Sean McMinn

Senate Republicans Became More Bipartisan in the Last Congress — Democrats, Not So Much
Report places Sen. Bernie Sanders as the least bipartisan senator

Senate Democrats, once happy to rail against what they called obstructionist Republicans in the chamber, flipped positions with their friends across the aisle when it came to partisanship in the 114th Congress.

A new report from the Lugar Center and Georgetown University shows that most senators — almost two-thirds of the chamber — acted more bipartisan when it came to cosponsorships on bills during the most recent Congress, compared to the Congress before.

Republicans Are Losing Ground to Democrats Early in the Election Cycle — That’s Completely Normal
Early special election winners often underperform their predecessors

Fueled by a swelling fervor against President Donald Trump, Democrats are putting up tougher-than-expected fights against special election opponents in Republican strongholds — something that’s happened fairly regularly in recent history.

Since Bill Clinton won the White House in 1992, there have been seven House special elections before or during the first 100 days of a president’s term. In each of them, the district stuck with the same party its voters chose during the previous year’s general election. But only once did the winning candidate in the special election get a higher percentage of the vote than their party’s candidate in the preceding November election.

What It Costs to Educate New Members of Congress
Recent House disbursement report includes total for fall orientation, though number could grow

As empty nesters know, getting a freshman prepared for college can be expensive.

The same goes for a freshman in Congress.

Why Some House Republicans Could be Taking a Risk on Obamacare Repeal
The 11 GOP members who have the most constituents on Obamacare

As House Republicans rolled out their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act this week, some members of the conference found themselves stuck between their constituents and their colleagues.

Eleven House Republicans, who will be expected by party leadership and the White House to support their party’s replacement plan, represent districts where at least 6 percent of their constituents are enrolled in government insurance exchanges set up by the 2010 health care law, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of Kaiser Family Health Foundation and Census Bureau data. 

Amid Liberal Protests, More Democrats Holding Town Halls This Presidents Day Recess
Republicans have held more than Democrats in recent years

Updated on Feb. 21, 5:18 p.m. | Despite increased reports of liberal demonstrators disrupting Republican town halls, more lawmakers than usual are planning to meet with their constituents, including Republicans, according to CQ Roll Call data.

Democrats, especially, seem happier than usual to open themselves up this year.

5 Charts Measuring the Effects of Trump’s Immigration Order
President has temporarily suspended intake of all refugees, and nationals of 7 countries

The White House has spent the last few days defending President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily halted the entry of nationals from seven primarily Muslim countries and suspended the intake of all refugees. Roll Call examined how many people this could affect, and how lawmakers are responding. 

Graphic: How Presidents Have Used Executive Orders in Their First 100 Days
Trump is the first since Clinton to sign an executive order on Day One

Updated on Jan. 24 at 6:15 p.m. | President Donald Trump issued his first executive orders Friday and Tuesday.

Executive orders date back to George Washington’s presidency. They’ve been used to bypass Congress when the president believes he has constitutional authority to take action on his own.

Warmer Day? Get Ready for a Longer Inauguration
Inaugural addresses have generally run longer when it’s been warmer outside

Attendees at presidential inaugurations can, generally, expect a speech fit for the weather.

Looking at midday temperature data for the past 52 years — stretching back to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s inaugural address after his election in 1964 — incoming presidents have tended to give shorter speeches when it’s colder outside.

44 Sitting Members of Congress Have Accepted Donations From Trump
Group includes prominent lawmakers from both parties

Much has been said about how Vice President-elect Mike Pence, with his 12 years as a congressman, could be incoming President Donald Trump’s bridge to Congress. But Trump has his own ties to the Hill, in the form of nearly two decades worth of political contributions to sitting members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle.

Trump has donated to the campaigns of 44 current members of Congress, according to a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission electronic records that are available since 1997. Nineteen of those members are in the Senate, and 25 are in the House.

Trump’s Inaugural Parade Is Becoming Its Own Controversy
Some don’t want anything to do with the affair

Back the right horse, and you may get to ride one in the president’s parade. 

Twenty-four of the 34 local groups chosen to perform at Donald Trump’s inaugural parade later this month come from counties the president-elect won, a Roll Call analysis found.

Fact Check: Trump’s Cabinet Selections No Quicker Than Obama’s
At this point in 2008, Obama had filled all his Cabinet positions

After the election in 2008, it took President Barack Obama 45 days to name his choices to fill the Cabinet-level positions in his administration.

