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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. 

Democrats Tie Senate Candidates to House GOP Health Care Plan
DSCC memo outlines ‘new health care dynamic’ for 2018

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is a top target for Democrats in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats plan to hold Senate Republicans — and House Republicans who may run for the Senate — accountable for the health care plan proposed by House GOP leadership this week. 

“The new health care dynamic: GOP Senate candidates own this plan” is the subject line of a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee memo released to interested parties Thursday and obtained first by Roll Call.

At DGA, Pearson Quietly Pulling Democrats Back to Prominence
Executive Director is a leading strategist in party’s redistricting effort

Elisabeth Pearson, Executive Director, Democratic Governors Association (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic lawmakers probably wouldn’t recognize Elisabeth Pearson if she walked into their Capitol Hill office, but they might be owing her their jobs before too long. 

As executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and a leading strategist in the party’s redistricting efforts, Pearson’s success will determine how long members stay in Washington.

Elizabeth Warren Emerges as GOP Boogeyman
Republicans are eager to tie vulnerable Democrats to Massachusetts liberal

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been invoked in early GOP attacks so far against vulnerable Democratic senators even though she isn’t likely to face a competitive re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Massachusetts poll making the rounds this week implied that Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren may be in trouble in 2018. But without a declared challenger, it’s hard to see much danger on the horizon for Warren in a blue state. 

The bigger question is not whether Warren is well-liked in her own state, but whether she’s disliked enough in other states to be a liability for Democrats facing re-election in places President Donald Trump won last year.

Senators to Watch as Trump Era Begins
Rank-and-file senators likely to be key players in 115th Congress

Georgia Sen. David Perdue, left, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III are both senators to watch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans may have full control in Washington, but the Senate remains the Senate, which means it’s the place where rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans retain the most clout and potential for influence. Here are the key senators from outside of the top echelons of the leadership structures to watch as the 115th Congress gets underway.

The moderate from Maine will be the first person to watch on any contentious votes, particularly on budget reconciliation votes that aim to repeal parts of the 2010 health care law. She has, for instance, been among the small number of Republicans opposing efforts to tie the GOP health care plans to stopping federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

Parsing New Senate Committee Rosters for Future Career Moves
Senators with 2020 ambitions, or 2018 re-election worries, hope for help from new assignments

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have both landed plum committee assignments that could bolster their 2020 presidential prospects. (Bill Clark/Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photos)

There’s little doubt about committees being a stronger force for shaping legislation in the House than in the Senate. That is why so many lobbyists and lawmakers had their ears pressed to the door Wednesday while the Republican Steering Committee started filling openings on the most influential House panels. 

But when it comes to shaping national political careers, it’s the Senate where such assignments often represent the biggest value. That is why everyone already pondering the next Democratic presidential campaign, and before that, the senatorial balance of power after the 2018 midterms, has been parsing the committee rosters finalized this week.

Is There Space for a Republican EMILY’s List?
Litmus tests might not work the same way on the right

Alabama’s Martha Roby is one of only 26 Republican women in Congress. Some party members wonder if they need their own version of EMILY’s List to increase that number. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As recently as the second Reagan administration, Republicans had more women in Congress than Democrats. Then EMILY’s List took hold.

The political action committee, founded in 1984, dedicated itself to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights, becoming an influential force in primaries even when it clashed with the wishes of party leaders. Now, of the 104 women in the 115th Congress, 75 percent are Democrats.

DSCC Names First Female Executive Director
Mindy Myers ran the organization's independent expenditure efforts

Myers is the first woman to lead the DSCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Veteran operative Mindy Myers has been named the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s new executive director, becoming the first woman to lead the organization.

Myers oversaw the DSCC’s independent expenditure efforts during the 2016 campaign cycle. She has also managed Senate campaigns and worked for Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.