House Democrats Briefly Consider Upping Speakership Vote Threshold, Drop It for Now
Proposal expected to be raised again in the caucus after November 6

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., faces potential backlash from her caucus should her party win back the House in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Wednesday briefly discussed a proposal to require their candidate for speaker to secure 218 votes in the caucus, a change from the simple majority threshold. The proposal was dropped, for now.

A shift from a simple majority vote to 218 would align with the number of votes needed to secure the speakership in a floor vote.

Rand Paul Pitches Easing Sanctions on Russian Lawmakers
Kentucky Republican crafts amendment to lift sanctions if Russia lifts sanctions on members of Congress

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul is proposing a deal with Russia to lift sanctions on members of parliament. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Rand Paul is upping the ante in his push to end sanctions against Russian parliamentary officials.

The Kentucky Republican has drafted an amendment that would terminate sanctions against members of the Russian Federal Assembly if the Russians do likewise.

Trump Accuses China of Midterm Election Meddling
At UN, with trade standoff as backdrop, president lights into Chinese government

President Donald Trump accused China of meddling in the 2018 elections in a way designed to hurt the GOP. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said China has been trying to interfere in November’s midterm elections “against my administration.”

“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade,” he said during remarks at a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York. “We are winning on trade — we are winning on every level.”

Cruz, McCarthy Shoot Congressional Hoops, But Lawmakers Lose to Lobbyists

The lobbyists bested the lawmakers once again at the 20th annual congressional basketball game on Tuesday night. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Ted Cruz were among the members on the team this year, joining Reps. Ryan A. Costello, Brad Wenstrup, Carlos Curbelo, and the sole Democrat and the team — freshman Conor Lamb. 

The score was 57-53. 

Shooting Victim’s Father Gets Giffords PAC to Amend Coffman Ad
Anti-gun PAC going after vulnerable Colorado Republican congressman with series of ads

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is the target of a Giffords PAC ad that depicts a text conversation between a mother and her daughter who is trapped in a school shooting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ anti-gun PAC is changing an advertisement it is running against Colorado GOP Rep. Mike Coffman after the father of a girl who was killed in a school shooting in the state 12 years ago criticized it for appearing to use his daughter’s death to score political points.

The Denver Post first reported this story.

GOP Should Have Moved Kavanaugh Nomination ‘Faster,’ Trump Says
President again says Democrats are running a ‘con’

President Donald Trump waves after addressing the media on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He’s back at the UN on Wednesday. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said he wanted Senate Republicans to move faster to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after his first accuser came forward, and again said Democrats are trying to “con” the country.

“Republicans could not be nicer, could not be more respectful … to the women,” the president told reporters as he arrived at a UN conference in New York on Wednesday morning.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
McConnell as 911 dispatcher, Hoeven touts Scandinavian festival and no nukes

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

‘Take Your Racist Ad and Shove It,’ Lieu Tells Chris Collins
NRCC chairman Stivers says he won't spend any money in the race

Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York will not get money from the National Republican Congressional Committee in his re-election bid in New York’s 27th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ted Lieu, a Chinese-American Democrat from California, took umbrage at a new ad that he deemed “racist” from Rep. Chris Collins as the New York Republican tries to revive his campaign.

The ad in question shows Collins’ Democratic opponent, Nate McMurray, speaking Korean, with subtitles saying his goal was to ship jobs overseas when he was a lawyer in Korea. The subtitles did not at all match what McMurray was actually saying in the video. The ad has been all over Buffalo television screens over the last week.

Are the GOP’s Pelosi Attacks Effective? Public Does Not Seem to Think So
Despite polls, Republicans stick with attack ads on the California Democrat

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has been painted as a villain in Republican campaign ads attacking Democratic candidates, but a spate of recent polling shows GOP efforts to tie candidates to her is not likely to be effective come November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With their House majority hanging in the balance, Republicans have tried time and time again to tie Democratic candidates to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, hoping that her general unpopularity will drag the candidates down too. It doesn’t seem to be working.

A spate of recent polls have found that voters don’t care much about candidates’ views on the California Democrat. More voters care about what they think of President Donald Trump, these polls have found, supporting historical patterns in which midterm elections often become a referendum on the occupant of the White House. 

I’m Just Tired of All of It
Trump, the media, Capitol Hill hypocrisy and partisanship, and more create stifling brew

Among the many things Stu Rothenberg says he is tired of? President Donald Trump and his rallies. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — I’m tired of all the noise and hype. I’m tired of the daily crises. I’m tired of the drama that is produced by President Donald Trump. I’m tired of the suffocating coverage by the national media of the chaos that swirls around the administration. I’m tired of the obvious partisanship on Capitol Hill. I wish it would all stop, but I know it won’t.

I’m tired of the stupid tweets from the president of the United States that wouldn’t be appropriate for a 12-year-old school yard bully, let alone someone who is supposed to be a world leader.