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Brat to Inmates: ‘You Think You’re Having a Hard Time...’
Opponent Abigail Spanberger calls his remarks ‘an affront’ to those struggling with addictions

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At a listening session with inmates recovering from substance abuse this week, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) pivoted the conversation to his own re-election race.

“You think you’re having a hard time—I’ve got $5 million worth of negative ads coming at me,” Brat said. “How do you think I’m feeling? Nothing’s easy. For anybody.”

Hurricanes Stir Up Toxic Legacy of Coal-Fired Power Plants
Trump administration has worked to roll back federal coal ash regulations

A coal ash pond at Buck Steam Station in Salisbury, N.C. (Courtesy Les Stone/Greenpeace)

After Hurricane Florence deposited its last drop of rain on the Carolinas, the worst of the flooding was still to come as water made its way down mountainsides, through gullies and into creeks and accumulated in the Cape Fear River.

Spilling over the river’s banks, the water reached and breached a cooling lake used by Charlotte-based Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton power plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. From there it flowed over one of the three surrounding coal ash disposal sites, prompting fears that the cancer-causing byproduct of bygone coal operations could be flowing through a major groundwater system.

Budget Overhaul Proposals Likely to Stay in Play After Nov. 30
Joint Committee expected to offer recommendations next month

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack, R-Ark., says that proposals that aren’t accepted by other lawmakers could work their way into future legislation. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The legislative proposals under development by the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform could enjoy a life of their own after the special panel’s work is done later this year.

Members of the 16-member bicameral committee are hoping to agree on a package of proposed changes to improve the budget process by a Nov. 30 deadline, allowing their recommendations to be submitted to Congress for action.

Messing With Texas, Midterm Edition
In the Lone Star State, it’s not just about Beto and Cruz

A woman flies a Texas flag at a 2005 rally in the Upper Senate Park. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Yes, the Texas Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke gets a 72-ounce steak’s worth of attention in politics, what with Willie Nelson and President Donald Trump weighing in with their preferences and all. 

But regardless of who emerges from that Texas two-step, several other races will go a long way toward determining the House majority, and whether the Lone Star State might be moving toward swing/purple status. 

Trump Praises Gianforte for Physically Assaulting Reporter
‘Any guy who can do a body slam — he’s my guy,’ president says

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for his first full term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for physically assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election last year.

Addressing a rally in Missoula on his third trip to Montana this year, Trump at first only alluded to the 2017 incident. “Never wrestle him,” he said after calling Gianforte onstage.

Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders
Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview with House Judiciary and Oversight committee leaders on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.

Anti-Hacking 18-Wheeler Parks Near the Capitol
Congressional aides got some advice from IBM experts ahead of the midterms

The IBM C-TOC training room seats 20 staffers and was standing room only during the training on Thursday. (Alex Gangitano/ Roll Call)

Congressional staffers naively joined a public Wi-Fi network as they settled in for an hour-long cybersecurity training. Little did they know that any websites they browsed on their phones were about to flash on a giant screen.

There was nothing too embarrassing. At least one person was killing time on ESPN.com.

Rep. Mimi Walters’ Lead Within Error Margin in New GOP Poll
Walters represents a district won by Hillary Clinton in 2016

Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., at the House Energy and Commerce Committee meeting to organize for the 115th Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new internal poll shows California Rep. Mimi Walters with a 50 percent share of the vote, leading Democratic challenger Katie Porter by 4 points. 

The incumbent’s 50-46 lead is within the poll’s +/-4.9% margin of error.