Minnesota

Word on the Hill: Ayotte Joins Bono’s Board
Weekend plans?

Former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who helped shepherd the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch earlier this year, has joined the ONE Campaign. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., joined the board of the ONE Campaign, an organization co-founded by U2 frontman Bono

The ONE Campaign bills itself as focusing on fighting poverty and extreme diseases. 

Civil Rights, Racial Disputes Fuel Divide Over Judicial Nominee
North Carolina senators defend Thomas Farr

Sens. Richard M. Burr, right, and Thom Tillis prepare for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Sept. 20. The two support North Carolinian Thomas Farr for a federal judgeship, a nomination that has raised the ire of civil rights groups and African Americans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s pick for a federal judgeship in North Carolina has drawn the opposition of the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights groups in part because of past work defending the state’s congressional redistricting plans and voter ID law, which courts have struck down as unfair to minorities.

The vacancy in the Eastern District of North Carolina has fallen victim to the Tar Heel State’s contentious politics and the Senate’s confirmation process — making it now the oldest judicial vacancy in the country at 11 years and 9 months.

House Democratic Candidates Capitalize on Graham-Cassidy
House hopefuls appealing to Republican senators to vote against repealing 2010 health care law

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona tweeted a photo of herself calling her state's Republican senators. (Ann Kirkpatrick via Twitter)

Democratic House candidates are trying to appeal to Republican senators in their states as the GOP prepares for another vote to repeal the 2010 health care law.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it is his intention to vote next week on the health care legislation spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Beyer on the Words That Made His Spelling Bee Career
Virginia Democrat tries to win back his National Press Club Spelling Bee title

Members of the politicians’ team after the National Press Club Spelling Bee in 2015. From left, Rep. Brad Ashford of Nebraska, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, the winner Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. of Virginia, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota. (Courtesy Noel St. John/National Press Club)

In one of Washington’s most beloved nerdfests, members of Congress will take on members of the D.C. media in the National Press Club Spelling Bee on Tuesday.

Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., who won for the politicians’ team in 2015, has redemption on his mind.

Booker Tacks Toward Democratic Party’s Base
Liberals eye New Jersey senator warily over ties to Wall Street and drug companies

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker speaks Wednesday during Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ event to introduce the so-called Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker worked on burnishing his liberal credentials on economic and health care policy this week, which could appeal to his Democratic Party’s skeptical base. 

The first-term senator is considered among the many potential Democrats in the chamber who could run for president in 2020. But liberals are wary of him because of what they see as his ties to financial industries.

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.

A Blue Badger in Trump Country
Baldwin cites causes she’s championed well before the president

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election next year in states won by President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HAYWARD, Wis. — On the banks of Moose Lake, Sen. Tammy Baldwin served meals from a food truck purchased by the local senior resource center and expanded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Later, Baldwin heard from constituents concerned about President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the very same USDA program. She vowed to fight those and other suggested funding reductions from her perch on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Former Sen. Pete Domenici Dies at 85
New Mexico Republican served six terms in the Senate

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., talks with reporters after Senate luncheons in 2001. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Pete V. Domenici died Wednesday morning at age 85.

Domenici, a New Mexico Republican and leader of the Senate Budget and Energy and Natural Resources committees, as well a senior member of the Appropriations panel, retired at the beginning of 2009 after serving six terms.

Opioid Epidemic Continues to Ravage the Midwest
Despite congressional action, counties find it hard to keep up

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin points to difficulties facing rural populations in getting access to opioid addiction treatment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Despite action by Congress to address the opioid addiction epidemic, hard-hit areas of the country like this one in the Midwest are finding it difficult to keep up with the fallout from the unfolding situation.

In July, here in Wisconsin’s Jackson County, for instance, 34 children who were taken out of their homes, many a result of a parent’s opioid addiction, remained in foster care. 

Bipartisan Push for Electoral Security Gets Priority Status
Amendment has support of Schumer, GOP national security leaders

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants to make voting security part of the debate on the defense policy bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:24 p.m. | A bipartisan effort to enhance election security is among the priorities for Senate Democrats as part of the debate on the annual defense authorization measure.

“The consensus of 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies was that Russia, a foreign adversary, interfered in our elections. Make no mistake: Their success in 2016 will encourage them to try again,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday. “We have state elections in a couple of months and the 2018 election is a little more than a year away. We must improve our defenses now to ensure we’re prepared.”