Afghanistan

Jared Golden Wins Democratic Nod to Take On Bruce Poliquin
Ranked-choice voting delayed last week’s primary results

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin will face state House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden in the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a week after voters went to the polls, the Maine secretary of state on Wednesday night declared state House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden the winner of the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District.

Golden will now challenge two-term Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in November in a traditionally Democratic district that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Analysis: Migrants, ‘Rocket Man’ and Trump’s Ever-Changing Mind
Executive order another contradictory move in an ever-changing presidency

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he arrives at the Capitol for a meeting on immigration with House Republicans on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is a hardliner. Until he’s not. Donald Trump is open to compromise. Until he’s not.

The president — yet again — on Thursday reversed himself on a major issue by ending his administration’s practice of separating migrant families. In doing so, he bowed to all kinds of pressure: from his wife and daughter, from human rights groups, from Democratic members — and even from his fellow Republicans.

Democrats Look for a Mainer to Take on Poliquin
Tuesday’s primary will be held under ranked choice voting system

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has attracted three Democratic challengers, who will face off in Tuesday’s primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has proved an elusive target, but with a new candidate this year, Democrats will have another to chance to defeat the well-funded Republican.

Three Democrats are competing in Tuesday’s primary in Maine’s 2nd District, which will use ranked-choice voting for the first time.

He Said, She Said on UK Prime Minister, Trump Phone Call
Brits say May criticized tariffs, while White House does not mention any tough talk

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says she had tough words for President Donald Trump about his trade policies during a Monday telephone call. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The White House and 10 Downing Street have very different versions of a Monday telephone chat between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May, the latest example of growing tensions between the longtime allies.

The British government issued its summary of the call first, contending May “raised the U.S. decision to apply tariffs to EU steel and aluminium imports.” Such “readouts” typically feature ample diplomat-speak, but this one insisted the British leader told Trump she believes the import fees are “unjustified and deeply disappointing.”

VA Faces Scrutiny as It Gears Up for Health Overhaul
Bipartisan bill expected to be signed by president this week

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Robert Wilkie after nominating him to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary during an event at the White House on May 18. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

The Department of Veterans Affairs will face heavy scrutiny as it implements a major overhaul to its health care programs that President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law this week.

The bill, which moved through both chambers by wide bipartisan margins, would combine the VA’s seven programs for private medical care into one to streamline and simplify costs and access for veterans. The legislation would also extend the so-called Veterans Choice Program for one year, allowing veterans to seek care outside the VA under certain circumstances in the meantime.

Republicans to Replace Tom Garrett on Ballot Saturday
Virginia congressman announced this week he would retire at end of term to deal with his alcoholism

The Virginia 5th District Republican Committee will replace retiring Rep. Tom Garrett on the ballot this Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans in Virginia’s 5th District will pick a nominee on Saturday to replace Rep. Tom Garrett on the ballot this November after he announced this week he would retire to deal with his alcoholism.

The 5th District Republican Committee voted 19-14 to meet Saturday to select Garrett’s replacement, The Roanoke Times reported, and will choose from a long list of candidates who have expressed interest, including state Sens. Bill Stanley and Bryce Reeves, state Del. Michael Webert, and a handful of people who work in the private sector.

Helmer Internal Poll Shows Democrat Beating Comstock
Comes as the primary approaches next month

Virginia Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An internal poll by Democratic candidate Dan Helmer in Virginia’s 10th District shows him beating vulnerable Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in a head-to-head matchup.

Helmer’s campaign released the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling showing him with an 8-point lead over the incumbent. The survey showed Helmer, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading with 48 percent of voters. 

Democrats Get Preferred Candidates in House Races in Texas
GOP sees mixed fortunes for establishment candidates in runoffs

Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones won the Democratic nomination for Texas’ 23rd District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

General election matchups in Texas were set following Tuesday’s runoffs, including a few expected to be competitive in the fall. 

Democrats saw new opportunities in the Lone Star state after Hillary Clinton carried three Republican-held seats in 2016. Each of those races on the Democratic side went to a runoff after no one took more than 50 percent of the vote in the March 6 primary. A slew of Republican retirements sparked crowded GOP primaries, which led to runoffs in five open seats. The winners of most of these contests are likely to come to Congress from the Republican-leaning districts.

MacArthur Accuses Challenger of Embellishing Record in Afghanistan
Democrat Andy Kim frequently cites his role working for Gen. David Petraeus

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., is calling into question the resume of his Democratic opponent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur’s campaign is accusing Democratic challenger Andy Kim of embellishing his record as a national security adviser.

Kim has frequently referred to his time working as an Army strategic adviser in Afghanistan to then-Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Opinion: I’m Sorry You’re Not Sorry
An apology is not a sign of weakness — even inside the Beltway

The fastest way to end a controversy over an insensitive comment by a White House staffer about Arizona Sen. John McCain would have been a simple apology, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We all know that the fastest way to diffuse tension or end a fight is to say “I’m sorry.” Not “I’m sorry if …” or “I’m sorry that you …” Just a simple, clean, “I’m sorry.”

It’s obvious to nearly everyone that an apology would have been the fastest way to end the controversy last week over a head-snapping leaked comment from White House staffer Kelly Sadler, who said ailing Sen. John McCain’s refusal to support President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director won’t matter because “he’s dying anyway.”