Lamar Smith

314 Action Hopes to be the ‘EMILY’s List for Scientists’
Endorsements come with PAC check and potential IE investments

314 Action is rolling out four more endorsements of Democratic challengers Monday. The organization has already backed Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen’s Senate bid.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An organization dedicated to electing scientists and STEM professionals is endorsing four more Democratic House challengers Monday.

Monday’s congressional endorsements — part of a broader rollout of state and local candidates – comes in traditionally GOP seats, two of which may look more competitive for Democrats in 2018, while two others still look more challenging to flip.

After Storms’ Devastation, No Change in Hill Climate Debate
“I don’t think there is going to be some big ‘come to Jesus’ moment”

Inhofe said attempts to connect recent extreme events to climate change are a ploy to drum up support for the climate change movement. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call)

Florida, parts of Texas and the U.S. Virgin Island are facing months or years of recovery after hurricanes Irma and Harvey pummeled communities, turned streets into rivers and upended lives, but it does not appear that the catastrophic storms have changed the conversation about climate change in Washington.

GOP lawmakers skeptical of climate science didn’t announce new views or a sense of urgency in addressing the global warming that scientists say exacerbated the impact of the storms.

Moulton Raises $600,000 for Veteran Candidates He Endorsed
Massachusetts Democrat says Congress needs the ‘fresh perspective’ that his fellow veterans bring

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., is backing 11 fellow military veterans in their bids to unseat Republican members in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton raised $600,000 for the Democratic candidates he endorsed in his attempt to recruit more veterans to run for Congress.

The announcement came after a forum at Harvard University, Moulton’s alma mater, with four of the candidates he has endorsed: Dan Feehan in Minnesota’s 1st District, Roger Dean Huffstelter in Virginia’s 5th District, Amy McGrath in Kentucky’s 6th District, and Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey’s 11th District.

Democrats See New Opportunities in Texas Redistricting Case
But quickly finding good candidates before midterms could be a challenge

While Texas Rep. Will Hurd is already a top Democratic target in 2018, the redistricting case could make his race even more competitive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A congressional redistricting case could offer Texas Democrats a glimmer of hope for making gains in the Republican-dominated state if a new map takes effect shortly before the 2018 midterm elections. 

Revised congressional boundaries could create opportunities for Democrats looking to win back the House — but also challenges if they must quickly find formidable candidates in newly competitive races. And if a court redraws the state’s map, the GOP-led state government would lose control of a tool that lawmakers in Texas and across the country have relied on to stay in power. 

Rep. Lamar Smith Out of Touch With Science, Challenger Says
Aerospace engineer — a veteran — is taking on Science committee chairman

Lamar Smith chairs the House Science Space and Technology Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is getting a Democratic challenger who says Smith is out of touch with science and his constituents.

Joseph Kopser announced Tuesday that he is taking on Smith, who is running for re-election for a 17th term in Congress in the solidly Republican central Texas district. Kopser, a combat veteran who served in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star, is one of a slew of candidates in science and technology fields running for elected office as political outsiders.

Word on the Hill: Aging Presidents
New gallery comes to D.C. this weekend

(Photo courtesy of maxcdn.bodylogicmd.net)

President Barack Obama is the butt of many jokes about how much he has aged over the last eight years.

BodyLogicMD took a look at how presidents, presidential hopefuls and first ladies have aged. They found that Obama’s perceived age has almost always been much lower than his actual age, both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were always perceived as older than their actual age, and Hillary Clinton’s perceived age was more than 10 years younger.

Ex-Hill Staffer Takes on Finding a Cure For Her Daughter
Beth McGinn cites Hill connections in helping raise awareness of rare disease

Beth McGinn, whose daughter Ellie is diagnosed with Leukoencephalopathy, or LBSL, left her Capitol Hill job in Oct. 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Think you can pronounce “Leukoencephalopathy” correctly? Then you’ve accepted The Ellie Challenge.

The challenge is named after former Capitol Hill staffer Beth Frigola McGinn’s eight-year-old daughter Ellie, who has the rare disease.

How to Stop Cyberattacks
It's time for decisive action against those who try to undermine our country

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, writes that decisive action is needed to combat cyberattacks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Foreign governments that sponsor cyberattacks intended to damage our national security and disrupt our upcoming elections pose very real, very serious threats. It’s long past time for the Obama administration to take decisive steps to defend our country against these attacks.   

Under our Constitution, the individual states have authority over voting and elections. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which I chair, held a hearing last month about cybersecurity threats to our voting and election system. Our witnesses described how state officials are working to defend against cyberattacks and attempted hacks of our election system.   

Chaffetz Has More Questions for FBI on Clinton Emails
Utah Republican requests further review of agency's closed investigation

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is asking the FBI for further review of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans, unwilling to accept the FBI’s decision to not recommend prosecuting Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server, continue to pepper the agency with requests for more details of its investigation.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, leading the charge as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked FBI Director James B. Comey on Tuesday to provide information about unauthorized individuals gaining access to classified information on Clinton’s private email server.

Electric Storage Research Bills Pass House
Bills would establish solar fuels and energy storage research programs

Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson said she backed the solar energy measure because of it represented a way to reduce "our dependence on oil and other traditional fossil fuels." (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two bills authorizing Energy Department research initiatives to make solar and other renewable-energy sources more useful for the electric grid were passed by the House on voice votes Monday under suspension of the rules.  

The bills would authorize the Department of Energy to establish two new research programs — one looking at solar fuels and the other looking at energy storage — with $150 million for each redirected from other energy research programs over three years starting in fiscal 2017.