Cheri Bustos

Trump: Jamie Dimon Doesn’t Have the ‘Smarts’ to Be President, PR Hurricane Death Toll Inflated
President contends Democrats inflated Puerto Rico numbers

President Donald Trump walks from the South Lawn to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews on July 27. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:43 a.m. | President Donald Trump warned those in Hurricane Florence’s path of the storm’s power, but then returned to attacking his foes and painting himself as the victim of an internal FBI scheme to damage him politically. And he essentially accused Puerto Rican officials and Democrats of lying about how many people died there after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island.

“That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know why he’d say that,” Florida GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo told reporters when informed of the president’s tweet saying the death toll from Hurricane Maria was a ploy by Democrats.

Trump Calls Sessions ‘Mentally Retarded’ in Woodward Book, McMorris Rodgers Reacts
Bob Woodward’s new book says Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions ‘mentally retarded’

House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. criticized President Donald Trump for using the term “mentally retarded.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House, stood her ground amid reports President Donald Trump called Attorney General Jeff Session “mentally retarded.”

“Chair McMorris Rodgers’ views on this type of language have not changed and never will. That term should never be used,” spokeswoman Olivia Hnat said in a statement.

Amid Chris Collins Scandal, Pelosi Vows Ethics Overhaul Under Democratic Majority
Democrats also want to rewrite campaign finance laws

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says a Democratic majority would overhaul ethics and campaign finance laws. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pointing to New York Rep. Chris Collins’s indictment as an example of corruption in the Republican-controlled Congress, House Minority Nancy Pelosi vowed Thursday that if Democrats retake the House they will overhaul ethics and campaign finance laws. 

Collins was indicated on charges of securities fraud, which Pelosi said “shows that Republicans have turned the already swampy GOP Congress into a cesspool of self-enrichment, secret money and special interests.”

Pelosi Urges House Democrats to ‘Own August’ Over Recess
Leadership introduces toolkit to help members draw an economic contrast with GOP

The office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee have sent a messaging toolkit to members to use in their districts over the August recess. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic recruits across the country may be running away from party leadership in their campaigns this summer, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has some messaging advice for her colleagues about painting a contrast between the parties ahead of November. 

In a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated Monday, marking 100 days from the midterms, Pelosi stressed the importance of contrasting the Democratic and Republican economic messages when lawmakers are in their districts over recess.

Midwest Lawmakers United Against Tariffs as Trump Unveils Farm Bailout
Administration wants to send $12 billion to farmers affected by trade war with China, EU

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the White House's $12 billion agriculture bailout was like a pair of "gold crutches" after tariffs cut off farmers’ legs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers from the Midwest are sticking together in their criticism of President Donald Trump for the White House’s bailout proposal for farmers acutely feeling the recoil of a trade war the president himself started.

Across party and ideological lines, senators and House members from Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, and elsewhere across the Midwest assailed Trump’s plan to send an additional $12 billion to farmers affected by Chinese and European counter-tariffs on U.S. agriculture.

No, Dems Aren’t Disarrayed, Riven, Imploding, Eating Their Young or Battling for the Soul of the Party
By the historical standards of Democratic warfare, today’s disputes are like 6-year-olds battling with foam swords

If you believe headlines like “Democrats Brace as Storm Brews Far to Their Left,” young activists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are bringing doom and gloom to the party. But the skies are looking pretty clear from where Walter Shapiro sits. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

OPINION — “Democrats in disarray” is one of those alliterative phrases beloved by pundits and political reporters. Database searches can trace it back to the Eisenhower administration, and the expression came into its own during the period when the Vietnam War upended politics.

At the end of the first year of Richard Nixon’s presidency, New York Times columnist James Reston (under a headline that you can easily guess) wrote, “It is not only power that corrupts but sometimes the absence of power, and the Democrats are following the familiar pattern. They are complaining about the failure of Republican leadership and providing very little of their own.”

The House Democrats Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Most are keeping their options open for now

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, center, lost his primary last month, which opens up his leadership slot in the next Congress. Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján are current members of leadership who could seek to move up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ahead of a potential wave election, few House Democrats have declared their interest in running for specific leadership positions. But more than a dozen are keeping their options open as the caucus members consider how much change they want to see in their top ranks next Congress.

The number of potential Democratic leadership contenders has ballooned since Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley lost his primary in New York’s 14th District late last month. His leadership position is the only one guaranteed to be open for the next Congress, but his loss has also raised questions about who can usher in the next generation of Democratic leaders

House Democratic Leadership Talk Starts Moving Into the Open
Lee, Sánchez could face off again, this time for caucus chairmanship

California Rep. Barbara Lee is among the House Democrats looking to fill an upcoming leadership vacancy left by New York Rep. Joseph Crowley who lost his primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats have largely tried to avoid talking about potential leadership battles in an effort to focus on winning the majority in November, but an unexpected opening is making that more difficult.

When New York Rep. Joseph Crowley lost his primary June 26, it created a guaranteed opening for the caucus chairmanship in the next Congress. It’s the only leadership slot where the current officeholder won’t be able to run in intraparty elections in late November or early December.

Crowley Loss Creates Open Field for Next Generation of Democratic Leaders
Plenty of options, but who wants to — and who’s ready to — step up?

From left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos attend a rally in Berryville, Va., in July 2017. The event featured a wide swath of Democratic leaders from both chambers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Not so fast. Not so fast.”

That was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s initial response — albeit a joking one — Wednesday morning to a reporter who pointed out that “at some point” the California Democrat and her top two lieutenants will no longer be in Congress.

Beat the Press: Lawmakers Look to Break Media Team’s Softball Streak
‘We get to get a little physical and we get to do something really good’ in charity game

The media team celebrates after its 2-1 victory over female lawmakers at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After months of strong female voices challenging male-dominated institutions, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is eager to direct that fervor onto the softball field.

“I think there’s a lot of energy on our team right now and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for women and women’s voices,” the New York Democrat said at practice for the Congressional Women’s Softball Game last week.