Filibuster

The center of Mitch McConnell’s legacy-building
Political Theater podcast, Episode 103

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell uses the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center to hold discussions with his allies, adversaries and other dignitaries. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not shy about using his namesake McConnell Center at the University of Louisville as a platform for showcasing his allies, adversaries and his own ability to steer the national conversation.

Just this week, Kentucky’s senior senator and proud Louisville alumnus spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo, currently enmeshed in key elements of the Ukraine saga and the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, is McConnell’s preferred candidate to run for Senate in Kansas, where GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is retiring.

Women’s health political fights heat up in battleground states
Opponents and supporters of abortion rights gear up for record-setting advocacy campaigns

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on the ability of proponents and opponents of abortion rights to turn out core supporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fights over abortion and birth control in all three branches of government are fueling record-setting advocacy campaigns by liberal and conservative groups ahead of the 2020 elections.

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on special interests turning out core supporters and elevating issues such as the Supreme Court’s consideration this term of a potentially landmark abortion case.

Take campaign plans with a grain of salt
Warren agenda could face uphill climb with freshmen and purple-state Democrats

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is sitting atop polls in Iowa and New Hampshire; if she wins both, Warren could be unstoppable. But a Warren presidency doesn’t mean she gets carte blanche to transform the U.S. economy. And that’s the silver lining for wavering Trump voters, Cohn writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — There’s a silver lining for suburban voters who backed President Donald Trump in 2016 and who’ve grown weary of his antics but can’t stomach the assault on their pocketbooks they see coming from the Democrats.

Extrapolating from 2016 exit polls, Trump’s margin with suburbanites in four critical swing states — Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — was roughly 1 million votes. Considering Trump’s 190,655-vote margin overall in those states, Democrats just need to claw back about one-fifth of the suburbs.

Elijah E. Cummings: A life in photos
Images of the Maryland lawmaker from the CQ Roll Call archives

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., interviewed by Roll Call in his Rayburn House Office Building office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a 12-term congressman, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a key player in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, died early Thursday of complications from longtime health issues.  The Maryland Democrat was 68.

Fundraising update: Some House freshmen raising more than embattled senators
Democrats continuing to tap large groups of small donors

Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw raised more money during the third quarter than two of his party’s most embattled senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a year out from the 2020 elections, new disclosures show House members continue to set the pace for congressional fundraising, with several freshmen raising nearly as much as or more than some of the most vulnerable GOP senators and their Democratic challengers.

That’s especially true of House Democratic freshmen, some of whom are continuing a trend started last year when, as candidates, they raised more in the quarters leading up to Election Day than Senate candidates.

First impeachment hearing becomes test of Judiciary Committee sway
Hearing looks unlikely to produce much, other than once again demonstrating White House resistance to congressional oversight

Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler launched a series of hearings Tuesday highlighting President Donald Trump’s actions to educate the public and other lawmakers on reasons for impeachment — but the witnesses and the White House had other plans.

Two of the three witnesses don’t plan to show up on the orders of the White House, part of the Trump administration’s fight-all-the-subpoenas approach that leaves the committee to either file lawsuits to enforce the subpoenas or hold the witnesses in contempt.

Harry Reid talks up ‘double opportunity’ for Senate Democrats in Georgia
Former majority leader also says filibuster will be gone ‘no later than’ the next congress

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is bullish about his party’s chances of taking back the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic Leader Harry Reid is talking up the prospects of Democrats winning back the Senate in 2020, thanks in part to an unexpected early resignation by a popular Republican.

Reid, speaking with reporters Tuesday about energy and environment proposals ahead of a marathon series of CNN town halls focused on climate change, was thinking not just about the presidential race but also about the Senate map for next year.

The GOP is confirming Trump judicial nominees it stalled under Obama
Judges couldn’t get a vote when Obama was president. They’re getting on the bench under Trump

From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, Vice President Mike Pence, and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) in 2017. Gorsuch was confirmed after McConnell had blocked President Barack Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland. (Al Drago/Pool/The New York Times)

At least 10 judicial nominees who couldn’t even get a confirmation vote in the final years of President Barack Obama’s administration ended up on the bench after Donald Trump’s election.  

Those nominees, blocked by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans while Obama was in the White House, got a second chance. Rather than blocking them under Trump, McConnell sought to speed up the confirmation process. Thanks to the shift in political priorities, Republicans confirmed them with bipartisan support.

A conversation with the Senate historian: Duels, bathtubs and other mysteries
Political Theater, Episode 89

The Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda is among the many places where the chamber’s unique history is on display. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politicians and pundits are fond of saying that Washington has never been more polarized and that the Senate, in particular, may never recover from contemporary hyper-partisanship and rule-bending.

But it is assistant Senate historian Daniel S. Holt’s job to remind us all that disputes in the chamber used to result in pistols at dawn instead of dueling tweets.

Montana’s Steve Bullock warns Democrats they’re at risk of losing to Trump
Two-term governor is the only presidential candidate who’s won statewide in a Trump state

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is warning Democrats that the policy positions of some of his fellow 2020 hopefuls would will throw the election to President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock delivered a stern warning Wednesday that his fellow Democratic presidential candidates are putting the party at risk of losing to President Donald Trump in 2020.

“We are well on our way to losing this election long before it ever even has really started,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club.