Dave McCurdy, a Retiring Optimist Pushing Back on ‘Disciples of Declinism’
Former Intelligence chairman and current head of AGA reflects on two public careers

Former Oklahoma Rep. Dave McCurdy, president of the American Gas Association, will retire in February 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After nearly four decades in Washington, former Rep. Dave McCurdy is still an optimist.

Even as the former Democratic congressman from Oklahoma and current head of the American Gas Association prepares for retirement, he says there is a lot Congress can learn from the swamp so easily derided by public officials who struggle to step out of their partisan foxholes.

Trump: ‘Trade Wars are Good’
President defends his call for tariffs as U.S. markets slide further

President Donald Trump speaks to a group of mayors in the East Room of the White House in January. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Updated at 9:35 a.m. | President Donald Trump did nothing to settle global markets on Friday morning, tweeting after he announced coming tariffs on imports that “trade wars are good.” And a spokeswoman said he is not concerned about a Thursday market dip that continued Friday.

The Dow Jones and other stock indexes plummeted Thursday after Trump announced he will implement the tariffs next week. And GOP lawmakers reacted quickly by warning the Republican president to pump the brakes and avoid a trade war.

Companies, Nonprofits Put Brakes on Foreign Lobbying Bills
Despite momentum to revamp foreign lobbying disclosures, opposition remains

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s indictment has revived interest in the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced an overhaul to foreign lobbying rules, while a similar, once fast-moving measure appears temporarily stalled in the House amid pressure from outside interests.

The new bill from Texas Republican John Cornyn and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein indicates that momentum to revamp foreign lobbying disclosures persists as the Russia probe has kept concerns about international influences in the spotlight. But opposition remains.

GOP Lobbyist to Host Fundraiser for Rick Gates
Ex-Trump campaign aide pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse on Feb. 23 after a hearing. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The swamp looks out for its own.

A Republican lobbyist said Tuesday he was organizing a fundraiser next month to help pay the legal bills of Rick Gates, the former K Streeter who pleaded guilty last week in the expanding special counsel probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Protesters Flock to Lawmakers’ District Offices for Gun Control
Parkland school shooting reignites gun debate, high schoolers take frontlines

Students calling for Congress to act on gun control demonstrate on the east lawn of the Capitol on February 21, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As more than a thousand high schoolers from the Washington, D.C., area marched from Capitol Hill to the White House to protest for more gun control Wednesday, Americans all over the country joined from afar.

From Upstate New York down to the Florida panhandle, protesters gathered outside conservative lawmakers’ state and district offices to call for legislative action to prevent deadly shootings and pressure members not to accept money from pro-gun lobbying groups.

K Street Reinvents Itself in the Era of Trump
Presidency, GOP Congress and surge of grass-roots resistance mean uncertainty

Andy Rosenberg and Harriet Melvin of Thorn Run Partners are adapting to a changing lobbying environment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Harriet Melvin, a Republican lobbyist whose clients include songwriters, the National Football League and eBay, has observed dramatic changes in the influence industry during more than two decades in the business.

Political upheaval, partisan stalemate on Capitol Hill and technological innovations have all disrupted and transformed the much-maligned, $4 billion-a-year federal lobbying business.

Wyden Wants Details on NRA Links to Russian Bank Official
Senator requested documents from Treasury Department, gun group

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., requested documents linking a Russian central banker to the NRA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Sen. Ron Wyden has questions for the National Rifle Association.

The Oregon Democrat requested any documents showing financial links between the organization and Russia, The Associated Press reported Friday.

Highlights From Trump’s State of the Union
Republicans cheer, Democrats sit on their hands as president lays out his vision

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., rides by as technicians set up lighting in Statuary Hall in preparation for President Donald Trumps' first State of the Union Address on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While he aimed to deliver a unifying speech, President Donald Trump was speaking to half of the House chamber on Tuesday on a number of the goals he carried from his campaign in his first State of the Union address.

The president hit the familiar themes of a wall along the southern U.S. border and making America great again, which got cheers from the Republican side of the room — even eliciting chants of “U-S-A!” from Republicans — but had Democrats sitting on their hands.

Lobbying Hits $3.9 Billion in Trump’s First Year
But number of disclosure reports falls short of President Barack Obama’s inaugural year in office

Lobbying was up during the Trump administration’s first year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbyists reported an uptick in tax and other federal policy work during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, but the money spent to influence the federal government still didn’t surpass the inaugural year of the Obama administration, a Roll Call review of new disclosure reports found.

The number of federal disclosure reports that lobbyists filed last year — 50,000 — fell short of the 58,000 reports filed during 2009, President Barack Obama’s first year in office. Despite the fewer reports last year, companies and trade organizations spent roughly the same amount of money to influence Congress and the executive branch — $3.9 billion — in both years.

Group Backed by Liberal George Soros Posts Uptick in Lobbying
Open Society Policy Center spent record $16.1 million in 2017

Billionaire George Soros, left, attends a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in November 2008. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Open Society Policy Center, the lobbying arm of liberal billionaire George Soros’ philanthropic network, reported spending a record sum to influence federal issues during the first year of the Trump administration.

The group disclosed spending a total of $16.1 million on federal lobbying in 2017, with the majority of that coming in the last three months of the year, according to a report filed with Congress. The Soros group disclosed spending $10.3 million in the fourth quarter.