Rod Blum

Congressional Ethics Office Refers Four Cases to House Committee
With members leaving or feds investigating, most cases likely to not proceed

The Office of Congressional Ethics referred four cases to the House Ethics Committee last quarter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Office of Congressional Ethics sent four referrals to the House Ethics committee for further review in the third quarter of 2018, according to a report released Thursday.

Although the report did not name names associated with the referrals, the Ethics Committee has announced actions on OCE referrals concerning current members between July and September.

Democrats Take Control of the House With Victories in the Suburbs
Republicans struggled in districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell defeated GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida's 26th District.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are poised to take over the House after notching key victories in the suburbs.

NBC, ABC News and CNN projected Democrats would take control of the chamber even as the outcome in number of competitive races remains unclear. But early Democratic victories signaled a tough night for Republicans, especially in the 25 GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.

As House Republicans Brace for Losses, Freedom Caucus Prepares for Growth
Hard-line conservative bloc has been raising millions to help recruit new members

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., was an early recruit of the Freedom Caucus and she is now the group’s only female member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At a time when most House Republican factions are preparing to see their ranks shrink regardless of whether their party loses its majority next week, one caucus is expecting its membership to grow.

The House Freedom Caucus, considered the most conservative bloc of Republicans in Congress, is expecting to increase its roster of 35 members to somewhere in the 37-to-40 range, based on the number of incumbent and recruited candidates they predict could lose Tuesday.

GOP Poll Shows Close Race for Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District
Republican incumbent is still 2 points behind Democrat Abby Finkenauer

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is facing a competitive re-election race in Iowa’s 1st District against Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An internal poll for Rep. Rod Blum has found the vulnerable Iowa Republican narrowly trailing Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer in the 1st District.

The poll, conducted by The Polling Company, showed Finkenauer leading Blum 45 percent to 43 percent, within the 4.9 percentage-point margin of error. Four percent of respondents backed a third-party candidate, while 6 percent were undecided. 

Trump Largely Focuses on Own Re-Election at Iowa Rally for GOP Incumbents
President wants to find out if Elizabeth Warren really ‘has Indian blood’

President Donald Trump, here in July, was in Iowa on Tuesday night for a campaign rally for two vulnerable House Republicans. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Very much in re-election mode even before next month’s midterms, President Donald Trump took jabs at potential Democratic candidates at an Iowa rally Tuesday night, calling their party “an angry mob.”

“You don’t hand matches to an arsonists. And you don’t hand power to an angry mob,” he told rallygoers in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “If you want to defeat the swamp, you’ll have to elect Republicans.”

EPA Proposal Would End Summer Ban on Ethanol Motor Fuel — With the Midterms Just a Month Away
Some corn state Republicans facing tough re-election bids

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose an end to the summer ban on motor fuel made with ethanol according to a senior White House official. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA will propose to end the summer ban on the sale of motor fuel made with 15 percent ethanol, according to a senior White House official.

The move is sure to please corn state lawmakers such as Iowa Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst, who have spent the better part of the last year and a half pushing the Trump administration to do more to enforce requirements under the so-called Renewable Fuel Standard — a federal mandate to boost renewable fuels like ethanol in the nation’s gasoline mix.

DCCC Cancels Airtime in Potential Sign of Trouble for Iowa’s Rod Blum
Move signals Democrats are confident in their challenger Abby Finkenauer

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is one of the most vulnerable House incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has canceled its television ad reservation in the race against Republican Rep. Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District, according to a media tracking firm, which could signal that Democrats are confident about flipping the seat.

Blum faces state Rep. Abby Finkenauer, whom Democrats tout as a top recruit. The DCCC’s decision, reported by the firm Medium Buying, signals Finkenauer might not need as much help, and the committee wants to spend its resources elsewhere. The DCCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Liberal Health Care Group Launches Seven-Figure Campaign
Will target vulnerable Republicans in more than 20 districts

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is one of the Republicans being targeted by a liberal advocacy group two months out from the midterms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A liberal health care group is launching a seven-figure campaign targeting more than 20 congressional districts ahead of the midterm elections.

Health Care Voter announced the campaign on Thursday and said it will also release a 50-state voter guide for every candidate for federal office.

A Back-of-the-Envelope Look at How the House Could Flip
Electoral waves, ranging in size, are the norm for midterms going back decades

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is running for Senate, leaving behind a House seat that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. It’s a prime takeover target for Democrats this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Count the House races, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of whether the House will flip in the fall. No, you can’t be entirely certain how an individual toss-up contest is going to turn out in November. But you can arrive at a ballpark assessment of House changes right now by looking at three baskets of districts and how similar ones behaved in previous midterms.

There are 25 Republican House members representing districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016 (up from 23 before Pennsylvania drew a new congressional map). Almost one-third of those members, eight, are retiring. Given the current political polarization, the normal midterm dynamic (which punishes the president’s party) and the added risk of losing open seats, it’s likely that most of those 25 GOP districts will flip party control.

Vulnerable Rod Blum Under House Ethics Inquiry
Case was referred to panel by independent Office of Congressional Ethics

The House Ethics Committee has taken up a case against Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, that was referred by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee has taken up an inquiry into Iowa Republican Rod Blum. The case was referred from the Office of Congressional Ethics on July 19, and the Ethics Committee will announce a course of action before Dec. 17, according to a release. 

Blum called the inquiry a “crusade of personal destruction” being waged against him by the “radical left.”