Brendan F Boyle

The Political Turnpike Runs Through Pennsylvania
Resignations, retirements and redistricting scramble the midterm calculus

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If you’re confused about what comes next in Pennsylvania, even after this week’s primary elections set the midterm slate, don’t worry. That just means you’re paying attention. 

Ryan Mocked for Ousting of House Chaplain
Comes amid reports Conroy was ousted because of prayer over tax overhaul debate

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, blesses the walnut tree planted earlier this month in memory of New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan was roundly mocked on social media amid reports he ousted House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy because of his prayer on tax policy.

Two members of Congress said a prayer Conroy delivered during the debate about the Republican tax overhaul was the reason Ryan forced Conroy to resign.

One-Tenth of Congress Lists Student Loan Liabilities
‘I don’t understand how young people can become teachers or work in the public service arena’

California Rep. Mark Takano, a House Education member, is still paying back student loans for a 2010 master’s degree from UC Riverside. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 115th Congress scored as one of the richest ever, but one in 10 lawmakers still holds student loan debt, either personally or for a family member. 

Fifty-three members listed a combined $1.8 million in student loans on their financial disclosures. Twenty-eight of them posted a positive net worth while 25 showed negative net worth in Roll Call’s comprehensive Wealth of Congress project.

New Pennsylvania Map, New Pennsylvania House Ratings
Six races shift in Democrats’ direction, two in GOP’s favor

Under the new lines, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s district shifted from one carried narrowly by President Donald Trump to one carried narrowly by Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you’ve been wondering what political handicapping is like in a redistricting cycle — or it’s been long enough for you to forget — the Pennsylvania Supreme Court offered a good reminder.

With newly drawn districts, misplaced incumbents and new district numbers, confusion is inevitable. But the bottom line for Pennsylvania is that Democrats had a half-dozen takeover opportunities with the old map and they have a half-dozen takeover opportunities with the new map, although they have a distinctly better chance at gaining those seats.

Philly Cheesesteaks at Stake
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania lawmakers place bets on Super Bowl

Top: Betting on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII are, from left, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III. Bottom: Betting on the Philadelphia Eagles are, from left, Sens. Patrick J. Toomey and Bob Casey and Rep. Brendan F. Boyle.

Lawmakers from New England and the Philadelphia area are gearing up for Super Bowl LII by making bets with one another. And there are a lot of cheesesteaks involved.

The Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and both teams’ fan bases cross multiple delegations.

Word on the Hill: Darkest Hour
Free lunch, Bison day, Hirono’s health update, new D.C. book and Christopher Nolan at LOC

(Screen shot of “Darkest Hour” trailer)

The new movie “Darkest Hour” will be screened in D.C. this evening, followed by a panel that includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.

NBC’s Chuck Todd will moderate the panel at the United States Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) at 7:15 p.m. The movie’s star, actor Gary Oldman, is also scheduled to attend.

Word on the Hill: Welcome, Wharf
Sensenbrenner’s town halls, Boyle on soccer, and Hatch is Cosmo

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton will help open up the newly renovated area in Southwest D.C. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

$2.5 billion later, the mile-long stretch on the Southwest D.C. waterfront — The Wharf — will officially open today. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Mayor Muriel Bowser will participate in the opening ceremony at 11 a.m.

That’s followed by a day of live music, including a Bacon Brothers concert at 5 p.m., muralists, magicians, face painters, stilt walkers and daytime fireworks. Watch for HOH’s coverage of the opening.

Las Vegas Shooting Reignites Gun Debate on Capitol Hill
Members offer prayers and condolences to victims and families, tributes to police and first responders

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after a gunman opened fire, leaving at least 50 people dead and more than 2oo wounded. (David Becker/Getty Images)

Democratic lawmakers on Monday morning renewed their pleas for legislative action to restrict access to firearms after a gunman unleashed a storm of bullets on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday night.

At least 58 people were killed, officials said. Multiple media outlets have reported that more than 500 people were taken to local hospitals for treatment in what is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Word on the Hill: Flake Honored for Courage Under Fire
Staffer recognized by HBCUs, and CODEL news

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., walks away from the scene of the shooting at the Republican baseball team’s practice in Alexandria, Va., in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the same day that President Donald Trump was bashing him at a rally in Phoenix, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was honored Tuesday in Tucson by Arizona sheriffs for his actions during the shooting at the Republicans’ Congressional Baseball Game practice in June.

Flake was recognized by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the Arizona Sheriffs Association for running from cover to help House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was seriously wounded, and for calling Scalise’s wife to inform her about what happened.

House Democrats Want to Use Minibus to Target Trump Ethics
Rules Committee likely to nix attempts to force issue

Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes says Democrats will use the tools at their disposal to force action on President Donald Trump's ethics. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats this week are trying to hitch a slate of amendments to the appropriations minibus, all targeting the business, family members and scandals of President Donald Trump.

The amendments, offered in the Rules Committee, are part of the minority party’s larger effort to tie their Republican colleagues to Trump’s possible conflicts of interest stemming from his business holdings and the government’s probe of alleged collusion by Trump campaign officials with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.