hawaii

Arizona State Sen. Kimberly Yee Expresses Interest in Franks’ Seat
Staunchly conservative Republican would be first Chinese-American Republican woman in House

Kimberly Yee has made her mark on a host of issues including abortion, education and government mismanagement. (Kimberly Yee for Arizona 2016)

Arizona state Sen. Kimberly Yee expressed interest in replacing Republican Rep. Trent Franks after he announced his resignation on Thursday.

Franks, who represents Arizona’s 8th District, announced he would resign after amid a House Ethics Committee Investigation about discussions he had with two female staffers about surrogacy.

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.

Schumer Told Franken Wednesday Morning That He Needed to Go
Calls by Senate Democrats for Franken to resign came after new allegations

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer told Minnesota Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday morning that he needed to resign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer knew it was time for Minnesota Democrat Al Franken to leave the Senate even before the public calls for his resignation Wednesday.

The New York Democrat told Franken in a phone call that he needed to resign after Wednesday morning’s publication of further allegations of sexual misconduct by the senator, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

Cascade of Senate Democrats Call on Franken to Resign
Messages for Franken’s departure appear coordinated

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.,is facing new calls for his resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly simultaneously, a series of Senate Democratic women issued calls for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday morning including Patty Murray, a trusted lieutenant to Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and rising star Kamala Harris.

They were followed quickly by several Senate Democratic men and the head of the national Democratic Party.

Bipartisan Group Wants to End Taxpayer Money for Harassment Settlements
Members led by Rep. Ron Desantis also aim to disclose settlements dating back to 1995

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is interviewed by a TV news crew outside of the House chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of members announced legislation that would end the practice of using taxpayer money to settle claims of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

Republican Reps. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn were joined by Democratic Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Jim Cooper also of Tennessee and Kathleen Rice of New York. 

Meet the Man Who Carried the Capitol Christmas Tree From Montana to D.C.
Larry Spiekermeier drove a 79-foot Engelmann Spruce from Kootenai National Forest

A baby visits Larry Spiekermeier in the truck. (Courtesy US Capitol Tree/Twitter)

Everyone in the Montana trucking industry knows Larry Spiekermeier. And now people on the road between the Treasure State and D.C. know him too — as the man who delivered the 53rd annual Capitol Christmas tree.

Spiekermeier drove the truck carrying the 2017 tree for two weeks, starting from Kootenai National Forest in northwestern Montana. Spiekermeier and the 79-foot-tall Engelmann Spruce made twenty stops between Nov. 13 and Nov. 27 in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Kentucky before arriving at the Capitol on Monday.

DCCC Names First 11 Candidates in ‘Red to Blue’ Program
2018 program will include more targeted and frequent additions

Angie Craig, back for a rematch against Rep. Jason Lewis in Minnesota’s 2nd District, is one of 11 candidates named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday in the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits.

The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive Republican-held seats and in an open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

State Rep. Kaniela Ing Runs for Hanabusa’s Seat
First candidate to announce for a solidly Democratic seat

Kaniela Saito Ing (Courtesy Kaniela Saito Ing/Facebook)

Hawaii state Rep. Kaniela Saito Ing announced he will run for the seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is vacating as she runs for governor.

Ing, a Democrat, is the first candidate to announce his candidacy for Hanabusa’s seat, according to Maui Now. He has served in Hawaii’s statehouse since 2012 and was first elected when he was 23 years old. 

Members Face Tough Odds in Races for Governor
Competitive primary, general elections await nine representatives running

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa would be a heavy favorite to win her state’s governor’s race if she gets past the Democratic primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s been plenty of media attention on the twelve members who have decided to call it quits and retire from the House, and another eight members are seeking a promotion to the Senate. But nine additional members are forgoing likely re-elections for uncertain and challenging races to become their state’s governor.

Many of them have to navigate crowded and competitive primaries (including knocking off an incumbent in one state), and the precedent for members getting elected governor isn’t great.