Leonard Lance

Congressional Campaigns Weaponize Family Separation Policy
Democrats hope to bludgeon GOP while vulnerable Republicans try to distance themselves

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seemingly changed his position on child separation at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Candidates in both parties who are running in tight races want to weaponize the policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border.

In Texas’ Senate race, Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, whose district includes El Paso, staged a march to the border crossing in Tornillo, where children of migrant families from Central America are being held. He was joined by Texas' Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez.

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.

House Republicans No Closer to Immigration Deal After Pivotal Meeting
Impasse signals discharge petition will soon get final signatures needed for June 25 vote

Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., center, and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., are leading a discharge petition that is expected to soon have 218 signatures amid continued GOP disagreement on immigration. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans spent two hours Thursday morning talking through their differences on immigration but left the pivotal meeting no closer to a legislative solution.

The continued discord all but guarantees a discharge petition will get the 218 signatures by early next week, which would trigger a June 25 vote on a queen of the hill rule setting up a series of votes on existing immigration bills that also lack unified GOP support.

DCCC Picks Easily Win Democratic Nods in New Jersey
Sen. Menendez underwhelms in primary win over little-known challenger

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill, seen here marching in a March for our Lives event in Morristown in March, won the party nomination for the open 11th District seat. (Simone Pathé/Roll Call file photo)

Former Navy pilot and prosecutor Mikie Sherrill easily secured the Democratic nod for New Jersey’s open 11th District seat Tuesday night.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, she had 77 percent of the vote over four other Democrats, according to The Associated Press. Family advocate Tamara Harris, who had financial backing from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and California Sen. Kamala Harris, came in second with 15 percent.

4 Things To Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Eight states will have primary contests

Democratic candidates in California’s 39th District — Mai Khanh Tran, left, Andy Thorburn, second from right, and Sam Jammal — talk with “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” correspondent Ashley Nicole Black after an informal candidate forum in Rowland Heights on May 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eight states are hosting primaries Tuesday, but all eyes will be on California — where the threat of Democrats getting shut out of a few top pickup opportunities they hope will help them win back the House looms large.

Several matchups will also be decided in competitive general election contests in Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico and Montana.

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

Republican Divide, Mistrust Dooms Farm Bill in House
Failure is major blow to House Republican leaders

Despite pleas from Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his leadership team, Republicans did not united behind the farm bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:20 p.m. | The farm bill’s defeat Friday wasn’t the outcome House Republican leadership was expecting. 

GOP leaders headed to the floor for the vote with an inconclusive whip count. They knew the vote would be close. But they felt fairly confident based on private conversations they had throughout the week that their commitment to hold a vote on immigration legislation in the coming weeks would sway enough Freedom Caucus members whose votes they needed.

Farm Bill Flux: Moderate Republicans Not Lining Up to Support
Freedom Caucus senses opportunity to leverage influence

Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., is among several moderate Republicans opposed or leaning to opposition to the farm bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several moderate House Republicans are firmly opposed to the farm bill or considering voting against it, providing leverage to conservatives who are trying to make their support contingent on securing a separate vote on an immigration bill.

New Jersey Reps. Frank LoBiondo, Christopher Smith, Leonard Lance and Rodney Frelinghuysen said they are “no” or leaning “no” on the farm bill.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Banning Sports Gambling
The 1992 law violates the 10th Amendment, justices find

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned sports gambling. New Jersey lawmakers like former Governor Chris Christie, above at the court in December, had railed against the law for years. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Congress took the wrong path when it effectively banned sports gambling, in an opinion that appears to open the door for New Jersey and other states to get in on the action unless Washington steps in again.

In a 6-3 opinion, the justices struck down key provisions of a 1992 federal law, known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, finding that it violates the 10th Amendment’s delegation of regulatory power to the states.

It’s Trump’s Party Now
As the GOP remakes itself in the president’s image, defectors can’t win

President Donald Trump gestures during his State of the Union address in January as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Paul D. Ryan look on. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

It was once Paul D. Ryan’s party, built on the union of upright Middle American values and America’s competitive advantage in the world.

Now it’s Donald Trump’s — the nationalist, me-first team, willing to compromise on character, foreign policy and free-market economics if it brings a win.