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Trump continues to bash McCain as ‘horrible’ for role in Russia dossier
President blames media for asking questions about his unprompted criticism seven months after McCain’s death

Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. John McCain, and their son Jimmy follow an honor guard carrying the senator’s casket out of the Washington National Cathedral after his funeral in September 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump continued his feud with the late Sen. John McCain, calling the Arizona Republican “horrible” for handing to the FBI the so-called dossier of unflattering information about his pre-White House activities in Russia.

Trump has been lashing out at McCain for nearly a week after he apparently was reminded about the former Senate Armed Services chairman’s role in turning over that document to federal investigators. During a speech Wednesday ostensibly about the economy, the president even criticized the deceased senator and his family for not thanking him for approving parts of McCain’s funeral plans that needed a presidential green light.

‘No PAC money’ pledges leave corporations in a partisan bind
Corporate PACs fear upending of their ‘balanced approach’ as more Democrats reject their cash

The lawmakers refusing PAC money have been almost entirely Democrats, and that's raising concerns for corporations and trade groups. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Hundreds of PAC people escaped Washington earlier this month for a South Florida resort, huddling over the latest trends in political money and seeking clues about the future of their beleaguered enterprises.

One breakout session, dubbed “Under Siege,” aptly portrayed the angst that hung over the crowd like the shade cast by palm trees over the hotel pool. These folks run the political action committees of corporations and business associations just when a growing contingent of lawmakers is rejecting their donations.

Beto O’Rourke breaks presidential fundraising record with $6.1 million haul
Texas Democrat on campaign swing through states Trump won in 2016 after launching campaign Friday

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a St. Patrick’s Day party in Dubuque, Iowa, on Saturday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Beto O’Rourke raised a record-breaking $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign on Friday.

The former Texas Democratic congressman collected $6,136,763 from donors in every U.S. state and territory, his campaign announced in a news release Monday.

Small-dollar donors could hold the balance in 2020
Concerns about money in politics are empowering individual voters

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who entered the 2020 presidential race Thursday, collected almost half of his $79 million Senate haul last cycle from small donations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Poll after poll shows that a wide majority of Americans denounce the role of money in the nation’s political campaigns — so their behavior in response might come as a surprise: More Americans are donating to candidates, particularly in small-dollar increments.

Molly McCloskey, a 27-year-old who works in advertising in Chicago, said she ponied up several donations, none larger than $40 and most closer to $15, in last year’s campaigns to support Democratic candidates. “There were times where I felt helpless, so I donated,” McCloskey said. “It felt like some sort of action, like I was doing something.”

Dan Lipinski demurs on LGBTQ bill, Marie Newman pounces
Illinois congressman is only House Democrat not co-sponsoring Equality Act

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., hasn’t signed on to the Equality Act because he says it conflicts with his position on religious liberties. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When House Democrats introduced a signature measure this week that would extend civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, only one from their ranks was missing from the long list of co-sponsors — Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski. His likely primary challenger was watching. 

Marie Newman, who is exploring another progressive bid to unseat the eight-term lawmaker, drew attention to Lipinski’s apparent lack of support for the measure, dubbed HR 5, in a fundraising email Thursday. 

2020 Trump budget reflects 2020 Trump re-election themes
White House hopeful Bernie Sanders blasts plan for ‘cruelty’ and ‘broken promises’

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on March 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The budget plan President Donald Trump sent to Congress on Monday reflects the messaging themes that are the early pillars of his re-election campaign.

The $4.7 trillion spending proposal includes increases for things the president uses to fire up his supporters, including a sizable military budget boost and $8.6 billion for his U.S.-Mexico border barrier that could trigger a new government shutdown fight in late September. It also calls for $2.8 trillion in cuts to non-Pentagon programs.

10 things you might not know about HR 1
Some significant changes have not been talked about much as the bill has advanced to the House floor

The House begins debate on HR 1 this week, a comprehensive bill overhauling election and campaign finance law that contains several under-the-radar but still significant provisions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the House begins debate Wednesday on HR 1 — the Democratic majority’s package overhauling voting, campaign finance and ethics law — some parts of the bill will likely get more attention than others, but several under-the-radar provisions in the 622-page legislation would nevertheless have sweeping impacts.

Here are 10 provisions that have not received much attention as the legislation advanced through committee hearings and markups on its way to the floor.

Senators running for president: This gun bill is your first major test
Want to show us you’re able to lead? Overcome the NRA’s influence

Yes, the background check bill has a tough road in the Senate. But with several Democrats in the chamber running for president, including Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, there should be more than enough leadership to go around, write Volsky and Guttenberg. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It goes without saying that the House passage of measures that would strengthen our nation’s background check system and expand background checks to every single gun purchase is a major step toward building safer American schools and communities. It’s a significant win for the millions of Americans who took to the streets last year to demand congressional action to help solve our national gun crisis.

Background checks, after all, have stopped 3.5 million gun sales and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. States that require background checks for all handgun sales have lower rates of intimate partner gun homicides of women, law enforcement officers killed with handguns and gun-related suicides.

A shining example for today’s House investigators
The late John Dingell was almost frightening to watch on TV when he had corruption in his sights

Rep. John Dingell could teach current House Democrats a thing or two about how to investigate corruption, writes McCloskey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — The passing of John Dingell this month justifies more than a few words in honor of one of the great public servants — and fiercest investigators — of our time.

John was a dedicated and hard worker in the daily tasks of the House of Representatives for nearly 60 years, and particularly in its committees. He may have been of as much value to the nation as any of the presidents under whom he served, and certainly equal to the value of some of the great senators of his time, modest men like Democrats Mike Mansfield, Gaylord Nelson and Claiborne Pell; Republicans like John Chafee, Bill Cohen and Bob Dole.

Congress tries to walk the climate crisis talk
Amid debate on Green New Deal, Democrats are treading lightly in their daily lives

Staffers are aiming to lead by example, by creating workplace cultures where being “green” is a priority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Staffers working for environmentally minded lawmakers are trying to walk the talk on climate change by taking small personal actions while their bosses call for big-picture policy shifts.

Around Capitol Hill, several aides are aiming to create workplace cultures where being “green” is a priority and holding colleagues accountable is the norm.