What to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
GOP picks nominee in top Senate race; 2 Toss-up House races will be set

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith faces a DFL primary challenge Tuesday from five other candidates, including former Republican Richard Painter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

From New England to the upper Midwest, four states are hosting primaries Tuesday. The most interesting contests are in Wisconsin and Minnesota, which both hold primaries for Senate and for several competitive House seats. And in two safe Democratic districts — one in Minnesota and one in Connecticut — primaries will likely pick new members of Congress.

Wisconsin Republicans will pick their nominee to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, one of 10 Senate Democrats running for re-election in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. The contest between Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir has come down to the wire.Both are backed by billionaires bankrolling super PACs. Vukmir has the state party’s endorsement, and the Wisconsin GOP’s turnout machine behind her. But Nicholson has benefitted from millions of dollars in outside spending to boost his campaign. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Wisconsin Senate race Leans Democratic.Some Democrats see their best House pickup opportunity in Wisconsin in the 1st District, which opened after Speaker Paul D. Ryan decided to retire. Trump carried the district by 10 points in 2016, his smallest margin among all five GOP-held seats in the Badger State. Former Ryan aide Bryan Steil is expected to win the Republican nod, while ironworker Randy Bryce faces Janesville school board member Cathy Myers for the Democratic nomination.

7 Ways the Senate Can Spend the Rest of August
A few real problems have bubbled up while senators were away

There’s no shortage of things for senators to do while in town this month, Murphy writes. Above, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives at the Capitol for a vote in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Welcome back to the grind, senators and staff. If you were only watching cable news over your abridged recess, you might have been lulled into the idea that the only messes in Washington you would come back to were Omarosa’s habit of recording conversations in the Situation Room and what we’ve learned so far about Paul Manafort’s choice of outerwear from his trial — ostrich. So gross.

But while some in the D.C. media were caught up in the Trump train wrecks of the day, a few real problems bubbled up while you were gone. Somebody has to deal with them, so as long as you’re here — why not you?

Education Department’s ‘Gainful Employment’ Repeal Carries High Price Tag
Topic could come up when Senate begins debating Education Department spending

Sen. Patty Murray criticized the Education Department proposal as turning its back on students and pushing costs to taxpayers. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s proposal to repeal Obama-era requirements for recipients of federal student aid comes with a price tag of about $5.3 billion over a decade, a figure that is already giving critics ammunition as the Senate prepares to turn to Education Department appropriations this week.

The administration’s proposed rulemaking would rescind 2014 regulations requiring colleges and universities to ensure graduates have low debt-to-income ratios or risk losing access to loans and grants that help students afford to attend their programs. The proposal will be open for a 30-day comment period once it’s published in the Federal Register on Tuesday before the department can turn to drafting a final rule.

Democratic Poll Shows Close Race for Pete Sessions’ Seat in Texas
GOP congressman faces Democrat Colin Allred in Dallas-area district

GOP Rep. Pete Sessions is facing Democrat Colin Allred in November. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions’ re-election race is looking increasingly competitive, with Democrat Colin Allred polling close to the longtime Republican lawmaker, according to a new internal Democratic survey.

The Dallas-area 32nd District is traditionally GOP territory. But this year’s race is considered competitive, in part because the 32nd is one of three Republican-held districts in the Lone Star State that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race a Toss-up

Abuse Allegations Loom Over Minnesota Race to Replace Ellison
Female candidates dominate Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison vacated his 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates running for Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota’s deep-blue 5th District are pushing voters to the polls Tuesday, as abuse allegations against the congressman threatened to send them off-message in the campaign’s closing hours.

The three front-runners for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nod in Tuesday’s primary declined to take sides when asked at a candidate forum Monday about allegations that Ellison physically abused a former girlfriend — which he has denied. The six-term congressman vacated the 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. 

Trump Touts New York GOP Senate Candidate at Fundraiser for Vulnerable House Republican
President endorses Rep. Claudia Tenney but shows more excitement for Chele Chiavacci Farley’s long-shot Senate bid

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in Ohio on Aug. 4, offered praise for New York GOP Senate candidate Chele Chiavacci Farley at a fundraiser in Utica, N.Y., on Monday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s visit to upstate New York on Monday was ostensibly to fundraise for Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. But he appeared to spend more time in his opening remarks touting the long-shot GOP candidate for Senate than the vulnerable congresswoman.

