Sen. Jeff Merkley will run for re-election instead of president
Oregon Democrat: best contribution to help the Senate be a full partner in addressing challenges

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., speaks during a news conference with fellow members of the Senate Banking Committee on Republican opposition to Richard Cordray's nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Merkley announced Tuesday that he won’t run for president and will make a bigger difference by running for reelection in the Senate.

The Oregon Democrat has been publicly contemplating a presidential bid for almost a year. 

Suspicious Package Cases Grow, Potential Explosive Devices Sent to Prominent Democrats
Secret Service identifies other packages as potential explosives

Suspicious packages containing potential explosive devices have been sent to prominent Democrats, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Barack Obama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:30 p.m. | Capitol Police are investigating a suspicious package at a House of Representatives mail processing facility in Maryland, following a string of suspected explosive devices sent to prominent Democrats. An explosive ordnance team was dispatched to the Capitol Heights, Maryland facility. 

Earlier Wednesday, suspicious packages were sent to the homes of the Clintons and Obamas and CNN’s headquarters. Democratic donor George Soros had a similar package sent to him this week. The packages sent to former President Barack Obama and the Clintons were intercepted by the Secret Service during routine mail screening procedures. The packages were identified to be potential explosive devices, according to a Secret Service statement.

Power of ‘Superdelegates’ Reduced by DNC
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters had complained of their influence in 2016

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., celebrate on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., weren’t happy with ‘superdelegates’ at the convention.( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic National Committee members voted to significantly reduce the power of so-called “superdelegates” on Saturday — two years after supporters of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pointed to their influence as one way the party establishment had tipped the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Superdelegates had about 15 percent of the votes on the convention floor at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, but almost all backed Clinton’ bid to get the party’s nomination. Without them, Clinton did not have the absolute majority of delegates needed — although she had 55 percent of the pledged delegates and still would have won.

An Immigrant’s Path to Congress: Ruben Kihuen’s First Year in Photos
Roll Call looks at the Nevada Democrat’s journey from the campaign trail to D.C.

OCT. 19, 2016: Ruben Kihuen, then a Democratic candidate for Nevada’s 4th District, shakes hands with demonstrators in front of the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas during the Culinary Union’s Wall of Taco Trucks protest — the day of the final presidential debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Every two years, a new crop of freshmen descends on Washington and every two years, Roll Call follows one such member through their first year. 

For the 2016 election, Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen was one of only several Democrats to unseat a House Republican. His story is similar to those of millions of Americans — his family came to the U.S. seeking a better life — but on Nov. 8, 2016, he became the first formerly undocumented person to be elected to Congress (along with New York Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who was elected the same day). Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kihuen’s dreams of playing professional soccer were dashed by an untimely injury. It was then that he turned his attention to politics. 

Democrats Cast Wide for Response to Trump Address
Kentucky governor, immigration activist frame minority party debate

Beshear will deliver the Democratic response to the president's address to Congress Tuesday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Kentucky Gov. Steven Beshear will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday and immigration activist Astrid Silva will deliver the Spanish language response, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced Friday.

Beshear, Kentucky’s governor from 2007 to 2015, presided over one of the 2010 health care law's successes as he implemented the law smoothly, a marked contrast to the debacle of the roll out. During his tenure, Beshear expanded affordable health care access by expanding Medicaid and shepherding the insurance exchanges on the state's own health website. His administration is credited with lowering the state’s uninsured rate from more than 20 percent to 7.5 percent.

Report: U.S. Got Evidence Russia Leaked Emails After Election
Senate Armed Services to hold hearing on U.S. response on Thursday

Intelligence agencies have revealed they have conclusive evidence the Russian government released Democratic National Committee emails and emails fromHillary Clinton adviser John Podesta. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

American intelligence agencies received what is considered conclusive evidence that Russia provided hacked material the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks after the November elections, according to three U.S. officials.

Intelligence agencies concluded before the election that Russia directed the hacking but lacked conclusive evidence that it provided the material to WikiLeaks in an attempt to damage Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Reuters reported.

Graham Says Russia Hacked His Campaign
Wants to punish Putin for interfering in U.S. elections

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Russia is trying to “destabilize democracy all over the word.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said his campaign account was hacked by Russia earlier this year and that Russia should be punished for interfering in U.S. elections.

Graham mentioned the hacking in an interview with CNN in the larger context of concerns that people associated with the Russian government hacking into Democrat organizations’ emails.

Incoming Rep. Correa Plans Wait and See Approach With Trump
California Congressman spent much of early life in Mexico; says he’ll do battle over immigration, if necessary

Incoming Reps. Lou Correa, D-California, and Ruben Kihuen, D-Nevada, both spent parts of their childhood in Mexico and have criticized President-elect Donald Trump's immigration policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep.-elect Lou Correa, D-California, said despite being a moderate Democrat, he plans to oppose President-elect Donald Trump's proposed mass deportations.

Correa, who will represent California's 46th Congressional District, was born in East Los Angeles and lived in Zacatecas, Mexico, for five years as a child before moving to Anaheim. His grandfather immigrated from Mexico early in the 1900s and was deported during the Great Depression.

Democratic Sen. Heitkamp to Talk Cabinet Post With Trump
President-elect could be eyeing her for Agriculture or Energy jobs

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp leaves a meeting on Capitol Hill earlier this year. On Friday, she will meet with Donald Trump to talk about a possible Cabinet nomination. (CQ Roll Call photo)

By John T. Bennett and Bridget Bowman CQ Roll Call

President-elect Donald Trump is considering adding North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to his Cabinet and will meet with her on Friday in New York.

White House: Busy October on Campaign Trail for Obama
Administration also stops talking to Russia about Syria

President Barack Obama campaigns for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Sept. 13 outside the art museum in Philadelphia. Obama is back on the trail for Clinton on Wednesday, and plans a “couple” of campaign events a week until Election Day. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images file photo)

President Barack Obama is planning a busy October on the campaign trail as election season hits the homestretch.

Obama plans to travel around the country for political events “a couple of times a week,” his top spokesman, Josh Earnest, told reporters on Monday. That will start on Wednesday when the president is slated to fly to south Florida to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.