Sean McMinn

How the Health Care Industry Has Been Giving to Congress
FEC reports show millions of dollars spent already this year

BY SEAN MCMINN AND RYAN KELLY

As health care came to the forefront this year in Washington, groups focused on the issue continued using their political action committees to attempt to influence the debate.

What 10 Hours of House Amendment Votes Look Like
How the ‘minibus’ process unfolded on the floor Wednesday and Thursday

The House on Thursday passed a nearly $790 billion security-themed, four-title spending package, marking the first set of must-pass appropriations measures to be cleared on either chamber floor this year.

But before they could take the final vote on the so-called minibus, House rules — which are agreed to in committee — set debate parameters that allowed for votes on amendments to the bill. Lots of amendments.

Democratic House Freshmen Show Fundraising Edge Over GOP Classmates
First-term Democrats outraise Republicans in first and second quarters

Corrected at 5:28 p.m. on July 24 | Republicans may hold the House majority, but that doesn’t give them every advantage.

With their first two fundraising deadlines behind them, Democratic newbies in the chamber are demonstrating their ability to out fundraise their Republican colleagues.

Congress Is Working More Than Average This Year: Three Days a Week
The last time lawmakers worked close to this many days was 2009

Republicans may be uneasy about the lack of productivity so far this Congress, but it’s not for a lack of time spent working.

Through the first half of 2017, the 115th Congress had more voting days than any previous Congress in the same time period, since at least 2009, a Roll Call review of CQ vote data found. The House held floor votes on 75 days and the Senate on 77 days. That means the chambers voted, on average, about three out of every seven days.

Salary Data Show Gender Pay Gap in Trump White House
Female office staffers are making 80 cents on the dollar, on average

Ivanka Trump’s voluntary $0 salary at the White House has been widely reported, but she’s not the only woman making less than her male colleagues there.

The annual report to Congress from the Executive Office of the President, released Friday, shows that women earn an average of $84,500, compared to $105,000 for men, according a Roll Call analysis of the salary data. That means female office staffers at the White House are making, on average, 80 percent of what their male colleagues make.

As Trump Sends More Nominees to Senate, a Backlog Is Starting to Grow
Administration picked up its pace of naming officials in June

BY SEAN MCMINN and JINGNAN HUO

The White House has picked up its pace of sending nominations to the Senate, though senators have continued to drag their feet on those submissions.

Measuring Chaffetz’s Legacy on Twitter
Utah Republican has been one of the House’s most active tweeters

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, one of the more prolific tweeters of the House, will need a new Twitter handle soon. The Utah Republican, or @jasoninthehouse as he’s known on the social media platform, submitted his resignation letter to the chamber June 23. He will officially step down Friday. His years in the House, which began in 2009, have closely aligned with Twitter’s rise in the political arena.

Among his compatriots in the freshman class of 2008, Chaffetz has been the most active tweeter. His 7,600 tweets and 276,000 followers are the highest counts among the House members who started their service in the chamber alongside him. His most popular tweets, measured by retweets, have all been about scandals surrounding last year’s presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump.

Republicans Are 4-0 Defending Seats, but Could Still Be in Trouble
In each of the contested special elections, Democrats performed better than they had in years

Wednesday was a day for Republicans to rest easy. After winning the Georgia and South Carolina special elections Tuesday, the party avoided losing any congressional seats vacated by members who entered President Donald Trump’s administration.

But it’s not all good news for the GOP (or bad news for Democrats). In each of the four races where Republicans were defending seats — Kansas’ 4th, Montana’s at large seat, South Carolina’s 5th and Georgia’s 6th — Democrats did better than they had in any of those districts’ congressional elections since at least 2010.

Where the Cash Is Coming From in Georgia and South Carolina Special Elections
Out-of-state money is buoying Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s bid

BY SEAN MCMINN AND RYAN KELLY

Bipartisan love may be on display in Washington, but farther down the coast, a vicious political battle is underway for Georgia’s 6th District.

What the Shooting Suspect Has Said About Republicans in Letters
James T. Hodgkinson had written several notes to the Belleville News-Democrat in 2012

The man suspected of wounding five people at a GOP congressional baseball team practice Wednesday morning had called on voters to remove all Republicans from Congress and further criticized the party and its members in a series of letters to an Illinois newspaper and on Facebook.

After the shooting, the Belleville News-Democrat — the suspect's hometown paper — posted nine letters written by James T. Hodgkinson during the leadup to the 2012 general election. Roll Call has reproduced three of them here — all of them are available on the newspaper's website. Highlighted are Hodgkinson's words toward Republicans.

Say What? Senators' Questions for Comey, a Roll Call Analysis
Trump's attempted influence on FBI investigations topped the list

BY SEAN MCMINN AND RYAN KELLY

Republicans did not shy away from surfacing the issue of the president’s potential obstruction of justice during former FBI Director James B. Comey's appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Lobbyists Don’t Get Business Boom With Trump
Clients have been hiring lobbyists at a reduced rate compared to 2009

BY SEAN MCMINN and KATE ACKLEY

With a unified Republican government in Washington, lobbyists hoped that 2017 would offer a long-awaited opportunity to push big proposals through Congress — but records do not indicate any large uptick in clients during the early months of the Trump administration.

At the White House and in Congress, a Slow Start on Nominations and Confirmations
A detailed look at how Trump compares to past presidents

When it comes to civilian nominations, Donald Trump trails his predecessors on selections made through May of their first year of their presidencies. But on the few picks he has made (through May 16), the Senate hasn’t done much better — confirming only 7 percent of nominations submitted. ...
Many GOP Members of Congress Are Concerned About Comey’s Firing
Two days after the firing, here's what Republicans are saying about the move by Trump

Updated as of 5:14 p.m. on Thursday, May 11

It’s been 48 hours since the news broke that President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James B. Comey and while his replacement and other next steps remain unclear, one trend is gaining clarity — many GOP lawmakers are not excited about the president's move.

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.