Mark Walker

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.

Republican Study Committee to Decide Between Mike Johnson, Tom McClintock for Next Chairman
Both candidates want to boost the RSC’s role in developing and communicating conservative policy ideas

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is running to be the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans aren’t shying away from their conservative beliefs after they lost more than 30 seats to Democrats in last week’s midterm election. If anything they’re doubling down and trying to hone in on a more conservative message heading into 2020.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, has long wrestled with questions about what it means to be a conservative and how to enact conservative policy in a divided Congress. Even with unified Republican government these past two years, the RSC struggled to enact some of its key priorities, such as pro-life policies and work requirements for government benefits.

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.”

Liz Cheney Announces Run for Republican Conference Chair
Current conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has not yet announced plans

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., holds the door for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., as they arrive to hold a news conference following a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol in March 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Rep. Liz Cheney announced in a letter to her colleagues Wednesday that she is running to chair the House Republican Conference, likely setting up a contested race for what will be the No. 3 position in GOP leadership next year.

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the current conference chairwoman, has not formally announced her plans yet, but she’s expected to run again for the post.

GOP Rep. Mark Walker Reported Bomb Threat to Capitol Police
Montana man behind the account, which has also levied false allegations against North Carolina rep

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., reported bomb threats and harassing information requests regarding his family to the U.S. Capitol Police. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mark Walker reported to the U.S. Capitol Police a Twitter user who has sent bizarre allegations and threatening messages to his campaign for more than a year, including a bombing reference and asking for information about his daughter’s school.

“After a number of threatening messages, including bombing references, mentions of Walker and his family, and attempts to locate the school his daughter attends, our staff sent the message contents to the Capitol Police,” Jack Minor, Walker’s campaign spokesman, told The News and Observer in Raleigh.

Republicans Likely in for a Messy December Funding, Leadership Fight
Securing border wall funding key for GOP, members to watch leadership candidates’ tactics

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., shown talking to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., during a press conference September 13, thinks Republicans are in a good position to secure wins in a December funding fight. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders patted themselves on the back last week for appropriating a large portion of discretionary spending before the start of the fiscal year today, but they’ve also set themselves up for messy spending fight come December over border wall funding that could complicate GOP leadership elections and potentially lead to a partial government shutdown.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan promised President Donald Trump that if he let Congress punt the Homeland Security Appropriations bill — where border wall funding would be debated — until after the November midterm elections, then House Republicans would fight for the wall then.

As Trump Waffles, House Republicans Confident They’ll Avert Shutdown
Still president, conservatives wary of GOP leaders’ government funding strategy

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is confident there will not be a government shutdown despite President Donald Trump’s mixed signals on the matter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans prepare a legislative strategy with President Donald Trump seemingly on board, only for the president to catch them off guard with a last-minute tweet suggesting his opposition to the plan.

That scenario has played out a few times this year as lawmakers debated immigration and appropriations bills. And it could realistically happen again next week as Congress plans to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown that Trump has already signaled he might force.

Trump Ends Terrible Week — Fittingly — at Epicenter of GOP Civil War
President ‘definitely’ winning battle with Ohio’s Kasich, Rep. Walker says

President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington earlier this year. He was in Ohio on Friday to address a state Republican Party dinner. GOP Gov. John Kasich was not there. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump’s week was dominated by one plea deal, one conviction and two immunity protections for some of his closest former confidantes and aides. The fallout raised questions about the Republican Party, making it fitting he ended the week at the epicenter of the GOP’s simmering civil war.

Many senior prominent Ohio Republicans were present in Columbus on Friday evening as the president addressed a party dinner and headlined a fundraiser earlier. Sen. Rob Portman greeted Trump at the airport, for instance. But the leader of the Buckeye State GOP did not. Nor did Gov. John Kasich make it in time for the fundraiser. And he skipped Trump’s dinner remarks.

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.

Senate Democrats Likely to Oppose Push to Block Health Insurance Mandate
Desire to keep contentious amendments off spending bills might prevail

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., chairs the Appropriations subcommittee where any amendment on the D.C. health insurance mandate might come up first in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Republican amendment to a House-passed spending package that would ban the District of Columbia from implementing an individual health insurance coverage requirement is unlikely to gain steam as the Senate prepares to take up a similar measure.

It’s not clear yet if any Senate Republicans will introduce a similar amendment when the Financial Services and Interior-Environment package reaches the Senate floor, but it would likely face fierce minority opposition in the chamber, where Democrats are defending the 2010 health care law at every opportunity.