In his remarks, which were opened to the press less than an hour before the start of the fundraiser in Utica, Trump did endorse Tenney, noting that she invited him to visit New York’s 22nd District and he was happy to oblige, given his many friends there. 

3 Takeaways as Prosecution Rests Case in Paul Manafort Trial
Trial has put potential tax reporting loophole under the microscope

Media outlets set up microphones on July 31 in front of the United States District Court in Alexandria, Va., where President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is standing trial. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s prosecution team on Monday rested its case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, wrapping up its evidence and witness testimony in just 10 days.

The defense will decide whether it will call any witnesses Tuesday morning. If it does not, both sides are expected to deliver closing arguments. Then the jury will decide Manafort’s fate.

2 Democratic Women Face Off in Connecticut for Esty’s Seat
Connecticut Democrat opted to retire after an office abuse scandal

Who will replace Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn.? Tuesday’s Democratic primary is likely to determine her successor in this open seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two women face off Tuesday in a competitive Democratic primary to fill Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s seat in Connecticut’s 5th District. 

Mary Glassman, a former local elected official in suburban Hartford, has the state party’s endorsement. But Jahana Hayes, a former national teacher of the year, received enough support at the party convention to qualify for the primary ballot 

Kavanaugh Feared Looking ‘Silly’ on Flip-Flop on Presidential Records
Documents show Supreme Court nominee fretted about position switch while working in White House

Aides attend a news conference with Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman in Dirksen Building on August 2, 2018, with boxes representing roughly 1 million pages of documents to be submitted to the committee on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Long before the current Senate fight over access to presidential records as part of his Supreme Court nomination, Brett Kavanaugh sent an email to his co-workers in the White House counsel’s office about a soon-to-be-published article on access to presidential records that “makes me look very silly.”

Kavanaugh let the office know that Washington Post columnist Al Kamen planned to write a blurb to highlight how he had switched legal positions — now that he was a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration — when it comes to how much power former presidents and their families had to block the release of presidential records.

Three Men Sentenced in 2015 Killing of Intern for Rob Portman
Matthew Shlonsky was caught in crossfire shooting

Three men who pleaded guilty to killing Matthew Shlonsky were sentenced in D.C. Superior Court on Monday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The three men who pleaded guilty to the 2015 killing of 23-year-old Matthew Shlonsky, a former Sen. Rob Portman intern, were sentenced in D.C. Superior Court on Monday.

Andre Dudley, 22, Marcus King, 22, and Christopher Proctor, 28, each were sentenced for single counts of voluntary manslaughter while armed and two counts each of assault with a dangerous weapon. The sentences carry 18.5 years, 15-20 years and 12-14 years, respectively.

At Fort Drum Event, Trump Boosts McSally, Does Not Mention McCain
Arizona GOP Senate candidate among lawmakers highlighted in New York's North Country

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., received a boost from President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona politics headed eastward to New York’s North Country on Monday, as President Donald Trump signed a Pentagon policy bill there named after one of his frequent nemeses, Republican John McCain, who went unmentioned by the president, and singled out for praise a woman seeking to become McCain’s Senate colleague: Rep. Martha McSally.

McSally made the trip across the country to the Army’s Fort Drum and was  rewarded with a shout-out from Trump, although not an endorsement.

Minnesota 5th District Candidates Sidestep Ellison Allegations
Democratic primary in the state is Tuesday

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who is running for state attorney general, has been accused of abuse by a former girlfriend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three top Democrats running to succeed Rep. Keith Ellison in Minnesota’s 5th District responded cautiously Monday to allegations that he abused a former girlfriend in 2016.

The candidates did not say whether they believed the allegations against the six-term Democratic lawmaker, who has denied that the long-term relationship included physical abuse. They also did not call for him to resign or drop out of his current race for state attorney general. 

What I Saw That You Couldn't See at the Manafort Trial, Week 2
 

Congressional Budget Office Revises Economic Forecast Downward
Director warns that projections are ‘inherently uncertain’

The Congressional Budget Office is revising downward its forecast of the country's economic growth for 2018. CBO Director Keith Hall, pictured, warns, though, that such projections are "inherently uncertain." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Budget Office projects the economy to grow at a rate of 3.1 percent in 2018, a slight revision to the 3.3 percent growth rate the agency forecast in April.

The CBO attributed the slight decline in its gross domestic product estimate this year to revised projections of discretionary spending and interest rates.