Evan H Jenkins

A Gun Rights Vote Only the GOP Base Can Appreciate
Expansion of concealed carry permission will die in the Senate, but the NRA really wanted the vote

Majority Whip John Cornyn has some doubts that he can get a bill passed that would improve background checks for gun purchasers but doesn’t make it easier for gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. A House bill passed Wednesday would do both. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One government shutdown may be narrowly averted, but another looms right around the corner. The stain of sexual misconduct at the Capitol continues to spread, and an alleged child predator is days away from possibly joining the Senate. Middle East destabilization seems assured as Congress gets its wish to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Public support dwindles daily for a loophole-encrusted, deficit-busting tax package that would be the year’s biggest legislative achievement. The push for presidential impeachment has gone far enough to necessitate procedural pushback in the House.

A week such as this one — already chockablock with headlines touching the Hill — seemed to the Republicans who run the place like an ideal time for making a bold hiding-in-plain-sight move.

At the Races: Moore Problems for GOP Ahead of 2018
GOP leaders struggles with Moore, and Northeastern Republicans face tough tax vote

Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore holds his book titled “Abuse of Power” about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision at a county GOP meeting in Valley, Ala., back in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Keep track of House and Senate races with At the Races! If you want to receive this weekly newsletter, make sure to sign up *here.* And we want to hear from you! Send us an email at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget BowmanThis week…  More women accused Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, Republicans tried to figure out what to do about it, and some vulnerable members faced a tough choice on taxes. Here’s what happened At the Races:

Moore Problems: Allegations of sexual misconduct have upended the Alabama Senate race with GOP candidate Roy Moore accused of sexual assault, and sexual and romantic advances toward teenage girls when he was in his thirties. (Moore has denied any wrongdoing.) 

Super PAC Staffs Up for Morrisey in West Virginia GOP Primary
Morrisey led Jenkins in mid-October poll commissioned by 35th PAC

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is running for the GOP Senate nomination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC supporting West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the GOP Senate primary is staffing up for the 2018 contest. 

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, will be announced Wednesday. 

From Party Chair to Candidate, Lucas Running for Open West Virginia Seat
Conrad Lucas is used to giving candidates advice; now he’s one of them

West Virginia GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas, a former House aide to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, right, is running for the open seat being vacated by Rep. Evan Jenkins, left. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Conrad Lucas has spent the last five years as a state party chair, advising candidates on how to run for office. 

Now that he’s a candidate for Congress, the shoe’s on the other foot. 

One Year Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018
Taking heat from both sides, Nevada’s Dean Heller leads the list

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is among the ten most vulnerable senators in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats are defending 10 seats President Donald Trump won last cycle. But a year out from Election Day, the most vulnerable senator is the lone Republican facing re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton.The overall Senate landscape has improved for Democrats since the beginning of the year, with Republican retirements opening up two seats in 2018. But this ranking only features incumbents.

More GOP primaries could develop, but besides Nevada’s Dean Heller, the other nine most vulnerable senators are all Democrats.

Members Prepare to Take On Capitol Police in Football
Capitol Police have won the last three Congressional Football Games

Illinois Rep. Robert J. Dold looks for an open man to pass the ball as former NFL player Ken Harvey blocks the Guards’ Irvin Washington during the 2015 Congressional Football Game for Charity. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress has been celebrating the Capitol Police for keeping them safe, especially after two officers took down a gunman in June at the Republicans’ baseball practice.

Members will get another chance at an upcoming charity sporting contest for Capitol Police officers. 

Word on the Hill: Practice Mindfulness on Your Long Weekend
Chief of staff band warms up for the Nationals, and meatless dining in D.C.

The statue of Christopher Columbus is framed by wreaths left over from the 2014 Columbus Day celebration at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate staffers have the opportunity to work on being mindful today.

Mindcare: Mindfulness at Work, hosted by the Employee Assistance Program, is the first of several guided instruction sessions to help establish a mindful practice. It’s for Senate employees only from 11 a.m. to noon in the Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC-215. Call 202-224-3902 to register.

Bipartisan Efforts Behind Coal Miner Pension Push
Manchin and Capito lead Senate effort, as miners return to Capitol Hill

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, center, United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, center left, and coal miners arrive for a Tuesday press conference on the introduction of legislation to protect miner pension benefits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The coal miners are back.

Last fall, you couldn’t walk through the Capitol’s hallways without running into mine workers wearing camouflage T-shirts.

Word on the Hill: New Congressional Awards
DeLauro’s mother dies, Asian Dreamers, and former member plays producer

The Congressional Management Foundation is introducing a new awards ceremony to recognize nonlegislative achievements by members of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Management Foundation has launched new awards for Congress, the Democracy Awards, to recognize nonlegislative achievements.

Five awards will be given out next summer. A Republican and a Democrat will be awarded in each of four categories:  innovation, transparency and accountability, constituent service, and a “Life in Congress” award for workplace environment, the foundation announced. A fifth award will be given to one member and one congressional staffer for lifetime achievement

Blame It on the Rain: House Departs for August Recess
A rainy last session day in D.C. as captured by Roll Call’s Bill Clark

Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman walks down the House steps in the pouring rain on Friday, following the final votes as Congress leaves town for its summer recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While the Senate is scheduled to stay on in Washington for at least another few days to take care of legislative business, House lawmakers on Friday finished up their final votes ahead of the summer recess.

And it was just in time, too, as heavy downpours hit the nation’s capital, with a D.C. area flash flood watch in effect through Saturday afternoon.