elections

Congresswomen to Trump: Appoint an Election Security Czar
Rice and Stefanik send a letter to the president as talk of Russia grips House floor

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., leaves the House Republicans' last month. Stefanik and Rep. Kathleen Rice wrote a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to appoint an elections security coordinator.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two New York congresswomen on Thursday urged President Donald Trump to appoint an election security czar to combat election meddling.

Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice and Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik sent a letter calling for a “centralized, senior position” to knock down “silos” and bring together efforts at federal agencies such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. 

Rick Nolan Retained Staffer on Campaign Payroll After Harassment Allegations
Three former female employees have alleged former legislative director Jim Swiderski sexually harassed them

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., above, retained former legislative director Jim Swiderski on his campaign payroll in 2015 even after Swiderski resigned from his congressional office amid sexual misconduct allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just months after dismissing his top legislative aide in 2015 for multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Rep. Rick Nolan hired the aide to work on his 2016 re-election campaign.

Three former women employees for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor congressman told MinnPost, which originally reported this story, that Nolan’s legislative director, Jim Swiderski, repeatedly harassed — and in some cases groped — them in the early- and mid-2010s.

Internal Poll: Republican Harkey Has Slight Lead Over Levin in Race for Issa’s Seat
California’s 49th District is a top target for Democrats in November

Republican Diane Harkey will face Democrat Mike Levin in November in California’s 49th District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

The open-seat race in California’s 49th District is already close, according to an internal poll from Republican Diane Harkey’s campaign, obtained by Roll Call.

Harkey, an elected member of the California State Board of Equalization that oversees taxation, led Democratic environmental lawyer Mike Levin, 46 percent to 43 percent. Nine percent of respondents were undecided. 

Pence Again Presses McCaskill on Coming Supreme Court Vote
Heckler interrupts VP in St. Louis over migrant family separation

Vice President Mike Pence enters the room earlier this month as Sen. James Inhofe, right, conducts a meeting after a Senate GOP policy luncheon in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence returned to Missouri Thursday to again campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and raise money for her opponent, pressuring her to support President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee.

“If Claire won’t vote to confirm a judge like Brett Kavanaugh, you need to vote to give Missouri a senator who will,” Pence said in St. Louis of the solidly conservative D.C. Circuit appellate judge.

Will Newly Revealed Radio Comments Hurt Jason Lewis?
Democrats attacked Minnesota Republican for similar past comments during 2016 race

Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis was attacked during the 2016 campaign for making controversial comments about women when he was a radio talk show host. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The latest controversial comments unearthed from Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis’ days as a talk radio host have raised questions about whether the freshman Republican will face a reckoning this fall.

Lewis is well-known for having made sexist comments similar to the ones made public by CNN on Wednesday. Those remarks were a major focus of the Democrats’ 2016 message against him in Minnesota’s 2nd District, yet he still defeated Democrat Angie Craig by 2 points.

Democrats Push Senate to Take Legal Action Backing Pre-existing Condition Protections
McCaskill and Manchin among leaders of the effort

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., shakes hands with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is also running for U.S. Senate, before the start of the Ripley 4th of July Grand Parade in Ripley, West Virginia on July 4. The two men are on opposite sides of a debate over pre-existing conditions that could become a part of their campaigns. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:15 p.m. | In a possible preview of Senate Democrats’ midterm political messaging, Democratic senators want the chamber to go to court to defend health insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Two of the Democrats leading the effort face Republican challengers in 2018 who have signed on to the legal effort that could undermine the regulations from the 2010 health care law: state attorneys general in Missouri, Josh Hawley, and West Virginia, Patrick Morrisey.

Trump-Putin II? President Teases Second Meeting Amid Confusion
POTUS on EU fine of Google: ‘I told you so!’

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a joint press conference after their summit on Monday in Helsinki, Finland. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday indicated he and Russian President Vladimir Putin soon could have a second meeting, even as the confusing fallout continues from their initial summit.

Lawmakers from both parties are perplexed by Trump’s behavior Monday at the Putin summit, including a joint press conference during which he sided with the Russian strongman over U.S. intelligence agencies. Senators are, for instance, preparing legislation that would slap new sanctions on Russia if U.S. spy agencies conclude the Kremlin meddles in the coming midterm elections.

Democratic Challenger Calls Higgins ‘Barney Fife of Washington’
Graves challenger says he would be first openly gay candidate to run for the House from Louisiana

Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., was compared to Barney Fife by a Democratic challenger. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Democratic challenger to Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins called the tough-talking former sheriff a Republican “Barney Fife.”

Speaking on the first day of election qualifying in Baton Rouge, Mimi Methvin, an attorney from Lafayette, said Higgins portrays himself as a John Wayne-style figure, “But he's been more like Barney Fife doing the bidding of the GOP hierarchy.”

House Republicans Increase Messaging Votes Ahead of August Recess
GOP leaders prepare for break by seeking contrast with minority party

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., sees value in some of the messaging votes the House will take up before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House floor is seeing an uptick in messaging bills as Republicans prepare for a monthlong district work period in a midterm year when they are defending most of the seats in play.

Case in point was a resolution the House adopted Wednesday expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency — a stance some progressive Democrats are pushing.

At Trump White House, One Russia Controversy Breeds Another
What did POTUS mean? No one is sure, but he declares Putin summit a ‘success’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, was among those who were confused by the president’s statements about Russia on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump White House on Wednesday returned to a familiar pattern, fighting through multiple self-imposed controversies and confusing even its own allies.

President Donald Trump didn’t personally walk anything back, unlike on Tuesday. He left the mopping up to his top spokeswoman a day after he — in a rare move — admitted a mistake by amending one word of a 45-minute Finland press conference with Vladimir Putin that rattled both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.