Raul Ruiz

One-Tenth of Congress Lists Student Loan Liabilities
‘I don’t understand how young people can become teachers or work in the public service arena’

California Rep. Mark Takano, a House Education member, is still paying back student loans for a 2010 master’s degree from UC Riverside. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 115th Congress scored as one of the richest ever, but one in 10 lawmakers still holds student loan debt, either personally or for a family member. 

Fifty-three members listed a combined $1.8 million in student loans on their financial disclosures. Twenty-eight of them posted a positive net worth while 25 showed negative net worth in Roll Call’s comprehensive Wealth of Congress project.

The Never-Ending Crisis at the Indian Health Service
As the chronically under-funded agency struggles, American Indians are getting sicker and dying sooner

Patients wait at an Indian Health Service clinic on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. (Will Kincaid/AP)

The health disparities between American Indians and the rest of the United States population are stark. American Indians are 50 percent more likely than others to have a substance use disorder, 60 percent more likely to commit suicide, twice as likely to smoke, twice as likely to die during childbirth, three times more likely to die from diabetes and five times more likely to die from tuberculosis. They die on average five years sooner than other Americans.

The Trump administration has pledged to make tribal health care systems more effective. During one of his confirmation hearings, new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told senators the administration would welcome opportunities to improve the $5 billion Indian Health Service, which provides care for 2.2 million American Indians. “It’s unacceptable for us to not be providing high-quality service,” Azar said.

California Democrats Hope to Mitigate Primary Problem
Some lawmakers are concerned they have too many Democrats running

Sam Jammal is one of several Democrats running to replace Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrats know they have a primary problem. 

“Put it this way,” Rep. Raul Ruiz said. “It’s part of my prayers.”

NRCC Launches Digital Ads Targeting Democrats After Shutdown
Facebook ads take aim at 10 Democrats

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, center, is a target of the NRCC’s new post-shutdown ads. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure Democrats don’t forget the three-day government shutdown. The group launched digital ads Tuesday that target 10 House Democratic members.

The ads, which will run on Facebook for one week, are part of a “five-figure buy,” according to details provided first to Roll Call. Five of the Democratic targets represent districts that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

The Battle for Orange County in the Fight for the House
A handful of competitive races could decide the majority

After coasting to re-election in previous years, California Rep. Ed Royce could be in for a competitive race this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

YORBA LINDA, Calif. — Celina Estrada and Sam Zapata weren’t even born when Republican Ed Royce was first elected to Congress in 1992. Yet a year before the 2018 elections, the two students spent a recent evening knocking on doors in the hills of Orange County, California, to support the vulnerable congressman.

Royce hasn’t had a close race in years. In 2016, he won with 57 percent and outspent his Democratic opponent, $3.7 million to $77,000. This cycle, however, inspired to counteract the effects of a Donald Trump presidency, five of his Democratic challengers had over $100,000 in their campaign accounts at the end of September, and two of them are self-funders.

Republicans Look to Make Up Loss of House Women
Nearly a quarter of women in GOP conference aren’t seeking re-election

South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem isn’t seeking re-election, but the state’s secretary of state, a woman, is running for her seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nearly a fourth of the Republican women in the House aren’t coming back next term.

And another handful could lose competitive re-elections next fall.

With One Now in the White House, Celebrities Crowd the Political Stage
It doesn’t end with Kid Rock; actors, a former Olympian and one of the ”sexiest men alive” plan to run

Kid Rock may have been among the first celebrities to emerge as a potential candidate in 2018, but he wasn’t the last. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

That led to chatter that Peyton Manning, the legendary NFL and University of Tennessee quarterback, could take the Republican senator’s Tennessee seat. But with Manning quickly quashing speculation he would make the race, Kid Rock was back on top.

“We will be scheduling a press conference in the next 6 weeks or so to address this issue amongst others, and if I decide to throw my hat in the ring for US Senate, believe me …  it’s game on mthrfkers,” his campaign website states.

Soap Actress and Trump Surrogate to Challenge Ruiz
Kimberlin Brown spoke at last year’s Republican National Convention

Soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown is the first Republican candidate to announce a run against Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz. (Kimberlin Brown Pelzer for Congress)

Soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown announced she would challenge Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz in California’s 36th District.

Brown spoke at last year’s Republican National Convention and said in her announcement that she would work with both Democrats and President Donald Trump, the Los Angeles Times reported.

314 Action Hopes to be the ‘EMILY’s List for Scientists’
Endorsements come with PAC check and potential IE investments

314 Action is rolling out four more endorsements of Democratic challengers Monday. The organization has already backed Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen’s Senate bid.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An organization dedicated to electing scientists and STEM professionals is endorsing four more Democratic House challengers Monday.

Monday’s congressional endorsements — part of a broader rollout of state and local candidates – comes in traditionally GOP seats, two of which may look more competitive for Democrats in 2018, while two others still look more challenging to flip.

Word on the Hill: Franken’s ‘SNL’ Friends on Franken vs. Trump
Stabenow makes rounds, Cruz award, Johnson shows flexibility, Biden’s book and Scalia event

Dana Carvey, left, Kevin Nealon, second from left, and Sen. Al Franken, right, mock the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings (with Phil Hartman, center, and Chris Farley) on “Saturday Night Live” in 1991. (NBC Universal)

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., could give President Donald Trump a run for his money. Or at least fellow “Saturday Night Live” alums Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey think so.

“Will Al Franken run for president?” Nealon asks Carvey on his Twitter video series “Hiking With Kevin.”