Doug Collins

In Oversight Role, House Democrats Aim for Both Check and Balance
Investigating the president carries risks for incoming House majority

Incoming House Oversight ranking member Elijah E. Cummings envisions a two-pronged approach to investigating President Donald Trump — focusing on his personal business dealings, including whether they implicate the president’s campaign in colluding with Russia, and probing the “harm” he says Trump has inflicted on the foundations of American democracy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings has seen the headlines. The 12-term Maryland Democrat, who in January will take control of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, knows he has the power to become President Donald Trump’s worst nightmare. For now, he’s taking a more measured approach.

“A nightmare has to be in the eyes of the beholder,” Cummings said in a recent interview. “If a nightmare comes with me doing my job that I’m sworn to do, so be it.”

Congress on Cusp of Criminal Justice Changes In Year-End Surprise
Podcast, Episode 132

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., spearheaded the effort in the House to overhaul prison programs. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Meet the New House Republican Committee Leaders
9 panels get new Republican leaders after 2018 cycle retirements

Texas Rep. Kay Granger will be the first woman to serve as top Republican on the Appropriations Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans last week selected their new committee leaders to replace nine retiring GOP chairmen. 

The new leaders, however, will serve as ranking members since House Republicans will be in the minority next year. 

New GOP Leaders Stick With Trump Despite Midterm Losses
Expect challenges to excessive Democratic investigations, McCarthy says

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., newly elected as House Minority Leader for the upcoming Congress, arrives for the press conference following the House GOP leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The new House GOP leadership team gave no indication Wednesday it would reconsider its cozy relationship with President Donald Trump, despite losses in dozens of suburban districts in the midterms last week.

Newly elected House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California acknowledged at a press conference Wednesday that winning back the American suburbs will be a “challenge” in 2020 but said multiple times at the press conference that “history was against” the GOP keeping control of both chambers of Congress in a midterm election with a first-term Republican president in the Oval Office.

Beneath the Politics, House GOP Quietly Touts Legitimate Oversight of FBI, DOJ
Judiciary and Oversight Committees’ probe of potential bias at DOJ, FBI has turned into political firestorm

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on the Justice Department’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election on Dec. 13, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The high-profile joint House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform probe into bias at the top echelons of the FBI and Department of Justice during 2016 has been marked by pitched partisanship that has distracted from the substance of lawmakers’ oversight goals — at least publicly.

Some of the quieter GOP voices on the panel believe they can tout legitimate pieces of oversight success despite that partisan cloud.

Republicans Likely in for a Messy December Funding, Leadership Fight
Securing border wall funding key for GOP, members to watch leadership candidates’ tactics

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., shown talking to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., during a press conference September 13, thinks Republicans are in a good position to secure wins in a December funding fight. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders patted themselves on the back last week for appropriating a large portion of discretionary spending before the start of the fiscal year today, but they’ve also set themselves up for messy spending fight come December over border wall funding that could complicate GOP leadership elections and potentially lead to a partial government shutdown.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan promised President Donald Trump that if he let Congress punt the Homeland Security Appropriations bill — where border wall funding would be debated — until after the November midterm elections, then House Republicans would fight for the wall then.

Too Soon for Rules Talk, Uneasy House Members Say
With House up for grabs, some lawmakers prefer to wait until after midterms

House Rules member Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., thinks Democrats should wait until after the midterms to discuss a rules package. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Revisiting the House rules is a normal task lawmakers undertake every other fall, but this year, several members are uneasy about beginning that process ahead of a midterm cycle in which the chamber majority could change hands.

Some Democrats don’t want to get over their skis by preparing a rules package that their party will only have power to implement if they take control of the House in November.

Here Are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far)
Roughly half of the House committees will have new GOP leadership next year

Dozens of House Republicans are running for committee chairmanships that will be open in the next Congress, hoping to obtain gavels like the one pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Roughly half of the House’s 21 committees will have new Republican leadership next year, creating several competitive races among colleagues looking to move up the ranks.

The majority of the openings come from retiring GOP chairmen, most of whom have reached the six-year limit Republicans place on their committee leaders.

Bills Filed to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin
Bipartisan sentiment in both chambers to honor ‘Queen of Soul’

Lawmakers want to honor “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with a Congressional Gold Medal. (CQ Roll Call file photo).

A bipartisan group of four senators have introduced legislation to posthumously award Aretha Franklin the Congressional Gold Medal for her contribution to arts and culture. The “Queen of Soul” died August 16 at age 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

There are both House and Senate versions of the legislation, which is sponsored by Michigan Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters and Rep. Brenda Lawrence, who represents Franklin’s adopted hometown of Detroit. The legislation is also backed by Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah and Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga. 

House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. All three men are looking to move up in leadership next Congress . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will have a new leader next Congress since Speaker Paul D. Ryan is retiring, but will there be additional changes in their top ranks?

The answer to that question will depend in large part on whether Republicans can hold onto their majority in the November midterms, and if they do, how the speaker’s race unfolds.