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Democrats Stick to Health Care Message Amid Russian Intrigue
Party sees health care as more salient campaign issue

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., says health care is the issue that concerns her constituents the most, adding that she has gotten “zero questions about Russia.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite the daily drip about Russia and the Trump administration, national Democrats who hope to exploit Republicans’ vulnerabilities in 2018 are focusing their messaging squarely on health care before the July 4 recess.

Just minutes after former FBI Director James B. Comey concluded his testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee — in which he said the president lied to the America people — the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee blasted out a release.

2018 Senate Recruitment: Too Early to Talk About It?
Challengers in tight races typically take their time to announce

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2018 midterm elections about 18 months away, attention is shifting to the battle for the Senate — and who could emerge as potential challengers.

But history shows that prospective contenders have a few more months before they typically announce their candidacies.

2018 Campaigns Already Racing to Define Health Care Bill
Groups focused on the midterms leaped into action after vote

Both parties are wasting no time in their post-health care vote messaging. Here, Lillian Potter-Saum listens to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III at a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, W.Va., in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Health care is likely to be a central issue in the 2018 election cycle, and that messaging began within minutes of Thursday’s vote on the Republicans’ overhaul bill.

Now the race is on for both parties to sway voters. 

Democrats Pounce on Health Care Vote, Attacking All Republicans
DCCC launched digital ads targeting Republicans who voted against the bill

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock voted against her party’s health care bill, but she’s already the target of DCCC digital ads against the legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats seized on the health care vote in the House Thursday afternoon to attack Republicans — and not just those who supported the legislation.

Minutes after the vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it was launching digital ads in 30 GOP districts. On their target list were several members who voted against the bill, including Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, Ohio Rep. David Joyce, Pennsylvania Reps. Ryan A. Costello and Patrick Meehan, Texas Rep. Will Hurd and Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock

Democrats Make Campaign Issue out of GOP Health Care Proposal
Three Democratic groups launched digital ads Wednesday

Democrats have launched digital ads attacking House Republicans, including New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, who’s behind the latest health care proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As soon as House Republicans started talking about another vote on a revised health care plan, Democrats began sharpening their knives.

Both Democratic campaign committees and Priorities USA Action, a major Democratic super PAC, released digital ads Wednesday that accuse Republicans of stripping coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions while exempting themselves.

The Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate History
Lack of Senate retirements could be unprecedented

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appears more likely to run for a fifth full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all of the moaning and groaning about Washington being dysfunctional, members of Congress aren’t exactly tripping over each other to get out of town.

So far, all of the Republican and Democratic senators up for re-election this cycle seem intent on seeking another term. And if that trend continues, it would be historic. 

Peter King Calls on Schumer and Trump to Broker Peace
Says Trump’s legislative goals need Democrat participation

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., hopes Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer can broker a political peace with fellow New Yorker President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Republican Rep. Peter King says President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer should broker a political peace.

King’s comments come after the failure by Republicans to replace the 2010 health care law signed by former President Barack Obama. No Democrat supported the legislation.

Van Hollen Frames Trump Proposals as Dicey for GOP
DSCC chief cites health care plan, budget as politically tricky

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen says President Donald Trump’s proposals betray his supporters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

DSCC Raises $3.8 Million in February, With Digital Boost
The committee sees successful grassroots digital campaign

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is the DSCC chairman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $3.8 million in the month of February, according to figures provided first to Roll Call.

The committee noted February was particularly successful month for email and online donations. The DSCC currently has $7.7 million in cash on hand.

Reacting to Trump Budget, Van Hollen Previews 2018 Message
DSCC chairman says budget will be ‘wake-up call’ to Trump voters

Reacting to President Donald Trump's proposed budget, DSCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen said it will likely be a wakeup call to GOP voters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Previewing a likely political argument heading into 2018, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen says the proposed reductions in President Donald Trump’s budget would disproportionately hit more rural, Republican areas.

“I think this is going to be a wake-up call to a lot of people who supported Donald Trump that his budget is betraying them,” Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said at a Thursday afternoon news conference on Capitol Hill.