Robin Kelly

Illinois Democrats Seek to Chip Away at Republicans’ House Majority
Second-in-nation primaries set stage for targeting GOP seats

Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in Illinois, where voters head to the primaries Tuesday. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are targeting four seats in Illinois, where voters will pick their nominees Tuesday in the second congressional primaries of the year. 

It’s an early test for the party’s ability to nominate candidates it thinks are viable in the general election. Unlike in Texas, which held the cycle’s first primaries two weeks ago, there are no runoffs in Illinois. So a simple plurality would be enough to advance to the November general election. 

Photos of the Week: State of the Union, GOP Retreat Continues After Crash
The week of Jan. 29 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan arrives in the Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans carried on with their annual retreat this week, after member-doctors sprung to action when the Amtrak locomotive pulling GOP lawmakers to their West Virginia destination collided with a garbage truck on Wednesday, killing one of its passengers.

The previous night, President Donald Trump stayed on track during his first State of the Union address in the House chamber. 

The State of the Union From Start to Finish: Photos of the Day
Jan. 30 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Trump takes a selfie with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the House chamber after the address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated as of 12:02 p.m. on Jan. 31 | The Capitol is a busy place most Tuesdays, but this Tuesday was special. President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET made for a chaotic (and long) day for lawmakers, their aides, reporters and Capitol staff.

State of the Union Guest List
Who lawmakers are bringing this year and what issues they represent

Claudia Sofía Báez Solá, left, who was sent to live with relatives in Florida after Hurricane Maria, will be going to the State of the Union as the guest of Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla. (Courtesy Rep. Soto’s office)

As President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union on Tuesday, a few issues will stand out in the crowd.

Members of Congress each get one guest ticket for the address. While some use them for family or friends, others bring a guest who puts a face to an issue they’re pushing.

Illinois House Primaries Will Be Early Testing Ground for Democrats
Democrats have several pickup opportunities, but they need viable candidates first

Democrats are confident they’ll have a general election nominee who can take on Illinois GOP Rep. Peter Roskam. The primary is on March 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With early voting starting in less than a month, Illinois will be a testing ground for Democrats’ ability to nominate general election candidates they think can win out of crowded primaries. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting four Republican-held districts, but the committee is not explicitly picking favorites in all those primaries. 

Word on the Hill: Staffer Corrects 200-Year Mistake
Religion, soccer, cats and dogs as sharks

Staffer Ryan Martin and his family check out the Utah flag before it goes up in the Kennedy Center's Hall of States. (Kennedy Center)

House staffer Ryan Martin noticed at The Kennedy Center that the Utah flag in the Hall of States display wasn’t quite right. A manufacturing error on the flag showed 1647 as the year Mormon pioneers settled in the state, 200 years off from the actual year.

Martin informed the center and a new flag was ordered. The new flag, with the correct year, was raised Monday at a ceremony in the Hall of States. 

One Dollar, One Name to Recognize Gun Violence Victims
Robin Kelly wants a vote on gun control legislation

Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly says pressure from the National Rifle Association is keeping House Republican leadership from allowing votes on gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Rep. Robin Kelly rose to speak on the House floor Thursday morning, she carried a list of 50 names — all victims of gun violence.

“I’ve begged — I’ve pleaded — I’ve screamed — I’ve cried and I even ground the people’s House to a halt with last year’s historic sit-in,” the Illinois Democrat said.

Democrats Down Republicans, Both Down the Rhetoric
Emotional evening at Congressional Baseball Game

Steve Scalise fans waves signs before the start of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday, June 15, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When winning Democratic manager Rep. Mike Doyle gave the Congressional Baseball Game trophy to his counterpart, Rep. Joe L. Barton, to put in Rep. Steve Scalise’s office while he is recovering, it summed up the feeling of the evening.

“It’s so awesome to show everyone that we actually get along and I want that to be the message that everyone takes away tonight,” Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis said after the game.

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social calendar for the week

The Court of Neptune, the fountain at the front of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, got a cleaning in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back from recess!

Your daily Word on the Hill is returning now that Congress is back.

Word on the Hill: Party Time
Burgers in Cannon today

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks with her husband, Paul, center, and Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey at an Atlantic/CBS News pre-party before the 2016 White House Corespondents’ Association Dinner. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is a day away. But Friday is a big night for parties to start the weekend off.

RealClearPolitics, the Distilled Spirits Council, the National Restaurant Association and the Beer Institute are joining for the first annual Toast to the First Amendment. It is from 7 to 10 p.m. at the National Restaurant Association, 2055 L St. NW.