Fred Upton

With Minority Looming, Could More Republicans Be Headed for the Exits?
After the 2006 Democratic wave, 23 Republicans retired

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., says he will decide next year about running for an 18th term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Life in the minority will be a new experience for most House Republicans next year. And many of them may not remember what happened the last time the GOP lost the House.

After the 2006 Democratic wave, about two dozen Republicans opted to retire the following cycle instead of languishing in the minority. And some in the party are worried about a repeat. 

Congress Waits for a Reboot, but Gets the Spinning Wheel
It’s an open secret that Congress isn’t doing its job. Now what?

Republican Reps. John Shimkus of Illinois, left, and Fred Upton of Michigan look nonplussed at an April 11 hearing featuring testimony from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The spring’s high-profile Capitol Hill hearings with the heads of Facebook, Twitter and Google should have been a chance for lawmakers to demonstrate to the American public why Congress is such an important institution.

Since early 2017, concerns about how tech giants were securing and using the personal information of hundreds of millions of social media users had escalated to alarm. Still, despite bipartisan agreement on the growing need for regulations to better protect privacy and prevent social media platforms from being used to spread lies and hate speech, lawmakers haven’t lived up to their oversight task. Months later, they’ve made no significant headway — no bills tackling the issue have received markups or are moving on the floor.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Seep Into Michigan’s Water (and House Races)
PFAS contamination is a worry across the state

When Rep. Fred Upton faces off against his Democratic challenger in Michigan’s 6th District, so-called forever chemicals will be on many voters’ minds. Above, Upton runs out of the Capitol after the last votes of the week in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Years after the Flint water crisis drew national attention, another water pollution issue has emerged in House races in Michigan.

Residents are growing concerned about human exposure to so-called forever chemicals, known as perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. The chemicals, linked to health problems such as hypertension in pregnant women and a higher risk of developing certain cancers, have been found in groundwater and drinking water systems across the state.

House GOP Moving Right, Democratic Direction Less Clear
With pragmatists in fewer supply among Republicans, conference will be in less of a mood to compromise

The retirement of pragmatic Republicans like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., threatens to move the House Republican Conference further to the right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — We don’t know exactly how many House seats Democrats will gain in November, though Democratic control of the chamber next year looks almost inevitable. But even now it is clear that the midterm results will move Republicans further to the right. Where the Democrats will stand is less clear.

In the House, GOP losses will be disproportionately large in the suburbs and among members of the Republican Main Street Partnership, the House GOP group that puts “country over party” and values “compromise over conflict,” according to its website.

More Problem Solvers Members Pledge to Tie Speaker Vote to Rule Changes
Bipartisan caucus now has 19 members ready to oppose a candidate for speaker if they don’t back process changes

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and the other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus say they are gaining support for the effort to revamp House rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trying to show their push to amend House rules to create more bipartisan legislative processes is serious, the Problem Solvers Caucus announced Thursday that 19 of its members are willing to oppose any speaker candidate who won’t bring about change.

The bipartisan caucus unveiled a package of proposed House rules changes in July called “Break the Gridlock” and has been coalescing support for it on both sides of the aisle. Some of the caucus members have decided to add some oomph to their sales pitch by pledging not to support a candidate for speaker unless that person commits to enacting the rules package.

Need a Cave to Stash Your Oil? Feds Might Soon Have a Deal for You
House panel advances bill to rent out excess space of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

An underground cavern at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s Weeks Island storage site in Louisiana. (Courtesy Department of Energy)

A bill that would allow the federal government to rent out space in the caves holding the nation’s emergency oil stockpile moved out of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee last week with bipartisan support.

The legislation was advanced Thursday by the Energy Subcommittee in a voice vote and without any amendments. The bill would authorize the Energy Department to enter into lease agreements with private companies or foreign governments to store petroleum products in the excess space of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that will result from congressionally mandated drawdowns set to occur over the next decade.

Facebook, Twitter Testify: Here Are the Lawmakers Who Own Their Stock
Members of Congress have invested more than $7M in three tech giants

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is the only senator who will question representatives from Facebook and Twitter who also holds stock in one of the companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate will question representatives of tech giants Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday. The chamber’s Intelligence Committee also invited Alphabet CEO Larry Page but rejected the company’s counteroffer to send Google’s chief legal officer.

Roll Call found 32 members of Congress have stock ownership in the three companies. These stocks are held in trust funds, IRAs and brokerage accounts for the members, their spouses or their dependent children. In total, members of Congress have invested more than $7,000,000 in the three tech companies subject to scrutiny in Wednesday’s hearings.

Democratic Poll: GOP Rep. Fred Upton in Competitive Race in Michigan
Michigan lawmaker played central role in GOP’s health care law repeal effort

Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton is facing a former physician in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Fred Upton, the former House Energy and Commerce chairman, could be in for a competitive race in Michigan’s 6th District, a Democratic poll showed.

The poll, paid for by Upton’s opponent Matt Longjohn, showed Upton with a 5-point lead despite Longjohn’s low name recognition. 

General Election Matchups Take Shape in Michigan
Democrat Rashida Tlaib set to become first Muslim woman in Congress

Former state Rep. Gretchen Driskell easily won the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 7th District on Tuesday night, setting up a rematch against GOP Rep. Tim Walberg. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are targeting five House seats in Michigan, and the general election matchups started to take shape Tuesday night. 

Voters in two safe Democratic open seats also went to the polls to pick their nominees Tuesday, one of whom, former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, is set to become the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress. 

4 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Voters in Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Washington head to the polls

Besides the four states holding primaries Tuesday, the final House special election before November also takes place in Ohio’s 12th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Four states are hosting primaries Tuesday, which will decide the matchups in several contested House races and two Senate races.

Voters in Missouri, Kansas and Michigan will head to the polls, while Washington voters will head to their mailboxes, to choose nominees in a slew of competitive races.