John Carter

Democrats use Trump’s tariffs against House Republicans in new ads
DCCC launches back-to-school themed ads against 11 GOP lawmakers

Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn is among 11 House Republican targets of new digital ads by the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a sign that Democrats are broadening their 2020 messaging, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday is rolling out digital ads attacking House Republicans over President Donald Trump’s trade policies. 

The ads, obtained first by CQ Roll Call, are timed to back-to-school shopping. The animated ads running on Facebook highlight products whose rising costs could affect consumers in 11 districts across the country, all but one of which Trump carried in 2016. 

Will Hurd’s exit highlights a Texas-size challenge for Republicans in 2020
Democrats are going on offense, targeting multiple House seats in the Lone Star State

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is not running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Rep. Will Hurd’s decision to retire was a gut punch for Republicans, who consider him one of their strongest incumbents in one of the most competitive districts in the country. His exit means the GOP will have to work even harder to hold on to his seat with Democrats going on offense in the Lone Star State. 

Hurd is the third Texas Republican in a week to announce his retirement, and the second to do so in a contested seat after Rep. Pete Olson, who is relinquishing his Houston-area 22nd District. Rep. K. Michael Conaway is the third retiring lawmaker, although his seat, which extends from the outskirts of Forth Worth to the New Mexico border, is not considered competitive.

Texas Senate 2020: MJ Hegar challenges John Cornyn
Democrat raised more than $5 million in an unsuccessful House race in 2018

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is running for a fourth term next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who raised millions in an unsuccessful House race in 2018, announced Tuesday that she is taking on Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn.

The Democrat garnered national attention last cycle with a viral web video “Doors” highlighting her background as a combat veteran. She was injured in Afghanistan and later sued the Defense Department over the barring of women from certain positions. In a nearly four-minute video released Tuesday, Hegar once again introduced herself to Texans, recapping her 2018 spot.

House Republicans identify vulnerable members for 2020
NRCC announces initial eight members of Patriot Program

The NRCC has added New York Rep. Lee Zeldin to its Patriot Program for the 2020 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eight House Republicans, including the three from districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, have been named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s list of incumbents expected to face tough re-elections. 

Members of the Patriot Program typically benefit from fundraising and organizational assistance. The list can be a signal to donors to direct checks to members in need.

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

California Rep. Josh Harder, a freshman Democrat, raised the most money of all the Democrats the NRCC is targeting in 2020. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

Democrats launch Tax Day ad attack aimed at GOP overhaul
Effort on Facebook signals 2018 messaging on tax law is here to stay for 2020

The DCCC is attacking Texas Rep. Pete Olson in its latest round of digital ads (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To coincide with Tax Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out digital ads on Monday attacking 12 Republicans for the GOP tax plan that passed during the 115th Congress.

The new Facebook ads, obtained first by Roll Call, signal Democrats will continue to use the 2017 tax overhaul, which passed with only Republican votes, as a key part of their economic message heading into 2020, when the party will be trying to protect their midterm gains and expand the map by investing heavily in such places as Texas.

EMILY’s List eyes Texas Senate race amid Castro speculation
Pro-abortion rights group is in talks with three potential female candidates

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, is considering running for Senate in Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro is considering jumping into the Texas Senate race, but he might not have the primary to himself if EMILY’s List gets its way. 

The influential group, which backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, is in talks with three potential candidates: Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who lost a House race in 2018;  Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards; and former state Sen. Wendy Davis. 

Members of Congress are rich with student debt
Reauthorization of Higher Education Act could affect repayment, affordability

68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members have student loan debt. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

As lawmakers look to reshape the federal loan process in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a cohort knows firsthand the pain of rising college costs — 68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members are mired in student debt.

Collectively, the 44 Democrats and 24 Republicans have higher education liabilities of $2.5 million, according to recent financial disclosures. The median student loan debt is $15,000, while average debt is $37,000.

EMILY’s List names 2020 House and Senate targets
Pro-abortion rights group is targeting 43 House Republicans and six senators

EMILY’s List plans to target Minnesota GOP Rep. Pete Stauber in 2020, although he was not listed as an initial DCCC target. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EMILY’s List is looking to expand the Democratic House majority and flip the Senate next year, naming 43 House Republicans and six GOP senators on its initial list of 2020 targets, shared first with Roll Call.

“EMILY’s List is actively recruiting and working with potential candidates in these flippable districts,” Stephanie Schriock, president of the pro-abortion rights group, said in a statement. “We look forward to sending even more pro-choice Democratic women to Congress next year to fight for health care, economic justice, and to end corruption.”

Pentagon wants Congress to replenish funds Trump taps for border wall
Wasserman Schultz calls plan an end-run around Congress

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the House Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee, described the Pentagon’s plan as “circumventing Congress to get funding for the wall.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pentagon every year comes to Congress to defend its ever-growing budget, highlighting the decrepit military installations and decades-old equipment that must be refurbished or replaced to defend the nation.

But now, Pentagon officials are telling lawmakers that diverting dollars from defense projects to build President Donald Trump’s desired border wall is justified and won’t weaken the military — so long as Congress replenishes the accounts Trump could tap to build the wall.