Frank D Lucas

Here Are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far)
Roughly half of the House committees will have new GOP leadership next year

Dozens of House Republicans are running for committee chairmanships that will be open in the next Congress, hoping to obtain gavels like the one pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Roughly half of the House’s 21 committees will have new Republican leadership next year, creating several competitive races among colleagues looking to move up the ranks.

The majority of the openings come from retiring GOP chairmen, most of whom have reached the six-year limit Republicans place on their committee leaders.

Fight Over Food Stamps Among Big Hurdles Facing Farm Bill
As a fall deadline looms, Congress keeps stewing and squabbling

A sprinkler irrigates farmland in Palmdale, Calif., on May 26. Lawmakers have two options as the farm bill nears expiration: reach a compromise or extend current law through an expected lame-duck session in late fall or into 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If everything goes according to plan this month, House leaders will round up the necessary Republican votes to pass the chamber’s 2018 farm bill after an unexpected defeat on the floor put the legislation on hold.

The failed May 18 vote marked the second time in five years that a farm bill ran into obstacles in the House. In the Senate, meanwhile, leaders have indicated they want to pass the bipartisan legislation by the July Fourth recess.

Inside the House Republican Brain Drain
Record exodus by members who’ve wielded gavels will complicate next year

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce isn’t seeking re-election. He’s part of a record wave of departures by House chairmen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This has already become a wave election year, because a record wave of departures by House chairmen already guarantees a sea change in the Republican power structure next January.

Even if the GOP manages to hold on to its majority this fall, its policymaking muscle for the second half of President Donald Trump’s term will need some prolonged rehabilitation. And if the party gets swept back into the minority, its aptitude for stopping or co-opting the newly ascendant Democrats’ agenda will require some serious retraining.

Word on the Hill: Two Weeks Until Inauguration
Holiday season ends as Capitol Christmas Tree comes down

Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus walked through the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is set to become the next president of the United States exactly two weeks from today.

If you’re joining in the festivities: Are you planning on attending the ceremony? And which galas surrounding the day are you trying to get into?

Hensarling Seen to Vie With Mnuchin for Trump Treasury Pick
An architect of legislation with GOP ties or an emissary to Wall Street?

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling has an important ally in Vice President-elect Mike Pence, chairman of the Trump transition team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump could face a classic choice between a Wall Street insider and a GOP strategist — investor Steve Mnuchin and House Financial Services Chairman, Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling — as he moves to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

Trump advisers such as investor Carl Icahn and Stephen Moore, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, describe Mnuchin, Trump’s campaign finance director, as the front-runner for the Treasury post. But GOP allies of Hensarling — including Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz and former Sen. Phil Gramm, all fellow Texans — say they believe Hensarling has emerged as a strong challenger after meeting with Trump on Thursday.

Georgia Runoff Will Decide State's Next Congressman
Two Republicans face off in race to replace Lynn Westmoreland

The House race in Georgia between Mike Crane, above right, and Drew Ferguson is getting attention from far outside the state. (Mike Crane for Congress/YouTube)

One of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s first stops after his controversial speech at the Republican National Convention last week, in which he didn’t endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump, was in Georgia’s 3rd District.

Cruz has endorsed state Sen. Michael Crane, who’s running in a Tuesday runoff against Drew Ferguson, the former mayor of West Point, Georgia, to fill the open seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.