Pete Sessions

19 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
List of competitive seats grows amid shifts against president’s party

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s race for re-election has switched from Solid Republican to Likely Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The midterm elections are still nearly a year and a half away, and the political dynamics could yet change, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that history and the current environment are merging together for a potentially great set of elections for Democrats in November 2018. 

The president’s party has lost House seats in 18 of the last 20 midterm elections, and it’s lost an average of 33 seats in those 18 elections. Democrats need to gain 24 seats in order to take back the majority. 

Nancy Pelosi Misses George W. Bush
House minority leader says she’d work with Republicans on health care if repeal is off the table

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she and President George W. Bush did work work together despite disagreements (file photo CQ Roll Call).

Former NFL Player Colin Allred to Challenge Pete Sessions
Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016 while Democrats didn’t put up a serious challenger for House

Colin Allred played for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL before serving as a special assistant at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration under Secretary Julian Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio. (colinallred.com)

Former NFL linebacker Colin Allred announced Wednesday he would challenge Texas Rep. Pete Sessions in 2018.

Allred, now a civil rights attorney, told the Dallas Morning News that he was inspired by the grassroots energy he saw after the election of President Donald Trump last year.

Mike Pence: Congressional Buddy or Fixer?
Vice president enjoys goodwill, but his Hill role is evolving

Vice President Mike Pence, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, was hailed as President Donald Trump’s congressional point man, but he fell short on cutting a deal on health care last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vice President Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s often-celebrated chief liaison to Capitol Hill, failed in his first attempt at brokering a deal with Congress. And some House Republicans appear split on whether the White House should hand him a bigger role as they give a health care overhaul another try. 

Pence, who spent more than a decade in the House and was part of the GOP leadership team, was supposed to be Trump’s legislative get-things-done guy. Yet, so far, the vice president’s measurable legislative feats end with his votes, as president of the Senate, to break three volatile ties in that chamber.

Toppling Cruz Will be a Tall Order for O’Rourke
But supporters call him a ‘giant slayer’

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, left, gained national attention when he and Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd livestreamed their road trip from their home state to Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke on Friday became the first Democratic challenger to Sen. Ted Cruz in what will be an uphill fight between the possibility of a primary to toppling a conservative hero in a deep red state.

In announcing his candidacy in his hometown of El Paso, O’Rourke said the incumbent was putting his own interests ahead of his constituents, saying he would be “a senator who is not using this position of responsibility and power to serve his own interest, to run for president, to shut down the government,” and said the state needed “a senator who is working full-time for Texas.”

Conservatives Ask to Start Over on GOP Health Plan
Leadership-crafted legislation remains short of majority

From left, Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., looks on as Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, speaks with staff during the House Rules Committee meeting to formulate a rule on the American Health Care Act of 2017 on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By Rema Rahman and Lindsey McPherson, CQ Roll Call

Conservatives are flexing their muscles in Congress as they get closer to securing the “no” votes that would sink the GOP leadership-crafted bill to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law.

Word on the Hill: Lawmakers Ball Up
The ‘Egyptian Jon Stewart’ and staffer shuffle

Indiana Rep. André Carson greets California Rep. Jeff Denham before the 2013 Home Court charity basketball game at Trinity Washington University. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Home Court charity basketball game when the Hill’s Angels, made up of members of Congress, take on Georgetown Law faculty and staff, a.k.a. the Hoya Lawyas, is tonight.

It’s the 30th annual matchup, which raises money for The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Tickets are $15.

GOP Senators Ask Trump to Block Restoration of Earmarks
House Republicans expect hearings on the matter

Arizona Republican Sens. Jeff Flake left, ,and John McCain, right, are asking the president to block a proposal that would reinstate earmarks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Six Republican senators are sending a letter to President Donald Trump Tuesday asking him to oppose any congressional effort to restore earmarks.

The letter from GOP Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ben Sasse of Nebraska comes as House Republicans are expected to soon begin holding hearings on the idea of allowing earmarks to make a comeback after congressional Republicans, led by then-Speaker John A. Boehner, banned them in 2011.

House Rules Committee Hearings to Flirt With Earmarks
Focus will be on pros, cons of control of pursestrings

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions says members should have a say in how spending is directed, meaning once-taboo earmarks might be getting another look. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican-led House is being somewhat overshadowed by the nomination fights engulfing its Senate counterpart. But on the GOP side of the aisle, one of the issues that will start heating up in the coming weeks is the debate about bringing back earmarks.

The House Rules Committee will hold a series of hearings before making a decision about whether and how to soften the current earmark ban.

New Democrats Want a Piece of the Policy Pie
Coalition arranges task forces around top issues

Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer hopes the task forces gives the New Democrats a chance to help hone policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are in control of Congress, but the House’s New Democrat Coalition does not plan to sit by and let the GOP generate all the policy ideas on issues like taxes, infrastructure and cybersecurity. 

In continuing with their effort to be leaders on policy issues and find potential areas of bipartisan compromise, the New Democrats are launching new task forces designed to generate policy solutions for issues on the GOP’s congressional agenda, as well as policy areas that may not get as much traction in a Republican-controlled Congress, Rep. Derek Kilmer, the coalition’s vice chairman of policy, told Roll Call.