montana

Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

Rural Areas Brace for Health Care Bill Impact
Senate GOP bill could undermine health insurance coverage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is concerned her state's residents could lose out on health insurance safeguards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate historically has paid special attention to the needs of rural areas, but as the chamber readies its health care bill, there are concerns that the bill would undermine coverage in those places more than anywhere else.

While the exact text of the Senate bill is not yet posted publicly, all signs point to somewhat similar language to the House bill (HR 1628), which would reduce funding for Medicaid compared to current law and impose caps on Medicaid funding. Under the House bill, older people also would face higher premiums — and rural areas tend to be home to a large number of older Americans.

Republicans Are 4-0 Defending Seats, but Could Still Be in Trouble
In each of the contested special elections, Democrats performed better than they had in years

Karen Handel gives her victory speech Tuesday night in Georgia after winning the 6th District special election. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Wednesday was a day for Republicans to rest easy. After winning the Georgia and South Carolina special elections Tuesday, the party avoided losing any congressional seats vacated by members who entered President Donald Trump’s administration.

But it’s not all good news for the GOP (or bad news for Democrats). In each of the four races where Republicans were defending seats — Kansas’ 4th, Montana’s at large seat, South Carolina’s 5th and Georgia’s 6th — Democrats did better than they had in any of those districts’ congressional elections since at least 2010.

11 Things I Think I Think After the Special Elections
Lessons from the Georgia and South Carolina races

Jon Ossoff supporters at the Georgia Democrat’s election night watch party are stunned as CNN calls the state’s 6th District race for Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of the best parts about covering elections is that there is a final result. What seems like an endless stream of campaigning and ads and analysis finally comes to an end every time with vote tallies to digest until the next round.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans continue to play with electoral fire, but the GOP pulled off two more special election victories; this time in Georgia’s 6th District and South Carolina’s 5th District. As with the previous results in Kansas and Montana, there are enough tidbits in each result to formulate whatever conclusion helps you sleep better at night.

Ivanka Trump, Senators Hope to Push Family Tax Credits
Rubio: ‘Paid family leave is a part of it’

Ivanka Trump walks with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to a meeting at the Capitol with Republican senators on paid family leave on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A group of Senate Republicans met with Ivanka Trump on Tuesday to begin constructing a tax credit package that could include family leave and other child care proposals. 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who touted paid family leave during his 2016 presidential run, said lawmakers and President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter discussed a variety of tax proposals meant to benefit families, particularly those who are low-income.

Karen Handel Keeps Georgia Seat in GOP Hands
Republican defeats Jon Ossoff in most expensive House election

Karen Handel is the first Republican woman elected to Congress from Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief with GOP nominee Karen Handel defeating Democrat Jon Ossoff in the special election in Georgia’s 6th District on Tuesday.

Handel carried 52 percent of the vote to Ossoff’s 48 percent with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. She becomes the first Republican woman to be elected to Congress from Georgia.

Republican Ralph Norman Wins Close Race in South Carolina
GOP winner likely to join House Freedom Caucus

Republican Ralph Norman won the special election in South Carolina’s 5th District (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Ralph Norman had a good birthday Tuesday night, winning the special election to fill South Carolina’s 5th District seat, albeit by a closer-than-expected margin.

Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell 51 percent to 48 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. 

Trump Attacks Ossoff in Georgia Special Election Closing Argument
President: Dem ‘wants to raise your taxes to the highest level’

President Trump is attacking the Democratic candidate in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, Jon Ossoff, seen here at his campaign office in Roswell, Ga., on the final day of campaigning on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As voters head to the polls in a key Georgia special House election, President Donald Trump’s closing argument paints Democrat Jon Ossoff as pro-high taxes and weak on crime and security.

By all accounts, Trump had Democratic leanings for much of his adult life living high above Manhattan. But his late push for GOP candidate Karen Handel - which essentially tries to rile up Republican voters with a read meat pitch - shows how, on many issues, he has drifted to the right.

South Carolina’s 5th District: The Forgotten Special Election
Race overshadowed by high-dollar showdown in Georgia

Archie Parnell, the Democratic nominee in South Carolina’s 5th District, greets potential voters at a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

YORK, S.C. — Just 200 miles northeast of suburban Atlanta where local and national media are trailing Democrat Jon Ossoff, South Carolina Democrat Archie Parnell — accompanied by a sitting congressman — was passing out campaign literature at a fish fry here on Saturday with just one reporter in tow.

Parnell, the nominee in the special election for the Palmetto State’s 5th District, is doing the kind of retail politicking Ossoff gets credit for in Washington, D.C. Both candidates have made voter contact — not just by phone and mail, but by handshake — a top priority.

Staff Departures Undermine GOP Legislative Agenda
A number of key health and tax aides have left Capitol Hill

Eric Ueland, staff director for the Senate Budget Committee, is one of many high-profile staffers leaving Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Key Republican staffers are departing Capitol Hill with the GOP in control of Congress and the White House, raising questions about how the party will advance its ambitious agenda to overhaul the U.S. tax code and health care system.

Senior personnel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee have departed and lobbyists say others are preparing to depart the Senate Finance Committee. A handful of health policy staffers for members on those panels have also left for jobs off Capitol Hill and a key individual on the Senate Budget Committee was recently nominated for a senior post at the State Department.