Darrell Issa

Why Most House Republicans Voted for a Deal They Loathed
Debt haters and defense hawks made up most no votes

Texas Rep. Pete Olson, seen here at a Wednesday press conference, was among the 21 of 25 Texas Republicans to vote for final passage of the Hurricane Harvey relief measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Republicans griped about the fiscal package they were forced to vote on Friday, but ultimately, a relatively small portion of the conference was willing to vote against it.

A little more than one-third of House Republicans voted against a package that would extend government funding and the debt ceiling for three months, while providing $15 billion in disaster relief aid, primarily to Texas and Louisiana to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

Former Rep. Mike Honda Joins California PAC
“Red to Blue California” PAC aims to flip Golden State House seats

California Rep. Michael M. Honda lost his bid for re-election last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Michael M. Honda is the new chairman of the “Red to Blue California” political action committee, which is focused on unseating House Republicans in the Golden State.

The California Democrat, who served eight terms in the House, will serve in an advisory role and as a surrogate for the PAC, which aims to pick up seven GOP seats that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried last fall.

Word on the Hill: Flake Honored for Courage Under Fire
Staffer recognized by HBCUs, and CODEL news

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., walks away from the scene of the shooting at the Republican baseball team’s practice in Alexandria, Va., in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the same day that President Donald Trump was bashing him at a rally in Phoenix, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was honored Tuesday in Tucson by Arizona sheriffs for his actions during the shooting at the Republicans’ Congressional Baseball Game practice in June.

Flake was recognized by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the Arizona Sheriffs Association for running from cover to help House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was seriously wounded, and for calling Scalise’s wife to inform her about what happened.

Here’s How Republicans Reacted After Trump (Again) Flip-Flopped on Charlottesville
Many in president’s own party countered his stance

A man carries an American flag during a protest against racism and the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 14, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

An unprecedented outpouring of congressional Republicans reacted Tuesday as President Donald Trump flipped his position (again) on last weekend’s violent outburst in Charlottesville, Virginia.

First Trump held “both sides” responsible just after protesters demonstrating in support of a General Robert E. Lee statue clashed with counterprotesters. Then a prepared speech Monday had the president condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s and the violence generally. Finally, Tuesday night Trump came back to two-sided rhetoric when he said some members of the far-right organized demonstration were “very fine” people.

Far-Right Protesters in Virginia Included ‘Very Fine’ People, Trump Says
Trump says ‘both sides’ to blame for Charlottesville unrest

President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower on Tuesday. He appeared to defend some of the white supremacist groups who help spawn deadly violence Saturday in Virginia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended some of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who were part of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, protests last weekend, saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of the racially charged unrest.

A defiant Trump, just a day after slamming the pro-white groups who organized the two-day protests of the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, appeared to give some of their members cover. “There is blame on both sides,” he told reporters during what amounted to a brief impromptu press conference at Trump Tower in New York.

Who Did Former Members of Trump’s Manufacturing Council Donate to?
None made contributions to Trump, but many hedged their bets on both parties

Merck Pharma CEO Kenneth Frazier, right, was the first of four CEOs to resign from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after the president’s remarks on the demonstration and violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

An analysis of political contributions of the four CEOs who resigned from President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after his Charlottesville remarks show they are deep-pocketed donors who have contributed to both parties.

Notably, none of them donated to the president’s 2016 campaign, as many major business donors were wary of then-candidate Trump.

Opinion: GOP Tax Dilemma — Somebody’s Got to Pay More
There’s a reason tax reform doesn’t happen often

South Dakota Sen. John Thune believes that traditional budget scorekeeping underestimates the dynamic effects of tax cuts on the economy, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Any deduction you look at in the tax code has a constituency behind it,” John Thune said last week as we chatted about taxes in his Senate office. “If you are going to do tax reform that is revenue-neutral … that means that you have to kill some deductions or scale them back.”

Too often Republican oratory depicts tax reform as across-the-board rate reductions where everyone wins and nobody loses. It is like Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon — “where all the children are above average” — but a lot richer.

California GOP Incumbents Will Make Democrats’ Challenge Expensive
Democrats hope to flip nine of 14 Republican-held seats in 2018

Rep. Ed Royce is one of several California GOP incumbents gearing up for expensive re-election fights. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

National Democrats hope disapproval of President Donald Trump will help flip nine of California’s 14 Republican-held congressional seats, but campaign finance reports show Republican incumbents will make it expensive for them.

Six of them raised at least $750,000 during the first half of 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. While Democratic challengers have raised less so far, they’ll get help from the party and outside groups past the primaries.

Polis Pushes Congress to Support Risk-Takers
Colorado Democrat is visiting four startups in his district, holding roundtable for Startup Day

For last year’s Startup Day, Colorado Rep. Jared Polis visited a company that makes 100 percent American-made watches. (Courtesy Polis’ office)

Members of Congress are marking Startup Day Across America on Tuesday to support and promote startups in their districts, and Rep. Jared Polis has a busy schedule. 

The Colorado Democrat, who is vacating his seat to run for governor, was an internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist before entering Congress, and he’s now committed to supporting those with aspirations similar to his.

Ex-Staffer’s Country Music Tip Sheet Hasn’t Left D.C.
After leaving Capitol Hill, Kurt Bardella started ‘The Morning Hangover’

From left, Kurt Bardella, country music singer Kalie Shorr, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., pose for a photo at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game, where Shorr performed. (Courtesy Kurt Bardella)

Former staffer Kurt Bardella is still finding ways to stay engaged with the world of Capitol Hill. 

In June, he arranged for country music singer Kalie Shorr to perform at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.