Ryan A Costello

Vulnerable Republicans in Political Catch-22 on Tax Overhaul
Democrats will attack them for the GOP tax plan even if they vote against it

New York Rep. Dan Donovan said the tax plan “kills the people who I represent.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s decision time on the ultimatum Republican leaders have been issuing to members all fall: Pass a tax overhaul or wave the House majority goodbye. 

But some of the party’s most vulnerable members, many from high-tax states in the Northeast, have come out against the House tax plan over its curtailing of deductions for state and local taxes and mortgage interest. Others are still undecided, afraid of how the measure will affect their districts. 

Speier and Gillibrand Introduce Harassment Transparency Legislation
Bill would disclose involved offices and make members pay for settlements

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, right, and California Rep. Jackie Speier hold a news conference Wednesday to introduce legislation aimed at addressing and preventing sexual harassment for Capitol Hill staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers joined Rep. Jackie Speier to introduce new legislation that takes aim at sexual harassment in Congress.

“For all intents and purposes, a staffer in the Capitol is powerless and gagged,” Speier, a California Democrat, said Wednesday at the beginning of a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center. Harassers are often allowed to walk away to prey on others, she said.

DCCC Names First 11 Candidates in ‘Red to Blue’ Program
2018 program will include more targeted and frequent additions

Angie Craig, back for a rematch against Rep. Jason Lewis in Minnesota’s 2nd District, is one of 11 candidates named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday in the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits.

The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive Republican-held seats and in an open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

Congress Begins Digesting Tax Bill Outlines
Republicans say they need more detail

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and the GOP leadership team briefed members about their tax legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans leaving a closed-door conference meeting said they needed to see more details of the tax code overhaul before assessing the plan.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said “not enough detail” was provided. “Most of what was talked about in there was still at the 15,000-to-20,000 foot level.”

It’s Congress vs. Lobbyists at the Congressional Basketball Classic

“Most of us are a few pounds overweight, a few years past our prime, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Members Lose Charity Basketball Game, but Honor Teammate Scalise
Lobbyists won 19th annual charity event for third year in a row

Dan Coen of KemPharm holds up the championship trophy after the lobbyists’ team defeated lawmakers, 49-41, in the 19th annual Congressional Basketball Classic on Tuesday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

The members’ team lost the Congressional Basketball Classic in one of the biggest showings of bipartisanship and Capitol Hill spirit since the Congressional Baseball Game.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot while practicing for the baseball game, has been a staple of the basketball game. Although he was on the roster, he wasn’t able to attend the game while still in recovery.

Norman Makes Congressional Sports Debut at Charity Basketball Game
The 19th annual Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game is Tuesday

Rep. Ralph Norman was elected to replace director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ralph Norman came to Congress at a pivotal time for congressional sports.

The South Carolina Republican was sworn in on June 26, just 11 days after the Congressional Baseball Game and 12 days after the shooting at the GOP team’s practice. Now, he is making his congressional sports debut as a rookie lawmaker at the 19th annual Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game on Tuesday.

House Democratic Candidates Capitalize on Graham-Cassidy
House hopefuls appealing to Republican senators to vote against repealing 2010 health care law

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona tweeted a photo of herself calling her state's Republican senators. (Ann Kirkpatrick via Twitter)

Democratic House candidates are trying to appeal to Republican senators in their states as the GOP prepares for another vote to repeal the 2010 health care law.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it is his intention to vote next week on the health care legislation spearheaded by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Could More House Retirements Imperil GOP Majority in 2018?
Retirements of three moderates spark fears about more leaving

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent’s decision makes the race for his 15th District seat more competitive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House retirements are a staple of each election cycle. But the decision by three moderate Republicans not to seek re-election is worrying party members, already nervous about holding the majority in 2018.

“You hate to have an open seat in what you know is going to be a bad year,” said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Word on the Hill: 9/11 Anniversary
Your social calendar for the week ahead

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lead the procession of members of Congress down the Capitol steps for the ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11 last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Today is the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

As of Sunday evening, the Senate was scheduled to reconvene at 3 p.m. It will observe a moment of silence in memory of those killed in the terrorist attacks 16 years ago.