Lindsey McPherson

14 Democrats Push Back on Raising Caucus Threshold for Speaker Race
Caucus threshold should remain simple majority; members should unite behind winner, they say

A group of 14 Democrats who support Nancy Pelosi for speaker are pushing back on a proposal from some of their anti-Pelosi colleagues to raise the caucus threshold for nominating a speaker candidate. 

House Democratic Caucus rules make all of their elected leadership positions subject to a simple-majority vote. Then, under House rules, the speaker nominee chosen by the caucus needs to win votes from a majority of the entire chamber — 218, if everyone is present and voting. 

With an Ambitious Policy Agenda, Pelosi is Poised to Lead the House Again
Calls increased from Democratic incumbents and candidates asking for new generation of leaders

Basking in House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi is focused on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership.

Republican Study Committee to Decide Between Mike Johnson, Tom McClintock for Next Chairman
Both candidates want to boost the RSC’s role in developing and communicating conservative policy ideas

House Republicans aren’t shying away from their conservative beliefs after they lost more than 30 seats to Democrats in last week’s midterm election. If anything they’re doubling down and trying to hone in on a more conservative message heading into 2020.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, has long wrestled with questions about what it means to be a conservative and how to enact conservative policy in a divided Congress. Even with unified Republican government these past two years, the RSC struggled to enact some of its key priorities, such as pro-life policies and work requirements for government benefits.

From Speaker on Down, Here’s Who’s in the Hill Leadership Hunt
House and Senate Republican conferences set to vote this week

With the midterms — mostly — behind us, attention has shifted to the intraparty leadership elections on Capitol Hill for the House and Senate. 

Here’s a look at the various positions that members of both parties and chambers will be voting on in the coming weeks. 

House Intelligence Committee Staff Director Damon Nelson Dies
Nelson had worked for Devin Nunes since he came to Congress in 2003

Damon Nelson, the staff director for the House Intelligence Committee, died Saturday following a brief illness.

Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, Nelson’s boss, shared the news in a statement expressing “deep sorrow” for the death of his employee and friend. The California Republican did not provide further detail about Nelson’s illness. Nelson died at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Maryland.

Sean Patrick Maloney Fourth Candidate to Enter DCCC Chair Race
N.Y. Democrat joins Bustos, DelBene and Heck in race for campaign chief

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on Saturday became the fourth candidate to enter the race to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee heading into the 2020 cycle. 

The position to head up the House Democrats’ campaign arm is quickly becoming the most coveted leadership slot, even though the party will be defending a number of seats in traditionally Republican districts in two years time. The current DCCC chairman, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján — coming off a strong midterm election that has seen the party pick up over 30 seats and take back the House — is running for assistant Democratic leader.

Cheri Bustos Drops Out of Assistant Leader Race to Run for DCCC Chair
Illinois Democrat’s decision avoids face-off with current DCCC chairman Luján

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos announced Friday that she was dropping out of the race for the next assistant Democratic leader and would instead seek to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

“One of the greatest challenges we face in the next Congress is defending and expanding our majority,” Bustos said.

Republicans Missed Opportunities to Retain House Majority, Jim Jordan Says
‘If we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House’

Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, who is running for minority leader, has a tough message for his colleagues: If House Republicans had done more to change Washington and deliver on their campaign promises, they would still be in the majority.

“This might be a tough pill to swallow, but I believe that if we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House of Representatives,” the Ohio Republican wrote in a dear colleague letter first obtained by Roll Call.

Rep. Linda Sánchez’s Husband Indicted for Theft of Federal Funds
California Democrat dropped leadership bid citing “unexpected family matter”

The “unexpected family matter” cited by California Rep. Linda T. Sánchez in withdrawing from the race for House Democratic Caucus chair relates to her husband, who was indicted on theft and conspiracy charges related to spending corporate money on personal trips, including some allegedly spent on Sánchez. 

“Earlier today I learned that my husband is facing charges in Connecticut,” Sánchez said in a statement Thursday. “After careful consideration of the time and energy being in leadership demands, I have decided that my focus now needs to be on my son, my family, and my constituents in California.”

Linda Sánchez Withdraws From Democratic Caucus Chair Race
California Democrat cites family matter in letter informing colleagues she’s no longer running for leadership

California Rep. Linda Sánchez is dropping out of the race for Democratic Caucus chair, citing an “unexpected family matter” that requires her attention. 

