Science

Border Brawl on Display at Senators-White House Meeting Today
McConnell, Shelby trek to meet with Trump about wall funding

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., front left, will be heading to the White House to discuss year-end spending deals on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Key Republican senators head to the White House Thursday afternoon to meet with President Donald Trump, hoping to resolve a border brawl that could hold up a year-end spending package and lead to a partial government shutdown.

The White House session could make clear whether Trump is prepared to give any ground in his request for a $5 billion down payment on a southern border wall — or whether he’s prepared to trigger a shutdown if he doesn’t get his way. Senate appropriators have offered only $1.6 billion in their bipartisan version of a Homeland Security spending bill.

The Cabinet Secretary Who Should Have Known Better
Nielsen’s loyalty, harsh immigration policies were apparently not enough for Trump

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will be mostly remembered as the smiling public face of the heartless family-separation policy at the border, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — As a result of the natural tumult of politics along the corridors of power, Washington has always been filled with ambitious men and women plotting their next career move. This is Cinderella City where a few adroit steps can propel an anonymous staffer to the Cabinet in a golden coach.

At first glance, that is the story of 46-year-old Kirstjen Nielsen, who is nearing her first anniversary as secretary of Homeland Security. Championed by Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly — for whom she had worked at DHS and in the White House — Nielsen was put in charge in late 2017 of a sprawling Cabinet department with nearly a quarter of a million employees.

In Appropriations Endgame, All Roads Lead to Border Wall
Dec. 7 funding deadline fast approaching

Border Patrol vehicles stand guard along the United States-Mexico border fence in on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. The fence runs through the cities of Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sooner or later, President Donald Trump will have to confront the political reality that Congress is extremely unlikely to provide the $5 billion he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That realization has to occur in less than a month, with the House and Senate both in session for only 12 legislative days before the current stopgap funding measure expires Dec. 7.

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

In Suburban Strongholds, Blue Wave a Republican Wipeout
Democrats expected to hold over two thirds of suburban House seats next year

Democrat Jennifer Wexton, flanked by her mother, Paula Tosini, and husband, Andrew, delivers her victory speech Tuesday night after defeating GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday’s midterm elections have done more than surge Democrats into a respectable House majority: It also wiped out a large chunk of Republicans’ support in suburban strongholds, portending a significant shift in the political alignment of white suburbanites in the Trump era.

Almost all of the House Democratic gains came from the suburbs: They are projected to flip over two dozen seats in primarily suburban districts, sweeping out once-comfortable Republican incumbents including Reps. Pete Sessions in Texas, Peter Roskam in Illinois, and Erik Paulsen in Minnesota.

The ‘Open-Book’ President Lays Out His ‘War-Like Posture’ Plan
‘Them being in the majority, I’m just going to blame them,’ Trump says of Dems

President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One from the Oval Office on Oct. 12. He sent several clear signals about his re-election messaging the day after the midterm elections cost his part the House. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | “I think I am an open book,” President Donald Trump said Wednesday. He made good on that pledge during a roller coaster press conference when he made clear he is spoiling for a “war” with House Democrats and the media.

Trump fired a shot across the bow, warning Democrats if they launch investigations into him, he will immediately go into a “war-like posture” that will ensure “nothing is done” in Washington. He sparred with reporters, barking at several to sit down while calling a CNN journalist a disgrace. He talked over reporters trying to ask questions and called an African-American PBS reporter’s question “racist.”

Veterans Still Outpace Civilians in Congress, But Declines Continue
Midterms saw House increase in Democratic Vets, women with military experience

Jason Crow, Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District won his election Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file)

The number of military veterans in both chambers of Congress will at best remain unchanged despite a midterm cycle featuring dozens of candidates with military experience on both sides of the aisle.

Seventy-four veterans won House seats Tuesday night. Eight others were locked in races still too close to call Wednesday afternoon. In the Senate, a projected win for retired Air Force office Martha McSally in an Arizona race would bring the number of veterans in the next Congress to 17 — the same number that finished the 115th Congress. Even if veterans win all the outstanding races in the House, the percentage of House lawmakers with military experience will remain unchanged: 19 percent. 

Tuesday Night’s Wave Came With an Undertow for the GOP
Results were good enough to constrain Trump, and that alone made it the most important midterm since 1930

As Donald Trump in the White House fulfills every dire prophecy about his vitriolic fear mongering, affluent suburbs are increasingly becoming part of the permanent Democratic coalition. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It was the most important midterm election since voters repudiated the unsteady hand of Herbert Hoover in responding to the Great Depression. But unlike 1930 when the Democrats garnered more than 50 House seats and gained effective control of the Senate, the electoral verdict last night was far more equivocal.

As anyone who spent last summer at the beach knows, waves come in all sizes. There are gentle waves made for diving seven-year-olds. There are deceptively strong waves that bring with them an undertow. And there are, of course, fierce storm waves that require a response from FEMA.

Health Care, Anti-Trump Message ‘Won’t Suffice’ for 2020 Dems
Another race largely about the president ‘not good news for Democrats,’ expert says

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Nevada Democrats early voting rally at the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Las Vegas on Oct. 20. He is mulling a 2020 presidential bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats used a message built on health care and criticizing Donald Trump’s brash approach to the presidency to take back the House, but experts say that won’t be enough to defeat the president in 2020.

“This election is about health care,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who could be speaker come January, said Tuesday at a news conference alongside Democratic House Campaign Committee chairman Ben Ray Luján that amounted to her closing pitch to voters.

Why 2018 Is the New ‘Year of the Woman’
Number of incoming female freshmen lawmakers will exceed 1992 total

Hotel workers finish hanging a Jennifer Wexton campaign sign on stage for the Virginia Democrat’s election night party in Dulles, Va. on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic women picked up more than two dozen House seats Tuesday, helping to power both the party’s takeover of the chamber and an election widely considered a watermark in the political representation of women.

They shattered the previous record of 24 women elected during the 1992 “Year of the Woman,” following the previous year’s confirmation fight over Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who faced sexual harassment allegations from Anita Hill.