Stories by David Hawkings:
Dec. 1, 2015
It may be an unstoppably powerful combination: The seemingly unbridled expansion of everything about “the holidays,” and the perception that even the most modest and benign government program will eventually spiral out of control.
Nov. 19, 2015
When negotiators on the highway and mass transit bill formally convened Wednesday, it took only a few minutes for them to cut their first deal: Rep. Bill Shuster was named chairman of the conference committee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oct. 28, 2015
If Congress ever raises taxes on the 1 percent, nearly 10 percent of members will face the hike.
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.
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.
Oct. 25, 2015
“If it wasn’t for the filibuster, he’d still be the speaker today.”
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Sept. 27, 2015
Speaker John A. Boehner’s resignation continues, and possibly cements, a remarkable pattern in modern American politics.
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.