Eddie Bernice Johnson

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.

House Backs Suicide Hotline Bill; Could Lead to 3-Digit Dial Code
Measure designed to streamline aid for mental health crisis prevention

Rep. Chris Stewart is sponsoring legislation to streamline the suicide prevention hotline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is headed for an overhaul, with passage of a House bill Monday. The bipartisan proposal would move towards creating a new national three-digit dialing code — similar to 911 — to be used for a mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline.

The House passed the bill by an overwhelming, 379-1, margin. Michigan Republican Justin Amash cast the lone nay vote against the bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah. 

Atypical Lobbying Shop Targets Lawmakers From Poorest Districts
Their idea is to push together the fringes by aligning members from the Freedom Caucus, CBC

Sam Geduldig and Michael Williams are among the lobbyists prodding along an infrastructure bill through a new bipartisan firm. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

An unlikely cast of lobbyists, odd bedfellows even by K Street’s typically bipartisan approach, has spent the past year nurturing a fledgling firm aimed at building coalitions between dyed-in-the-wool conservatives and lefty progressives on Capitol Hill.

The firm, recently christened United By Interest, is so far a commercial flop, if judged solely by the number of clients it has attracted: zero. But in an unusual twist, the lobbyists behind the effort, all of whom have their own separate K Street businesses, have managed to prod along a unique infrastructure bill with support of lawmakers from the conservative Freedom Caucus and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus.

Russians Meddled in Energy Policy, Science Committee GOP Says
Report reveals Russian agents used social media in attempt to influence the U.S. energy market

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Russian social media meddlers tried to influence U.S. energy markets and undercut the country’s emerging domestic natural gas production capabilities, according to a report released Thursday by the Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

The report written by GOP committee staff cited data provided by major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for activity that occurred from 2015 through 2017.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading Artifacts Accepted at the Smithsonian
Dallas congresswoman says Cowboys’ squad shows ‘cheerleaders rise above stereotypes’

Among the artifacts donated by the Cowboys are their poster from the 1970s and their signature white boots. (DallasCowboys.com)

Texas will be further represented in the Smithsonian by an iconic group of women: The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who donated uniforms to the National Museum of American History.

“There’s probably not another word [for] what each one of these artifacts are, other than iconic,” Charlotte Jones Anderson, chief brand officer for the Cowboys and daughter of owner Jerry Jones, said at a Monday event, CBS’s Dallas affiliate reported.

Sherrod Brown, Black Lawmakers Back Voters in Ohio Purge Case
Democrats argue Buckeye State is disenfranchising legitimate voters

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, enlisted McDonald’s in his voter registration efforts when he was Ohio’s secretary of state. He is arguing that the high court should reject the state’s efforts to purge voters from the registration rolls. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday about Ohio’s effort to remove voters from its registration rolls, and some members of Congress have told the justices that the Buckeye State’s process violates federal laws meant to protect voters.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus filed separate briefs in the case siding with groups that challenged Ohio’s law. The state’s “supplemental process” uses a list of people who haven’t voted in recent elections to trigger steps that could remove them from the voter rolls.

Johnson Backs Away From Sexual Harassment Remarks
Texas congresswoman said she remembered when ‘it was as much the woman’s responsibility as the man’s’

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, walked back her comments about sexual assault. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson walked back comments she made about women sharing responsibility in sexual harassment and assault.

The Texas Democrat’s remarks were initially in response to allegations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulting numerous women.

After Storms’ Devastation, No Change in Hill Climate Debate
“I don’t think there is going to be some big ‘come to Jesus’ moment”

Inhofe said attempts to connect recent extreme events to climate change are a ploy to drum up support for the climate change movement. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call)

Florida, parts of Texas and the U.S. Virgin Island are facing months or years of recovery after hurricanes Irma and Harvey pummeled communities, turned streets into rivers and upended lives, but it does not appear that the catastrophic storms have changed the conversation about climate change in Washington.

GOP lawmakers skeptical of climate science didn’t announce new views or a sense of urgency in addressing the global warming that scientists say exacerbated the impact of the storms.

Democrats See New Opportunities in Texas Redistricting Case
But quickly finding good candidates before midterms could be a challenge

While Texas Rep. Will Hurd is already a top Democratic target in 2018, the redistricting case could make his race even more competitive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A congressional redistricting case could offer Texas Democrats a glimmer of hope for making gains in the Republican-dominated state if a new map takes effect shortly before the 2018 midterm elections. 

Revised congressional boundaries could create opportunities for Democrats looking to win back the House — but also challenges if they must quickly find formidable candidates in newly competitive races. And if a court redraws the state’s map, the GOP-led state government would lose control of a tool that lawmakers in Texas and across the country have relied on to stay in power. 

Opinion: African-American Women Call Out the Democratic National Committee
But are Democrats listening?

Then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez and California Rep. Maxine Waters at a news conference in April 2016. A group of African-American women have sent Perez, now chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a letter warning that most black voters feel the party takes them for granted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

We crave the hard-to-get while ignoring the one who has stuck with us through thick and thin. In a letter to the DNC chair, a group of black women — activists, community leaders and elected officials — has accused the Democratic Party of falling into that too-often-true cliche. Who can blame them? 

Shades of “Moby-Dick” in the narrative that took hold after the party’s 2016 losses, with white working-class males replacing the elusive white whale of Melville’s imagination. Will the results for the Democrats be just as tragic as Captain Ahab’s if the party doubles down on that strategy for election cycles to come?