Paul D Ryan

They raised millions and lost. Now what?
Democrats who were top fundraisers look to stay involved in politics

Kentucky’s Amy McGrath was one of the top Democratic fundraisers of the 2018 cycle in her unsuccessful challenge to GOP Rep. Andy Barr. (Jason Davis/Getty Images file photo)

Democrats who ran for the House in 2018 shattered fundraising records, some even surpassing Senate candidates. But not all of the cycle’s top fundraisers ended up winning their races. 

That’s left a number of candidates — with high profiles and massive donor lists — pondering their next moves. And some are still eyeing careers in politics. 

John Thune’s new whip office staff learning the ropes and getting to work
Office features a mix of veteran Senate and House aides

Staffers for Sen. John Thune pose in his new whip office in the Capitol on Jan. 10. Front row, from left, David Cole, Scarlet Samp and Jason Van Beek; back row, from left, Cynthia Herrle, Geoffrey Antell, Brendon Plack and Nick Rossi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s Republican majority has a new occupant of the whip’s office, and with it come some new people for senators and their staffs to interact with when trying to get legislation to the floor.

The leader of the operation for Majority Whip John Thune will be a familiar face from the South Dakota’s previous role as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

Government’s data policies enter the 21st century — finally
Recently passed reforms hold hope of more evidence-informed policies

Before he gave up his speaker gavel and retired from the House, Paul D. Ryan had a final hurrah in December when Congress passed a package of comprehensive data reforms that he and Washington Sen. Patty Murray had introduced a year earlier. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It might be 2019, but our government’s data infrastructure is largely stuck in the 20th century.

That’s a big problem in the era of the information age. Failing to use data to improve government’s programs and services means taxpayers may not be getting what they pay for. It also means our public discourse suffers when figuring out what problems should be addressed and the best ways to do so.

Trailblazers and absences define start of new Congress
Plenty of firsts, as well as some notable empty seats

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is sworn in Thursday, surrounded by children in the rostrum of the House chamber on the first day of the 116th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The first day of a new Congress is filled with ceremony and tradition, but there were a few things that set the start of the 116th Congress apart.

For the first time in history, a new congressional session began in the midst of a partial government shutdown. The swearing-in ceremonies and celebrations were clouded by the ongoing shutdown that’s now entered a second week. About a quarter of federal discretionary spending has run out, resulting in the shuttering of agencies and federal programs. But with the legislative branch already funded, there weren’t logistical problems on Capitol Hill that would devastate a high-profile day like the opening of a new Congress.

Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy outlasts Ryan; continues his role in new Congress
Former speaker sought to remove Jesuit priest

Father Patrick J. Conroy will remain in his role of House chaplain for the 116th Congress, after a year of that was full of turmoil surrounding the role. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Father Patrick J. Conroy will remain in his role as House chaplain for the 116th Congress, after a year full of turmoil surrounding the role.

The House voice voted Thursday afternoon to install the House officers —   but not without an extra hurdle for the chaplain.

Pelosi Names Cheryl Johnson to Be House Clerk
Karen Haas to leave position for second time

Nancy Pelosi has named Cheryl Johnson as her choice for the next Clerk of the House of Representatives. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new clerk will call the roll in the next Congress.

Nancy Pelosi has named Cheryl Johnson as her choice for the next Clerk of the House of Representatives, replacing Karen L. Haas.

Three Roadblocks to Ending The Shutdown
Biggest hurdle appears to be a president unsure of how much border barrier funding he would accept

The Capitol Visitor Center, usually full of tourists, sits empty on Jan. 22 as negotiations to reopen the government continued during a previous Trump-era shutdown. Several Cabinet departments and smaller offices shuttered at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As senior White House officials huddled in Capitol backrooms with Democratic leaders Friday as a government shutdown beckoned, a cable news anchor dramatically called the last-ditch meetings a sign “something big is in motion.”

Reality check: Major differences remain with no clear plan on resolving them.

Violence Against Women Act Lapses Again
Authorization expired with partial government shutdown

Anita Hill testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 14, 1991. The Violence Against Women Act came together in the aftermath of the hearings, in which Hill alleged she faced sexual harassment by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Violence Against Women Act lapsed for the second time in 25 years. Authorization for the law’s programs expired when the partial government shutdown began just after midnight Friday.

The landmark domestic violence law was set to expire Sept. 30, but was extended through Dec. 7 under the first stopgap spending bill and extended again until Dec. 21 in a second short-term bill.

Senate, House Convene as Some Government Agencies Shut Down
Talks between White House and Senate Democrats over Trump’s border wall come up short

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the Capitol for a rare Saturday session of the Senate. With no progress made in the impasse over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall that has caused a partial government shutdown, the Senate adjourned until after Christmas three hours after convening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate and House convened in a rare Saturday sessions after nine Cabinet-level departments and several other federal agencies ceased operations Saturday morning in the latest government shutdown of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney issued a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies late Friday directing them to implement shutdown plans for departments not funded by the spending bills for fiscal 2019 that have become law.

Congress and Tax Cuts, A Love Story
Even amid the Christmas shutdown showdown, more talk of tax cuts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is retiring, but he’ll keep talking about tax cuts until then. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite the looming Christmas holiday, and despite an intractable fight over government funding and a border wall, and despite the unpopularity (and blow to the deficit) of the last big tax cut last year, it’s still raining tax cuts, or at least the politicians who love them. 

Witness the House taking time Thursday to push through a package of tax cuts that the Senate has shown no interest in taking up as the legislative calendar ticks down to zero.