John Culberson

New $44 Billion Disaster Aid Request Paltry, Lawmakers Say
Extensive offsets could also prove controversial

Rep. John Culberson of Texas said the White House’s most recent aid request “would sabotage what has been an incredible response by President Trump to Hurricane Harvey up to this point.” (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In its third emergency aid request since August, the White House on Friday asked Congress to approve $44 billion for ongoing hurricane recovery efforts, a figure seen as insufficient on both sides of the aisle. 

At the same time, the White House asked lawmakers to consider a lengthy list of offsets, noting in a letter that the administration “believes it is prudent to offset new spending.”

What to Watch as 2018 Primaries Inch Closer
It’s never too early: first contests take place in March

Spread out over the first nine months of the year, primaries will set the stage for the 2018 midterm elections in November. These contests will be the first test of each party’s ability to field strong candidates in key pickup opportunities and fend off intraparty challenges. 

The first elections will take place in March. Here’s what to watch for as the primaries pick up. And click here for Roll Call's comprehensive guide to every 2018 election from start to finish.

Meet the Challengers Who Outraised House Incumbents
Some Democrats raised two to three times more than GOP lawmakers in third quarter

Democrat Anthony Brindisi raised more money during the third quarter than GOP freshman Rep. Claudia Tenney in New York’s 22nd District. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Nearly one year out from the 2018 midterms, challengers outraised nearly 30 percent of the incumbents in competitive races during the third quarter.

Sixteen Republican incumbents in competitive races raised less than their Democratic challengers during the third quarter. One Democratic incumbent was outraised by a GOP challenger.

Congressional Funding an Issue for the 2020 Census
GAO includes it on ‘high-risk list’ of programs facing peril

In this photo provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, tabulators in Washington record the information from the more than 120,000 enumerators who gathered data for the 1940 U.S. Census. (AP/National Archives and Records Administration File Photo)

The United States Census Bureau is facing a host of challenges with 2020 on the horizon, from budget shortfalls and cost overruns to a shakeup atop the agency — the sudden resignation of Director John H. Thompson in June. There’s apprehension among some groups that President Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration could depress participation, though questions are not asked about immigration status.

It all adds up to one central fear: a census that falls short of an accurate count of the population. The data from that decennial survey is used to map congressional districts, inform policymaking and steer billions of dollars in government resources where they’re needed.

Ratings Changes in 15 House Races
Expanding battleground benefits Democrats

With 14 months to go before Election Day, the House battleground continues to take shape. Even though there is some uncertainty about what the political climate will look like next fall and whether normal historical midterm trends will hold under President Donald Trump, the House playing field is expanding, almost entirely in the Democrats’ direction.

As we’ve mentioned plenty of times before (and will likely repeat over and over again), history puts the Republican Party at a disadvantage: The president’s party has lost seats in 18 of the last 20 midterm elections, with an average loss of 33 seats. Democrats need to gain 24 seats next year for a majority.

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.

Nancy Pelosi Misses George W. Bush
House minority leader says she’d work with Republicans on health care if repeal is off the table

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she and President George W. Bush did work work together despite disagreements (file photo CQ Roll Call).

A Republican Favorite, NASA Escapes Trump’s Budget Ax
‘A lot of the NASA facilities are in Republican states and districts’

Space Shuttle Discovery takes its last flight on the back of a 747 over Washington on April 17, 2012. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call file photo)

This story first appeared on CQ.com on April 17, 2017.

Space exploration was left relatively unscathed when President Donald Trump released his first budget request in March — especially when compared with other science and technology programs.

Toppling Cruz Will be a Tall Order for O’Rourke
But supporters call him a ‘giant slayer’

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, left, gained national attention when he and Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd livestreamed their road trip from their home state to Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke on Friday became the first Democratic challenger to Sen. Ted Cruz in what will be an uphill fight between the possibility of a primary to toppling a conservative hero in a deep red state.

In announcing his candidacy in his hometown of El Paso, O’Rourke said the incumbent was putting his own interests ahead of his constituents, saying he would be “a senator who is not using this position of responsibility and power to serve his own interest, to run for president, to shut down the government,” and said the state needed “a senator who is working full-time for Texas.”

Work on Fiscal 2018 Budget On Hold
More focus on health care bill

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., says that Congress’ budget is not necessarily President Donald Trump’s budget. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Work on the fiscal 2018 budget resolution appears on hold until after Congress passes a repeal of the 2010 health care law.

But Republicans on the Budget and Appropriations committees do not appear concerned about the delayed timeline or the upcoming budget request from the White House, which will ask lawmakers to increase defense discretionary spending by $54 billion and pay for it by an equal cut to domestic discretionary spending bills.