Bill Foster

Illinois Democrats Seek to Chip Away at Republicans’ House Majority
Second-in-nation primaries set stage for targeting GOP seats

Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in Illinois, where voters head to the primaries Tuesday. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are targeting four seats in Illinois, where voters will pick their nominees Tuesday in the second congressional primaries of the year. 

It’s an early test for the party’s ability to nominate candidates it thinks are viable in the general election. Unlike in Texas, which held the cycle’s first primaries two weeks ago, there are no runoffs in Illinois. So a simple plurality would be enough to advance to the November general election. 

Illinois House Primaries Will Be Early Testing Ground for Democrats
Democrats have several pickup opportunities, but they need viable candidates first

Democrats are confident they’ll have a general election nominee who can take on Illinois GOP Rep. Peter Roskam. The primary is on March 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With early voting starting in less than a month, Illinois will be a testing ground for Democrats’ ability to nominate general election candidates they think can win out of crowded primaries. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting four Republican-held districts, but the committee is not explicitly picking favorites in all those primaries. 

Word on the Hill: Practice Mindfulness on Your Long Weekend
Chief of staff band warms up for the Nationals, and meatless dining in D.C.

The statue of Christopher Columbus is framed by wreaths left over from the 2014 Columbus Day celebration at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate staffers have the opportunity to work on being mindful today.

Mindcare: Mindfulness at Work, hosted by the Employee Assistance Program, is the first of several guided instruction sessions to help establish a mindful practice. It’s for Senate employees only from 11 a.m. to noon in the Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC-215. Call 202-224-3902 to register.

Las Vegas Shooting Reignites Gun Debate on Capitol Hill
Members offer prayers and condolences to victims and families, tributes to police and first responders

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after a gunman opened fire, leaving at least 50 people dead and more than 2oo wounded. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Democratic lawmakers on Monday morning renewed their pleas for legislative action to restrict access to firearms after a gunman unleashed a storm of bullets on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday night.

At least 58 people were killed, officials said. Multiple media outlets have reported that more than 500 people were taken to local hospitals for treatment in what is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Lawmakers Watch Eclipse From Back Home
With Congress on recess, members watched the show with friends, family, and constituents

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  watches Monday’s eclipse from San Antonio, where he was visiting the Chamber of Commerce. (Sen. Ted Cruz via Twitter)

Unlike President Donald Trump, many lawmakers listened to the warnings and wore solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun on Monday.

The president briefly looked skyward before putting on his protective glasses when he and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to view the solar eclipse.

Former Foster Staffer Fifth Democrat to Challenge Roskam
Carole Cheney says incumbent takes same ‘extreme positions’ as Donald Trump

Democratic challenger Carole Cheney said incumbent Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam has “lost touch with the people of his community.” (Carole for Congress via Facebook)

A fifth voice has joined the early chorus of Illinois Democrats looking to unseat GOP Rep. Peter Roskam.

Carole Cheney, who headed the district office of Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., from 2013 to 2017, announced Tuesday she would enter the Democratic primary race for the state’s 6th District, claiming Roskam had “lost touch with the people of his community,” NBC Chicago reported.

Guest List: Who Members of Congress Are Taking to Trump’s Address
President to make first speech to joint session of Congress on Tuesday

The guest lists are out for President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will hold his first joint session address to Congress on Tuesday and every member is able to bring a guest to sit in the gallery.

Oftentimes, those invited are a part of what is driving the news of the day.

New Democrats Want a Piece of the Policy Pie
Coalition arranges task forces around top issues

Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer hopes the task forces gives the New Democrats a chance to help hone policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are in control of Congress, but the House’s New Democrat Coalition does not plan to sit by and let the GOP generate all the policy ideas on issues like taxes, infrastructure and cybersecurity. 

In continuing with their effort to be leaders on policy issues and find potential areas of bipartisan compromise, the New Democrats are launching new task forces designed to generate policy solutions for issues on the GOP’s congressional agenda, as well as policy areas that may not get as much traction in a Republican-controlled Congress, Rep. Derek Kilmer, the coalition’s vice chairman of policy, told Roll Call.

A Heart for Africa
Staff group wants to be part of the conversation on Africa policies

The association's president Diana Konaté is the scheduler for Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One Capitol Hill staff group attracts members who work in Washington but come from far away. No, not California. Try Africa.

The Congressional African Staff Association is “made up of people who have a heart for Africa,” according to Diana Konaté, the group’s president.

Word on the Hill: Long Weekend Debate
Taste of D.C. this weekend and relocated staffer wedding

Donald Trump impersonator Dwane Starlin and Hillary Clinton impersonator Suzanna Woodhead had a beer together at the Capitol Lounge in Washington while the real Trump and Clinton debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Happy Friday and Columbus Day weekend!

Since you probably don’t have to work on Monday, you can stay up late watching Sunday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.