Chris Van Hollen

2018 Senate Recruitment: Too Early to Talk About It?
Challengers in tight races typically take their time to announce

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2018 midterm elections about 18 months away, attention is shifting to the battle for the Senate — and who could emerge as potential challengers.

But history shows that prospective contenders have a few more months before they typically announce their candidacies.

Word on the Hill: Sinema and Curbelo Work for the Future
Congressional Soccer Game tonight

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo will co-chair the Congressional Future Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Future Caucus, a bipartisan group for members under 45, has two new co-chairmen: Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla.

The caucus will also have vice chairmen for the first time: Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.

Congressional Women’s Softball Prepares to Lose a Staple
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has played since game was started in 2009, announced retirement earlier

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is expected to play her final Congressional Women’s Softball Game next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After an election, there are always comings and goings from the Congressional Women’s Softball Game rosters. But the biggest news of the offseason this year was that the game will soon be losing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

The Florida Republican has played in the charity event pitting female lawmakers against members of the media since the first one in 2009. But she announced last month that she will be retiring after her current term. 

Democrats Cheer Centrist Victory in France, Republicans Mostly Silent
Many saw French election as extension of centrist vs. right wing ideological fight in the U.S.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron waves to the crowd on Monday as he attends a ceremony to mark the Western allies’ victory in Europe in World War II with outgoing President Francois Hollande. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

France’s presidential election drew more attention in the U.S. than normal because many saw it as an extension of the ideological fight between centrism and the far right that characterized the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

French voters elected centrist Emmanuel Macron president, resoundingly rejecting far-right white nationalist Marine Le Pen, 66-34 percent.

Health Care Will Determine Progress of Rest of Agenda
Spending debate, tax code rewrite all interrelated

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, whose panel has jurisdiction over much of any health care package, says the chamber will take a more deliberative approach aiming at 51 votes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Last week’s legislative victories — finishing an omnibus spending bill and getting the rollback of the 2010 health care law through the House — are the foundation for the months of battles to come on Capitol Hill. 

Appropriators can begin to turn their attention toward the first full fiscal year of Donald Trump’s presidency, but their Senate colleagues will also have to deal with the procedural morass that comes with trying to reinvent the health care system through budget reconciliation.

Word on the Hill: Capitol Artwork Wrapped
Former congresswoman joins NYU, and conservative senators get ranked

Paintings have been wrapped on the Senate side of the Capitol during testing of a new smoke control system. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

You may have noticed that some paintings and busts around the Capitol are covered in a plastic wrapping.

The artwork located in the corridors and grand stairwells of the Capitol are all covered for their protection during the testing of the new smoke control system

Senator Plots Bill to Prevent a Repeat of United Airlines Episode
Van Hollen seeks support for ‘Customers Not Cargo’ Act

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen says his draft bill aims to avoid a repeat of the United Airlines incident at Chicago O’Hare on Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen is drafting legislation to make the forcible removal of passengers from commercial airlines illegal.

The Maryland Democrat circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter Wednesday, seeking co-sponsors for what he is billing as the “Customers Not Cargo Act.”

D.C. Area Lawmakers to Colleagues: Leave Our Airport Alone
Warn against easing restrictions on long-haul flights into Reagan National Airport

Lawmakers from the D.C. area are concerned about sending more air traffic to Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers from in and around Washington are warning their congressional colleagues against changing local airport rules in a bid to make it easier for them to get back to their home states.

A group of 15 members of Congress, led by Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia and Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, along with Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., do not want to see any easing of restrictions on long-haul flights from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport — whose Arlington, Virginia, location is significantly closer to the Capitol building than either of the other major airports in the area.

Opinion: Gorsuch’s Nomination — the Hill Democrats Want to Die On?
Filibuster attempt will have repercussions

Pressure from liberal groups is part of what is driving the strong Democratic opposition to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Democrats have grappled with how to oppose President Donald Trump and his nominees this year, they’ve had to strike a balance of knowing when and where to fight Trump and when and where to admit that Trump got it right, or close enough.

Democrats mostly kept their level of outrage commensurate with a candidate’s fitness, or lack of fitness, for the job. Democratic senators gave Trump full rein for his national security picks, but put up enough opposition to picks such as Andy Puzder for Labor secretary that Puzder eventually withdrew his nomination.

How The GOP’s Health Care Law Went Down
A play-by-play of one of the most momentous days in Trump’s presidency

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisc., approaches the podium to make a statement and take questions from reporters after he pulled the Republican bill to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was a nail-biter of a day with a photo finish.

The Republican Party’s seven-year effort to repeal the 2010 health care law ended with a thud Friday when the GOP decided not to even subject its do-or-die alternative to a vote.