Jason Smith

GOP congressman apologizes to Democratic rep for ‘Go back to Puerto Rico’ outburst
Rep. Jason Smith said he was referring to trip House and Senate Democrats took to Puerto Rico during shutdown

Missouri Republican Rep. Jason Smith said he was referring to a trip that House and Senate Democrats took when he shouted “Go back to Puerto Rico” on the House floor on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Jason Smith called Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas and apologized Thursday for blurting out “Go back to Puerto Rico” while Cárdenas was waiting to speak on the House floor.

Cárdenas, a descendant of Mexican immigrants, accepted the Missouri Republican’s apology, said in a statement to Roll Call.

House floor erupts after GOP lawmaker shouts ‘Go back to Puerto Rico’
Spokesman says Rep. Jason Smith was referring to ‘vacationing’ Democrats who went to inspect hurricane recovery

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise calls for a roll call vote after Democrats held a voice vote on a continuing resolution that would reopen the partially shut down government.(C-SPAN)

The House floor erupted Thursday shortly before Congress adjourned for the week when Republican Rep. Jason Smith yelled a potentially racially charged remark across the aisle as Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas was at the podium.

“Go back to Puerto Rico!” the Missouri congressman shouted, punctuating a stream of Republican whooping and hollering at the Democratic majority for initially rejecting their request to redo a vote on a continuing resolution to reopen shuttered agencies through Feb. 28.

House Republicans came back from being written off before. They can again
Close 2018 midterm losses show a path for the GOP

The House Republican leadership team for the 116th Congress speaks to the media on Nov. 14, 2018. From left, Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Gary Palmer, R-Ala., Jason Smith, R-Mo., Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Steve Scalise, R-La., and Mark Walker, R-N.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Through much of 2018 and especially in the weeks following the midterm elections, many opinion writers and other political pundits enthusiastically declared the Republican Party dead or at least relegated to life support.

The commentary was eerily reminiscent of the post-2006 declarations that the GOP was finished … over … no longer a viable political party.

New GOP Leaders Stick With Trump Despite Midterm Losses
Expect challenges to excessive Democratic investigations, McCarthy says

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., newly elected as House Minority Leader for the upcoming Congress, arrives for the press conference following the House GOP leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The new House GOP leadership team gave no indication Wednesday it would reconsider its cozy relationship with President Donald Trump, despite losses in dozens of suburban districts in the midterms last week.

Newly elected House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California acknowledged at a press conference Wednesday that winning back the American suburbs will be a “challenge” in 2020 but said multiple times at the press conference that “history was against” the GOP keeping control of both chambers of Congress in a midterm election with a first-term Republican president in the Oval Office.

Here’s the List of House Republican Leaders for the Next Congress
Kevin McCarthy will be tops in House GOP in years in the minority

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives for the House Republican leadership elections forum in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans chose their leadership team for the next Congress on Wednesday, which will be their first stint in the minority since 2010. 

Minority Leader: Kevin McCarthy of California.

Most House Democrats Will Be in Majority for First Time Ever
In contrast, most House Republicans have never been in the minority

New York Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Grace Meng have never served in the majority, with both first elected in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most House Democrats in the next Congress will be new to the majority and an overwhelming majority of Republicans will be new to the minority — a dynamic that could create a steep learning curve for members as they grapple with party strategy and messaging changes under the new power structure.

Even more significant is that a majority of leadership candidates for both parties have not served in a Democrat-led House.

From Speaker on Down, Here’s Who’s in the Hill Leadership Hunt
House and Senate Republican conferences set to vote this week

The race to lead the House Republicans next Congress comes down to California’s Kevin McCarthy, center, and Ohio’s Jim Jordan, right, who face off in a Wednesday GOP caucus vote. Also pictured above, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated Tuesday, 3:44 p.m. | With the midterms — mostly — behind us, attention has shifted to the intraparty leadership elections on Capitol Hill for the House and Senate. 

Here’s a look at the various positions that members of both parties and chambers will be voting on in the coming weeks. 

House Republicans Launch Quick Campaigns for Leadership Elections Next Week
Contested races emerge for minority leader and conference chair

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, waits to do a television news interview in the Capitol on Wednesday. Jordan is making his case to his House Republican colleagues that he should lead them as minority leader in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a disappointing midterm performance, House Republicans spent Wednesday gearing up for their leadership elections next week, with candidates promising they’ll spend the next two years helping their party reclaim their lost majority.

“I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this, and I have what it takes to do it again,” California Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in a letter to colleagues. “That is why I have decided to run for Republican Leader and humbly ask for your support.”

Mike Quigley Is Congress’ Beer Champ
Illinois Democrat names beer after dog, wins cup at Brew Across America festival

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., hoists the cup beside the Goose Island Beer Company brewmasters and Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of federal affairs, Doug Bailey. (Courtesy Anheuser-Busch)

Rep. Mike Quigley is officially the best brewer in Congress. Well, that’s according to the Brew Across America Beer Festival judges, who awarded his “Scout’s Cerveza” the Brew Democracy Cup on Wednesday.

Anheuser-Busch hosted the second annual event, and 11 lawmakers teamed up with the company’s breweries, or their craft brewery partners, from their home states to create a beer for the competition.

House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. All three men are looking to move up in leadership next Congress . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will have a new leader next Congress since Speaker Paul D. Ryan is retiring, but will there be additional changes in their top ranks?

The answer to that question will depend in large part on whether Republicans can hold onto their majority in the November midterms, and if they do, how the speaker’s race unfolds.