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David Hawkings

Bio:

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:

Reid Surgery a Crucial Moment in a Storied Career

Jan. 25, 2015

This is one of the most pivotal weeks in Harry Reid’s personal life, not to mention his congressional career.

Congress, Obama Each Say 'You First' on War Authorization

Jan. 22, 2015

On the topic of authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State, the state of play between Congress and President Barack Obama is reminiscent of some famous cartoon humor from a century ago.

The Real Big Speech? The Pope Might Visit Congress

Jan. 21, 2015

Hours before he took the podium, whatever President Barack Obama said Tuesday night was getting eclipsed on the Hill by all the excited chatter about the next person likely to speak before a joint meeting of Congress.

State of the Union: Why Members Keep Showing Up

Jan. 20, 2015

This year there are more defensible rationales than ever for members of Congress to miss the State of the Union address. But there doesn’t seem to be any groundswell of absenteeism in the works.

Democrat Has Trick Up His Sleeve to Battle Irrelevance

Jan. 15, 2015

“We got magic to do, just for you, we got foibles and fables to portray as we go along our way.”

Ryan's Rationale for Bypassing 2016

Jan. 13, 2015

The dead giveaway, if it wasn’t a total head fake, was when Paul D. Ryan showed up to begin his ninth term in the House sporting a blossoming beard.

Centrist Democrats on McConnell's List of Potential Collaborators

Jan. 13, 2015

It’s safe now to forget about the “red state four,” the quartet of Democrats whose defeats in conservative-leaning states last year assured the Senate GOP takeover. And the inevitable creation of the next “gang of six” (or eight, or 12, or whatever) is at least one legislative impasse in the future.

Democratic Committee Assignments Less Than a Zero-Sum Game

Jan. 12, 2015

The House Democrats undeniably remain the fourth and smallest wheel in the congressional machine. And they’re still struggling to apply enough internal political grease to get their pieces of the legislative engine out of neutral.

Voting Rights: One Way the GOP Might Reverse What Scalise Scandal Made Worse

Jan. 7, 2015

With the House once again preoccupied by Speaker John A. Boehner’s future, the snowy hoopla of opening day looks to have been the final event that sealed Steve Scalise’s fate: He is going to survive as majority whip for the indefinite future.

Quirky Ceremonies, Curious Characters Mark Hill's 'First Day of School'

Jan. 6, 2015

If freshman week back in November was the Hill’s equivalent of college orientation, then the formal convening of each Congress is the Capitol’s analogue to the first day of school.

Languid, Lax Congressional Ethics Disciplinary System May Pick Up Pace in 2015

Dec. 22, 2014

The final flurry of activity aside, it remains undeniable that members of the outgoing Congress accomplished precious little as legislators. Less noticed, but almost as clear, is how the “do-nothing” label also may be affixed to their efforts at policing themselves.

Congress' Closing Chaos, as Viewed in the Senate Subway

Dec. 11, 2014

For a sense of what this climactic week for the 113th Congress feels like, a well-timed visit to the Capitol’s main subway platform will do the trick.

What the Landrieu Adieu Says About the 2015 Senate

Dec. 9, 2014

Now that Louisiana’s voters have added their crushing coda to this year’s Republican sweep, many of the ways in which next year’s Senate will be different have locked in place.

McConnell in 2013: No Reason for GOP Senate to Reverse 'Nuclear Option'

Dec. 8, 2014

With Senate Republicans meeting Tuesday to debate how to handle the filibuster in the 114th Congress following last year's "nuclear option," Roll Call looks at a June 2013 speech from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatening to maintain a reduced threshold for advancing legislation if Democrats changed Senate rules.

“There’s not a doubt in my mind that if the majority breaks the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate with regard to nominations, the next majority will do it for everything,” McConnell said on the floor on June 18, 2013. “I wouldn’t be able to argue, a year and a half from now if I were the majority leader, to my colleagues that we shouldn’t enact our legislative agenda with a simple 51 votes, having seen what the previous majority just did. I mean there would be no rational basis for that.”

Truce in 'Nuclear' Filibuster War May Be Senate GOP's Best Option (Video)

Dec. 8, 2014

Beyond the sort of brinkmanship that always grabs public attention in the waning hours of the legislative year, one story out of Congress is going to fascinate the insiders and may infuriate the institutionalists.

Obama's Push for Political Ambassadors Reaching Lame-Duck Limit

Dec. 4, 2014

Perhaps the last important contribution Max Baucus made to the culture of the Senate, where he spent 35 years, was to offer a blunt truth before becoming the American envoy in Beijing.

Paul Plots Paths to 2 Elections as Portman Takes Simpler Route

Dec. 3, 2014

Yawner: Two first-term Republican senators announced Tuesday they’re seeking re-election in 2016.

Lessons for Lovers of Long-Shelved Budget Reconciliation

Dec. 2, 2014

Maybe if it was called “the gridlock slayer” instead of “budget reconciliation,” more people in the Capitol’s orbit would be getting excited about the revival of a form of legislative magic that hasn’t been practiced in almost five years.

The Opaque World of Committee Assignments

Dec. 1, 2014

One of the older truisms routinely applied to politicians is, “Where you stand is where you sit.” In other words, their ideology flows clearly from their life experience. And on Capitol Hill, there is this corollary: “Where you sit is what you do.”

Election Trivia for Political Wonks, Part 2

Nov. 19, 2014

Maybe the lovers of congressional curiosities still haven’t mined the 2014 election results for all the political and institutional trivia pushed toward the surface.

Election Trivia for Political Wonks, Part 1

Nov. 18, 2014

For those fond of congressional political and historical arcana (and count me among them) every second November produces a treasure trove of statistics and other fun facts — some that help illustrate the trends of the election past, others that point toward likely story lines of the Congress to come.

This Democrat Could Be the McConnell Whisperer

Nov. 17, 2014

The next two years may be when Joe gets his last, best chance to help run the show.

Why Freshman Week Is a Lot Like College Orientation

Nov. 12, 2014

The notion that Congress is like college usually gets highlighted a few times each year: When members are rushing to meet several legislative deadlines before a lengthy recess, they tend to act very much like students at the end of the semester — pulling all-nighters to cram for exams and churn out papers assigned months ago.

5 Things That Could Get Done in a Divided Government

Nov. 6, 2014

Congratulations, all you members-elect. Now, about your freshman years: What is it you expect might actually get accomplished with the help of your “Yes” votes, or despite your presence in the “No” column?

Hoping You'll Join CQ Roll Call for Election Results and Analysis

Oct. 31, 2014

For those who have been immersed in the midterm campaign since its inception, the suspense in the final hundred hours is particularly intense. But even for people with only a passing (or late-blooming) interest, the wait for Election Day is starting to get acute.

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