Andy Barr

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

Democrats Take Control of the House With Victories in the Suburbs
Republicans struggled in districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell defeated GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida's 26th District.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are poised to take over the House after notching key victories in the suburbs.

NBC, ABC News and CNN projected Democrats would take control of the chamber even as the outcome in number of competitive races remains unclear. But early Democratic victories signaled a tough night for Republicans, especially in the 25 GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.

Amy McGrath’s Millions Weren’t Enough to Unseat Andy Barr
Democrat raised millions of dollars and national attention

Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr won re-election Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kentucky Republican Andy Barr has survived a competitive challenge from Marine veteran Amy McGrath, who raised record sums of money as a House candidate and whose viral videos captured national attention. 

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Barr led McGrath 51 percent to 48 percent when The Associated Press called the 6th District race. 

Democrats Start the Party as Jennifer Wexton Flips Virginia Seat
As the results rolled in, Democrats in Dulles snapped pictures of the TV screen

Jennifer Wexton delivers her victory speech on election night after defeating Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., for Virginia's 10th district seat on Tuesday, Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

DULLES, Va. — Hundreds of energetic Democrats spilled into the ballroom where Jennifer Wexton is holding her election night party in Virginia’s 10th District.

It turned into a victory celebration even faster than many had hoped. CNN declared it a win for Wexton well before 8 p.m., projecting she would unseat Rep. Barbara Comstock in one of the first red-to-blue flips of the night as Democrats aim to take back the House.

Paid Family Leave Could Make It To Next Congress After Midterm Boost
Elections have seen unprecedented push for paid leave

Vangie Williams, the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 1st District and a mother of six, says her support for paid family leave comes from her experience balancing work while caring for a sick daughter and returning to work shortly after childbirth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vangie Williams, a mother of six, was facing foreclosure and a pile of medical bills for her 2-year-old daughter’s rare lung condition when she wrote to her congressman. She wanted help. But she got a form letter, she recalled.

The experience was one of many that convinced the Virginia Democrat several years later to challenge 1st District Republican Rep. Rob Wittman on a platform that includes paid leave so families caring for sick relatives can avoid some of the impossible financial decisions that she faced.  She and her husband ended up tapping out their retirement accounts and losing their home, she said. 

Ryan, Barr Lament but Defend Trump’s Tariff Strategy at Toyota Visit
Speaker campaigns for vulnerable GOP incumbent in Kentucky

Kentucky Republican Rep. Andy Barr says the general objectives of the Trump administration’s trade policies were “right on.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr and Speaker Paul D. Ryan navigated a sensitive trade issue on the campaign trail Tuesday as they both lamented and defended President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs during a joint appearance at Toyota Tsusho America in Georgetown, Kentucky.

“Obviously, this is a very trade sensitive industry,” Barr said to the auto manufacturer’s employees, before launching into a defense of Trump’s trade inclinations.

Too Much Money Is Too Good a Problem for Democratic Hopefuls
At least 60 candidates raised more than $1 million in third quarter

Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath is among a slew of Democratic House candidates reporting eye-popping fundraising figures for the third quarter. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Record-breaking campaign hauls in House races across the country have left some nominees with an enviable conundrum: How can they possibly spend all the money?

At least 60 House Democratic candidates reportedly raised more than $1 million each in the third quarter of the campaign cycle that ended Sept. 30, eye-popping sums that defy even the most optimistic of projections. But with Nov. 6 less than a month away, some political observers have wondered publicly whether a candidate could have too much cash. 

Amy McGrath Announces $3.65 Million Quarterly Haul in Kentucky
Democrat is challenging GOP Rep. Andy Barr in Toss-up race

KentuckyDemocrat Amy McGrath is challenging GOP Rep. Andy Barr in the 6th District. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Amy McGrath announced Monday that her campaign raised $3.65 million in the third quarter for her bid against GOP Rep. Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th District. 

The $3.65 million haul came from more than 32,000 donations, according to the campaign, which said it has raised $6.65 million since it began in August last year. McGrath finished the third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, with $1.7 million in the bank. 

Shooting Victim’s Father Gets Giffords PAC to Amend Coffman Ad
Anti-gun PAC going after vulnerable Colorado Republican congressman with series of ads

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is the target of a Giffords PAC ad that depicts a text conversation between a mother and her daughter who is trapped in a school shooting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ anti-gun PAC is changing an advertisement it is running against Colorado GOP Rep. Mike Coffman after the father of a girl who was killed in a school shooting in the state 12 years ago criticized it for appearing to use his daughter’s death to score political points.

The Denver Post first reported this story.

When Fried Pickles Lead to Better Policymaking
Ace program helps lawmakers build personal and working relationships

From right, Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr and California Rep. Jimmy Panetta visit a farm outside Lexington, Ky., during an exchange trip in June with the Bipartisan Policy Center. (Courtesy Bipartisan Policy Center)

OPINION — A California congressman, born in Mexico, introduces a Republican colleague in America’s heartland to traditional Mexican hibiscus water while attending a Cinco de Mayo festival, like the one he started in his home district. Within 24 hours, they receive a classified defense briefing nearby at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters. In ways both lighthearted and serious, that’s how relationships are built under the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Congressional Exchange program, or ACE.

Relationships are foundational. Just as it is hard to trust someone you don’t know, it’s also difficult to disparage a person with whom you’ve broken bread — or shared hibiscus water, eaten fried pickles or tasted olive oil on ice cream. And experiencing the world through the eyes and perspective of another is frequently illuminating.