House

House GOP Incumbents Spent Hundreds of Thousands in Legal Fees to Head Off Crises
Mia Love, Scott Taylor, Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter all face competitive races

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., spent nearly $185,000 in campaign money on legal fees in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least six House Republicans combined to spend more than $325,000 in campaign funds in the most recent quarter alone on legal or crisis management fees related to brewing scandals that have wended their way into the court of public opinion — and, in some cases, real courtrooms.

New York Rep. Chris Collins, whom federal authorities indicted on Aug. 8 on 10 counts related to insider trading and securities fraud, shelled out $30,980.25 from his campaign account to the D.C.-based law firm BakerHostetler just three days later.

Steve Bannon Aiming to Boost Chris Collins Re-Election Effort in New York
Former top Trump strategist headlining get-out-the-vote rally

Stephen K. Bannon is going to be making a campaign trip to Western New York next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Embattled New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins is reportedly going to get a boost from Steve Bannon next week.

The controversial political strategist and former top adviser to President Donald Trump is scheduled to headline an Oct. 24 campaign rally at a fire station in Elma in Western New York that may not be specifically for Collins, but is designed to promote GOP candidates on the ballot there.

Feinstein ‘Absolutely’ Supports Revisiting Kavanaugh Allegations, She Says in Debate
California Democrat was asked about further investigating sexual assault claims

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., faces fellow Democrat Kevin de Léon in the November general election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Wednesday she “absolutely” supports reopening an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. 

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court earlier this month following a heated battle over allegations that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school. House Democrats have said they might launch investigations into Kavanaugh should they take control of the chamber next month. 

Stanley Cup Finally Gets Its D.C. Day in the Capitol
Washington hockey fans make the most of their first ever NHL championship

A Capitol Police officer takes a selfie with the NHL's Stanley Cup in the Capitol on Wednesday. The Cup, which was won by the Washington Capitals in June, made a few stops on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When the Stanley Cup was in the Capitol, true Washington Capitals fans stood apart from other hockey fans taking a quick break from their jobs during a recess day to see the famous trophy.

Many were wearing their allegiance on their chest.

Blumenauer Sends Blunt Marijuana Blueprint to Democratic Leadership
Goal is to have Congress pass legislation by the end of 2019

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., wants Democrats to legalize marijuana if they take back the House majority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’s most vocal marijuana proponents, sent Democratic leadership a memo Wednesday outlining steps Congress should take to legalize the Schedule I drug.

“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Blumenauer wrote in the memo, citing polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November.”

Will the Lone Stars Align for Beto O’Rourke in Texas Senate Race?
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 41

Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke joins Willie Nelson on stage during his Turn out For Texas Rally last month. Other Texas legends are coming out for O'Rourke. How much difference will it make, though? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Will appealing to Whataburger partisans get out the vote? What about a new Willie Nelson song? These are but some of the questions that will be answered by the Texas Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke

That’s because some of the Lone Star State’s favorite sons, like country-music legend Nelson and filmmaker Richard Linklater, have come out strong for O’Rourke and are putting their artistic talent where their mouths are. Will it make a difference, though? Leah Askarinam from Inside Elections and McClatchy’s Alex Roarty, who grew up in Houston, discuss the race, whether famous Texans will help O’Rourke and what sort of downstream effect the race has on competitive House races we might see on the latest Political Theater Podcast. 

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

2 New Polls Tell Different Stories in Open Michigan Seat
More than a quarter of voters still undecided in GOP survey

Michigan Rep. Dave Trott isn’t running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two new partisan polls of the open-seat race in Michigan’s 11th District, where Republican Rep. Dave Trott is not seeking re-election, tell slightly different stories about the contest. 

Polling conducted for the GOP nominee, businesswoman Lena Epstein, and the National Republican Congressional Committee showed a neck-and-neck race with the Democrat narrowly ahead and more than a quarter of voters still undecided. 

Markwayne Mullin Says He’ll Fight Avenatti
Oklahoma congressman responds to Trump antagonist’s challenge to Donald Trump Jr.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., said he’s ready to climb into the cage with lawyer Michael Avenatti after he challenged Donald Trump Jr. to a mixed martial arts fight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter, challenged Democratic lawyer Michael Avenatti to “meet him on the mat.”

Avenatti and Donald Trump Jr. have sparred on Twitter in recent weeks over special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation and Avenatti’s rumored presidential ambitions. The rivalry took a surreal turn last week, when Avenatti challenged Trump Jr. to a “three-round mixed martial arts fight” with the proceeds going to charity. 

Trump Already Facing 2020 Foes on Campaign Trail
Democrats will be making their own Western campaign swings in the week ahead

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who visited Culinary Worker’s Union Local 226 in Las Vegas to launch early voting in 2016, will be back this Saturday in Vegas. Also pictured, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is getting ready for a swing through the Mountain West for campaign rallies, but he won’t be alone. Many of his potential 2020 rivals are hitting the trail themselves, serving as surrogates for Democratic candidates in 2018.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will find himself in Nevada on the same day as one of the president’s “Make America Great Again” spectacles Saturday, though they might as well be on different planets.