Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s retirement announcement Wednesday sparked a public scramble for a successor to match his fundraising prowess and to serve as the House GOP’s political and policy chief in the age of President Donald Trump.
Though the Wisconsin lawmaker has pledged to stay in office through the end of the term in early January 2019, some GOP insiders on and off the Hill question whether he can remain an effective fundraiser and political leader during a nearly nine-month lame-duck period.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s highly anticipated debut as a congressional witness this week marks an unprecedented step in the company’s decade-long effort to wield influence in the nation’s capital.
The social media titan is leaning on an expanding roster of well-connected lobbyists and message shapers at his company, as well as a team of outside consultants, to prepare for a host of questions from senators on Tuesday and House members Wednesday. Lawmakers plan to probe everything from a scandal involving Facebook users’ data to the secretive sources of campaign ads on the platform.
Lawmakers continue to debate major changes to political money regulations as part of a year-end spending package, despite opposition from numerous congressional Democrats and campaign finance watchdog groups.
Even with congressional primaries already underway, the proposals could play out in the November midterm elections if enacted, campaign finance experts on both sides of the debate say.
Democratic candidates and liberal organizations are seeking to capitalize on Conor Lamb’s apparent win in Pennsylvania, invoking his name in fundraising pitches nationwide.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers from Michigan to Nevada, along with groups focused on everything from political money to Social Security, are trying to seize momentum from Lamb’s showing in Tuesday’s special election to help them woo donors and to validate their policy views.
The Trump administration’s controversial plan for new tariffs may seep into the debates of competitive House races — well beyond Pennsylvania steel country — that will determine in November which party controls the chamber.
Opponents of the tariffs on steel and aluminum also warn that if the administration carries through with the proposal and if other nations retaliate, the issue could spill into even more congressional districts, including in Republican-leaning farm country.
No matter what happens in the November elections, the House of Representatives will be a body transformed.
At least eight of the chamber’s sitting committee chairmen are quitting Congress — and two additional chiefs have already given up their gavels. These exits come at a cost to the institution, as House Republicans will lose policy expertise, political savvy and procedural prowess.
With primaries underway, conservative groups are stepping up their campaign against President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal to levy new steel and aluminum tariffs — warning that it could cause political peril for Republicans.
“We’re deeply concerned. We’ve made it clear to the administration that imposing tariffs is an enormous mistake,” said Tim Phillips, who runs Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group funded in part by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. “It will undercut their political chances in what’s going to be a challenging election year.”
A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced an overhaul to foreign lobbying rules, while a similar, once fast-moving measure appears temporarily stalled in the House amid pressure from outside interests.
The new bill from Texas Republican John Cornyn and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein indicates that momentum to revamp foreign lobbying disclosures persists as the Russia probe has kept concerns about international influences in the spotlight. But opposition remains.
The swamp looks out for its own.
A Republican lobbyist said Tuesday he was organizing a fundraiser next month to help pay the legal bills of Rick Gates, the former K Streeter who pleaded guilty last week in the expanding special counsel probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
Harriet Melvin, a Republican lobbyist whose clients include songwriters, the National Football League and eBay, has observed dramatic changes in the influence industry during more than two decades in the business.
Political upheaval, partisan stalemate on Capitol Hill and technological innovations have all disrupted and transformed the much-maligned, $4 billion-a-year federal lobbying business.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a potential contender in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, said Tuesday she would no longer accept donations from the political action committees of for-profit companies.
Her prohibition includes contributions from PACs connected to trade associations and law firms, her spokesman Glen Caplin told Roll Call in an email, saying the goal was to "get corporate money out of politics."
Walter Shaub Jr. has blasted the Trump White House for creating an “ethics crisis,” but the previous head of the Office of Government Ethics now is offering praise for the administration’s choice for his successor.
The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump selected Emory A. Rounds III, an OGE lawyer since 2009, to run the office, which offers counsel to government officials about how to avoid potential conflicts of interest and violations of ethics statutes. Shaub said he was “excited” about the nomination.
The Open Society Policy Center, the lobbying arm of liberal billionaire George Soros’ philanthropic network, reported spending a record sum to influence federal issues during the first year of the Trump administration.
The group disclosed spending a total of $16.1 million on federal lobbying in 2017, with the majority of that coming in the last three months of the year, according to a report filed with Congress. The Soros group disclosed spending $10.3 million in the fourth quarter.
House Republicans took a significant step Wednesday in an effort to overhaul the nation’s foreign lobbying disclosure regulations amid scandals in the influence sector.
The House Judiciary Committee advanced as amended, 15-6 along party lines, the measure that would give the Justice Department new subpoena-like investigative powers. That new authority sparked controversy among the panel’s Democrats.
The House Judiciary Committee plans to take up a bill on Wednesday that would overhaul the 1938 law governing foreign lobbying disclosures, but the measure’s fate in the Senate remains unclear.
The bipartisan bill could have broad implications not only for lobbyists and other U.S. representatives of foreign governments and political parties but also for those working on behalf of foreign corporations and nonprofit organizations.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue pledged to “double down” on the group’s multimillion-dollar political efforts this year while also pushing for overhauls in Congress of immigration, infrastructure and entitlement programs.
Donohue said the chamber would invest more money and time on primary elections ahead of the 2018 midterm elections with the goal of restoring more power to the political “middle” while still aiming to keep Republicans in control of the House and Senate.
Lobbyists have — almost — survived a genuinely bonkers year.
The Trump era ushered in a maelstrom of unpredictable policy fights along with scandals that have ripped into K Street. Think it can’t get any stranger? Just wait until campaign season kicks into high gear in 2018.
Lobbyists sparring over whether the final version of the Republican tax bill should roll back a rule that prevents churches and charities from endorsing political candidates could add another wrinkle to the year-end spending debate.
Although a House proposal to scale back what’s known as the Johnson Amendment may not survive the tax overhaul, supporters of the change could turn to a spending measure as Plan B. And groups wishing to preserve the Johnson Amendment, which has been a part of the tax code since 1954, say they will be on alert.
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