Erik Paulsen

Democrats Search for a Winning Campaign Strategy on Immigration
Republicans have a well-rehearsed message. Will Democrats get rolled?

From left, Reps. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Luis V. Gutierrez, R-Ill., John Lewis, D-Ga., Al Green, D-Texas, Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., sit outside Customs and Border Protection on June 13 to protest of the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children at the border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In Donald Trump’s America, the immigration debate has grown ugly.

Images of undocumented children, separated from their parents at the border and held in cages inside a former Walmart, dominate the news cycle, leading Trump’s critics to invoke the horrors of Nazi Germany. And Trump’s rhetoric has only intensified, as he warns of subhuman immigrants transforming American neighborhoods from Long Island to California into “blood-stained killing fields.”

Analysis: Donald Trump’s No Good, Very Bad Week
‘I cannot think ... of a similar terrible week’ for any POTUS, veteran Republican says

President Donald Trump makes a remark to the media as he arrives for a House Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The self-created child migrant crisis was bad enough for Donald Trump, but then he insulted a well-respected House Republican and refused to help leaders pass an immigration overhaul bill many feel is key to their re-election. Republicans reacted angrily, with one party veteran declaring this is Trump’s “Katrina moment.”

The president was riding high as Air Force One ferried him back from his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un last week. Top aides planned a quiet Friday, wanting to ride the perceived momentum into the weekend. Then Trump, without the input of aides, walked out to the North Lawn to talk to Fox News anchor Steve Doocy and then other reporters.

Cedric Richmond Isn’t Sure How Much Is Left in the Tank
Democrats’ star hoping another pitcher gets elected in midterms

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., is cooled by Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., after running out a triple, then scoring on an error Thursday night at the Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much of the Democrat’s 16-run win Thursday night at the 57th annual Congressional Baseball Game can be attributed to pitcher Cedric L. Richmond. But the game’s most dominant player for the last several years isn’t sure how much longer he can dominate.

When asked if he can keep up his streak year after year, the Louisiana Democrat said, “Absolutely not.”

Congressional Leadership Fund Increases Fall Ad Reservations
GOP super PAC reserves TV times in three more districts

CLF has increased its ad reservations in Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s district from $1.4 million to $4.1 million. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, on Monday stepped up its initial ad reservations for the fall. 

CLF’s new $15 million in TV reservations comes after the GOP super PAC had already reserved $38 million in 20 districts in April. The second round of spending includes broadcast and cable TV reservations in three new districts and increased reservations in seven specific districts and one media market.

New York Visit Drops Trump Into Contested GOP Primary
Long Island event provides president with chance to talk MS-13 again

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Flanked by a trio of Republican congressmen, President Donald Trump ventured to his native New York on Wednesday to accuse Democrats of coddling violent gangs and being soft on immigration and provided one of the members with a photo-op as he fends off a tough primary foe. 

One week after a White House event led to an extensive back and forth of the president's use of the term “animals” to describe, depending on whom was interpreting, MS-13 gang members or undocumented immigrants writ large, the trio of New York House Republicans — Peter T. King, Dan Donovan, and Lee Zeldin — showed no reluctance to being seen with Trump as they participated in the Bethpage, N.Y., roundtable.

Special, Special, Special Elections
Gearing up for the midterms amid one special election after another

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Emmer Wins First Franken-less Minnesota Hotdish Competition
Sen. Tina Smith took over as host of the 8th annual event

Minnesota congressional delegation members, from left, Reps. Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, and Betty McCollum, and Sen. Tina Smith pose for a selfie Wednesday during the eighth annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tom Emmer’s “Hotdish of Champions” won the eighth annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition on Wednesday.

He was originally tied for first with Rep. Rick Nolan’s “Last Dish Effort” — aptly named because the congressman is retiring after this term — but the master of ceremonies, MinnPost Washington bureau chief Sam Brodey, broke the tie. 

Congressional Leadership Fund Reserves $48 Million in TV, Digital Ads
Super PAC is aligned with House GOP leadership

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman is among the beneficiaries of the Congressional Leadership Fund’s fall ad reservations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House Republican leadership, is making $38 million worth of television reservations for ads in the fall, and an additional $10 million investment for digital ads.

CLF is the first outside GOP group to make early advertising reservations ahead of the November elections, and it is investing four months earlier than it did in the 2016 cycle. Locking in airtime early allows the group to make the reservations at lower rates.

Tariff Fallout Could Shape Midterm Battlegrounds
Political observers in both parties are taking stock of potential effects

President Donald J. Trump with Rick Saccone speaks to supporters at the Atlantic Aviation Hanger on March 10 in Moon Township, Pa. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The Trump administration’s controversial plan for new tariffs may seep into the debates of competitive House races — well beyond Pennsylvania steel country — that will determine in November which party controls the chamber.

Opponents of the tariffs on steel and aluminum also warn that if the administration carries through with the proposal and if other nations retaliate, the issue could spill into even more congressional districts, including in Republican-leaning farm country.

Rep. Patrick Meehan, Staple of the Game, Missing From Congressional Hockey Roster
The 10th annual game puck drops Thursday

Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan, right, battles for the puck during the fourth annual Congressional Hockey Challenge in 2012. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are gearing up for the 10th annual Congressional Hockey Challenge on Thursday with one major teammate missing from their roster.

Arguably Congress’ biggest hockey fanatic and a former professional hockey referee, Rep. Patrick Meehan is not slated to play. The Pennsylvania Republican is facing accusations of sexual harassment and using taxpayer funds to settle a misconduct case with a former staffer. He is not running for re-election.