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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:

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.

Hill Staff Health Care: Will Voters Care About This Sideshow?

Nov. 1, 2013

For better or worse, but at least with some finality, congressional staffers’ three-year run as pawns in the Obamacare debate is ending.

16 Senate Women Say 'Run, Hillary, Run' in 2016

Oct. 31, 2013

With President Barack Obama’s approval ratings near a new low this week, the Democratic water-cooler talk is focusing especially early on hopes for 2016 — with the bulk of today’s attention on news that all 16 of the Senate’s Democratic women have written to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to run.

From Churchill to Mandela: A Torch of Generational Leadership

Oct. 30, 2013

In a city studded with statues commemorating foreigners who have inspired the United States, no world figure has attained more tribute than Winston Churchill. At least for the time being.

Judicial Wars: Senate Readies the Next Main Event

Oct. 29, 2013

The first battle in the newest round of the judicial wars is intensifying today — and is on course to climax next week, when the Senate will decide whether to fill even one of the three vacancies on what’s considered the second most important federal bench in the nation, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

A Filibuster Holiday? Christmas Comes Early for Obama in the Senate

Oct. 29, 2013

Seven skirmishes in the Senate confirmation wars are being fought more or less simultaneously this week.

5 Lessons for D.C. on Sandy's First Anniversary

Oct. 28, 2013

On the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the communities along the Jersey Shore and surrounding New York Harbor are living with a profoundly complex mixture of emotions: stubborn triumph at the resilience of their recovery efforts and deep frustration at how much work remains.

Three's a Crowd at These House-Senate Negotiating Tables

Oct. 28, 2013

Dozens of member of Congress and hundreds of their aides have never come close to experiencing a formal, or even informal, legislative conference committee. Divided government and intense partisanship have made a real rarity out of actual dealmaking between the House and Senate. But this week promises to see three sets of negotiations getting started — on the budget, the farm bill and perhaps the water projects package.

Gay Civil Rights Bill, a Test for the GOP, Moves to Hill Forefront

Oct. 27, 2013

The Senate’s partisan balance will move a tick to the left Thursday, when Cory Booker takes his seat as the 55th member of the Democratic caucus. And the New Jersey newcomer looks increasingly likely to make a bit of history befitting his national profile only a few days later, by providing an essential vote to advance the most important civil rights bill of the decade.

Sebelius' Tenure as Obamacare Overseer Hangs With Vulnerable Democrats

Oct. 23, 2013

Will the star witness who isn’t there become the sacrificial secretary?

Gabby Giffords Takes Another Uphill Run at Gun Control

Oct. 23, 2013

Another grass-roots lobbying push for gun control legislation is being staged today by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. But there is no sign at all that the Arizona Democrat and her former astronaut husband will gain any new support at the Capitol.

Bill Young Funeral Arrangements Turn Tributes Into Disputes

Oct. 22, 2013

Maybe it’s tautological, but maybe, too, it’s worth a reminder that the funerals of politicians are inherently political affairs.

Obama Concedes Obamacare's Web Flaws

Oct. 21, 2013

President Barack Obama is going much farther than he has in the past in conceding the problems with the health care law’s rollout. He’s hoping today’s promised improvements will ease the public apprehension that’s surged to the forefront of Washington’s attention now that the shutdown and default drama has been set aside.

Many Existing and Would-Be GOP Leaders Opposed Budget Deal

Oct. 17, 2013

All of the congressional Republicans with viable 2016 presidential ambitions voted against the bill enacted overnight to reopen the government and increase federal borrowing. So did two members of the Senate GOP leadership and three members of the party’s House leadership. The opponents also included a majority of the Republicans who are chairmen of House committees and most of the members of the House GOP caucus who aspire to election to the Senate next year.

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