Lindsey McPherson

Trump Orders Declassification of Carter Page FBI Documents
Action follows request from House Republicans

President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the immediate declassification of redacted materials in the FBI’s 2017 application to spy on Carter Page, as well as various FBI reports of interviews related to that matter including ones conducted with DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision in a statement Monday noting Trump’s decision comes “at the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency.”

McConnell Slams Democrats for Timing of Sexual Assault Allegation Against Kavanaugh
Asserts that accusation of misconduct brought forward in an ‘irregular manner’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats for the process and timing under which the sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been raised. But  he said he has confidence that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley will handle the matter appropriately.

It’s been 70 days since President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh and the Senate has spent more than two months poring through his background, including hundreds of testimonials from people who know him, McConnell said.

Pelosi: Short-Term VAWA Extension ‘Abdication of Our Responsibilities to Women’
Minority leader pens letter to speaker asking for long-term reauthorization

Updated 2:39 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi penned a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Monday criticizing House Republicans’ decision to only temporarily extend the soon-to-expire Violence Against Women Act. 

House Republicans plan to extend VAWA  through Dec. 7 as part of a fiscal 2019 government funding package that would provide yearlong funding for the departments of Defense; Labor, Health and Human Services; and Education and short-term funding for a handful of other agencies. The House is expected to vote on the package the week of Sept. 24. VAWA is set to expire Sept. 30.

Former Rep. John Dingell Suffers Heart Attack
Longest serving member reportedly in good spirits

Former Michigan Rep. John Dingell suffered a heart attack Monday morning, according to his wife and congressional successor Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell.

“It appears John Dingell had a heart attack early this morning,” Debbie Dingell said in a statement. “He’s alert and in good spirits, cracking jokes like always. He’s in the process of being admitted to Henry Ford Hospital. Our sincere thanks to all the medical professionals and nurses at our sides. We’ll know more later.”

Pelosi, Dems Slam Trump Over Hurricane Response
A year after Maria and Irma, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands still need help, they say

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had long been planning to convene a press conference Friday to talk about the ongoing recovery needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands a year after two hurricanes hit the American territories. She didn’t know President Donald Trump would fire off tweets Thursday accusing Democrats of inflating the hurricane’s death toll.

But the president choosing to “add salt to the wounds,” as Pelosi described it, only underscored her message that the federal response to Hurricane Maria has been woefully inadequate.  

15 Members Pledge to Withhold Speaker Vote Without Rule Changes
8 Democrats, 7 Republicans part of bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus

At least 15 members of the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus have pledged to withhold their vote for speaker if the candidate that emerges as the majority party’s nominee does not back the caucus’s proposed rule changes.

The Problem Solvers unveiled a package of rules changes in late July dubbed “Break the Gridlock.” The proposals aim to open up the legislative process in a way that prioritizes bipartisanship.

Paul Ryan Swan Song Tour Continues At Reagan Institute Launch
Retiring speaker has been giving speeches that highlight themes of his 20-year career

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s final few months in office will likely be shaped by his handling of a looming government funding battle and his party’s performance in the midterm elections, but he has a different message he’d like to send as he departs. 

“Most days, we tend to lurch from crisis to crisis, whether real or manufactured. But we need to have the ability to look around the corner, and plan for what’s ahead,” Ryan plans to say Thursday during a speech at the launch of the Reagan Institute in Washington, according to prepared remarks shared with Roll Call. 

As Primaries End, Jayapal Launches Medicare For All PAC
Health care idea has not attracted universal support among party

On the day of the final primary election of the midterm cycle, Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal announced she was launching a PAC focused on helping candidates who support Medicare For All, an idea that divided Democratic candidates.

The PAC will support both candidates and initiatives promoting universal health care. The announcement did not specify an initial investments.

Good Government Groups Urge ‘Systematic Reform’ of House Rules
Demand Progress leads letter and white paper to Congress with recommended rule changes

Twenty outside groups that seek to promote good government sent a letter to House lawmakers Wednesday morning, urging them to take back their individual power and overhaul the chamber’s rules. 

The letter, led by Demand Progress, outlines 10 principles that members should follow in crafting a new rules package

Government Overhaul Like ‘Caffeine’ for Economic Agenda, Dems Say
Minority whip to deliver speech Wednesday outlining campaign finance, voting, ethics, rules overhauls

If Democrats win the House majority, Steny Hoyer believes their economic agenda will do better if they first pass a government overhaul package to help restore Americans’ continuously eroding trust in government.

“To regain that trust, our response must be vigorous and innovative,” the minority whip plans to say in a speech Wednesday morning, according to excerpts shared with Roll Call.

