Paul D Ryan

There’s Some WTF in This Lame Duck Session of Congress
Appointed, maybe and not-yet, maybe-never members dot the Capitol

Members-elect from the 116th Congress pose for the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on November 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Every lame duck session of Congress is special in its own way, and the current one, operating alongside the orientation session for newly elected members of Congress, has its share of oddities and weirdness. 

Speaker Paul D. Ryan swore in new members of the House on Tuesday, those who won special elections to fill out unexpired terms, Joseph D. Morelle, D-N.Y., and Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa. Oh, and also an “appointed” member, Republican Kevin Hern of Oklahoma.  

House Republicans to Consider Changing the Way They Select Committee Leaders
Proposal is part of a broader Thursday debate over internal conference rules

Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left, and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., want to change the way the House Republican Conference selects its committee leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update Thursday 5:01 p.m. | House Republicans on Thursday will consider changes to their internal conference rules, with several amendments targeting the process for selecting committee leaders. 

The biggest proposed change comes from Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, who wants committee members to be able to choose their own chairmen or ranking members. 

Why So Few House Republican Leadership Races Are Contested
Five of the seven House GOP leadership positions are solo affairs

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for the House Republican leadership candidate forum in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Jordan is running for minority leader, one of only two contested leadership elections in the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Wednesday are poised to elect their leadership team for the 116th Congress with little drama. Only the top and bottom slots of their seven elected positions are being contested despite the party losing more than 30 seats and its majority in the midterms.  

At the top, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy is expected to easily defeat Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for minority leader.

Steaks and Scotch Can Restore Sanity, According to One Hill Staffer
An invitation to the Bipartisan Dinner Group is mysterious and vague

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., right, is the inspiration behind the Bipartisan Dinner Group for staffers. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Michael Hardaway was in an elevator with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy when he was just a young Senate staffer. He seized the opportunity to ask the liberal giant for advice on navigating D.C.

“Sen. Kennedy told me that members in the old days were able to pass bills and get things done because of friendships formed after hours, when members often gathered for steaks and scotch,” said Hardaway, now communications director for New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

Republicans Missed Opportunities to Retain House Majority, Jim Jordan Says
‘If we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House’

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, waits to do a television news interview in Statuary Hall in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, who is running for minority leader, has a tough message for his colleagues: If House Republicans had done more to change Washington and deliver on their campaign promises, they would still be in the majority.

“This might be a tough pill to swallow, but I believe that if we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House of Representatives,” the Ohio Republican wrote in a dear colleague letter first obtained by Roll Call.

All the Post-Election Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask
With special guest Professor U.R. Wise, scholar of the later campaigns of Harold Stassen

Aren’t House Democrats taking a political risk by doubling down on Nancy Pelosi? No, says our resident expert. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — To answer your post-election questions, we have retained the services of Professor U.R. Wise, the holder of the Warren G. Harding chair in political philosophy at Flyover University.

A: Pelosi is the great survivor of American politics. Assuming she has the votes, Pelosi will become the first legislator in American history to regain the speaker’s gavel after a gap as long as eight years.

Trump Country Democrats Hold Their Own
Trump’s policy agenda was not a winning message for Republican challengers

Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois was one of nine Democrats who have held onto their seats in districts Donald Trump won in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Of the 12 Democrats running for seats in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016, nine had claimed victory by Wednesday afternoon.

Democrats were aided by flawed opponents who ran on Republican legislative priorities that poll poorly among independent voters — including the 2017 tax bill and the prolonged push to strip protections for patients with preexisting conditions from the 2010 health law.

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.

Democrats’ Final Midterm Pitch: Two Words — Health Care
Pelosi says after Trump’s election, Democrats ‘didn’t agonize, we organized’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the first order of business for a Democrat-controlled House would be a bipartisan good-government bill aimed at rooting out the influence of dark money and special interest groups from Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s final pitch to voters on Tuesday as they hit the polls centered on one issue: health care.

“This election is about health care,” the California Democrat said at a news conference alongside Democratic House Campaign Committee chairman Ben Ray Luján.

GOP Candidates Are Hearing It From Constituents With Pre-Existing Conditions
Outspoken patients feel like they’re collateral damage in the battle over ‘repeal and replace’

A couple dozen members of the New Jersey Citizen Action group protest outside the Capitol as the Senate holds a second day of voting on health care legislation in July 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Republicans on the campaign trail have contorted the truth about their monthslong campaign to undo the 2010 health care law, they’ve provoked a tricky opponent: cancer survivors.

Republicans have tried to contain the damage of their “repeal and replace” push as they defend their majorities in the midterm elections. In order to pull that off, the campaigns have had to find ways to discredit the sympathetic voices of people with complex medical needs who opposed their votes.