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David Hawkings


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 Balance of Powers Case With Senate GOP Power in the Balance

Jan. 12, 2014

One of the biggest congressional stories of the decade starts unfolding Monday — not at the Capitol, but across the street.

An Ethics Conflict Avoidance Period?

Jan. 10, 2014

This week’s belated appointment of two new board members for the Office of Congressional Ethics suggests the independent watchdog agency is approaching the sixth anniversary of its creation with a fading shroud of controversy.

The Other Reed Begins to See His Senate Spotlight Brighten

Jan. 8, 2014

If January’s award for biggest out-of-the-shadows move by a Senate Republican goes to Michael B. Enzi, then the companion prize for a Democrat must surely be given to Jack Reed.

3 Reasons Congress' Year Might Start Unexpectedly Strong

Jan. 5, 2014

Congress is reopening for business this week, to begin what President Barack Obama says “needs to be a year of action.”

The 7 Most Important Things Congress Did in 2013 (and the Top 25 Things It Didn't)

Dec. 23, 2013

Every lawmaker and staffer at home for the holidays is surely spending much of the break answering some version of this same derisive question: What’s it like, being a part of the least productive Congress in modern times? Two numbers frame the discomforting answer: 7 and 25.

With His BFF Leaving, Is Boehner Eyeing the Exit, Too?

Dec. 18, 2013

With the postmortems of this year’s biggest congressional events winding down, it’s not too early to start forecasting the top Hill stories of the year ahead.

Lackluster Final Score for Congress This Year: 8 to 22

Dec. 16, 2013

Every lawmaker and staffer who’s about to head home for the holidays knows to expect to spend the break answering some version of the same dreaded and derisive question: What’s it like, being a part of the least productive Congress in modern times?

Obama Replaces His Hill Lobbyist With a Senate Veteran

Dec. 13, 2013

President Barack Obama replaced his chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill today, concluding that his legislative affairs director for the past year had lost the confidence of too many congressional Democrats and made minimal inroads with the Republicans.

Daschle World Is Back at a Zenith, 5 Years Later

Dec. 10, 2013

For the Washington fantasists who like speculating about what might have happened in policy and politics “if only,” one of the most interesting questions at the moment is this: How would the administration be faring now if only Tom Daschle had properly paid his taxes.

Obama Skips Holiday Balls and Chance to Repair Congressional Relations

Dec. 9, 2013

This time there is a rock-solid excuse, but the sense of a continuing snub is sure to linger: Most members of Congress will not have any opportunity to socialize with the president this year.

Senators Return for 2 Weeks That Could Last a Needless Eternity

Dec. 8, 2013

The answer is 178 and a half hours.

Purse Strings Passed to a Different Sort of Republican

Dec. 4, 2013

Three weeks ago, and thanks mainly to the seniority system, an unusual midyear rearrangement of the House Appropriations power structure produced promotions for a quartet of relatively moderate and old-school Republicans.

Mixed Economic News Faces Budget Talkers as Congress Returns

Dec. 2, 2013

Updated: 6:00 p.m. | Some decidedly mixed economic signals are greeting lawmakers as they begin their balky return for the final month in this historically lackluster year of legislating.

Politics as Family Business: When Bad Moods Trump Big Dynasties

Nov. 25, 2013

What’s up with the family business is a perennial default conversation starter at so many Thanksgiving dinners. And that’s likely to be especially true around the tables of families in the business of winning federal campaigns.

Don't Bet on a Tax Code Rewrite Happening Anytime Soon

Nov. 20, 2013

In the current congressional climate, it’s wiser to assume something won’t happen than it is to assume it will — even when it’s the chairman of an important committee proposing a sweeping policy rewrite.

Sleeper Alert: Disabilities Treaty May Rise Anew in the Senate

Nov. 19, 2013

His approval rating may have sunk to a new low, right there with the portion of cooperative spirit left in the Republican ranks, but President Barack Obama is gambling that he can somehow reverse a searing, if low-profile, loss from a year ago on a proposal with global implications and domestic political import.

Defense Bill's 52-Year Record Will Be Tested Once Again

Nov. 18, 2013

The defense authorization bill, which the Senate looks set to debate at least for the rest of the week, is the congressional version of the movie blockbuster that has it all: An amazing array of cool hardware, whiz-bang special effects, political intrigue, spymaster secrecy and some inappropriate sexual behavior — not to mention a staggeringly big price tag.

How the Capitol Turned the Day JFK Died

Nov. 17, 2013

Nov. 22 falls on the Friday before Thanksgiving this year, just as it did 50 years ago. And that extraordinary day in 1963 began on the Hill in ways that would seem familiar to the congressional denizens of today.

Yellen Takes a Grilling, but Will Soon Head the Fed

Nov. 14, 2013

Janet L. Yellen faced intense and skeptical questions from several Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, but nothing appeared to threaten her prospects for becoming the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

4 Centrists Get Money Seats in Appropriations Gavel Shuffle

Nov. 13, 2013

The House Appropriations Committee executed a rare midterm leadership shuffle Wednesday.

Budgetary Tunnel Vision: No Early Light at This End

Nov. 12, 2013

Updated 4:32 p.m. | One month before their no-penalty-attached deadline, budget negotiators will convene Wednesday morning for only their second public meeting. There’s still no sign anything was accomplished behind the scenes since the opening session two weeks ago — except maybe a downgrading of the already de minimis expectations.

Convention City Wannabes Are Rehearsing Their Pitches for 2016

Nov. 11, 2013

Darkness after work. Freeze warnings at night. Congress looking likely to work until close to Christmas, then return just a week into January. Staff and member travel clipped by the sequester. And an off-year election jump-starting the next presidential race earlier than ever.

Democrats Unveil Post-ENDA Game Plan

Nov. 7, 2013

Senate Democrats, confident of passing legislation banning job discrimination against gay people, are readying their next assertive moves on three other issues important to their base:

Now the Midterm Campaign Begins — With Both Sides on Offense

Nov. 5, 2013

The off-year election is over. Now the midterm campaign can genuinely begin.

Gay Civil Rights Debate Moves to Still-Recalcitrant House

Nov. 4, 2013

Monday evening’s preliminary test vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act essentially guarantees that the most consequential civil rights bill of the year will pass the Senate with genuinely bipartisan support, very likely by the end of the week.

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