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Twitter taunts Rep. Eric Swalwell after Trump Tower selfie
There are lots of places in New York to get a cup of coffee

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has been one of President Donald Trump’s top antagonists. (Rep. Eric Swalwell via Twitter)

Rep. Eric Swalwell faced a dilemma Wednesday afternoon. As he trudged past Trump Tower, he wondered where else he could get a good cup of coffee in Manhattan.

“It’s snowing in [New York]. I need coffee. The closest cafe is inside Trump Tower. This is me walking to an alternative,” Swalwell tweeted.

Money to Bern: Sanders raises $6 million in 24 hours
How that stacks up against other Democratic presidential rollouts

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, is an early frontrunner in 2020 grassroots fundraising. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bernie Sanders raised just under $6 million from about 223,000 people in the 24 hours after he announced his bid for president — making the Vermont senator the clear frontrunner in grassroots fundraising.

Contributors also pledged about $600,000 in donations that will recur each month, the Sanders team announced.

You lost a House race in 2018? Now run for Senate in 2020
Some losing House candidates may try to ‘fail up’ to the Senate

National Democrats are encouraging Kentucky’s Amy McGrath, who narrowly lost a race for the 6th District last fall, to consider challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020. (Jason Davis/Getty Images file photo)

“What’s next?” is a question J.D. Scholten often hears when he’s at the grocery store.

For most failed House candidates like Scholten, the answer doesn’t include running for Senate. But the Iowan is not your average losing candidate.

Senate Ethics Committee closes inquiry into Sen. Robert Menendez
New Jersey Democrat was ordered to reimburse friend $112,418.22 for travel and accommodations

A federal corruption case against New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez ended in a mistrial in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Ethics Committee has closed an inquiry into Sen. Robert Menendez over allegations that he used his official position to benefit his friend, a Florida eye doctor.

The panel ended its investigation after the New Jersey Democrat reimbursed his friend and political ally for $112,418.22 in travel and accommodations costs incurred between 2006 and 2010, according to a letter dated Feb. 1.

Will the ‘green wave’ return for House Democrats?
Fundraising for 2020 cycle may not come as easy for chamber’s new majority

From left, Democratic Reps. Colin Allred of Texas, Abby Finkenauer of Iowa and Katie Hill of California each raised millions in their successful campaigns to oust GOP incumbents in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A tidal wave of cash, much of it from small-dollar grassroots donors, helped Democrats win back the House in 2018, but replicating that fundraising success this cycle won’t be easy. 

For one, they’ll be competing with a growing field of Democratic presidential contenders, several of whom have already pledged to lean heavily on grassroots donors as they bid to take on President Donald Trump.

Dan McCready raises $500,000 for North Carolina election that hasn’t been called yet
Donations came in over the five weeks since Democrat retracted concession

Democrat Dan McCready raised $500,000 in the past five weeks. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

Since withdrawing his concession in North Carolina’s 9th District race, Democrat Dan McCready has raised more than $500,000 for a new election that isn’t even certain to happen. 

McCready withdrew his concession on Dec. 6 after allegations of election fraud led the state elections board to delay certification of the results and The Associated Press to retract its call in favor of Republican Mark Harris, who had originally led by 905 votes. 

Anti-legalization group releases first pot lobby tracker
Political donations to federal candidates mark growth in industry, shift in focus from states

Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are among the biggest recipients of pot industry money to date, according to a new database maintained by an anti-legalization group. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group opposed to the legalization of marijuana on Tuesday unveiled a tool to track industry donations to federal candidates. 

Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or SAM, is the first major opposition group to attempt to quantify the industry’s federal-level lobbying efforts,a sign of the growing profile of the legalization movement.

Steve King’s constituents in Iowa grapple with his ‘white supremacy’ comments
Some think Washington lawmakers are ‘overreacting,’ while others have said the Iowa Republican should resign

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is under pressure from constituents in the 4th District for comments he made questioning when “white supremacy” became an offensive term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Top Republicans in Washington — including Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican — have called for Rep. Steve King to resign from office over his comments about white supremacy and white nationalism to The New York Times last week.

 

New members, meet the ‘slush fund’
Many Hill freshmen are already establishing leadership PACs despite association with abuse

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., left, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., are among the more than two dozen freshman lawmakers who have established so-called leadership PACs, a type of fundraising committee critics say is too often abused. Ocasio-Cortez and Omar have pledged not to accept corporate PAC money. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The newest class of congressional lawmakers — some of whom campaigned against corruption and corporate influence in politics — is rapidly adopting a practice that critics say is among the swampier in Washington.

More than two dozen new members of the House and Senate — including prominent freshmen such as New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney — have established so-called leadership PACs, according to data compiled by government watchdog group Issue One. Leadership PACs are fundraising committees that allow lawmakers to raise money for their colleagues and candidates.

House Democrats unveil first major legislative package of voting, campaign finance and ethics overhauls
Committees will soon begin marking up aspects of the package ahead of floor vote on H.R. 1

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., plan to bring a bill to the floor in the coming weeks to overhaul voting and campaign finance laws. Democrats are introducing it as H.R. 1 to signal that it’s their top priority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Automatic voter registration, independent redistricting commissions, super PAC restrictions, forced release of presidential tax returns — these are just a handful of the provisions in a massive government overhaul package House Democrats will formally unveil Friday, according to a summary of the legislation obtained by Roll Call. 

The package is being introduced as H.R. 1 to show that it’s the top priority of the new Democratic majority. Committees with jurisdiction over the measures will hold markups on the legislation before the package is brought to the floor sometime later this month or early in February.