Mark Pocan

Hoyer Listening Tour Gathers Ideas for Unifying Economic Agenda
Latest iteration of Make It In America agenda can be used in quest for House majority

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., right, and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., left, tour Culimeta-Saveguard, an exhaust insulation manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wis., last week during Hoyer’s Make It In America listening tour.(Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

MADISON, Wis. — As progressives and moderates battle it out in primaries, national Democrats like House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer are crafting an economic agenda their candidates can use to help them win back the House in November.

House Democrats across the political spectrum understand that without a strong economic message with crossover appeal, they will be relegated to another two years in the minority.

Democratic Showdown in Illinois’ 3rd District
Lipinski-Newman primary is flashpoint in party’s identity struggles

Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski is facing a tough primary challenge on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a state where Democrats are targeting four Republican-held seats in November and need viable candidates to make it through Tuesday’s primaries, the nominating contest in Illinois that’s receiving the most attention is in a safe Democratic district. 

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, co-chairman of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, is facing the toughest contest of his seven-term congressional career with a primary challenge from marketing executive Marie Newman for his 3rd District seat.

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, Through the Years, in Photos
The first chairwoman of the House Rules Committee is dead at 88

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter is dead at 88. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call 2015 file photo)

Rep. Louise M. Slaughterdied early Friday morning at age 88. The oldest member of Congress and first chairwoman of the powerful House Rules Committee leaves behind a legacy of three decades in Congress.

She fell at her home last week and suffered a concussion, according to her office.

At the Races: Who Says You Can’t Go Home?
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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This week ... Three more lawmakers retired, GOP women looked to boost their ranks and @IronStache made it to the House.

Randy Bryce to Face Paul Ryan Tuesday Night (Kind of)
Bryce was invited to the State of the Union by Rep. Mark Pocan

Randy Bryce, Democratic candidate for Wisconsin’’s 1st Congressional District, will attend the State of the Union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

On Tuesday night, Speaker Paul D. Ryan will be seated directly behind President Donald Trump for Trump’s first State of the Union. And somewhere above the House floor, Randy Bryce will be sitting in the House gallery with his work boots on.

“The whole campaign has been, ‘Just be you,’” Bryce said, explaining his decision to dress casually. “That’s what I’ve been told: ‘Just be you.’ And that’s me. They’re comfortable.”

Just One House Member Flips Vote on GOP Tax Overhaul
GOP leadership expects bill to pass Senate

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., was the only House member to change position on the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:46 p.m. | Despite immense pressure from GOP leaders, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, vulnerable New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, voted “no” for the second time on a Republican tax overhaul.

Just one of the 13 Republicans who voted against the House tax overhaul bill in November switched their vote to “yes” as the House passed the conference committee report Tuesday, 227-203, sending it to the Senate for final approval.

Pocan Undergoes Heart Surgery
Wisconsin Democrat looking to make fast recovery

Mark Pocan, D-Wis. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mark Pocan underwent triple bypass heart surgery Wednesday in Madison, Wis.

The surgery was aimed at preemptively addressing a cardiac issue, according to a statement from the Democrat’s office.

House Tradition of Opening Legislative Day with Prayer Upheld
Court rules against atheist who wanted to deliver a secular invocation on the floor

Patrick Conroy, chaplain of the House of Representatives, left, leads both teams in a moment of prayer before the start of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in June 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy and Paul D. Ryan got a win on Wednesday when the U.S. District Court upheld Congress’ right to open with a prayer.

In the case of Barker v. Conroy, the plaintiff, Daniel Barker, an atheist and the founder of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, filed a federal discrimination and free speech lawsuit against Conroy and Ryan in June 2016 after his request to offer a secular invocation on the floor was declined.

LGBTQ Women Balance Opportunity, Possible Extinction in Congress
Close calls, impossible races, and evolving bench contribute to low numbers

If Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema vacates her 9th District seat to run for Senate, there could be no LGBTQ women in the House in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been almost 20 years since Tammy Baldwin’s historic election, yet just one woman has followed her through the LGBTQ glass ceiling. And if both women lose competitive races in 2018, the next Congress could be without any LGBTQ women.

While the lack of LGBTQ women in Congress is inextricably linked to the dearth of women on Capitol Hill, the story of lesbian candidates includes some close calls, quixotic races, and a movement still evolving to position more qualified LGBTQ women to run for higher office.