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David Hawkings

Bio:

David Hawkings has been editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing – which offers forward-looking, non-partisan analysis of the top stories in Congress and around official and political Washington, online or by e-mail before lunchtime every weekday – since its launch in November 2010. For six years before that he was managing editor of CQ Weekly, a magazine covering federal policies, people and politics. He’s has also been the senior editor for legislative affairs, economics editor, congressional affairs editor, managing editor for daily news and co-editor of "Politics in America," the company’s signature reference work on members of Congress. He offers analysis every Monday and Friday on NPR’s Washington affiliate, WAMU, and makes frequent appearances as a guest commentator on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

Before joining the company in 1995, 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 Polarized Society as GOP Selects House Leaders

June 18, 2014

If midterm elections are all about mobilizing the base, then both parties can take heart in new research showing their bands of hard-core supporters have grown bigger and more hard-core than ever before.

How Hillary Might Deal With the Hill: New Book Offers Hints

June 17, 2014

Some of the most pointed passages in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new memoir confront the congressional Republican criticism about Benghazi. That’s hardly a surprise, given that the book is so clearly a positioning document for another presidential run in which one major line of GOP attack will be against the former secretary of State’s handling of the assault on that U.S. diplomatic post in Libya.

Latest Budget Skirmishes: From School Lunch to Immigration

June 15, 2014

Appropriations is supposed to be the exception to the rule that Congress will be minimally productive this year, and the recent flurry of action on the annual money bills has made it appear that way.

Cantor Had No Choice but to Step Aside After Defeat

June 12, 2014

It was impossible to imagine how Eric Cantor was going to remain House majority leader longer than a few more weeks. The biggest surprise is that he’s decided to hang on to his job title, if not really the job’s duties, until the end of July.

Stunner: Cantor Upset Changes Everything

June 10, 2014

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in a Republican primary Tuesday, conceding his Virginia seat to a local activist after a stunning loss with possibly dramatic consequences for leadership, the chances of any immigration overhaul passing Congress and the future of his party.

Obama's Hill Relations No Picnic, Though There Is One

June 10, 2014

He called off the traditional picnic for lawmakers not once but twice last summer, then missed both congressional holiday balls so he could speak at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. But now plans seem locked down for everyone in the 113th Congress to have at least one sociable interaction with President Barack Obama at the White House.

What Cochran Vs. Lott Said About Today's GOP Civil War

June 8, 2014

Last week marked only the second time in his life that Thad Cochran did not win an election outright.

Veteran Voices, Influence Fade on the Hill

June 2, 2014

It’s among the more curious recent coincidences in Congress. The veterans’ health care scandal reached a climax, and galvanized unusually bipartisan outrage — just as the dwindling roster of veterans slips below a symbolic threshold.

Political Typecasting on the Benghazi Panel

May 28, 2014

Updated, 3:20 p.m. | With public hearings still weeks away, it’s too soon to fairly predict whether a purely political show trial or a riveting investigatory breakthrough is in store from the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.

Will the Kentucky Senate Race Be the Most Expensive Ever? Yep.

May 22, 2014

The figure has attained almost mythic status, but now it seems intuitively clear the number will come true: $100 million in spending on this year’s marquee Senate matchup in Kentucky, shattering the record for the most expensive congressional race in American history.

Running for Governor? The House Might Not Be the Place to Start

May 21, 2014

Pennsylvania’s primary voters have put an exclamation point on one of the lesser-understood realities of modern American politics. Being in the House is just not a good starting point for being elected governor.

Supreme Court Decisions to Shape Policy, Campaigns

May 18, 2014

As the justices bring this season’s caseload to a close, they have a pretty clear idea how the rest of this Supreme Court year will play out. The rest of the country, however, will remain almost entirely in the dark until the remaining decisions are unveiled over the next six weeks.

DCCC's Bad Week a Lesson in Political Basics

May 15, 2014

It’s been an undeniably rotten week for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. And, just as certainly, the people running the House minority’s political operation have only themselves to blame.

First Lady Makes First Midterm Foray as First Surrogate

May 13, 2014

Michelle Obama drew plenty of attention last weekend on both the international and popular culture fronts, the publicity overshadowing what may end up being the biggest bit of Washington news she’ll make this spring, as the first lady has taken her first turn of the 2014 campaign as presidential first surrogate.

Greasy Piglets Vs. Guilty Elitists: A Climate Standoff

May 7, 2014

In summarizing how the debate over the future of the planet played out Tuesday, the temptation to resort to a cliché proves too great.

Gowdy Tailor-Made for GOP's Benghazi Assignment

May 5, 2014

For those lulled into thinking the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has devolved into nothing more than an over-the-top Hollywood-D.C. mashup schmooze fest, one small scene offered a reminder of how real congressional business can get done in the least likely places.

Sexual Harassment Training for Congress: No Mandate, but Wise Idea

May 4, 2014

A voice vote in the House usually means the proposal is genuinely beyond reasonable opposition, despite today’s very low bar for rancorous discord.

Hill Staffers Get Their Turn: Hot Contests for Region's Voters

April 29, 2014

The people who work in committee or personal offices on Capitol Hill can claim something of a unique benefit from representative democracy: They have more than one set of members to call their own.

As Congress Returns for 9-Week Slog, 5 Areas Are Ripe for Compromise

April 27, 2014

Congress returns Monday afternoon for its longest run of the year — nine straight weeks when the lights will be on in at least one chamber. And, for so many glimmers of policymaking hope, it’s getting close to now-or-never time.

'Lying in Politics' Plaintiffs Go on Offense in Several New States

April 16, 2014

The lead plaintiff in the “Can you lie in politics?” case going before the Supreme Court next week, anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, says Ohio’s law against false campaign assertions will stifle that state’s midterm congressional debates.

Can You Lie in Politics? Supreme Court Will Decide

April 14, 2014

The Supreme Court has made pretty clear that putting your money where your mouth is deserves broad protection as a form of free political speech. The justices are about to consider whether outright lying in a campaign deserves a similar First Amendment shield.

History Lesson for McAllister: Members Caught Pursuing Staffers Never Survive

April 9, 2014

Rep. Vance McAllister is showing every sign he’s hunkering down in hopes of saving his nascent political life. But recent House history signals that it’s going to be a futile pursuit.

A Case for Moran: 'Underpaid' Is Accurate

April 8, 2014

He’s sounding politically tone deaf, of course, but on the merits Rep. James P. Moran has a solid case to make about congressional compensation.

A Landmark Election Ruling, Made by Justices With Minimal Campaign Involvement

April 6, 2014

One way of looking at the latest Supreme Court decision speeding the flow of big money into elections — a ruling destined to have a bigger impact on the culture of Congress than anything that happens at the Capitol this year — is that one side’s definition of political reality narrowly prevailed over the other.

Ryan Budget Is High-Risk, Modest-Reward Strategy in an Election Year

April 1, 2014

An ocean of figures fill the final fiscal blueprint Paul D. Ryan will unveil as chairman of the House Budget Committee. But the number that matters most never appears: 16.

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