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Sheldon Adelson Breaks Spending Record on Midterm Elections, Surpassing $100M
Conservative megadonor outpaces his 2016 spending

Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, attends a forum on guarding against a nuclear Iran in March 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Conservative megadonors Sheldon Adelson and Miriam Adelson have doled out more than $100 million to aid Republicans in the midterm election, far outpacing their giving during the 2016 presidential cycle.

A new $25 million donation puts the billionaire benefactors’ total spending toward helping Republicans hold on to both chambers of Congress at $113 million, Bloomberg reported. The donation was to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

House GOP Incumbents Spent Hundreds of Thousands in Legal Fees to Head Off Crises
Mia Love, Scott Taylor, Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter all face competitive races

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., spent nearly $185,000 in campaign money on legal fees in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least six House Republicans combined to spend more than $325,000 in campaign funds in the most recent quarter alone on legal or crisis management fees related to brewing scandals that have wended their way into the court of public opinion — and, in some cases, real courtrooms.

New York Rep. Chris Collins, whom federal authorities indicted on Aug. 8 on 10 counts related to insider trading and securities fraud, shelled out $30,980.25 from his campaign account to the D.C.-based law firm BakerHostetler just three days later.

Senate Republicans Ready to Limp Into Border Wall Fight
With Democratic votes needed, wall funding may not meet what Trump and House GOP want

From left, Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Thune, R-S.D., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, conduct a news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday after the policy lunches. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans say they are willing to join their House counterparts in a postelection fight over border wall funding but recognize that their chamber will be more constrained by the need for Democratic votes.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan predicted Monday that there would be a “big fight” in December on appropriating more money for President Donald Trump’s desired wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The Wisconsin Republican wouldn’t foreshadow how that fight would play out, but he didn’t rule out a partial government shutdown as a potential outcome.

EMILY’s List Spending Arm Hits North Carolina Rep. Holding in Attack Ad
Pro-choice Democratic group has endorsed Democrat Linda Coleman in North Carolina’s 2nd District

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., is in a tight race with Democratic opponent Linda Coleman for North Carolina’s 2nd District seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least one progressive super PAC has jumped into the outside spending battle that’s ramping up in North Carolina’s hotly contested 2nd District, where GOP Rep. George Holding faces a narrowing path to re-election against Democrat Linda Coleman.

WOMEN VOTE!, the independent expenditure arm of the political action committee EMILY’s List, which promotes pro-choice Democratic female candidates for Congress, dropped $406,470 on a new ad attacking Holding for allegedly cozying up to the pharmaceutical industry by giving it a $42 million tax break.

McCarthy to Introduce Border Wall Funding Bill This Week
Speaker hopeful plays to GOP base with conservative immigration enforcement measure

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is planning to introduce a bill this week to provide $23.4 billion in border wall funding. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is planning to introduce a bill this week that would provide $23.4 billion more in funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall and include several other immigration enforcement measures, his spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. 

The soon-to-be-introduced bill, first reported by Breitbart News, is red meat designed to fire up the Republican base ahead of the midterms, as well as signal to GOP lawmakers in Congress that McCarthy supports conservatives’ policy priorities. 

Ryan Promises ‘Big Fight’ on Border Wall Funding, Doesn’t Rule Out Partial Shutdown
Speaker says he doesn’t know what outcome will be in December

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is promising Republicans will fight for border wall funding in December. He won't rule out a partial government shutdown. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Monday refused to rule out a partial government shutdown as he promised Republicans would push hard to secure additional border wall funding in December appropriations negotiations.

“We will have a big fight about that,” the Wisconsin Republican said. 

Witnesses Increasingly Wary of House GOP Probe into DOJ, FBI Bias
Pattern of broken confidentiality agreements leaves interviewees vulnerable to selective leaks, critics say

Former FBI Director James Comey turned down a request for a private meeting with the House task force looking into potential anti-Trump bias in federal law enforcement agencies, but would “welcome the opportunity to testify at a public hearing,” his attorney wrote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Witnesses for the House GOP’s investigation into potential bias at the top levels of U.S. law enforcement have grown increasingly dubious of the probe — to the point that some actually prefer public hearings to private ones.

Case in point: Former FBI Director James Comey on Monday declined to submit to a private interview with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform panels, who comprise a joint “task force” examining whether “decisions made and not made” by the Justice Department and FBI during the 2016 Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations were tinged with anti-Republican bias.

Ryan-Aligned PAC Doubles Down on ‘Terror High’ Hit on Spanberger
New CLF ad targets GOP Rep. Brat’s opponent in Virginia’s 7th District

Congressional Leadership Fund is once again targeting Democrat Abigail Spanberger in a new ad over her brief stint as a substitute teacher at a Saudi-funded school in Virginia more than a decade ago. (Steve Helber/AP file photo)

The super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul D. Ryan is doubling down on its messaging strategy to paint vulnerable Rep. Dave Brat’s Democratic challenger in Virginia’s 7th District as sympathetic to terrorist elements.

In a new ad released Thursday, and shared first with Roll Call, Congressional Leadership Fund once again highlights Democrat Abigail Spanberger’s stint as a substitute teacher at the Saudi-funded Islamic Saudi Academy in Mount Vernon, Virginia, that began in 2002.

Poll: Challenger Spanberger Inches Ahead of Rep. Dave Brat
Democrat takes lead after GOP-aligned group releases her unredacted security clearance info

Republican Rep. Dave Brat is in a tight race with Democrat Abigail Spanberger in Virginia's 7th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The race for Rep. Dave Brat’s bid for a third term in Virginia’s 7th District appears to be tightening, according to a new Monmouth University poll that shows the conservative House Freedom Caucus member trailing former CIA officer Abigail Spanberger by 5 points.

Spanberger captured support from 47 percent of the 400 potential voters pollsters surveyed by phone from Sept. 15 through Sept. 24. Brat garnered 42 percent support among potential voters — which the Monmouth poll characterizes as voters who have participated in at least one election since 2010 or have newly registered to vote (a group that represents roughly nine in 10 of all registered voters in the district).

As Trump Waffles, House Republicans Confident They’ll Avert Shutdown
Still president, conservatives wary of GOP leaders’ government funding strategy

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is confident there will not be a government shutdown despite President Donald Trump’s mixed signals on the matter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans prepare a legislative strategy with President Donald Trump seemingly on board, only for the president to catch them off guard with a last-minute tweet suggesting his opposition to the plan.

That scenario has played out a few times this year as lawmakers debated immigration and appropriations bills. And it could realistically happen again next week as Congress plans to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown that Trump has already signaled he might force.