Illinois Primaries: Ratings Changes in Two Races
Land of Lincoln may help Democrats gain seats

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., narrowly survived a primary challenge Tuesday night.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Illinois primaries are in the books, setting the stage for an important set of congressional elections in November. 

Assuming Democrat Conor Lamb is certified as the winner of the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, Democrats still need a net gain of 23 seats to win the House majority. That’s a big enough gap that Democrats, instead of cherry-picking victories around the country, need to pick up a handful of seats in a few places. Illinois might be one of those states.

Photos of the Day: Snow Doesn’t Stop Capitol Hill This Time
Photos of the snow day in Washington as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Visitors wait in a long line in the snow to enter the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With only two entrances open to the Hart and Dirksen office buildings on Capitol Hill, the business-as-usual mantra that Congress has adopted this snow storm was not so usual. People waited in a long line to enter the Hart building.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Cold-weather members of Congress taunt their colleagues and D.C. as spring snow falls

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., closes the door as he prepares to hold a press conference following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday. (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.

Rep. Lujan Grisham Gets Restraining Order Against Former Intern
New Mexico Dem ‘fearful’ of fired intern, who says she was discriminated against because she is transgender

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order against a former intern in her office on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order Tuesday against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Omnibus Bill in Sight After ‘Big Four’ Meet to Iron Out Kinks
Finishing touches on $1.3 trillion package being applied

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speak to reporters following a meeting of House and Senate leaders in Speaker Paul D. Ryan's office on the $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional leaders and the White House have reached a preliminary deal on a roughly $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill. GOP and Democratic aides were putting the finishing touches on the mammoth package and were expected to file it later Wednesday morning for House floor consideration.

Some issues remain unresolved as of Wednesday morning, requiring leadership attention.

Aide to Bob Brady Faces More Charges
Ken Smukler is accused of hiding donations to former congresswoman’s campaign

An aide to Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., is facing additional charges related to former Rep. Marjorie Margolies’ 2014 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An aide to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady, already facing charges from Brady’s 2012 campaign, is facing additional charges of obstructing a federal investigation of former Rep. Marjorie Margolies.

Ken Smukler was charged last year in relation to a scheme to pay off one of Brady’s Democratic primary opponents in 2012.

Prosecutor: Stockman Ran a ‘Massive Scam’
Defense emphasizes Stockman’s humble living and says he just lost track of finances

Former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, seated, is accused of funneling charitable donations for personal use. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman was accused by a federal prosecutor in his corruption trial of running a “massive scam” in which he funneled charitable donations for his campaign and personal use and lied about it.

The former Texas Republican congressman’s trial began on Monday.

Republican Lawmakers Missed Opportunity to Save Trump From Trump
Legislative protection for special counsel could have forced president to refocus

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., says he’s received assurances that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s firing is “not even under consideration.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Republicans have let slip a golden opportunity to make good on their most important and counterintuitive campaign promise of 2018 — covering for President Donald Trump at every mind-numbing opportunity.

They still have half a year to change their collective minds, but for now the GOP is essentially all in on one of the most outside-the-box political strategies of all time: Betting that safe passage for their imperiled majorities requires lashing themselves to a president mired in record low approval ratings, subsumed by self-orchestrated chaos and in the crosshairs of a special counsel.

Senate Opts Against Limiting Trump’s War Powers
Measure to cease most military actions in Yemen shot down

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, here at a rally at the Capitol last year, pushed a resolution to end most U.S. military operations in Yemen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a whirlwind day of White House news, President Donald Trump on Tuesday retained the expanded war powers he inherited from his post-9/11 predecessors, as the Senate shot down a measure that would have ordered him to cease most U.S. military operations in Yemen.

Trump scored a victory on behalf of the executive branch’s ability to launch and sustain military operations in new countries without first getting authorization from Congress. Amid pressure from Republican leaders, the White House and the Pentagon, the chamber killed a resolution, 55-44, offered by a bipartisan group of senators that would have required Trump to cease all U.S. military action against groups other than al-Qaida in Yemen.

Trey Gowdy, the Reluctant Congressman
Reclusive yet often in the limelight, retiring S.C. lawmaker is eyeing his next move

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy has been talking about leaving Congress ever since he arrived seven years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trey Gowdy has been talking about leaving Congress since he arrived seven years ago.

It’s what came to his mind when he ran into an old friend in the weeks after he was first sworn into office in 2011: “I hate this place,” he told Republican strategist Luke Byars that January. “I want to go home.”