There are really just three ways to give up a seat in Congress on your own timetable: retire, resign or quit. And the method with the least attractive connotations has become particularly popular in the last decade, especially among Republicans.
Those who use the term “retirement” properly are lawmakers who decline to run for re-election but complete the term for which the voters chose them before returning to civilian life, whether as money-makers or golf club denizens. Departures are best labeled “resignations” when senators or House members are forced to up and leave by particularly good, or ruinously bad, professional circumstances — elevated to higher positions in public service, most often, or politically poisoned by moral exposures or criminal failings.
Senators on both sides are pushing to rewrite the law authorizing military force, untouched for 16 years. Even after airstrikes on Syria the debate is likely to fade fast, White House correspondent John Bennett explains, part of a complex modern war-making power dynamic that favors presidents over Congress.
In a political world where running against Washington has become one of the easiest paths to getting there, and where the ultimate outsider neophyte is president, Roy Blunt stands out as proof that the opposite approach sometimes still works.
Few in today’s Congress have succeeded as well, and for as long, at the inside game — where influence is cultivated and sustained by combining broad political and policy expertise along with deep interpersonal skill.
Paul D. Ryan is the first speaker of the House to depart on his own timetable in more than three decades. So what’s he going to do with the time he’s given himself for trying to massage his wounded legacy?
His most obvious option is working to revive a pair of well-remembered but recently abandoned roles — earnest fiscal doomsayer in a time of coursing red ink, and steward of seriousness and stability in a Republican Party that’s in the thrall of President Donald Trump.
When the inevitable generational change starts in the top ranks of the House Democrats, Joseph Crowley is planning to be first in line.
Seven months can be more than several lifetimes in politics, of course, and an almost infinite number of internecine machinations will play out before the election — maneuvering not only within the current caucus but also among the candidates who are its most viable prospective new members.
Last week was all about the Republican Congress finishing a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad assignment that is nonetheless essential to the nation’s sustenance, exemplifies minimal governing competence, and may even be genuinely rewarding for the people elected to set policy.
It will be good for only half a year, and it was born of dozens of compromises for each side to crow and cry about, but the Capitol has produced a solidly bipartisan agreement on the full measure of federal spending.
Assertions of bald political skullduggery on one side, and protecting voting rights on the other, are obscuring a core consequence of the Trump administration’s decision to include a citizenship question on the next census.
Posing such a query will likely reshuffle the allocation of congressional seats for the coming decade.
Congressional Republicans have let slip a golden opportunity to make good on their most important and counterintuitive campaign promise of 2018 — covering for President Donald Trump at every mind-numbing opportunity.
They still have half a year to change their collective minds, but for now the GOP is essentially all in on one of the most outside-the-box political strategies of all time: Betting that safe passage for their imperiled majorities requires lashing themselves to a president mired in record low approval ratings, subsumed by self-orchestrated chaos and in the crosshairs of a special counsel.
If you’re wearing a blue uniform but your game is in a stadium where most of the crowd usually roots for the reds, try accessorizing with as much purple as possible.
That bit of fashion advice is one cheeky way of describing the politically pragmatic behavior of most, but not all, of the 10 Democratic senators hoping to hold their seats this fall in states that went for President Donald J. Trump.
The people’s representatives just keep getting richer, and doing so faster than the people represented.
The cumulative net worth of senators and House members jumped by one-fifth in the two years before the start of this Congress, outperforming the typical American’s improved fortunes as well as the solid performance of investment markets during that time.
Roll Call has completed its analysis of Congress’ wealth, and the results are clear: Congress is getting richer. Senior editor David Hawkings walks you through the findings of the Wealth of the 115th Congress.
The state’s Democratic congressional roster could grow by half a dozen, a huge boost for the party’s bid to take back the House this fall, thanks to new district lines drawn by the state’s highest court. Roll Call political reporter Bridget Bowman explains the party’s boosted targets for opportunity now that one of the nation’s most partisan gerrymandered maps has been re-colored in purple.
The latest unfeasible budget proposal is so two days ago. But a rewrite of the unsalvageable budget process may be unavoidable three seasons from now.
What the White House delivered to the Capitol on Monday were among the least consequential documents of the year. That’s because their fine-print aspirations of fiscal restraint were entirely theoretical. They had been rendered meaningless three days before by the newest law on the books, which makes real the promise of at least $300 billion extra in acceptable appropriations during the next several months.
THE SOURCE FOR NEWS ON CAPITOL HILL SINCE 1955
Want insight more often? Get Roll Call in your inbox