Deb Fischer

Raybould Wins Nebraska Democratic Senate Primary to Take on Fischer
Raybould is a Lincoln City councilwoman who previously ran for Lieutenant Governor

Jane Raybould will challenge GOP Sen. Deb Fischer in Nebraska. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Lincoln City councilwoman Jane Raybould won the Democratic Senate primary in Nebraska Tuesday night. She will face GOP Sen. Deb Fischer in the fall. 

With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Raybould had 64.8 percent of the vote to 18.5 percent for Chris Janicek,  11.8 percent for Frank Svoboda and 4.9 percent for Larry Marvin, The Associated Press reported.

4 Things to Watch During Tuesday’s Primary Elections
Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon will be hosting primaries

Voters head to the polls for primary elections in four states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four states will host primary elections Tuesday, setting up matchups for several key races this fall. 

Pennsylvania, Idaho and Nebraska all have House primaries to watch. And the Keystone State’s new congressional lines will be tested for the first time. The state’s Supreme Court tossed out the old map earlier this year, deeming it an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. 

How Vulnerable is Deb Fischer in Nebraska?
Race still ‘Solid Republican’ at this point

The burden of proof is still on Democrats to demonstrate that a challenge to Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., is a serious takeover opportunity, Nathan L. Gonzales writes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nebraska has been dubbed a “sleeper” Senate race and rated as competitive by some handicappers. House Democrats just came close to winning a special election in a congressional district President Donald Trump won by 21 points, so how vulnerable is GOP Sen. Deb Fischer?

At a minimum, the senator faces a spirited challenge from Lincoln City Council member Jane Raybould. But the perception that Nebraska is a legitimate Democratic takeover opportunity seems to lean on the proclamation that no Republican seat is safe and limited public polling. Other evidence, including previously unreleased polling from the Fischer campaign, paints a different picture of the race.

New Push for Senators to Pay Their Interns
Advocates say the time is right for offices to stop relying on free labor

A majority of Senate offices do not offer paid internships, according to data from nonprofit advocacy group Pay Our Interns. (Illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Ideas to boost diversity on the Hill have been thrown around, and the numbers are slowly improving. But what if the solution was right in front of everyone, sitting at tiny shared desks in congressional offices?

Paid interns.

Tax Day Fight Previews Larger Political Battle Over New Law
Midterm messaging is likely to contain a heaping dose of tax rhetoric

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., holds a sample of a postcard-style tax filing during a news conference in the House studio after a meeting of the GOP Conference on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As citizens across the country rush to submit their 2017 tax returns before the deadline, Republicans and Democrats in Congress on Tuesday amped up the messaging battle over last year’s tax law.

The dueling talking points presented by each party are a preview of the months to come as the midterm elections approach.

Trump Could Flip-Flop on TPP After All
But Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse cautions that president ‘likes to blue-sky a lot’ in meetings

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said he was Thursday was pleased with President Trump’s willingness to possibly rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership — but he also presented a caveat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In what would be another dramatic reversal, President Donald Trump told farm-state lawmakers Thursday he might sign the United States up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership after all.

Just by floating the idea, the Republican president drew the ire of conservatives on social media as he opened the door to joining a trade pact with 11 other Pacific Rim countries that he once dubbed “a continuing rape of our country.” 

Tariffs Could Complicate Key Senate Races
Some Democrats already criticizing GOP opponents over tariffs’ impact

A John Deere tractor sits in a field near Salem, Ind. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The potential for a trade war with China is already complicating some key Senate races ahead of the November midterms, especially for Republicans hoping to expand their majority.

President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports sparked retaliatory threats from China. The country vowed to slap tariffs on top U.S. exports that also come from states with some of the most competitive Senate contests.

Republicans Grouse Over Tariffs but Lack Plan to Cool Trade Tiff
As China retaliates, lawmakers air unease without threatening to counter Trump

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., urged the Trump administration to think of farmers in her state but stopped short of threatening legislative action on tariffs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When lawmakers return from recess next week, they are likely to be besieged by various industries seeking protection from the economic fallout of the trade fight between the Trump administration and China that threatens to impose $50 billion in retaliatory duties on U.S. exports.

But the Republican-controlled Congress may not be able to do more than collectively wring its hands, in contrast to the leverage lawmakers have under Trade Promotion Authority to accept or reject a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.

Nathan’s (Mostly) Political One-Liners: Barn Jackets, HGTV and Close Shots
What’s running through my head on Thursday, April 5

The famous barn jacket made its way into Indiana Democrat Mel Hall’s latest campaign ad. (Screenshot Mel Hall for Congres/YouTube)

My inclination is to write 4,000 words about everything, so I’m trying something new here by limiting myself to one line of opinion or analysis per race or existential thought. Here goes:

With EMILY’s List endorsing Democrat Hiral Tipirneni and the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee and Congressional Leadership Fund spending money to boost former state Sen. Debbie Lesko for the April 24 special election, I’m glad we moved the special election out of Solid Republican back in February.

Rural Areas Feeling Left Behind in Race to Expand Broadband
Lawmakers looking at several options to close digital divide

South Dakota Sen. John Thune talks with reporters Thursday after a news conference at the GOP retreat in West Virginia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Denny Law’s telecommunications company connects phone lines through the plains of western South Dakota and he’s all-in for ending the rural digital divide.

He said President Donald Trump’s promise to level the playing field with a “great, great broadband,” made during a Jan. 8 speech in Nashville, Tennessee, has energized local providers like himself. And, he added, John Thune, the South Dakota Republican who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, had better take note.