Today marks the same length of time for President-elect Donald Trump since his election. He still has two official Cabinet positions — Agriculture secretary and Veterans Affairs secretary — to fill, and two vacancies remaining among the seven Cabinet-level positions.

House Members Squeezed in Last-Minute Spending on Mail Franking, Advertising Before Elections
Restrictions on pre-election constituent communication meant members spent more in a shorter period of time

House lawmakers spent millions of dollars on nonpolitical, constituent communications — on the taxpayers’ dime — in the weeks before a “blackout” deadline before November’s elections, according to a Roll Call analysis of receipts recently published by the chamber’s chief administrative officer.

Members of Congress can send this type of mail, a perk known as “franking” that dates back to the Colonial era, by using their signatures instead of stamps. It’s meant to communicate information about a lawmakers’ legislative duties and constituent services, according to the Committee on House Administration. 

On Lottery Day, These Are the House Offices Nobody Wants
Freshmen members get ready to slog back and forth to the Capitol

After months (if not years) of laborious fundraising and meticulous campaign strategizing, the next big decision for House freshmen comes down to sheer luck of the draw. ...
Party Diversity Gap to Remain in 115th
A look at the demographics of the next Congress

Though the next Congress will see slight increases in women and racial minorities, it will still consist mostly of white males, especially among Republicans. On the Republican side, 11 House members and three senators come from racial minority groups, compared to the Democrats’ 81 House members and six senators.

Note: 2016 counts do not include four undecided House races and one undecided Senate race as of press time, and do not include delegates. 

Trump Supporters Skeptical of Vote Counting, Except for Where They Live
Economist/YouGov poll finds disparity in location of concerns

It’s a commonly referenced idiosyncrasy of American politics: Voters can’t stand Congress, even though they’re A-OK with their own representative.

This election cycle, voters taking a cue from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seem to be applying the same principle to their attitudes on electoral integrity.

Weeks Before Election, Trump Still Not Viewed as GOP Leader
Paul Ryan scores higher, but it's still not unanimous

If primary elections are generally considered a way to find the two major parties’ standard-bearers, consider that another departure from the norm in 2016.

Only 23 percent of U.S. adults see presidential nominee Donald Trump as the leader of the Republican party, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll. Forty percent see House Speaker Paul D. Ryan as the party’s leader — roughly the same amount as those who said they are not sure.

House Republicans Really Love Chick-fil-A
GOP conference has spent $32,400 there so far this Congress

Have a fixin’ for some chicken?

House Republicans seem to, as evidenced by the thousands of dollars the conference has spent at Chick-fil-A during the 114th Congress.

Absences Pile Up for Some House Members Seeking Other Offices
But others manage perfect voting records in September

As Labor Day comes and goes, it can be hard for candidates to peel away from the campaign trail to get back to their day jobs — even if that involves voting as a member of Congress.

House members running for a different office, most of whom are seeking promotions to the Senate, have missed about 10 percent more roll call votes this month through Sept. 22 than their colleagues seeking re-election, according to a Roll Call analysis. The lawmakers include a few contenders in high-profile races who have missed a substantial number of votes this month.

Chaka Fattah's K Street Friends Stand by Him
Through thick and thin, lobbyists tend to stick with their allies

Lobbyists and lobbying organizations gave money to former Rep. Chaka Fattah through the end of April of this year, nine months after he was indicted in a racketeering conspiracy that later ended the Pennsylvania Democrat's congressional career, according to contribution disclosures filed with the Senate.

In June 2016, a federal jury in Philadelphia convicted Fattah of conspiracy, money laundering and of using campaign funds to pay off his son’s student loans, forcing his resignation from the House. In total, the congressman’s campaign received 15 donations from lobbyists after his indictment. He also received additional contributions in his name through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which he chaired.

K Street Money Fuels House Challengers to Victory
Primary hopefuls woo lobbyists, some listen

Rep. Tim Huelskamp alienated business lobbyists during his three House terms as he pushed for government shutdowns and an end to the Export-Import Bank. Lobbyists responded by backing the Kansas Republican’s primary opponent.

Huelskamp lost that contest in Kansas' 1st District last month to Roger Marshall, an OB-GYN, who appears to be a shoo-in for the safe GOP seat.