Too Soon for Rules Talk, Uneasy House Members Say
With House up for grabs, some lawmakers prefer to wait until after midterms

Revisiting the House rules is a normal task lawmakers undertake every other fall, but this year, several members are uneasy about beginning that process ahead of a midterm cycle in which the chamber majority could change hands.

Some Democrats don’t want to get over their skis by preparing a rules package that their party will only have power to implement if they take control of the House in November.

Blue Dogs See Single-Digit Majority as Their ‘Sweet Spot’
Moderate Democratic caucus hoping to regrow its power through midterm gains

The nearly moribund Blue Dogs, the coalition of moderate-to-conservative House Democrats, are looking to rebuild influence in the next Congress — and they think they’re in an especially good position to do so if the November midterms result in a single-digit House majority. 

The leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition, speaking with a small group of reporters Wednesday, said they obviously prefer a Democratic majority, but they think they will have power even if Republicans hold on to the majority with just a handful of seats. 

Despite Trump Rhetoric, Polling, House GOP Leaders Shrug Off Potential for Fall Drama
Ryan confident there won't be a government shutdown, saying, ’I think the results will prove itself‘

Whether it was the potential of a government shutdown or President Donald Trump suggesting that his Department of Justice erred in bring charges against two Republican congressmen just months ahead of the midterms, Speaker Paul D. Ryan is shrugging off the controversy.  

Consider it part of the “no drama” strategy House GOP leaders laid out to their conference Wednesday morning.

Why Republican Candidates Aren’t Getting Asked Who They’d Back for Speaker
Democratic candidates constantly get asked about Pelosi, but Republicans are rarely questioned about McCarthy, Jordan

Democratic candidates can’t escape the question, “Do you support Nancy Pelosi?” But how many Republican candidates can say they’ve heard the equivalent about Kevin McCarthy or Jim Jordan, the two GOP speaker hopefuls?

A Roll Call analysis found only 13 press reports in which Republican candidates in the 86 competitive House races were asked about or commented on McCarthy or Jordan in the context of who should be the next Republican leader.

Lobbyist Linked to Manafort Pleads Guilty on Foreign Agent Charge
Charges stem from Mueller investigation

A lobbyist who partnered with one of Paul Manafort’s key business associates has pleaded guilty to failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act related to his political consulting work on behalf of a Ukrainian national.

Samuel Patten, 47 was charged and pleaded guilty Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Here Are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far)
Roughly half of the House committees will have new GOP leadership next year

Roughly half of the House’s 21 committees will have new Republican leadership next year, creating several competitive races among colleagues looking to move up the ranks.

The majority of the openings come from retiring GOP chairmen, most of whom have reached the six-year limit Republicans place on their committee leaders.

Abortion Rights Group Targets McMorris Rodgers, Walden on Family Separations
Equity Forward Action launching six-figure TV ad buys in Washington and Oregon

Equity Forward Action is launching six-figure TV ad buys Wednesday targeting House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden over the GOP-controlled Congress’ failure to pass legislation addressing family separations at the border.

For a week, the reproductive rights advocacy group, which bills itself as a Health and Human Services Department watchdog, will air nearly identical 30-second ads on a mix of broadcast and cable networks, with the one targeting McMorris Rodgers airing in the Spokane market and the one attacking Walden airing in the Medford, Portland and Bend markets.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Open to Supporting Jim Jordan for Speaker
Position signals possible division among House GOP leadership team

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers says she is open to supporting Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, for speaker — a significant admission given that Speaker Paul D. Ryan declared months ago that the entire GOP leadership team was united behind House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

McMorris Rodgers had not been asked at the time if Ryan was speaking for her but apparently he was not. The Washington Republican told the Inlander she’s open to supporting McCarthy or Jordan but she’s not committed to support either one yet.

Nancy Pelosi Questions Trump Attacks on DoJ in Wake of Cohen Plea
Minority leader wants Judiciary Committee to investigate Trump‘s ’relentless assaults’ on the FBI, special counsel

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is questioning the motivations behind President Donald Trump’s “relentless assaults” on the Department of Justice and the special counsel investigation after his former attorney Michael Cohen implicated him in a crime. 

“Michael Cohen’s admission to making illegal campaign contributions ‘at the direction of the candidate’ to influence the 2016 election, implicates President Trump in a federal crime and raises serious questions regarding the motive behind his continued attacks against the Department of Justice,” the California Democrat said. 

Sen. Hirono Backs Out of Kavanaugh Meeting, Accuses Trump of Protecting ‘His Own Okole’
Hawaii Democrat says Trump ‘is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter’

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono has canceled her meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in light of Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas potentially implicating President Donald Trump in a crime

Trump, “who is an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal matter, does not deserve the courtesy of a meeting with his nominee — purposely selected to protect, as we say in Hawaii, his own okole,” Hirono tweeted Wednesday.