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David Hawkings


Senior Editor David Hawkings writes the “Hawkings Here” blog and column for Roll Call.

His aim is to provide penetrating, non-partisan and forward-looking analysis of policies being formed on Capitol Hill – and the people and politics driving the debates.

Hawkings has been a passionate Congress-watcher at CQ Roll Call for two decades.

Before his current assignment, he spent two years as founding editor of the company’s Daily Briefing and six years as managing editor of CQ Weekly.

He’s also been senior editor for legislative affairs; the magazine’s economics editor and its congressional affairs editor; and co-editor of “Politics in America,” the signature reference work on members of Congress.

He offers analysis every Monday and Friday on NPR’s Washington affiliate, WAMU, and is a regular guest analyst on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

Before joining the company, he was a correspondent in the Washington Bureau of Thomson Newspapers and a reporter, columnist and editor at the San Antonio Light.

He’s a native of New York and a graduate of Bucknell University.

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Stories by David Hawkings:

A Tale of Two House Democrats on Opposite Courses Toward the House Exits

Sept. 10, 2015

They are a pair of congressmen looking to be in the prime of their public lives. Both are party loyalists with unabashedly progressive views and constituencies as deeply “blue” as they are. Both are emblematic of a caucus that’s trending less white and more liberal. Their names even appear close together on the alphabetical roll of House Democrats.

One Day in, Climactic Month Slips Into Pope-Inspired Procrastination

Sept. 9, 2015

How easy it is to procrastinate during the first month of a new semester, knowing none of the difficult assignments are really due before the end of the term — and especially when there are so many tempting distractions on campus.

August Recess an Ideal Time for Art History Class at the Capitol

Aug. 10, 2015

The oppressively ugly tangle of plastic sheeting and two-by-fours that’s dominated the Hart Building atrium for several months is, paradoxically, a reminder of just how much inspirational beauty infuses the Capitol complex.

GOP Eyes Audacious Escape Plan From Policy Gridlock This Fall

Aug. 5, 2015

Even by the standards of today’s Capitol, where doing important business at or after the last possible moment is the default setting, an exceptionally long and disparate roster of battles and deadlines lies ahead this fall.

Heightened Awkwardness in Trump's Recent Donations to Hill GOP

July 28, 2015

A “lightweight,” an “idiot” and a “beggar” were just a few of the go-to epithets Donald Trump hurled at Sen. Lindsey Graham last week, before giving out the senator’s cellphone number to the world.

High-Risk, Delayed-Reward Strategy for Fighting Menendez Indictment

July 23, 2015

Sen. Robert Menendez has raised the legal stakes for all of Congress, and bought some crucial time for his own imperiled career, with the aggressive strategy he’s unveiled for fighting corruption charges.

Reputation Can Be Tough to Reverse; Just Ask Sheila Jackson Lee

July 21, 2015

The latest dust-up centered on Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has several hallmarks of her form — behaving in ways the vast majority of members of Congress intuitively know to avoid.

When Fear on the Right Is Trumped by Fear of Self

July 16, 2015

When they’re not busy raising money off it, House Republicans tend to sound plenty whiny about their stated No. 1 fear: Being successfully challenged from the right in the next primary.

Confederate Flag Debate Is Historic Test for Boehner

July 14, 2015

When things get particularly rocky, John A. Boehner sometimes tries to assert control by reminding people he is “speaker of the whole House,” meaning his responsibilities as institutional steward can trump his role as Republican-in-chief.

The One Candidate Who Did Something in Congress

July 9, 2015

When the expansive presidential field tops out the week after next, five current and six former members of Congress will officially be in the hunt. Only one can claim to have driven the enactment of landmark legislation.

Hill's Spending on Itself Set on Cautious Course

July 8, 2015

The end of the fiscal year is still a dozen weeks in the future, but already a shutdown showdown looks inevitable. For circumstantial evidence, look no further than the floor schedules for this month. None of the 12 annual spending bills will get a shot at passing the Senate, while the House will give up on the appropriations calendar with four measures in limbo.

Two Weeks on, Hill's Post-Charleston Agenda Has All but Disappeared

June 30, 2015

The last of the funerals for the Emanuel Nine is Tuesday, and momentum for removing Confederate symbols from the public square has reached a plateau. But what about tangible federal policy changes in reaction to the Charleston shootings?

Senate Showing Its Age Lately, Mostly to the Good (Video)

June 25, 2015

The Senate seems as dinged up as ever this summer. Is it coincidence, or are senators just getting older?

Confederate Flag Debate Showcases Scott as Symbol

June 23, 2015

The revived debate about the Confederate battle flag has climaxed with exceptional speed in South Carolina, where the state’s three most prominent Republicans led a bipartisan call Monday for removing the banner completely from the state capitol.

Four Nominees From Hill History for New Face on $10

June 21, 2015

There’s not a female face on our paper currency, which the U.S. Treasury is now promising to change. There is also no one on our money who’s distinguished because of service in Congress. The Obama administration has viable options for rectifying both shortcomings simultaneously with its choice for new portraiture on the $10 bill.

GOP Not Quite Ready for the Health Care Victory It's Dreamed About

June 18, 2015

With each passing day of Supreme Court suspense, the image of the dog catching the bus has come more warily into focus for congressional Republicans.

Why Backing the Rule Is No. 1 Rule for Party Discipline

June 17, 2015

“Voting on the rule” may sound like nothing more than procedural inside baseball. But an enormous amount of policy and political consequence hinges on the fate of House roll calls on resolutions setting the terms for a bill’s consideration.

The Democrats' Ace by Night, Pivotal Trade Vote by Day

June 11, 2015

Rare is the moment when so much attention is focused simultaneously on the same member of Congress for two totally different reasons. But the end of this week marks that time of trial, both athletically and legislatively, for Rep. Cedric L. Richmond.

In Budget of Billions, a Fight Over Pennies for Metro

June 10, 2015

When tracking this year’s inevitable budget crisis, which is showing every early sign of climaxing 16 weeks from now in another shutdown showdown, the Hill community may want to keep Metro in mind.

Passport Case Boosts Obama Foreign Policy Over Hill

June 9, 2015

Congress has decisively lost to the president in the year’s most consequential balance-of-powers dispute before the Supreme Court.

Going to the Baseball Game? Sit in the Middle

June 8, 2015

It’s not too late to make plans to be part of one of the great set pieces of a Washington summer.

Chafee Makes His Quirky Case for President

June 4, 2015

It has all the early hallmarks of the most curious, quirky, counterintuitive presidential quest by a former member of Congress in a long time. Those who’ve tracked Lincoln Chafee’s strange career would be surprised if it were any other way.

Hastert's Past Informs Boehner's Disciplined Course

June 3, 2015

Maybe one thing would be more shocking to Hill long-timers than the lurid criminal charges confronting the previous Republican speaker of the House: A personal scandal taking down the current Republican speaker of the House.

Politicians Prosecuting Their Case to Come to Congress

June 2, 2015

If three in a row signals a trend, then the era of the prosecutor in congressional politics is clearly taking hold.

Members Living in Their Offices Rent-Free Adds Up

May 21, 2015

Rep. Joaquin Castro knows a little about real estate, in part because his twin, Julian, is secretary of Housing and Urban Development. So after winning a safely Democratic seat three years ago, he decided buying a condo on the Hill was a smart investment.

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