Trump Nudges Danny Tarkanian Out of Heller Challenge
Frequent candidate will run for the House again

Danny Tarkanian, Republican candidate for several offices over the years in Nevada, poses with a basketball at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy in Las Vegas on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump threw vulnerable Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller a lifeline Friday, nudging conservative primary challenger Danny Tarkanian out of that race and into one for a House seat.

It “would be great” if Heller “could run for Senate unopposed!” he wrote in a tweet. Trump urged “good guy” Tarkanian to end his bid to unseat Heller and run for the U.S. House instead.

Jim McGovern Most Likely to Take Over for Slaughter on Rules Panel
Massachusetts Democrat to serve acting ranking member until Pelosi names successor

Ranking member Louise Slaughter and Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern confer before a House Rules hearing in the Capitol in July 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After House Rules ranking member Louise Slaughter’s death, Rep. Jim McGovern will take over her committee post in an acting capacity, and remains the most likely candidate to succeed her. 

The Massachusetts Democrat was the second-highest-ranking Democrat on Rules behind Slaughter. McGovern’s seniority grants him the opportunity to serve as acting ranking member in her absence, as he did this week while she was in the hospital for a concussion. Slaughter, 88, the first woman to head the Rules panel, died Friday

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Specials for the Cherry Blossom and Kennedy honor

Bill Gates waits to board the Senate subway in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Crowded Field Jockeying to Replace Rep. Trey Gowdy Adds Two More
The 17 Democrats and Republicans who have announced have two weeks to file campaign papers

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is not running for reelection in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ever since South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdyannounced in January he would not seek re-election in the fall, everyone in his district with a political bone in their body seems eager to replace him.

On Wednesday, former state Sen. Lee Bright, a Republican, and attorney Eric Graben, a Democrat, became the 11th Republican and sixth Democratic candidates, respectively, to declare campaigns to fill the void Gowdy is leaving in South Carolina’s 4th District, The Greenville News reported.

Women Who Run the Show
Monica Popp and Alexis Covey-Brandt are chiefs of staff in leadership offices

Monica Popp has been Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn’s chief for almost three years. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans haven’t exactly followed the advice of conservative icon Margaret Thatcher, who liked to say, “If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

The GOP has five female senators, and none in leadership. It can seem like a man’s caucus, at least from the outside looking in.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren on When ‘Administrative Assistants Ran the Hill’
California Democrat started out as a staffer in the 1970s

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren started out as an intern on Capitol Hill right out of college. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Zoe Lofgren was a staffer forty years ago, articles of impeachment were flying. Still, she thinks Congress is more chaotic now.

The California Democrat replaced her former boss, Rep. Don Edwards, after he retired in 1994.

From Assistant to Chief, Women Heading Hill Offices
‘I don’t want people from the outside world calling and thinking I’m taking dictation in here’

Rep. Rosa DeLauro hugs fellow Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher J. Dodd during a 2010 event. In 1981, she joined a handful of congressional female chiefs of staff when Dodd hired her off the campaign trail. Also pictured, at left, former House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Women have been heading up congressional offices dating back to the 1940s, but that “assistant” position looked very different from today’s chief of staff post.

The 1946 Legislative Reorganization Act created the title of administrative assistant, which evolved into chief of staff. In 1947, there were about six female administrative assistants in the Senate, according to Senate Historian Betty K. Koed.

Opinion: We All Have the Same Challenges
Female staffers should be judged by the results they produce

Barrett Karr, center, is chief of staff to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Also pictured, Kelly Dixon, director of legislative operations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I am often asked what it is like to be a female chief of staff. My answer is that it is probably not that much different from being a male chief of staff — we all have the same challenges. 

But the question reminds me that I am fortunate to have worked for Kay Granger, John Kline and now Kevin McCarthy.

Floor Charts for the Floor Show
Our favorite garish visual aids from a month of congressional floor-watching

(C-SPAN screenshot)

Tributes to the late Billy Graham, talking points about the Russia investigation, touts for the Republican’s tax bill — watching the House and Senate floors can be a thankless task. But the floor charts make it all worthwhile.

Lawmakers like these oversized and sometimes garish visual aids because they help get the point across. The Twitter handle @FloorCharts posts some of the daily highlights, and Roll Call now provides a monthly roundup of the best of the best.

Too Long; Didn’t Read Act Aims to Cut Confusion for Entitlements Programs
Bipartisan bill would make federal agencies place instructions for applicants at top of letters and emails

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., walks down the House steps following a vote on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For Americans who qualify for aid through federal programs, navigating the process to unlock those benefits is often stressful and confusing.

A constituent of Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton received a piece of mail from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently. The letter contained instructions on how to access his benefits — but they were buried at the bottom of a six-page letter mostly filled with bureaucratic balderdash. The man nearly glossed over the instructions telling him to upload his records on the VA’s website. Had he not read the letter carefully all the way through, he would have missed the most important part of the letter and possibly seen a delay receiving his VA benefits.