Keith Ellison

Collin Peterson Running for Re-Election Next Year
In neighboring Minnesota 8th District, Rick Nolan is still unsure

Rep. Collin C. Peterson, right, says he’s running for re-election in 2018 while fellow Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is still contemplating a gubernatorial run. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democrat whose potential retirement gives his party the most heartburn every year, Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson, is running for re-election next year.

“Yeah, I'm running. I’ve got 700 grand in the bank,” Peterson said outside the House chamber Wednesday afternoon.

Opinion: The Obama Effect — Pros and Cons for Republicans and Democrats
Former president could unite a party in distress

Former President Barack Obama’s influence could unite a Democratic Party that showed togetherness after President Donald Trump’s win but is already breaking apart on issues such as abortion rights, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Barack Obama, the charismatic former president, can cause a scene just by walking into a coffee shop, as the rapturous crowds in usually blase New York City demonstrated at one of his cameos. So as he gently re-entered the public and policy eye this week, it’s no surprise that he could throw both Democrats and Republicans off balance — though of course for very different reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave President Donald Trump possibly his most important first-100-day achievement by spearheading the maneuver to transform Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Antonin Scalia into the conservative Neil Gorsuch, whose first significant vote allowed an Arkansas execution to proceed. McConnell’s obstruction and subsequent “nuclear option” may have played a part in breaking the democratic process, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a win —  at least I’m sure the president feels that way.

Ellison Talks About How to Hold Officials Accountable on Health Care
Talked about recruiting new leaders

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., led a town hall with activists on how to push back against Republican efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison told Democratic activists on Tuesday that they can prevent a rollback of the 2010 health care law and push for single-payer health care.

Ellison, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, took part in a town hall hosted by People’s Action as part of the advocacy group’s founding convention at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill.

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.

Opinion: Not So Fast, Democrats. You Had a Good Day, but Now What?
Party needs to focus on a clear message

Democratic leaders such as Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi may be celebrating the GOP’s recent health care debacle, but they need to focus on making sure that Americans know what they stand for, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the Republican Party has learned, it’s much easier to be the party of “no” than to actually have a plan to lead. So while Democrats are celebrating a GOP in disarray, the party out of power needs a message and a plan.

Understandably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosicelebrated as the GOP’s new-and-improved health care plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed. But long term, she must truly want to experience a return to the speaker’s post. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer knows just how to rile Donald Trump, his fellow New Yorker. But he still has to call Trump Mr. President.

Take Five: Pramila Jayapal
Washington Democrat wants hearings on bills before committee votes

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal brings her special green tea from home. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, 51, talks about breaking barriers, what surprises her as a freshman in Congress, and working on airplanes.

Q: What has surprised you so far about being in Congress?

Inside Elections: What You Need to Know About the House 2018 Landscape
 

The 2018 midterms are coming, and while the initial Senate map might not look great for Democrats, the House is a different story, says Roll Call’s Elections Analyst Nathan L. Gonzales. Find out what his initial race ratings are for 2018 House races and what history could tell us about potential outcomes for the balance of the chamber.

Al Franken Explains the Minnesota Hotdish During Annual Cook-Off

The Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition was held Wednesday on Capitol Hill and Roll Call was there. Watch for who won (hint: it featured bear meat), who cheated (spoiler alert: someone didn’t just submit a hotdish to the hotdish cook-off) and lots and lots of warm food.

Word on the Hill: Hotdish Time
West Virginia, baseball and women

Last year's hotdish made by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken was titled "The Most Beautiful Hotdish in the World," in honor of Prince. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Minnesota tradition of eating “hotdish” and listening to Al Franken’s jokes is here again.

Franken is hosting the seventh annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition, and will be joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Collin C. Peterson, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tim Walz, Rick Nolan, Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis.

The Joint Session in Photos: Trump’s First Address to Congress
The night of Feb. 28 as seen by Roll Call's photographers

Trump shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after delivering his address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS CQ Roll Call

President Donald Trump made the drive down Pennsylvania Avenue to give his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. The speech lasted about an hour but Capitol Hill was abuzz well before and after.