Emily Kopp

Former Rep. Darrell Issa launching an exploratory committee for Rep. Duncan Hunter’s seat
Onetime wealthiest member of Congress will be able to tap his fortune to fund his campaign

Former California Rep. Darrell Issa is likely to launch an exploratory committee Thursday in a challenge to embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter, according to a not-yet-unveiled website

“I have formally launched an exploratory committee for the 50th Congressional District in California,” the site reads. “I have received such a tremendous outpouring of encouragement from supporters inside the district, and around the state and across the Nation.”

Rep. Jahana Hayes scolds hometown press, leaving some in doubt about her strategy
Typically members of Congress court positive relationships with local media outlets

Rep. Jahana Hayes issued a scathing response last week to stories in Connecticut newspapers, leaving some media observers in the state in doubt about the soundness of her strategy.

Typically members of Congress court positive relationships with their hometown media outlets.

House Democrats: Congress should open investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s death
Letter asks several outstanding questions, including circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death

Dozens of House Democrats have called on the leaders of the chamber’s powerful investigative committees to launch an inquiry into the case of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.  

“While we cannot undo the damage Epstein has caused the victims of his abuse, the survivors of Epstein’s exploitation and manipulation deserve a forum to be heard and both they and the public deserve transparency and answers to unresolved questions,” forty-five Democrats said in a letter addressed to the top Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee and Oversight Committee.

Republican congressional candidate denies tweet calling Rep. Ilhan Omar ‘illegal’
Maryland state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling deleted tweet after inquiry from newspaper

A Maryland state senator and congressional candidate has denied writing a tweet posted to his account that referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar as “illegal.”

Republican Johnny Ray Salling, who announced last week that he will challenge Maryland Democrat Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger in 2020, said in a statement Monday that the tweet “was not from me.”

FEC documents: Rep. Joe Kennedy III may be serious about challenge to Sen. Ed Markey
Markey enjoys the support of both the party establishment and influential progressives with the Sunrise Movement.

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III wrote today that he hasn’t made up his mind about running for the Senate in 2020, but he has filed documents with campaign finance regulators indicating that he is serious about a possible bid. 

Kennedy filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, which could set up a Democratic primary race against Sen. Ed Markey. But, also Monday, Kennedy posted a statement to Facebook saying he had not reached a decision about the race yet. 

Former Rep. Gary Ackerman faces sexual assault allegation from the 1960s
Plaintiff sued under state’s new Child Victims Act, which lifted statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases

A man identified in court records as “John Doe” alleges in a new lawsuit that former New York Rep. Gary Ackerman sexually abused him when he was a teenager. 

The plaintiff says Ackerman exploited him in 1966 when the former Democratic congressman was a director at Ten Mile River Scout Camp, a 12,000-acre Boy Scout reserve, according to the complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The suit also names the camp and the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America as defendants. 

Democratic challenger taunts congressman as ‘Devin Nunes’ Cow’ hearing starts
‘Devin, if you want to sue someone, sue me,’ Phil Arballo says in digital ad

A Democratic challenger to Rep. Devin Nunes released a digital ad Friday taunting the California Republican for the string of lawsuits he has launched against his perceived political enemies, including parody Twitter accounts. 

The campaign unveiled the ad to coincide with Nunes reporting to court in his lawsuit against two parody accounts pretending to be his mom and a fictional cow on Twitter, according to a spokesman for Democrat Phil Arballo.

Former Republican congressman and inflammatory radio host Jason Lewis to run for Senate
Trump team hopes running ‘Mini Trump’ candidate will ramp up turnout in a key presidential state

A former Republican congressman and conservative radio personality with a history of inflammatory remarks will challenge Minnesota Democratic Sen. Tina Smith

Former Rep. Jason Lewis, who served one term in Congress and worked for 25 years as a radio personality, will run against Smith, he announced Thursday. 

Hickenlooper enters Colorado Senate race, but he will have competition
Former governor announced his withdrawal from the presidential race a week ago

After spending a week off the campaign trail, former presidential candidate John Hickenlooper announced Thursday that he will run for Senate in Colorado. 

The former two-term Democratic governor said he wants to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in next year’s election. Hickenlooper will face several challengers for the Democratic nomination, and will have to address statements he made earlier this year that he was not interested in the job.

First House Republican backs renewed assault weapons ban
Rep. Peter King has broken with party leadership on gun violence prevention measures before

New York Rep. Peter King is the first Republican in Congress to back a renewed federal ban on assault rifles.

