Politics

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 congressman 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., has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering from surgery at home in Arizona. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain has been discharged from the hospital and spent time at his ranch in Arizona last 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.

Warren Challenger Sues to Keep ‘Fake Indian’ Signs Up
Shiva Ayyadurai calls city’s order to remove signs a ‘political vendetta’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren challenger Shiva Ayyandurai is suing to keep these signs on a school bus in front of his office. (Shiva Ayyadurai via Facebook)

An independent Senate candidate in Massachusetts is suing to keep his sign calling Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren a “fake Indian” in place.

Shiva Ayyadurai is suing the city of Cambridge after he was told to remove two signs with Warren wearing an Indian headdress, the Washington Times reported.

Allegations of Excessive Drinking and Hostile Work Environment Delay VA Nominee’s Hearing
Jackson gave Trump clean bill of health in January

Dr. Ronny Jackson, nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, arrives for a meeting with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in Russell Building last week. Isakson is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will delay confirmation hearings for Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, after allegations rose from his past.

An aide with ranking Democrat Jon Tester confirmed to Roll Call that hearings were delayed after Chairman Johnny Isakson told the Washington Post and CNN.

Macron Visit Will Highlight Iran Deal, Trade Differences
‘Iran deal will be atop the list of things Congress is watching,’ expert says

American, French and Washington, D.C., flags fly on Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday ahead of the official state visit of President Emmanuel Macron of France, who arrived later that day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It was all smiles and handshakes Monday afternoon when French President Emmanuel Macron arrived outside the West Wing. But Republican and Democratic lawmakers are expected to intently watch the youthful European leader’s talks with President Donald Trump.

Macron’s polished black limousine pulled into the White House’s West Wing entrance with a spring breeze perfectly pitching the flags of each country affixed to his hood. When the 40-year-old French president greeted his 71-year-old political alter ego, the personal bond they both often laud was on public display.

Both Parties Watching Arizona Special Election for 2018 Signs
Race to replace Rep. Trent Franks in the 8th District is Tuesday

Voters in Arizona’s 8th District will choose between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The special election in Arizona’s 8th District will set the stage for a hotly contested Senate race and a handful of competitive House races in the Grand Canyon State. And both parties are watching for indications of what’s to come in November.

More than 150,000 people have already voted in the contest to replace Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Democrats are hopeful they can make the race close even though President Donald Trump carried the suburban Phoenix-based district by 21 points in 2016. And Republicans know analysts will be looking at the outcome for signs of a potential blue wave.

New Budgeting Software Hopes to Help Democratic Campaign Managers
Warchest now has 200 users, including the DCCC

Juliet Albin and Josh Wolf talk about their campaign budgeting software, called Warchest, at the WeWork in Navy Yard last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The surge of Democratic candidates this cycle has given way to a new crop of campaign managers who are taking their first crack at managing millions of dollars. 

And up until recently, there wasn’t a streamlined way for them to handle the money coming in and spend down to zero, which is the most important job for managers. 

Senate Majority PAC Defends Tester in First Statewide Ad in Montana
Spot pushes back against Americans for Prosperity’s health care attack

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is getting some help on the airwaves from Senate Majority PAC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic super PAC is defending Montana Sen. Jon Tester from a recent attack by Americans for Prosperity with a TV ad of its own.

Senate Majority PAC, which supports Senate Democrats, is debuting its first statewide TV ad in Montana on Tuesday, backed by a $400,000 buy.

After Coons Demonstrates Comity, Pompeo Avoids Dubious Distinction
Old Senate traditions on display as Delaware Democrat pairs with Georgia Republican

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., confer Monday before a tense committee markup on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo narrowly avoided historical ignominy on Monday when the Foreign Relations Committee approved his nomination to be secretary of State.

It took more steps to advance President Donald Trump’s nominee than anyone might have anticipated going into the meeting, including what in the modern Senate was a magnanimous gesture from Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware.

GOP Rep. Lamborn Does Not Qualify for Primary Ballot, State Court Rules
Lamborn was being challenged in the GOP primary

Rep.Doug Lamborn, R-CO., may not be able to run for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:27 p.m. | The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn has not qualified for the GOP primary ballot.

The court ruled Lamborn violated state rules when collecting the 1,000 GOP signatures needed to qualify for the primary ballot. State law says the signature collectors must be Colorado residents, and the state Supreme Court determined one of the collectors was not, reversing a lower court decision.

Rand Paul Flips, Will Support Mike Pompeo Nomination

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., attends a Senate Foreign Relations committee markup in Dirksen Building on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state on April 23, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a series of tweets sent just before the panel was scheduled to gavel into session, that he would support the nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.

“Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State,” Paul said

Indivisible Combatting Sexual Harassment at Candidate Level
Resistance group also asking candidates to commit to diversity

Indivisible is in the process of selecting its second round of endorsements. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group founded by former Capitol Hill staffers wants to increase pressure on congressional offices to build harassment-free environments even before members are members.

When the progressive group Indivisible Project questions candidates to see how well they align with their resistance agenda, they also ask, “If elected, will you make every effort to create work spaces for your staff that are safe and free from all forms of sexual harassment?”

Texas Attorney General Allows Special Election for Farenthold’s Seat
Governor said it was related to Hurricane Harvey

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton gave permission to Gov. Greg Abbott to hold a special election to fill former Rep. Blake Farenthold’s seat.

Paxton issued a non-binding opinion that said a court would agree to set aside election laws to allow for the governor to suspend certain laws if they interfere with disaster recovery, according to the Texas Tribune.

Democrats’ Poll Puts Grimm Up by Double Digits Over Donovan
Dems ‘desperate’ for Grimm because he has ‘zero shot of winning in November,’ incumbent says

Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., faces a primary challenge from his predecessor Michael Grimm. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Democratic poll of voters in the Republican primary for Rep. Dan Donovan’s seat shows challenger Michael Grimm up by 10 points, but the incumbent says that’s what they’d like you to believe.

Grimm led Donovan, 49 percent to 39 percent, among GOP voters in New York’s 11th District in the poll released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats’ political arm, which hopes to flip the seat blue in November.