Michael Teitelbaum

D.C. gets its ‘voting card back’ (well, sort of)
Now that Democrats are in charge, the rules have changed

Now that Democrats are in charge again, Eleanor Holmes Norton got her “voting card back finally,” she joked.

It was a big week in Congress for the delegate from D.C. Her perennial bid to win statehood for the District pulled in a record number of co-sponsors. And for the first time in more than eight years, she got to vote in the House chamber.

New Democrats hand D.C. statehood a milestone
‘Painstaking’ process may finally be paying off, says Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

Since coming to the House in 1991, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has tried time and time again to make the District of Columbia the 51st state. It’s been an uphill climb.

In her first term, her statehood bill got zero co-sponsors. In the next Congress, it got 81 co-sponsors — but ultimately flopped, 153-277, when it came to the floor in 1993. 

This time House Democrats might support D.C. statehood
Attitudes have changed since the chamber last voted on the issue in 1993

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s delegate to Congress, is hoping attitudes have changed in her own Democratic caucus about making Washington, D.C., a state.

She introduced a bill on Jan. 3 that would make the District the 51st state, entitled to a representative and two senators, and she now has 178 co-sponsors. But back in 1993, the last time the House voted on such a proposal — also put forward by Norton — 105 Democrats voted no, along with almost every Republican. The bill failed 153-277.

Tornado Strikes Congressman’s Hometown, Grazes McDonald’s His Dad Built
Rodney Davis breaks out the chain saw after rare December tornadoes

After a rare December tornado hit his hometown in central Illinois over the weekend, Republican Rep. Rodney Davis is on cleanup duty. 

While his own family and property went unharmed, many neighbors got hit hard. And the twister banged up the sign of the business where Davis first worked as a teenager — a local McDonald’s franchise built by his dad.

David Trone Waits Out 2016 Loss, Cancer to Win Seat
Maryland Democrat succeeds John Delaney in 6th District

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — After waiting two years for another shot at Congress and enduring a recent cancer scare, a little voting delay outside Maryland’s 6th District he will represent wasn’t a big deal to Democrat David Trone.

“Only through failure do we learn true empathy,” he told his supporters gathered in a Gaithersburg hotel Tuesday night, a reference to such setbacks, including his loss two years ago in a primary in the nearby 8th District to Jamie Raskin. This time around, Trone defeated Republican Amie Hoeber to punch his ticket to Capitol Hill. 

He Could Be the Last Republican Standing in New Jersey
With 4 of 5 GOP-held N.J. seats in play, Chris Smith might be the lone survivor

Ah, New Jersey, the land of malls, diners, Bruce Springsteen … and the endangered Republican. Just how endangered? Well, right now the state’s House delegation has seven Democrats and five Republicans but if the political winds blow just right, the latter number could dwindle to one.

The Garden State is playing host to four competitive races this year — all for GOP-held seats — according to Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. Democrats are favored to pick up two open seats — Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo’s 2nd District in South Jersey and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s northern suburban 11th District. 

The Dizzying Life of Midcycle Newbies
For arrivals in the middle of a Congress, it can be tough to hit the ground running

In April, just a few days after being sworn in following his stunning special election win in Pennsylvania, Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb strode into the Capitol, hand clutching a coffee cup, as he made his way to the House floor for a vote. But before he could make it inside, a guard abruptly stopped him. Beverages in the chamber, she explained, are strictly forbidden. “You can go through the cloakroom,” she helpfully suggested. Lamb gave a blank stare. “It’s around the corner,” she said, pointing down the hall.

The first few days and weeks for new lawmakers can prove a disorienting adjustment, especially for winners of special elections.

From Wite-Out to Regular Order: A Lot Has Changed at the CRS
Walter Oleszek is the agency’s longest-serving employee

When Walter Oleszek was hired at the Legislative Reference Service in 1968, Lyndon Johnson was president. The Legislative Reference Service is now the Congressional Research Service, and Oleszek is still there 50 years later. He has seen a lot of change when it comes to his favorite subject: Congress.

Currently the longest-serving employee at the agency, Oleszek may be best known to legions of political science students for two books he’s written over the past 35 years: “Congress and Its Members” and “Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process.”

Virgin Islands Del. Plaskett is Calm in the Storm
Hurricane Irma batters Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on its way toward mainland U.S.

Despite Hurricane Irma causing power outages, destruction, and potential loss of life back home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Del. Stacey Plaskett was remarkably calm.

She had been up since 4 a.m. in constant contact with her close neighbor to the west, Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon.

Water and Wages Illustrate a Partisan Divide
Colby Itkowitz contributed to this story. ...
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