The development reflects calls for action on Capitol Hill after gunmen armed with assault weapons killed scores of people in California, Texas and Ohio in the span of a few days. 

FEC chairwoman: Penalty ‘slashed’ for ex-congressman who used leftover campaign money to lobby
The law forbids former members of Congress from using old donations like ‘an illegal pension fund’

An ex-congressman who diverted leftover campaign money towards dinners and dues at a private club outside of the Capitol just as he began to lobby his former congressional colleagues will only have to pay back a fraction of the campaign funds he misused. 

The Federal Election Commission stalemated in a 2-2 vote over whether to issue a more severe fine to Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns, one that would hold him personally liable, an FEC memo shows. 

Rep. Rashida Tlaib rejects Netanyahu’s terms and forgoes trip to visit grandmother
A day after rejecting Muslim Democrats’ visit, Israel said it would allow Tlaib entry on ‘humanitarian’ grounds

Rep. Rashida Tlaib will forgo a trip to see her aging grandmother in the West Bank after the Israeli government said it would allow a visit on “humanitarian” grounds.

In a reversal, Tlaib rejected the conditions laid out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the humanitarian visit, namely, that she not broadcast her support for boycotting Israel over its actions against Palestinians during her stay. 

Israel bars entry to Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar
Trump said Netanyahu would ‘show weakness’ by allowing House members to visit

A planned trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories by Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been halted by Israeli officials.

“The state of Israel respects the U.S. Congress, as part of the close alliance, but it is inconceivable that anyone who wishes to harm the state of Israel will be allowed, even during the visit,” a media statement from the government read.

New calls for Rep. Steve King to resign in wake of graphic comment about rape and incest
Liz Cheney, No. 3 House Republican, joins Democrats in calling on Iowa congressman to stand down

Iowa Rep. Steve King is facing new calls to resign in the wake of his latest inflammatory remarks — this time for saying humanity might not exist were it not for rape and incest.

Speaking before the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, the Republican congressman made the comment while defending his opposition to exceptions for rape and incest in anti-abortion legislation, The Des Moines Register reported

Katko challenger Dana Balter accepted campaign salary too early, FEC says
Democrat pledges to repay the $6,720 she improperly withdrew

A two-time Democratic challenger to New York Rep. John Katko has been dinged for a campaign finance error early on in her campaign.

Dana Balter improperly accepted a salary paid out by her campaign before campaign finance rules permit that sort of arrangement, federal regulators wrote in a letter. 

Crenshaw got $250,000 advance for book about ‘outrage culture,’ new filing shows
Freshman rep has been a social media fixture since a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, but critics say he has used his platform to incite hatred

Rep. Dan Crenshaw has signed a $250,000 deal to publish a book. 

Crenshaw inked a contract with Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, according to the freshman Texas congressman’s most recent financial disclosure form, which was filed Monday. 

Duncan Hunter said person making ‘OK’ sign in photo was a ‘stranger.’ The man calls Hunter a friend
California Republican backtracks, but episode could foreshadow his 2020 strategy

When a constituent who posed for a photo with Rep. Duncan Hunter was later found to have white supremacist ties, a Hunter staffer dismissed him as “a stranger in a parade who wanted to be in a picture” with the Republican congressman.

The photo showed Hunter at a July Fourth parade in his Southern California district, standing beside Kris Wyrick, who flashes an “OK” gesture — a sign appropriated by extremists in recent years to mean “WP” or “white power.”

Champion of US agriculture, former Illinois Rep. Paul Findley dies at 98
Republican congressman drew attention for his criticism of U.S. policy on Palestine

Former Rep. Paul Findley, who represented his Springfield-based district for 22 years, died Friday at the age of 98. 

The Illinois Republican was commemorated by the man who succeeded him — Democrat Richard J. Durbin, now the state’s senior senator — as an “exceptional public servant” and friend.

Rep. Devin Nunes accuses retired farmer of conspiring against him in legal complaint
Even Republicans are scratching their heads

A farmer, a newspaper and a fictional cow are all defendants in lawsuits filed by Rep. Devin Nunes in the last year. 

From his perch as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has cast doubt on the findings of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III by alleging, without evidence, a conspiracy by the president’s perceived enemies.

Republicans cast about on guns, Trump’s rhetoric at town halls
August recess is typically a low-profile time for members of Congress, but tensions running high this week

An agonizing national conversation about gun violence and race reverberated in members of Congress’ town halls across the country this week. 

“I totally disagree with the characterization that Trump is racist,” said Republican Rep. Don Bacon to a smattering of applause from a small audience in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska. “When you call the president a racist ... you're turning away half the population.”