leadership

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.

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.”

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.”

Even Without Democrats, Trump Judicial Nominee Gets Some Tough Questions
Sen. John Kennedy asked about Allison Jones Rushing’s experience for appeals court

Allison Jones Rushing, nominee to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, testified Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t make the trip back to Capitol Hill to question one of President Donald Trump’s federal appellate picks Wednesday.

But that doesn’t mean she got away without some tough questions.

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. 

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.

Republicans With Fundraising Struggles Have Outside Help — For Now
GOP groups had previously warned lawmakers to step up their game

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., has been outraised by his Democratic opponent, Katie Hill, but Congressional Leadership Fund is still spending for him in California’s 25th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Scores of Republicans were once again outraised by their Democratic opponents in the recently concluded third quarter. And GOP outside groups now have to decide how to best allocate their finite resources with less than three weeks to go until Election Day. 

The two major Republican groups that spend in House races — the National Republican Congressional Committee and the House leadership-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund — have already begun to move money to different races, as have their Democratic counterparts, in an end-of-cycle process known as “triage.”

Cory Gardner Has a Really Good Mitch McConnell Impression
Take Five: Gardner’s staff wants him to act cool in front of celebrities

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., never got to tell Powers Boothe that he loves “Red Dawn.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Cory Gardner’s impression of Mitch McConnell was spot-on as he described that time during the tax debate when the pair talked marijuana.

The Colorado Republican has embraced the cannabis industry. But some of his colleagues aren’t so sure.

Lindsey Graham Sees Big Election Night for Senate Republicans
Speaking at Heritage Foundation, Mitch McConnell was predictably more reserved

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is upbeat about the chances for big Senate Republican wins on Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham is very bullish on the chances of Republicans expanding their Senate majority on Election Day in three weeks.

“We’re off to the races. Everything is breaking our way,” the South Carolina senator said Tuesday night.