an estimated 75 percent of the total votes cast, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office. The seat opened up after former GOP Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Here’s What You Should Know About 3 Special Elections Other Than Arizona 8
House control question hovers as 2018 approaches

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a press conference with House GOP leadership in the Capitol on Wednesday. Some pundits say Arizona could follow in Pennsylvania’s footsteps for an upset election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All eyes are on Arizona tonight but at least three more upcoming special elections will take place ahead of the 2018 midterms.

If you missed it, here’s the skinny on the Arizona 8th District contest between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni to fill Trent Franks seat, which he vacated in December over allegations of sexual impropriety.

Macron Calls for New Iran Talks to Build On Deal Trump Loathes
'It won't be so easy for them to restart,' U.S. president warns Tehran

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are in the midst of a three-day state visit.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday proposed a new nuclear accord with Iran, an apparent attempt by the youthful European leader to keep the existing pact in place while assuaging President Donald Trump’s concerns.

Macron made the announcement after several hours of private meetings earlier in the day with the U.S. president at the White House. His call for a new deal came hours after Trump slammed the existing Obama-era pact, calling it “terrible” and “insane” and “ridiculous” while saying it fails to address Iran’s missile program or activities in the region.

Trump Opens Door for Ronny Jackson Exit
Military physician under fire on multiple fronts, from qualifications to misconduct

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, leaves the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Tuesday after a meeting with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:55 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his Veterans Affairs nominee, Ronny Jackson amid allegations of drinking on the job and creating a hostile work environment even as he opened the door for his White House doctor to withdraw his nomination.

“I’ll always stand behind him,” the president said.

Democratic Majority Would Act Quickly on Guns, Dreamers, Infrastructure, Pelosi Says
Minority leader hits on wide array of topics during Georgetown University town hall

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says Democrats would act quickly on gun violence prevention, protections for Dreamers and infrastructure if they retake the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Democrats control the House in 2019 they would quickly schedule floor action on gun violence prevention, protections for “Dreamers” and infrastructure, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday. 

“When we win and we take over in January, some of the issues that will come up soon are the issues we are asking the speaker to take up now,” Pelosi said, naming those three issues.

Conservative Court Nominee Highlights Smoother Path to Bench
Previous political work no longer impedes confirmation chances

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has presided over a steady stream of judicial confirmations under President Donald Trump, a marked shift from when Barack Obama was president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:29 p.m. | Appeals court nominee Kyle Duncan has advocated on behalf of conservatives in legal fights over contentious cultural issues such as abortion and LGBT rights, leaving behind the kind of paper trail that might have dissuaded presidents from putting him through the Senate’s confirmation process.

Donald Trump is not such a president.

Spending Bill, Tariffs Drive Lobbying as 2018 Elections Approach
Future uncertainty also plays major role

K Street sign at 15th and K Streets in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An omnibus appropriations package, steel tariffs, regulatory work on the new tax law and general uncertainty about the nation’s direction on policy and governing fueled K Street business during the first three months of this year.

The politics of the coming November midterm elections will consume the Capitol for much of the rest of 2018, as lawmakers debate a farm bill, possible new disclosures for social media companies and federal spending beyond Sept. 30.  

Former Florida Reps. Murphy and Jolly Floating Bipartisan Governor Bid
The two have traveled together speaking on gridlock and dysfunction in Washington

Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., is considering asking former Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., to join his ticket in a bid for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two former Florida congressmen are mulling joining forces on a bipartisan ticket to run for governor.

Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, is considering running alongside former Republican Rep. David Jolly, depending on the results of a poll Murphy commissioned this week, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

McCain at Home Recovering From Another Surgery
No timetable for senator’s return to Washington

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shown here in December, has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering from surgery at home in Arizona. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John McCain has been discharged from the hospital and spent time at his ranch in Arizona on Monday night, according to a tweet from his wife, Cindy.

Last Sunday, McCain, 81, was admitted to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and underwent surgery to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis, his office announced in a press release last week. He emerged from the operation in stable condition.