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Opinion: Stuck on the Back Bench? Why Not Run for President
Last House member to win presidency was in 1880 — it was an accident

An engraving of President James A. Garfield’s assassination. Not since Garfield has a sitting House member so much as won an electoral vote in a presidential election. (Engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper)

No sitting House member has won an electoral vote for president since 1880, when Ohio’s James A. Garfield captured the White House — and he didn’t even mean to run for the job.

In fact, the Ohio legislature had just voted to appoint Garfield to a Senate term — for which he would have been seated in March 1881 — when the GOP met in Chicago to pick its nominee for the presidency in the summer of 1880.

New Mexico House Candidate’s Father at Center of Unsolved Murder Case
Jack Volpato’s father was convicted of wife’s murder, but later cleared when reluctant witness came forward

New Mexico Republican House candidate Jack Volpato stood by his father throughout the elder Volpato’s conviction for his mother’s murder, which was later overturned. (Jack Volpato for Congress via Facebook)

New Mexico pharmacist Jack Volpato followed in his father’s footsteps in a number of ways. Both worked as pharmacists before entering small-town politics.

But while the elder Johnny Volpato became most known as a figure in the notorious murder case of his own wife, son Jack hopes to make a name for himself with a successful run for Congress.

Defense to Get Historically High Share of Research Budget
Congress likely to resist cuts to nondefense R&D programs

The Pentagon and related security agencies would see big boosts in research and development funding under the proposed fiscal 2018 budget from the administration . (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Pentagon and other security agencies’ outsize consumption of federal research money would grow further under Republican plans, while nondefense research spending would drop, sometimes dramatically, a new congressional report shows.

The Defense Department’s research and development budget would consume 56 percent of the federal R&D total in President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal, according to the Congressional Research Service report. That’s an 18 percent increase above the fiscal 2016 enacted level. When military research at the National Nuclear Security Administration and other agencies is included, the defense share of the federal research budget is closer to 61 percent.

Trump Backs GOP Immigration Bill, but Rift Within Party Widens
Senate’s No. 2 Republican sees ‘opportunity’ for Congress amid WH ‘chaos’

Activists demonstrate in Washington against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies in May. On Wednesday, Trump threw his backing behind new immigration legislation by Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday waded into the politically choppy waters of immigration law alongside two fellow Republicans, but the brief image of party unity failed to completely obscure a growing rift with other GOP senators.

Trump hosted Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and and David Perdue of Georgia, a longtime ally, at the White House to discuss their legislation that would impose a skills-based criteria on individuals hoping to obtain U.S. citizenship. It was a moment of Republican comity after weeks of slowly increasing tensions between Trump and the Senate GOP conference.

Tennessee’s Diane Black Running for Governor
Four-term Republican was first woman to chair Budget Committee

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black won seek a fifth term in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black announced a long expected run for governor on Wednesday. 

The four-term member, who became the first woman to chair the Budget Committee earlier this year, will not run for re-election to the 6th District in 2018. She’s vying to become the Volunteer State’s first female governor. 

Former Sen. Conrad Burns Laid to Rest
Three-term Montana senator passed away in April at age 81

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery Monday.

Former Sen. Conrad Burns, who represented Montana in the Senate from 1989 to 2007, was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with military honors on Monday.

His links to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff helped cost him his Senate seat in 2006, when he lost to Democrat Jon Tester.

Former House Staffers Indicted Over Nude Image Distribution
Charges involve private images of U.S. Virgin Islands delegate circulated last year

U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett said she was grateful to her constituents for their support during her family’s ordeal. (Courtesy Plaskett’s congressional website)

Two former staffers of U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett were indicted Thursday following an investigation into the circulation of nude photos and videos of the Democrat and her husband that one of the staffers found on her iPhone, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said in a statement.

Juan McCullum, 35, a legislative assistant for Plaskett in 2015 and 2016, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking for allegedly creating accounts on Hotmail and Facebook using a made-up name to distribute and post the photos and video in July 2016, the statement read.

Couple Wants to Make Lobbying Accessible and ‘Good’
Billy and Callie DeLancey left their jobs to start nonprofit

Billy and Callie DeLancey of Lobbyists 4 Good were married in May of last year. (Courtesy Billy and Callie DeLancey)

On one D.C. couple’s first date, they discovered that they both shared a goal of starting a nonprofit.

Less than a year after their wedding, Billy and Callie DeLancey kicked off Lobbyists 4 Good.

Cancel August Recess? Senator Takes Case to Trump
Georgia’s David Perdue also sent letter to Mitch McConnell

Georgia Sen. David Perdue was meeting with President Donald Trump on Friday about possibly scrapping the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican senator leading the call to cancel the August recess is taking his case to President Donald Trump.

Sen. David Perdue of Georgia led a letter Friday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, signed by nine other GOP senators, saying that there is simply too much unfinished business to take the traditional extended break in August.

Six Who Could Succeed Pelosi — Someday
Ouster talk fades, but speculation continues about the next generation of House Democratic leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she’s “very confident” she retains the support of most members of her Democratic Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One week after House Democrats finished 0-for-4 in this special election season, their burst of frustration and pique vented toward Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to have fizzled.

The vexation is not going to fade away altogether, however, and neither will the lawmakers’ whispered talk in the cloakrooms or after their nightly fundraisers about which of them has a plausible shot at someday becoming Pelosi’s successor.