Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

DCCC to Hit Republicans on College Campuses

DCCC to Hit Republicans on College Campuses

Luján is chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats will launch a series of attacks on Republicans over college affordability over the next two weeks, when members of Congress will fan out across the country for the Easter recess.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will hit 15 Republicans via advertisements in student newspapers at colleges and universities in their districts, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call. The ads attack these Republicans for not supporting Pell Grants — which provide funding for low-income students working toward undergraduate degrees.

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Titus Senate Bid Could Shake Up Nevada Races

Titus Senate Bid Could Shake Up Nevada Races

Titus is considering a bid for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Nevada’s lone Democratic House member decides to run for Senate, she could scramble the state’s Democratic field up and down the ballot.

Rep. Dina Titus is considering a bid to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who made a surprise announcement Friday he is not seeking re-election.

“This is a decision I will make carefully after talking with family and close friends to ensure it is in the best interest of District One and the people of Nevada,” she said in a statement.  Full story

March 27, 2015

Democrats Maneuver for Illinois House Seat

Democrats Maneuver for Illinois House Seat

Duckworth is mulling a Senate bid in Illinois. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tammy Duckworth has not officially announced her 2016 intentions, but the behind-the-scenes jockeying to replace the two-term congresswoman in her suburban Chicago House district should she run for Senate has already begun in earnest.

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Reid Plans Senate Exit: Not Running for Re-Election (Video)

Reid Plans Senate Exit: Not Running for Re Election (Video)

Reid is retiring. He’s been in the Senate since 1987. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not seek re-election, he said Friday.

Reid, who sustained face and rib injuries earlier this year in an exercise accident, made the announcement in a video to supporters.

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March 26, 2015

Vulnerable Senators Switch Votes on Paid Sick Leave (Updated)

Vulnerable Senators Switch Votes on Paid Sick Leave (Updated)

Toomey voted in favor of a fund for paid sick leave. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:20 p.m. | Two of the most vulnerable Republican senators, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, switched their votes Thursday on an amendment that would allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid sick time annually.

A “no” vote on the amendment would have likely drawn criticism from Democrats, who have, in the past, attacked Republicans as being unconcerned about pocketbook issues such as paid leave, minimum wage and equal pay.

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Coats’ Top Aide Enters Indiana Senate Contest

Coats Top Aide Enters Indiana Senate Contest

A top aide to Coats, right, is running for his Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 12:35 p.m. | Eric Holcomb, a congressional staffer and former Indiana GOP chairman, announced a bid Thursday to succeed retiring Sen. Dan Coats, becoming the first Republican to enter what could be a crowded primary field.

“This campaign will be about what we’re for, not simply what we’re against,” Holcomb said at a campaign announcement in Indianapolis. “This campaign in short will be about Indiana’s voice.”

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Vote-a-Rama Presents Political Peril for Vulnerable Incumbents

Vote a Rama Presents Political Peril for Vulnerable Incumbents

Burr is among the senators up for re-election facing a gauntlet of politically charged votes in the vote-a-rama. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators aren’t making law as they complete work on the budget resolution, but for those facing the voters in 2016, the affair is riddled with political landmines, often set deliberately by the other party.

Of the 34 senators up for re-election in 2016, 24 are Republicans, several in highly competitive swing states. Just two Democratic incumbents are running in competitive states. Democrats need a net gain of five seats to secure the majority.

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March 24, 2015

Coats Retirement Sparks Hoosier State Free-for-All

Coats Retirement Sparks Hoosier State Free for All

Coats chats with Sen. Lamar Alexander not long after announcing his retirement plans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An open Senate seat in Indiana could lead to a GOP free-for-all in 2016, with nearly every Republican member of the Hoosier State’s congressional delegation showing interest.

Of the seven Republicans in the House delegation, five are at least giving a bid consideration.

GOP Sen. Dan Coats’ Tuesday retirement announcement sparked a behind-the-scenes frenzy, as Reps. Jackie Walorski, Marlin Stutzman, Todd Young, Todd Rokita and Susan W. Brooks all contemplated jumping in the race to succeed him. Eric Holcomb, Coats’ chief of staff in the state, and state Speaker Brian Bosma also are weighing runs, according to Indiana GOP operatives.

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Benishek to Seek Fourth Term, Break Term-Limit Pledge (Updated)

Benishek to Seek Fourth Term, Break Term Limit Pledge (Updated)

Benishek will seek a fourth term after all. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:20 p.m. | Michigan Rep. Dan Benishek said Tuesday he has decided to break a self-imposed term limit and run for re-election next year.

The Republican set a three-term limit during his first bid for Congress in 2010, when he won an open-seat race to replace Democrat Bart Stupak.

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Coats Not Seeking Re-Election in Indiana

Republican Sen. Dan Coats will not run for re-election in Indiana next year, opening up his Senate seat to a wide group of hopefuls.

“This was not an easy decision,” Coats said in a statement of his decision not to seek another term. “While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders.”

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March 23, 2015

Democrats’ Florida Senate Hopes Could Cost House Seat

Democrats Florida Senate Hopes Could Cost House Seat

Murphy’s Senate bid is opening up his competitive House district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Senate recruitment victory for Democrats in Florida could, in turn, jeopardize the party’s quest for the House majority.

Rep. Patrick Murphy, a favorite of national Democrats for the state’s potentially open-seat Senate race, is announcing his statewide campaign Monday. That opens up the Treasure Coast-based House seat Murphy held for the past two cycles — one of just five Democrat-controlled House districts Mitt Romney carried in 2012.

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Patrick Murphy Announces Senate Bid in Florida

Patrick Murphy Announces Senate Bid in Florida

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Patrick Murphy will run for Senate in the Sunshine State in 2016, giving national Democrats the candidate they want in a top pickup opportunity for the party this cycle.

“I’ve spent the last several months considering the best way I can continue to serve the people of Florida, and today, after much thought and discussion with people from across this state, I’m proud to announce that I will be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2016,” Murphy said in a release announcing his bid Monday morning.

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March 22, 2015

Cruz’s Liberty Speech: Why It’s Happening Monday

Cruzs Liberty Speech: Why Its Happening Monday

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The night before Sen. Ted Cruz is expected to deliver a speech launching his 2016 presidential bid, the Texas Republican’s political operation sent a text message to supporters, telling them to pay attention.

Ted Cruz will make an exciting announcement soon,” the message read. “Stay tuned to @tedcruz on Twitter around midnight to be the first to know!”

Ahead of that bit of news, much of the attention about Cruz’s planned Monday morning appearance here at a convocation event on the campus of Liberty University focused on two basic choices by the candidate and his advisers: time and place.

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March 20, 2015

Ted Cruz Plans ‘Important Speech’ in Virginia

Sen. Ted Cruz’s political operation appears to be strongly encouraging attendance by the media at an event in Lynchburg, Va., Monday for what’s being billed as “an important speech.”

Aides to the Texas Republican, who has been contemplating a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, were tight-lipped Friday about the details of the visit to the campus of Liberty University, but the timing of the speech would be right for getting somewhat ahead of the curve on announcing a White House run, at least among senators.

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DCCC, NRCC Raise More Than $5 Million in February

DCCC, NRCC Raise More Than $5 Million in February

Walden is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Both parties’ House campaign committees raised more than $5 million in February, the two organizations announced Friday.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s nearly $5.2 million haul brought its cash-on-hand total to nearly $6.4 million by the end of the month. It also paid down its debt to $6.5 million.

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