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David Hawkings


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:

Doctors Win, Jobless Lose: The GOP Confronts New Perception Problem

March 24, 2014

The week is still young, so there’s time left for the Republicans to change course. But for now, the party is moving assertively toward generating one of the most tin-eared headlines of this campaign year:

Oberweis’ Illinois Senate Bid Testing Theory That Persistence Pays Off

March 23, 2014

They don’t call him the Milk Dud for nothing, but right now, he is on a little roll.

Feinstein Shifts Slow-Burning Anger From Guns to Spies

March 12, 2014

Few senators wait until their 80s, or the start of their third decade in office, to have their breakout moment. But that’s what this past year has been for Dianne Feinstein.

Florida Tossup Tests Patterns for Special Elections

March 10, 2014

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday’s tight congressional contest in Tampa Bay, this footnote is assured: The winner will become the 64th person in the current House first sent to the Capitol by a special election. That’s an astonishing 15 percent of the membership.

Issa's Antics Again Try GOP's Patience, Complicate Party's Message

March 9, 2014

If Congress can sometimes be fairly compared to the fabled Faber College of “Animal House,” then Darrell Issa is the latest character to get marked for “double secret probation.”

Roll Call Round Table: After Cummings-Issa Dust-Up, a Look Back at Nasty House Fights

March 7, 2014

Just how nasty was the brouhaha between Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa and ranking member Elijah E. Cummings, anyway? And how did the resulting floor fight over a resolution to rap Issa on the knuckles compare to other partisan stunts?

These are questions that came up Thursday morning in our editorial meeting as Congressional Black Caucus members put forth the measure, and once we got going, the stories started flying. Bill Thomas crying! Nancy Pelosi turning out the lights and locking the House chamber! The days when legislative spats were settled with fisticuffs! Sure, partisan rancor these days is bad, but things have definitely been worse.

Year's Quirkiest Comeback Bid Could Complicate GOP's Senate Takeover Plan

March 5, 2014

Hill denizens of a certain age well remember the unpredictable Larry Pressler. He could be earning another entry as the answer to a political trivia question soon enough.

The Real Story of Texas GOP Primaries: Democratic Turnout

March 4, 2014

Parsing the Republican results from this year’s first-in-the-nation Texas primaries will surely dominate Wednesday’s political talk. The media will ask how nettlesome Rep. Steve Stockman’s challenge to Sen. John Cornyn proved to be and which of the 23 House members seeking re-election got the biggest scare? How easy was it for state Attorney General Greg Abbott to secure the gubernatorial nomination?

5 Reasons This Supposedly Boring Budget Year Could Be Anything But

March 2, 2014

The budget President Barack Obama sends to Congress on Tuesday will be a month late and hundreds of billions of dollars short.

For Camp's Tax Overhaul Plan, 'Dead on Arrival' May Be Beside the Point

Feb. 26, 2014

What is the point of launching a trial balloon that has already been fatally shot full of holes?

Debbie Dingell Eyes a Curious Glass Ceiling in Readying House Run

Feb. 26, 2014

If Debbie Dingell wins the campaign she’s formally launching on Friday — a solid if not quite certain bet — she’ll make history in more than the obvious way.

Supreme Court EPA Regulation Case Tests Limits, Balance of Power

Feb. 23, 2014

Republicans angry at President Barack Obama’s muscular use of executive authority are returning from recess more focused on litigation than on legislation.

'Taking One for the Team' Isn't a Concept Boehner Can Rely On

Feb. 12, 2014

People looking for clues about the current strength and future prospects of John A. Boehner’s speakership should come to one conclusion: He can no longer count on Republicans taking one for the team.

Senate Finance's New Chairman, Most Liberal Ever, Looks to Start Slow

Feb. 11, 2014

The book on Ron Wyden is that he’s one of the Capitol’s grandest thinkers, with a sprawling range of policy interests matched with wonkish expertise, and eager to work outside the box to put a bipartisan stamp on his many big ideas.

Where He Really Lives Aside, Sen. Pat Roberts Has Moved to His Right

Feb. 10, 2014

Sen. Pat Roberts might be in additional re-election trouble, thanks to a weekend story in The New York Times that’s generating buzz about how the Republican doesn’t have a home he can call his own in Kansas — but he does have a new case to make about his conservative credentials.

Newest Senator Will Test (Historically Limited) Potency of Appointed Incumbency

Feb. 9, 2014

Although John Walsh will become the newest senator on Tuesday, the historical record and the political temperature in Montana suggest he’ll have no better chance of winning this fall’s Senate race than he did before.

Republican Hedges His Bets by Targeting House Seats in 4 States

Feb. 5, 2014

There have been a fair share of congressional carpetbaggers in history, but Allan Levene may be the first to assemble an entire set of matched luggage. And he’s using it to run this year for no fewer than four open House seats in four different states.

Vote Studies Show Double-Sided Numbers for Senate's 'Red State Four'

Feb. 4, 2014

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama cited a single number again and again in warning that John McCain was not the sort of change agent the country needed: His Senate colleague and presidential opponent had voted with President George W. Bush 95 percent of the time.

Sober Look at the Depth Chart Intensifies for House Democrats

Feb. 2, 2014

With the departure of Henry A. Waxman, the seventh member of his caucus to announce retirement, Democrats will be saying farewell to more than a century and a half of House experience come January. Potential losses by just a couple of veterans in tough midterm races would cost the party six more decades of expertise.

A Minimum Wage Move With Maximum Confrontational Consequences

Jan. 28, 2014

Among the stranger phenomena of the modern State of the Union tradition is how White Houses of both parties work so hard to drain it of almost all news value before the speech actually gets delivered.

Seat Scramble for Big Speech Loses Its Crossover Appeal

Jan. 27, 2014

Seems like “date night” just isn’t a thing anymore.

At Retreat, House GOP Will Decide Best Way to Sound Retreat on the Debt

Jan. 24, 2014

Better-than-even odds say the Great Debt Limit Debate of 2014 will be over before it really gets started, maybe by the end of this week.

The Real 'American Hustle': Could Abscam 7 Happen Today?

Jan. 22, 2014

In a year when the label “worst Congress ever” is being invoked as never before, a movie about the most over-the-top corruption scandal in congressional history is topping the roster of Oscar contenders.

This Year's Legislative Acid Test: Immigration Rewrite

Jan. 15, 2014

In theory, some people are refocusing attention on Congress this month after a period of total disconnectedness that began after the last election. For them, the most astonishing thing is surely that an immigration overhaul remains on the to-do list.

Will Miller's Exit Leave Pelosi Too Lonely at the Top?

Jan. 13, 2014

The long list of George Miller’s prominent official titles being unfurled is a reminder of why he is easily the most important member of the current Congress who has announced a retirement.

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