messaging

DCCC Names Cheri Bustos Chairwoman of Heartland Engagement
Illinois Democrat will mentor candidates, deliver economic message in rural districts

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos has been named chairwoman of Heartland Engagement for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for 2018. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, already active in candidate recruitment and policy messaging, has a new role helping her party try to win the House majority in 2018.

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, appointed Bustos chairwoman of heartland engagement for the Democrats’ campaign arm on Tuesday. In that role, the third-term congresswoman will be mentoring Democratic candidates and helping shape an economic message in rural areas — both of which she’s already been doing.

Return of the Inauguration Crowd Size Matter
Unnamed complainant alleges Park Service mishandled photos

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer makes a statement to members of the media at a White House briefing on Jan. 21. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

A new Interior Department inspector general report is further muddying the already murky situation surrounding White House claims that the crowd at President Donald Trump’s inauguration was the largest in American history.

The report found “no evidence to substantiate” complaints that National Park Service employees altered records related to crowd-size estimates for Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The IG also investigated and found no evidence to support the unnamed complainant’s allegation that a Park Service employee mishandled photos of the event and posted political comments on Facebook.

CBO Score Makes GOP Health Care Slog Harder
Growing number of senators oppose bringing current bill to floor

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to vote on a health care measure by the end of the week has been complicated by a Congressional Budget Office score that estimated millions would lose their health insurance under the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to pass a massive overhaul of the U.S. health insurance system that has virtually no support outside of Congress and the White House became even more difficult after the release of a damaging analysis of the legislation from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

And now, with several Republican members voicing opposition to the current proposal, even a vote on a procedural motion to start consideration of the legislation appears destined to fail.

Supreme Court Lets Trump Go Ahead With Most of Travel Ban
President: ‘A clear victory for our national security’

Immigration rights activists chant during their May Day march in Washington to the White House to voice opposition to President Donald Trump's immigration policies on May 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to implement much of its revised travel ban, but also agreed to review the legality of the controversial executive order in October.

The justices lifted injunctions from two federal appeals courts that had blocked the order, which seeks to stop foreign travelers from six majority-Muslim countries for 90 days and suspend all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days. The rulings had stymied one of President Donald Trump’s major policy initiatives in his first months in office — moves that he argued are key for national security.

Trump Wants Health Care Bill by August Recess
Press secretary won't take position on Senate vote this week, however

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said President Donald Trump wants a health overhaul bill on his desk by the time lawmakers leave for their annual August recess. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump would like Congress to send him a final health care measure by the time lawmakers depart for their annual August recess — but he is not, for now, taking a position on whether the Senate has to vote on its version this week.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the president’s desired timeline at his Monday briefing, which was held with the television cameras turned off, as is becoming the norm. But Spicer did not take a position on Trump’s behalf when asked if the president wants the Senate to vote on its health bill this week no matter what.

Analysis: Mike Pence Works the Trenches
Vice president plays small ball, seeking to shore up support

Vice President Mike Pence greets tourists in the Capitol Rotunda on May 2. He has been busily addressing key issue-specific groups, trying to shore up support with key voters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the most effective pitchers in the Republican bullpen. The president has the starpower and gets the headlines, but the vice president’s emerging role could be just as valuable.

Trump is the flame-throwing closer with one pitch: his signature sharp rhetoric that metaphorically is his political fastball. But Pence’s recent public appearances showcase his role as the in-the-trenches long reliever who huddles with GOP members and reassures key constituent groups, and could be even more valuable.

Trump Boasts Tapes Bluff Forced Comey’s Truthful Testimony
President calls Comey-Mueller friendship ‘very bothersome,’ special counsel probe ‘ridiculous’

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies durilast week. On Friday, President Donald Trump declared feeling “total and complete vindication.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Attempting to cast doubt over the Justice Department investigation of Russia’s election meddling and whether he obstructed justice, Donald Trump is calling the probe “ridiculous” and the close friendship of two men at its core “troublesome.”

What’s more, the president boasted that his May 12 tweet that raised the possibility he possessed recordings of his private talks with former FBI Director James Comey forced the onetime top cop to tell the truth earlier this month when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Trump had fired Comey three days earlier.)

Trump Says Senate GOP Health Care Holdouts Are ‘Four Good Guys’
President appears eager to avoid offending conservative senators in quest for 50 votes

President Donald Trump told Fox News four Senate Republican holdouts on the health care bill want to see some changes, “and we’ll see if we can take care of that.” (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump called four conservative holdouts who could wreck Senate Republican leaders’ health care bill “good guys,” saying there is a “narrow path” to win their support and pass the measure.

Hours after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP leaders briefed senators on then released a “discussion draft” of a bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 health law, GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah announced they could not support the bill as-is.

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.

Trump Is ‘Very Supportive’ of Senate Health Care Bill
President breaks silence after spokeswoman signaled hands-off approach

President Donald Trump threw his support behind the Senate GOP’s health care bill on Thursday evening. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday evening that he is “very supportive” of the health care bill crafted by Senate Republican leadership, departing from an earlier more cautious approach by his White House communications team.

The president’s support for the bill — which proposes Medicaid cuts, and an end to the 2010 health care law’s individual mandate — comes as Senate leaders must win over several conservative senators who on Thursday announced they have concerns with the measure. It is unclear whether Trump’s support will help bring those conservatives on board.