“While I will not continue to serve in an official leadership position next year, I look forward to continuing my service to the people of California’s 38th District and doing the important work of the Committee on Ways and Means,” she wrote in a letter informing her colleagues of her decision to withdraw. “Our new caucus chair can count on my full support and I intend to remain a resource for new and returning members.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Not Running for Leadership
Washington Republican will instead seek ranking member subcommittee post on Energy and Commerce

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has decided not to run for re-election to her leadership position and will instead seek a ranking member subcommittee post on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

McMorris Rodgers had wanted to move up in leadership and was eying the whip position had Republicans won the majority. But since Republicans lost and she did not want to challenge Steve Scalise, she decided to pursue a committee leadership slot rather than seek a fourth term as head of the Republican Conference, according to source familiar with her thinking.

Hakeem Jeffries Enters Democratic Caucus Chair Race
Now a three-way contest as Reps. Linda Sánchez and Barbara Lee were already running

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries announced Thursday that he is running for Democratic Caucus chair, creating another three-way leadership race

California Reps. Linda Sánchez and Barbara Lee had announced months ago they were running for caucus chair. The two had squared off against one another for vice chair in 2016, a race that Sánchez won by just two votes. 

House Republicans Launch Quick Campaigns for Leadership Elections Next Week
Contested races emerge for minority leader and conference chair

After a disappointing midterm performance, House Republicans spent Wednesday gearing up for their leadership elections next week, with candidates promising they’ll spend the next two years helping their party reclaim their lost majority.

“I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this, and I have what it takes to do it again,” California Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in a letter to colleagues. “That is why I have decided to run for Republican Leader and humbly ask for your support.”

Pelosi Pumps Up Policy With a Side of Speakership Confidence
Leadership contests pile up but Pelosi, Hoyer insulated from challenges so far

Basking in the House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi wanted to focus on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership. 

Luján Jumping in Assistant Democratic Leader Race, Creating 3-Way Contest
Reps. Cheri Bustos and David Cicilline are also running for the No. 4 leadership slot

Outgoing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced a bid for assistant Democratic leader Wednesday, creating a three-way race for the incoming majority’s No. 4 leadership slot.

The New Mexico Democrat is running against Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois and David Cicilline of Rhode Island in the caucus’s first contested election for the assistant leader post. 

Stivers Not Running Again for NRCC Chairman
Stivers’ decision comes after Republicans lose House control

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers will not seek a second term as head of House Republicans’ campaign arm. Republicans lost control of the House on Tuesday.

“I am extremely proud of the work the Members, candidates, and NRCC team have done over the last two years. It is because of their hard work that we prevented a large Democrat majority,” he said in a statement thanking the NRCC team for their “tireless efforts” this cycle.

Nancy Pelosi Is Running for Speaker, but With Trump’s Help?
California Democrat has little room for error in attempt to regain gavel

After her prediction of a Democratic takeover of the House came true, Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she is confident she’ll be elected speaker but declined to rehash the reasons she thinks she’s the best person for the job.

The California Democrat said she’s made her case about being the best person for the job, noting that her skills as a negotiator. But she said at a Capitol press briefing that she didn’t want to answer further questions on the speaker’s race. She did, however, take time to address President Donald Trump’s comment that she deserves to be speaker.

Kevin McCarthy Making His Move for Minority Leader Position
California Republican says he can win back House majority for GOP in 2020

Rep. Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to his colleagues Wednesday formally announcing his bid for minority leader, arguing that he can help Republicans win back the majority in 2020 after their losses last night.

“I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this and I have what it takes to do it again,” the California Republican said. “That is why I have decided to run for Republican Leader and humbly ask for your support.”

Jim Clyburn Gets Majority Whip Challenger in Colorado’s Diana DeGette
DeGette touts chief deputy whip experience

Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette announced Wednesday she is running for majority whip, challenging South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn for the No. 3 Democratic leadership position.

“Eighteen years ago, our caucus voted to elevate a woman to the top levels of leadership, and it is past time for us to do so again — I would be only the second woman to hold this post,” DeGette said in a letter to colleagues announcing her bid. “I would also be the first Whip from the Mountain West, and our path to a lasting majority must include broadening the caucus’ geographic appeal.”

Liz Cheney Announces Run for Republican Conference Chair
Current conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has not yet announced plans

Freshman Rep. Liz Cheney announced in a letter to her colleagues Wednesday that she is running to chair the House Republican Conference, likely setting up a contested race for what will be the No. 3 position in GOP leadership next year.

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the current conference chairwoman, has not formally announced her plans yet, but she’s expected to run again for the post.