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Democrats Seize on Tom Garrett’s Meeting with Kessler
Liberals hope Garrett’s meeting could put Virginia’s 5th District in play

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., met with Jason Kessler, the organizer of Saturday’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., back in March. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett says he didn’t know who Jason Kessler was when the white nationalist leader met with him in his Capitol Hill office in March. 

Democrats aren’t buying it.

Rating Change: Alabama Senate Race No Longer Solid GOP
Polarizing potential nominee could give Democrats a shot at takeover

Alabama Republican Roy Moore finished first in Tuesday’s special election GOP Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Alabama Senate special election certainly isn’t a toss-up, but the possibility that former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore might become the Republican nominee creates the potential for a Democratic upset.

President Donald Trump’s polarizing persona is creating significant risk for congressional Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. But his decision to pluck Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions out of the Senate for his Cabinet created a special election this year that is turning out to be more adventurous than expected, considering Trump won the Yellowhammer State by 28 points less than a year ago.

3 Things to Watch in Alabama Senate Primary
GOP candidates face off Tuesday

Republican Roy Moore exits the building after a Senate candidate forum in Pelham, Ala., on Aug. 4. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican candidates in the Alabama Senate primary are facing off Tuesday in the special election for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions.

If none of the nine candidates garner more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two contenders will head to a Sept. 26 runoff. The top three candidates who have been polling ahead of the rest of the field are the incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat in February after Sessions resigned to become attorney general; Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice; and Rep. Mo Brooks of the 5th District.

Tight Race for Chaffetz’s Utah Seat Due to Outside Spending
Three GOP candidates face off in Tuesday’s primary

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz vacated his House seat in June, triggering a special election in the 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican primary to fill former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat has tightened in the final days before the Tuesday election, thanks to buckets of outside money being poured into the race.

The primary is “certainly not a race [where] I would want to bet the farm on who was going to win,” veteran Utah GOP consultant Dave Hansen said.

‘Right to Try’ Bill Could Face Slower Action in House
Changes to measure possible during Energy and Commerce markup

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s "Right to Try" legislation faces an uncertain future in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate-passed bill intended to help dying patients access experimental drugs will likely face lengthier deliberations in the House. While the Senate fast-tracked the bill on Aug. 3, the House will likely subject it to a hearing and markup before bringing it up to a vote, according to congressional aides and a lobbyist.

The bill would reduce some of the paperwork involved in getting access to experimental treatments, and would offer protections to the drug companies who choose to make drugs available outside of a clinical trial. It’s the federal version of “Right to Try” measures that have been passed in 37 states with support from libertarian-leaning Republicans who say the Food and Drug Administration prevents dying patients from getting treatments.

Lobbyists Push GOP to Repeal Obamacare Fees in Tax Overhaul
Trade group is launching digital ad buys in key states

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, seen here with Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow wants to look at a possible repeal of the 2010 health care law's taxes as part of a larger tax package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law may have stalled, but lobbyists are pushing the GOP to continue to target the provisions the industry most despises: the law’s taxes.

House and Senate Republicans hope to push forward on a tax overhaul when Congress returns in September, an item they previously delayed in favor of health care. Repealing the 2010 health care law and its corresponding taxes would have helped simplify the GOP’s upcoming work, but those hopes were deflated when the Senate did not pass a repeal bill last month.

People’s Policy Project Wants to Change the Think Tank World, $5 at a Time
Matt Bruenig takes new approach to policy research through small, monthly donations

(Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

The People’s Policy Project is the only think tank funded by tiny monthly donations.

“I thought I could get $1,000 a month,” Matt Bruenig said about his initial plans for the organization, also known as 3P.

How the Courts Could Upend Gerrymandering
Democrats and voter rights groups pin hopes on high court case

A new, mathematical approach to proving partisan gerrymandering will be tested at the Supreme Court this fall in a case about Wisconsin’s state Assembly district lines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By RANDY LEONARD and TODD RUGER

Congressional maps in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania have shifted the political balance of Congress toward Republicans — but that could soon change.

Democrats Cast Wide Net in Shaping ‘Better Deal’ Platform
DCCC spent seven months working on agenda and talking to stakeholders

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján chairs the DCCC, whose staff have worked to find consensus on an economic message for the Democratic Party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are set to unveil their “Better Deal” agenda Monday afternoon. Over the past seven months, the House Democrats’ campaign arm has sought to foster unity around an economically focused agenda through meetings with stakeholders and conversations with voters.

The goal for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was to create a unifying message on the economy and jobs that could also be tailored to an individual congressional district. The party is looking to flip at least 24 seats next year to win back the House.

GOP Pre-empts Democratic Messaging With New Digital Ad
Ad is running in Pelosi’s district and 12 Democratic districts Trump carried

Republicans target House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 12 other Democrats in districts that Donald Trump won in last year’s presidential election. (Screenshot from Congressional Leadership Fund ad)

A Republican super PAC aligned with House leadership is pre-empting the new Democratic messaging point with its own digital ad.

Democrats are expected to unveil their new slogan “A Better Deal” on Monday. And the Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a digital ad in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district and in 12 others that President Donald Trump won in November.