Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2015

January 31, 2014

Former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth Raised $37K in Fourth Quarter

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., raised $37,000 in the fourth quarter for her comeback bid, according to her Federal Election Commission filing.

Hayworth is in a rematch against Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for New York’s 18th District. Full story

Club for Growth Action Hires Blacklisted Firm

The Club for Growth’s political action arm announced Friday that it has added Jamestown Associates, a media firm that the GOP’s House and Senate campaign arms have reportedly blacklisted, to its media production team.

“We’ve long admired Jamestown Associates for their creativity, winning record in tough campaigns, and the quality of their product,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a news release. “When we heard recently that they would have more time to work with Club for Growth Action we immediately seized the opportunity.”

Chocola’s statement alludes to the fact that both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee reportedly will not use Jamestown Associates’ services and are encouraging others in the party not to as well.

The committees’ decisions were based in part on Jamestown’s work on behalf of the Senate Conservatives Fund, which is backing primary challengers to Republican senators.

The club also supports primary challengers to Republican incumbents. It’s even set up a website called, “Primary My Congressman!”

January 30, 2014

Republican Considers Switch to Okla. Senate Special

Coburn is resigning at the end of 2014 (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Randy Brogdon, a conservative former state senator currently challenging Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, is considering running in the Senate special election instead.

“He has got a lot of people inside of Oklahoma, probably eight or nine out of 10, that are urging him to run for Senate, and he is listening very intently to those urges,” Brogdon senior adviser Louis Waller said when reached by CQ Roll Call.

Brogdon’s potential entrance comes just after Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a favorite among conservative outside groups, decided against a bid. Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had pushed for Bridenstine to run as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who announced his bid for the seat earlier this month.

Brogdon, who lost to Fallin in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, has the kind of tea party profile that could garner support from those groups. If he runs, Brogdon would be the third major Republican in the race, along with state Speaker T.W. Shannon. Candidates have until April 11 to file for the race, which follows the state’s regular election year schedule.

The Madison Project, which recruits conservative candidates, declined to comment on whether they have met with Brogdon.

Full story

Henry Waxman Announces Retirement (Updated) (Video)

Updated 1:20 p.m. | Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., announced Thursday that he will not seek a 21st term in his Los Angeles-based House seat.

In his statement, Waxman said it was simply his time to go.

“It’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark, ideally someone who is young enough to make the long-term commitment that’s required for real legislative success,” he said. “I still feel youthful and energetic, but I recognize if I want to experience a life outside of Congress, I need to start soon.”

Waxman is now the 17th member of the House and 7th Democrat to announce retirement this cycle. He and fellow California Democratic Rep. George Miller, who is also retiring this year, were the last remaining of the Watergate class of 1974 serving their 20th terms in the House. (One other member of the class of 1974 would remain in the House, Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., but he spent a couple of decades out of Congress in the interim).

Full story

House Democrats Raise $5.6 Million in December

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $5.6 million in December, according to fundraising figures shared with CQ Roll Call by a DCCC aide.

The committee had $29.3 million in cash on hand at the end of the year and holds no debt.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has yet to release its December fundraising figures. Reports are due to the Federal Election Commission by Jan. 31.

House Democrats put an early emphasis on pulling in dues from individual members, assisting in a strong year of fundraising in 2013. The party must net 17 seats in November to take back control of the House.

Democrat to Challenge Bucshon in Indiana

Democrats have finally landed a challenger to Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., who was among the party’s targets in 2012.

Tom Spangler, the owner of a marketing and distribution company for commercial furniture, announced Thursday that he is launching a bid in Indiana’s 8th District.

After coming up 10 points short against the incumbent in 2012, national Democrats hope Spangler can give the party a legitimate shot at a seat it controlled before Bucshon won an open-seat race in 2010.

“I’m running because since 2012, Congress has only gotten more reckless and irresponsible and Congressman Bucshon is part of the problem,” Spangler said in a statement. Full story

Conservative Groups Could Give Up on Okla. Senate Special

Conservative outside groups are increasingly likely to stay on the sidelines in the Oklahoma Senate special election now that Rep. Jim Bridenstine has decided not to run, multiple GOP sources said.

Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had encouraged Bridenstine to run in the GOP primary as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who was the first candidate to announce a bid. The entrance Wednesday by state Speaker T.W. Shannon, an African American named a rising star by the Republican National Committee, was met with equally little excitement among the groups.

Unless another candidate is recruited, these groups may choose to sit out the race to replace resigning GOP Sen. Tom Coburn —  a hero among the conservative grass roots for his battles against government waste.

“For the outside groups to back T.W., it means they really, really hate Lankford enough that they would back an RNC-touted candidate instead of sitting the race out,” said one Republican insider in Oklahoma.

