Virginia

Don’t know which candidate is stronger? We have a metric for that

Voters fill out ballots in Virginia on election day in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sometimes it’s difficult to discern the strength of a particular candidate running for election, especially when political pundits bandy data and metrics back and forth. 

Luckily, we have a metric for that. 

Ted Cruz pays off World Series bet with Texas barbecue and beer
Senator wore a Washington Nationals jersey for the occasion

Sens. Ted Cruz, left, and Tim Kaine take a photo together Thursday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, where Cruz provided a Texas-themed buffet for his and Kaine’s staffers after losing a World Series bet with Kaine. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz repaid his World Series bet in style Thursday with a feast of Texas barbecue and Shiner beer.

“I agreed to go full bore, so I am painfully going to deliver, although I continue to wave my 2017 rally flag,” the Texas Republican said at a luncheon with Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, their staffs and other invited guests.

The perils of positive thinking
America’s optimism aside, Pentagon's track record of buying arms has been spotty since WWII

An F-35 zips past the Capitol dome during a flyover in Washington on June 12. In the decades since World War II, the Pentagon’s track record of buying the weapons and equipment needed to execute its mission to protect America and its interests has become spotty. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Americans like optimism. It goes hand in hand with the can-do spirit that saw industry transform itself into the juggernaut that powered the Allied victory in the Second World War.

The Defense Department’s overly optimistic approach to acquisition is a major factor behind that checkered performance. In part, that’s a reflection of military culture, where it is hard to tell a superior, especially one wearing stars on his or her shoulders, that a goal won’t be met.

Denver Riggleman keeps taking flak from other Republicans
Social conservatives look to move nominating process to convention, away from primary

Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman has faced mounting pressure from social conservatives in his central Virginia district since he officiated a gay wedding this summer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Corrected 10:29 a.m. | Conservatives pushing for more control of the nominating process in a congressional district in Virginia insist it’s not just because freshman Republican Denver Riggleman officiated a gay wedding this summer.

But it’s hard to talk about the effort to replace Riggleman, a libertarian-leaning business owner, with a more socially conservative Republican without talking about the wedding. It is arguably the most prominent thing Riggleman has done in his 11 months in office.

House pushes ‘dozen bills or none’ approach to spending talks
GOP senators express doubts as House leaders insist on finalizing appropriations by Dec. 20

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby says he doubts that all 12 overdue spending bills for the current fiscal year could be finalized before the Dec. 20 deadline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders are insisting that all 12 overdue spending bills for the current fiscal year must be finalized before any of them can reach the floor, according to sources familiar with strategy talks.

The demand for some kind of grand bargain could complicate hopes for completion of at least a portion of fiscal 2020 appropriations before stopgap funding runs dry on Dec. 20 and Congress adjourns for the winter holidays. 

It’s Devin Nunes v. World when it comes to lawsuits
California Republican has sued parody Twitter accounts, media, others

A protester holds up a puppet of California Rep. Devin Nunes on Nov. 20 as Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Nunes has threatened to sue media outlets that reported he met with Ukrainian officials to get help compiling a committee report when he was chairman of the Intelligence panel. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Devin Nunes has been a high-profile participant in the impeachment inquiry as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, but since March, the California Republican has also filed six lawsuits, the most recent one reportedly against CNN. He’s also threatened to sue The Daily Beast. Here’s where the six lawsuits stand.

In March, Nunes filed a $250 million defamation suit against Twitter and two parody accounts — Devin Nunes’ Cow and Devin Nunes’ Mom — and Liz Mair, a Republican consultant, alleging that Cow and Mom accused him of being a Russian spy who was friends with racists. Twitter sought to dismiss the suit, but in October, a judge in Virginia allowed the case to go forward. Also in October, Nunes’ lawyer sent a letter to Nunes’ 2018 Democratic opponent, Andrew Janz, demanding Janz make the person behind the cow account stop. Janz’s lawyer rejected that demand.

Senate panel approves Trump's FDA nominee
Senators ask questions about the FDA's plans for regulating e-cigarettes

Stephen Hahn, nominee to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Nov. 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate panel approved President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration amid questions from both parties about the agency’s plans for regulating flavored e-cigarettes.

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 18-5 to advance to the Senate floor the nomination of medical executive and doctor Stephen Hahn.

Consequential month ahead for court battles between House and Trump
Decisions expected in several cases that could determine limits of congressional power to investigate the president

The U.S. Supreme Court building at sunset on Nov. 14. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

December will bring a blizzard of action in federal courts that could ultimately settle the limits of congressional power to investigate presidents and compel testimony — and could play a role in the ongoing political drama over impeachment.

In the next two weeks, the Supreme Court and others will handle litigation about congressional subpoenas for White House and national security officials and about lawmakers’ ability to get documents related to President Donald Trump’s finances.

Congress seeks to avoid an approps nightmare before Christmas
Appropriators and congressional leadership have just three weeks to resolve dozens of policy disputes between House and Senate spending bills

Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., are seen during a Senate Appropriations Committee markup in June 2019. Lawmakers have just three weeks to iron out dozens of policy disputes between House and Senate spending bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress returns to Washington this week with a challenging to-do list for December that not only includes drafting articles of impeachment and finalizing a massive trade deal, but also funding the government.

Appropriators and congressional leadership have just three weeks to resolve dozens of policy disputes between House and Senate spending bills — a daunting but routine exercise that will determine whether there’s a partial government shutdown right as lawmakers are set to leave for their winter break.

Trump uses turkey pardoning event to mock Adam Schiff, impeachment process
‘Unlike previous witnesses, you and I have actually met,’ POTUS tells ‘Bread’ and ‘Butter’

President Donald Trump pardons “Butter” during the annual pre-Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House on Nov. 26. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday used the annual pre-Thanksgiving presidential turkey pardoning to mock the House Democrat who oversaw the first step in his party’s impeachment proceedings.

Before giving a white bird named “Butter” a full pardon, Trump warned he is slated to appear “in Adam Schiff’s basement on Thursday.” That was a continuation of the president’s criticism of the Intelligence Committee chairman for holding closed-door depositions with current and former Trump administration officials in a secure room on the bottom floor of the Capitol Visitor Center.