wage

Gregg Harper, Retiring Congressman and Giddy New Grandpa
After five terms, Mississippi Republican is looking forward to more family time

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., is not seeking a sixth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Earlier this summer, Rep. Gregg Harper cleared his calendar to fly home for the birth of his first grandbaby — a little boy named Lee.

Speaking in his Rayburn Building office two weeks later, the Mississippi Republican pulled out his phone to flip through pictures.

McCaskill, Hawley Race to Cover Their Bases in Missouri
Vulnerable Democrat walks trickier tightrope than Republican challenger

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill addresses campaign volunteers on Aug. 25 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Lisa Ballenger didn’t volunteer for Hillary Clinton in 2016. She didn’t think she needed her help. 

But on a hot and sunny Saturday here late last month, Ballenger made sure to go to a packed campaign office in a plaza, where Sen. Claire McCaskill rallied volunteers about to go knocking on doors for her. 

Congress Awaits Details as Canada Looms Over NAFTA Deadline
Democrats and Republicans want northern neighbor included

Kushner enters USTR headquarters Aug. 29, 2018. (Ellyn Ferguson/CQ Roll Call)

With just a day before the Trump administration is expected to notify Congress that it plans to sign an agreement in principle with Mexico to update the NAFTA trade pact, lawmakers continue to seek more details and push for a final outcome that includes the third NAFTA partner — Canada.

“We have no exact details. Other than what’s been written in newspapers, we have no idea what’s in it,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said of the agreement in principle announced Monday by Mexico and the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Corker said Senate Republicans were told Tuesday that they could soon receive what he called talking points on the agreement.

Artificial Intelligence May Help Match Veterans with Civilian Jobs
Software translates military job codes into relevant info for civilian employers

Artificial intelligence could help veterans find jobs in the civilian sector that make the most of their military training. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

One of the problems military veterans have long faced is matching their skills learned in the armed forces to the needs of civilian employers, an issue Congress continues to grapple with in the fiscal 2019 spending bills.

Many military jobs translate perfectly into the civilian sector — repairing an Abrams tank is much like repairing any heavy piece of machinery, for example — but many combat and leadership skills do not, on the surface, directly transfer.

Rep. Meng: Amend Constitution to Lower Voting Age to 16
The last constitutional amendment was passed in 1992

Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., announced Wednesday that she’s interested in lowering the voting age to 16. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng introduced an amendment to the Constitution to lower the nationwide voting age to 16 years old.

The 26th Amendment — passed in 1971 — guarantees the right to vote to eligible citizens who are 18 years old or older, which shifted the voting age down from 21. Meng’s legislation would rewrite the amendment to include 16- and 17-year-olds in federal, state and local elections.

Fame and Campaign Fortune Haven’t Saved ‘Iron Stache’ From a Heated Primary
Randy Bryce faces fellow Democrat Cathy Myers in Wisconsin’s 1st District on Tuesday

Democrat Randy Bryce faces Cathy Myers in Tuesday’s primary in Wisconsin’s 1st District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Randy Bryce came on to the political scene, he became a Democratic fundraising juggernaut. But the Wisconsin Democrat, who is known by his Twitter moniker “Iron Stache,” hasn’t locked down his primary race in the 1st District, despite a national profile and buckets of money being poured into his campaign.

Bryce faces a potentially competitive contest against Janesville school board member Cathy Myers in Tuesday’s primary. 

The Fight for the Democratic Party Heads to Missouri’s 1st District
Rep. William Lacy Clay is facing a spirited primary challenge from Cori Bush

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., here at a news conference last year with fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus, has fended off primary challengers before. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shocking primary victory in New York over House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley raised the question: Who could be the next incumbent Democrat to go down? Ocasio-Cortez and her allies are hoping it will be Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay

Four Democrats, including Clay, will be on the primary ballot Tuesday for the St. Louis-based 1st District, but the nine-term congressman’s biggest threat comes from nurse and activist Cori Bush. Ocasio-Cortez traveled to St. Louis to campaign with Bush, who casts herself as part of a new generation of bold progressive leaders. 

Pelosi Urges House Democrats to ‘Own August’ Over Recess
Leadership introduces toolkit to help members draw an economic contrast with GOP

The office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee have sent a messaging toolkit to members to use in their districts over the August recess. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic recruits across the country may be running away from party leadership in their campaigns this summer, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has some messaging advice for her colleagues about painting a contrast between the parties ahead of November. 

In a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated Monday, marking 100 days from the midterms, Pelosi stressed the importance of contrasting the Democratic and Republican economic messages when lawmakers are in their districts over recess.

How Left Is Too Left? Kansas Democrats Duke It Out in Must-Win District
Kevin Yoder’s seat is a Democratic target this year

Lawyer Brent Welder, center, rallies with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Kansas City on Friday. (Courtesy Brent Welder for Congress)

Kansas’ 3rd District was recently thrust into the national spotlight as the latest battleground for the soul of the Democratic Party. While local Democrats are divided over the best strategy for the general election, they agree on one thing: It’s a district they have to win to take back the House.

“This is a good example of very ripe territory for Democrats,” said one Democratic operative involved in the race. “And if Democrats are not winning here in November, that’s a very bad sign.”

Opinion: The Numbers Tell the Story — Tax Cuts Work
Recent economic data run counter to the media and Democrats‘ narrative

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, here with Republican lawmakers unveiling the GOP tax plan last September, says Americans have gone from asking “Where are the jobs?” to asking “Where are more workers?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last October, not long before passage of the Republican tax cuts, Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” argued over taxes with his guest, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“There has been no study that has been able to somehow reinforce this idea that tax cuts do translate to economic growth,” the NBC host said.