Full story

January 29, 2014

George Miller Endorses a Successor

Democratic Rep. George Miller endorsed a potential successor Wednesday in the California district he’s retiring from after 20 terms.

Miller, who announced his retirement this month, is supporting state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, the only Democrat so far to announce a bid in 11th District.

“I know Mark DeSaulnier exceedingly well,” Miller said in a statement released by the DeSaulnier campaign. “Mark is the most qualified and capable candidate to carry on my work in Congress on behalf of the residents in the 11th district. He is progressive, results-driven, and has a deep connection to the communities and neighborhoods in this district. Most importantly, Mark embodies the issues and values that I have fought for throughout my career.” Full story

Farm Bill Vote Provides Wedge Issue for Pryor

Pryor is a top target of the GOP in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., intends to make the farm bill a driving issue in his competitive re-election race against Republican Rep. Tom Cotton.

Minutes after the conference report passed the House 251-166 on Wednesday morning, Pryor called Cotton’s vote against the five-year reauthorization of the nation’s agriculture and nutrition programs “reckless and irresponsible.” Pryor noted that Cotton was the only member of the state’s all-Republican House delegation to oppose the legislation.

Pryor is a top target of national Republicans in 2014 and battling his own ties to an unpopular president. But his campaign is highlighting this vote as evidence that Cotton would be an unpalatable alternative. In a statement, Pryor said his rival is siding “with his special interest allies, the same Washington groups spending millions on his campaign that urged him to oppose the farm bill.” He accused Cotton of putting “his own ambitions ahead of what’s best for Arkansans.”

Full story

Bridenstine Won’t Seek Coburn’s Senate Seat

Bridenstine, left, will not be running against Lankford. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., announced Wednesday that he will not run for the open Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, in 2014.

Outside groups such as the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project put pressure on Bridenstine to enter the contest as a conservative alternative to GOP Rep. James Lankford, who already announced his candidacy.

“Since Dr. Tom Coburn’s retirement announcement, I have been honored and overwhelmed by encouragement to succeed him as Oklahoma’s senator,” Bridenstine said in a statement. “After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not to run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn’s term.”

Full story

Hoyer: O’Malley Would Be ‘Excellent’ President (Updated) (Video)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Tuesday night that if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run for president in 2016, the Democrat would support his home state governor, Martin O’Malley.

Clinton, a former secretary of State, first lady and senator from New York, is widely expected to vie for the presidency for a second time. After losing the nomination to Barack Obama in 2008, Clinton could potentially clear the field of prospective Democratic candidates interested in succeeding him. Full story

January 28, 2014

Cornyn Responds to Stockman’s Absence: ‘Hmm … ‘

Cornyn will seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would like voters to “reach their own conclusions” about his Republican primary challenger’s recent whereabouts.

On Tuesday, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who launched his Senate campaign last month on the filing deadline, resurfaced on Capitol Hill after he “mysteriously disappeared from public view nearly two weeks ago,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Multiple Texas-based outlets reported that Stockman said he was on a Congressionally-sanctioned trip to Israel, Egypt, Russia and the United Kingdom. But the lawmaker, who is serving his second one-term stint in the House, was gone longer than other colleagues who made the trip. He ended up missing 17 House votes.

“I have seven opponents in the primary, and I know while some people find him the most fascinating one, I don’t really want to treat any of them differently from each other,” Cornyn told CQ Roll Call. “And so I don’t really have a comment particularly. I’ll let people reach their own conclusions.” Full story

Local Lawmaker Eyes Primary to Ohio’s Most Vulnerable House Republican

Freshman Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, may get his first big test as a candidate earlier than expected.

State Rep. Matt Lynch has pulled paperwork to challenge to Joyce in the primary in the 14th District, according to a local report that was confirmed separately by a GOP operative.

Lynch, who did not immediately return request for comment, has until Feb. 5 to file the necessary paperwork to run. But if he enters the race, the May 6 primary will be the first competitive contest Joyce will face in the state’s most targeted seat in 2014.

Full story

Shuster Raises Big Bucks Ahead of Primary Challenge

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., raised over a half a million dollars during the fourth quarter of last year, according to figures shared first with CQ Roll Call.

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee faces a tea party challenger in the May 20 primary.

Full story

Reid: Senate Dems Will Invite Obama to Campaign Trail

Reid is the Senate majority leader. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said vulnerable Senate Democrats should and will invite President Barack Obama to campaign with them this year.

“Anytime the president of the United States appears supporting a candidate, it helps,” Reid said in an interview with CNN set to air at 7 p.m. He noted that Ronald Reagan’s appearances in Nevada in 1986 were unhelpful to his own first election to the Senate.

Asked if he would encourage his most endangered colleagues to invite the president, Reid said, “Yes, and they will.” Full story

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