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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:

Sanders Pursues Next Job With Interest in Post He Has Now

Nov. 18, 2015

Unlike most of his Republican analogues, Bernard Sanders is overtly trying to harness his senatorial work this fall to the service of his presidential campaign.

Two Veteran Chairmen in Forefront After Paris Attacks

Nov. 17, 2015

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the most famous moment when terrorism instantly replaced the economy as the congressional agenda item, editors here struggled to assemble a list of 28 lawmakers prepared to take ownership of the Hill’s new mission.

House Conservative Favorite Eyes Unusual Career Switch

Nov. 15, 2015

The path from the legislative to the executive branch is as well-worn as usual, with five senators and a former senator now hoping to succeed another onetime senator as president and 15 former members joining the Cabinets of the Obama and George Bush administrations.

What the 2016 Calendar Says About Congress

Nov. 5, 2015

Decades of waiting on the arrival of the annual congressional calendar and then poring over the details affords Hill long-timers a nuanced appreciation of the myriad political calculations and logistical limitations that go in to setting the Capitol’s timetable for an entire year.

The Ryan Rule: Whose Portrait Is Next?

Nov. 4, 2015

Just days into the job, Speaker Paul D. Ryan has now made two decisions that deliver a powerful signal about how he’ll be the institutional steward of the House.

The Mixed Symbolism of Paul Ryan Sleeping in His Office

Nov. 3, 2015

Many colorful “firsts” are accompanying Paul D. Ryan into the speakership. Most are distinctions from his past he can do nothing to alter: The only Wisconsinite to ever preside over the House, the first who’s been Ways and Means chairman, waited tables on Capitol Hill or toiled as a House staffer.

Wealth of Congress: How the Rich Got Richer (Video)

Oct. 28, 2015

If Congress ever raises taxes on the 1 percent, nearly 10 percent of members will face the hike.

Marco Rubio's Long Senate Goodbye

Oct. 27, 2015

Most lawmakers approach life in Congress as they would a functional marriage: The decision to go down the road is taken with great care, the thrill of the new is soon supplanted by hard work and sacrifice in pursuit of lasting gratification — and it’s painful whenever things don’t work out, for whatever reason.

The Would-Be Chairman With Ways and Means on His Side

Oct. 26, 2015

Assuming no more last-minute surprises this fall at the House Republican Conference, the only important personnel decision to be made in coming days is who’ll become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

The Freedom Caucus Filibuster, Explained

Oct. 25, 2015

“If it wasn’t for the filibuster, he’d still be the speaker today.”

Ryan Sacrifices Job Security With Eye Toward Long Game

Oct. 22, 2015

What’s the best job security Paul D. Ryan can hope for, even if the Republican malcontents hold their fire long enough and he becomes speaker of the House?

Daniel Webster Presses Nuanced Case for Speaker

Oct. 21, 2015

Daniel Webster made clear over the past two weeks he wasn’t waiting on Paul D. Ryan’s big decision. And on Thursday, the relatively obscure Florida congressman reiterated he is still running for speaker, no matter what.

Gridlock Greets Mondale on Return to D.C.

Oct. 20, 2015

Tuesday’s symposium on the legacy of Walter Mondale, the former vice president and power-player senator, offers a fresh rationale for considering a smartly argued report that’s gone largely overlooked in all this fall’s congressional news.

Clinton Better Bring A-Game to Benghazi Hearing

Oct. 18, 2015

The year’s most important congressional hearing is at hand — not only because momentum in a presidential election is in play, but also because the legislative branch’s ability to conduct serious oversight is on the line.

Next Speaker Unlikely to Continue Long String of Leadership Insiders

Oct. 10, 2015

Updated Oct. 13, 12 p.m. | There may be plenty of good reasons why Republicans are now seeking a “fresh face” as House speaker. But picking from outside the existing chain of command would also create some big challenges.

House Republicans Cement Quarter-Century Lock on Melodrama at the Top

Oct. 9, 2015

These two weeks have been an intense reminder about how unstable the speakership of the House has become. Thursday put a shocking spotlight on another reality: Republicans have had nothing but unexpected heartache in choosing their own leaders in the past quarter-century.

GOP Leadership Vacuum Seen Helping Ex-Im Bank's Future

Oct. 8, 2015

One of the most important legislative drives this fall will manifest John A. Boehner’s promise to “clean the barn” for the next speaker — or else looms as the first ideological comeuppance for the new Republican leadership.

Young Man in a Hurry, Chaffetz Now Positioned for a Longer Game

Oct. 7, 2015

Jason Chaffetz will bring a chameleon political background and unremitting ambition into Thursday’s caucus of Republicans with his eyes on the prize — just not this time.

Scorched Senate Tactics Limiting Cruz's Options, Top Prize Excepted

Oct. 5, 2015

The questions about Ted Cruz in the Senate no longer start with whether he’s got even a couple of friends left among fellow Republicans. The answer, after a public shaming on the floor last week, sure looks like a “no.”

Ambition, Achievement, Tenure: House's Team of GOP Rivals Long on Just One

Sept. 30, 2015

This much has become clear about the still-evolving scramble to reconfigure the House Republican leadership: Only white males will end up occupying the top three positions of power. They’re all going to hail from the Sun Belt. At least two, but perhaps all three, will have been in Congress for fewer than a dozen years.

Hamlet of the House Routine Prompts Talk About Act 3

Sept. 29, 2015

On paper, at least, he remains an obvious option. Just ask him. And yet Jeb Hensarling is walking away, for the second time in as many years, from an opportunity to move into the topmost echelon of House Republicans.

Will Speakers Ever Again Be Able to Stay on Their Own Terms?

Sept. 27, 2015

Speaker John A. Boehner’s resignation continues, and possibly cements, a remarkable pattern in modern American politics.

Members Will Be Blocked 2 Ways From Touching Pope Francis (Video)

Sept. 21, 2015

Too many members cannot be trusted to behave themselves when Pope Francis comes to the Capitol, the congressional leadership has decided. And so, to enforce decorous discipline, some extraordinary measures are being readied.

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.

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