The Battle for Orange County in the Fight for the House
A handful of competitive races could decide the majority

After coasting to re-election in previous years, California Rep. Ed Royce could be in for a competitive race this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

YORBA LINDA, Calif. — Celina Estrada and Sam Zapata weren’t even born when Republican Ed Royce was first elected to Congress in 1992. Yet a year before the 2018 elections, the two students spent a recent evening knocking on doors in the hills of Orange County, California, to support the vulnerable congressman.

Royce hasn’t had a close race in years. In 2016, he won with 57 percent and outspent his Democratic opponent, $3.7 million to $77,000. This cycle, however, inspired to counteract the effects of a Donald Trump presidency, five of his Democratic challengers had over $100,000 in their campaign accounts at the end of September, and two of them are self-funders.

Former Rep. Maurice Hinchey Dies at 79
Longtime New York Democrat had frontotemporal dementia

Former Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey served 10 terms in Congress, retiring in 2013. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, a longtime Democratic congressman from New York, died Wednesday. He was 79.

He had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, his family announced in June amid the debate over repealing the 2010 health care law.

Opinion: When Holiday Values Meet Policy, It May Be Awkward
From Roy Moore to immigration, there’s plenty of food for thought this holiday season

Partisanship has affected the way people view the Alabama Senate race featuring Republican Roy Moore, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just as the generosity of Angel Tree donations and turkey giveaways clash with the kill-or-be-killed stampede of folks looking for a Black Friday bargain, the warm holiday greetings lawmakers disseminate this time of year might strike a dissonant cord when compared to the current policies and politics coming out of Washington.

Pre-holiday news has included a tidal wave of charges and accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, with some lawmakers preferring to view the stories of women and some men through a lens of partisan politics rather than right and wrong — surely not a positive lesson for the kids gathered around the turkey.

Rep. Joe Barton Weighs Re-Election Following Graphic Photo
Texas Republican is most senior member of Lone Star State delegation

Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton says he has not yet decided on running for an 18th term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton, the dean of the Texas delegation, is now unsure if he will run for re-election, after a nude photo of him was posted on social media.

“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” Barton said in a statement to the Texas Tribune on Wednesday, regarding the photo. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”

Podcast: Sexual Harassment in Congress — More to Come
The Big Story, Episode 80

California Rep. Jackie Speier introduced legislation last week to address and prevent sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Show Notes:

Capitol Ink | Taxsgiving Day

Virginia Democrats Wrestle Over Nomination Process
10th District is holding primary, 5th isn’t, 7th and 2nd have yet to decide

Democrats have opted for a primary in Virginia’s 10th District, but the party committee in the 7th and 2nd districts have yet to decide how they’ll select their nominees. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the most competitive of Virginia’s congressional districts, Democrats have decided to hold a primary to nominate a candidate to take on two-term Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock.

But that wasn’t a given — and it’s still not in another contested district in the state.

Rand Paul Battled Pneumonia, Senator’s Wife Says
Kelley Paul said senator diagnosed upon return to Kentucky after voting in D.C.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tells Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, far right, he is unable to shake hands upon Paul’s arrival to the Capitol on Nov. 13 for his first vote after suffering broken ribs after being attacked by a neighbor in Bowling Green, Ky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul has not had a good night’s sleep since being attacked outside his Kentucky home earlier this month.

That’s according to the Republican senator’s wife, Kelley Paul, who published an opinion piece outlining the serious medical predicament facing her husband.

Conyers Must Resign, Top Detroit Newspaper Says
‘A tragic end to Conyers’ public career, but a needed warning that this can never be tolerated’

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., walks down the House steps after voting in the Capitol on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The most widely read print and digital media outlet in Michigan has called for hometown Rep. John Conyers Jr. to resign.

John Conyers Jr. must go — after 53 years in Congress, after a stellar career of fighting for equality, after contributing so much to southeast Michigan and the nation,” the Detroit Free Press editorialized Tuesday.

Investigators Accuse Brady of Concealing Bribe to Primary Challenger
FBI officials combed through Pennsylvania Democrat’s emails to assess his role in payoff scheme

Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady has been accused by the FBI of leading a scheme to conceal a bribe payment to a onetime Democratic challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The FBI is combing through Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady’s emails to see if he led a conspiracy to pay off a challenger to drop out of the Democratic primary in his district in 2012.

The bureau has accused the longtime lawmaker of leading a scheme to conceal a $90,000 payment to Jimmie Moore, a former Philadelphia Municipal Court judge. Moore has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities. The email search marks the first time Brady himself has been personally investigated.

Poll: Minority of Republicans Want Moore Out of Alabama Senate Race
Survey shows doubts about well-documented allegations

Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, is questioned by the media in the Capitol on Oct. 31. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just 30 percent of Republicans responding to a new national poll think former judge Roy Moore should end his bid for the Senate in Alabama.

That is despite detailed allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Over Recess
Turning down the tension in Washington for Thanksgiving

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. And some of the best ones are those that we come across while reporting the big ones.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

By the Numbers: Harassment Claims on Capitol Hill Peaked in 2011
2016 saw the lowest number of claims over the last 10 years

The U.S. Capitol as seen from the East Plaza. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With two Democrats, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, facing allegations of sexual misconduct in and outside the workplace, Hill watchers may be wondering just how many sexual harassment complaints get filed each year in the Capitol. 

The answer is less than clear because Congress’ Office of Compliance releases only topline numbers on the complaints filed with the agency each year. In the OOC annual report on the state of the congressional workplace, harassment is one line item, which could include sexual and other types of hostile workplace harassment. 

Opinion: Sexual Harassment From John Tower to Donald Trump — and Beyond
America has belatedly reached a moment of reckoning about sexual harassment

Sen. Al Franken should stay in the Senate and give Minnesota voters a chance to offer their own verdict in 2020 on accusations of sexual harassment made against him, Walter Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In early 1989, with the inauguration of George Bush, John Tower’s failed confirmation fight for secretary of Defense riveted Washington.

A diminutive former four-term Texas Republican senator who had served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Tower seemed, on paper, as a noncontroversial choice.

Trump Breaks Silence on Moore Allegations
‘I can tell you one thing for sure: We don’t need a liberal person in there’

President Donald Trump points to his ears as he tries to hear shouted questions from reporters while departing the White House for Camp David September 8, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated 5:27 p.m. | President Donald Trump broke his silence Tuesday on Republican Roy Moore and the sexual assault allegations hindering his Alabama Senate bid but isn’t ruling out campaigning for the embattled candidate.

“I can tell you one thing for sure: We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump said over the loud hum of Marine One’s engine as he left for Florida.