Leonard Lance

House GOP Moving Right, Democratic Direction Less Clear
With pragmatists in fewer supply among Republicans, conference will be in less of a mood to compromise

The retirement of pragmatic Republicans like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., threatens to move the House Republican Conference further to the right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — We don’t know exactly how many House seats Democrats will gain in November, though Democratic control of the chamber next year looks almost inevitable. But even now it is clear that the midterm results will move Republicans further to the right. Where the Democrats will stand is less clear.

In the House, GOP losses will be disproportionately large in the suburbs and among members of the Republican Main Street Partnership, the House GOP group that puts “country over party” and values “compromise over conflict,” according to its website.

It’s Baaaccck! Health Care Law Again Front and Center in Midterms
As voters worry about health care, Dems flip the pre-existing script

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks at a July 19 press conference in the Capitol on pre-existing conditions. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Democratic senator Claire McCaskill is taking an approach in her fight for re-election that would have been unthinkable in her race six years ago — she’s defending the health care law.

The two-term, red-state senator has attacked her opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, for joining a suit brought by conservative state officials seeking to overturn the law and has rebuked the Trump administration for undercutting its protections.

Drug Prices Could Become a Divisive Issue for Democrats
Internal tensions over Big Pharma could be on full display next Congress

Divisions among Democrats over the pharmaceutical industry could hurt their party’s efforts to address high drug costs if they win a majority next year. (Courtesy iStock)

Democrats are making the cost of prescription drugs a pillar of the party’s health care agenda in the midterms, but if they win a majority for the 116th Congress, the party will have to grapple with internal divisions over the issue that might be magnified next year.

This campaign season has been notable for candidates pushing the party to reject corporate influence. For emboldened progressive Democrats, the party’s current plans might not be enough. Their views compete with those of new candidates from politically moderate areas with a big pharmaceutical industry presence that might be more inclined to join with longtime incumbents who sympathize more with the industry’s perspective.

More Problem Solvers Members Pledge to Tie Speaker Vote to Rule Changes
Bipartisan caucus now has 19 members ready to oppose a candidate for speaker if they don’t back process changes

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and the other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus say they are gaining support for the effort to revamp House rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trying to show their push to amend House rules to create more bipartisan legislative processes is serious, the Problem Solvers Caucus announced Thursday that 19 of its members are willing to oppose any speaker candidate who won’t bring about change.

The bipartisan caucus unveiled a package of proposed House rules changes in July called “Break the Gridlock” and has been coalescing support for it on both sides of the aisle. Some of the caucus members have decided to add some oomph to their sales pitch by pledging not to support a candidate for speaker unless that person commits to enacting the rules package.

Justice Department Issues Indictment for 2013 Congressional Trip to Azerbaijan
Feds allege nonprofit concealed that trip was funded by foreign government

A 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan has resulted in an indictment being handed down to the head of the nonprofit, whom the government alleges concealed the source of funding for the journey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Justice Department has issued an indictment of former non-profit head Kevin Oksuz for his role in a plot to hide the fact that a 2013 congressional delegation trip to Azerbaijan was funded by that country’s government.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed Monday, Kevin, also known as Kemal, Oksuz allegedly lied on disclosure forms filed with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics prior to, and following, a privately sponsored congressional trip to Azerbaijan. Oksuz ran a Houston based nonprofit that he is accused of using to funnel money to fund the congressional trip from an oil company controlled by the Azerbaijan government.

New Jersey Democrat Uses McCain in Latest Ad
Late GOP senator introduced Tom Malinowski at 2013 confirmation hearing

New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski is hoping to convey his bipartisan experience in his latest TV ad by including  footage of the late Sen. John McCain introducing him at a Senate confirmation hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In his quest to defeat a five-term Republican congressman, New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski is turning to the late Sen. John McCain

Malinowski’s latest ad, obtained first by Roll Call, opens with the Arizona Republican senator introducing him to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2013, praising his work to end torture when he worked at Human Rights Watch. 

House Ethics Committee Takes Action on Hunter, Collins
Justice Department requested Ethics panel defer action on both indicted members

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., was indicted last month for misuse of campaign funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to impanel investigative subcommittees to examine Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York. But neither panel plans to conduct work on the investigation at this time, deferring to the Justice Department for now.

The Republican congressmen were both indicted on separate charges in August — Hunter for misuse of campaign funds and Collins for insider trading.

Murmurs of Discontent in GOP Ranks As Mueller Nabs Manafort, Cohen
Some House Republicans speak more candidly about what it would take to impeach Trump

Some Republican House members are speaking more candidly about what it would take for them to impeach President Donald Trump. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Republican embrace of President Donald Trump is beginning to show cracks as some rank-and-file GOP lawmakers stepped up their criticism of the president back home in their districts in a week where his former personal lawyer and onetime campaign chairman pleaded to and were found guilty of eight federal crimes apiece.

No one is jumping to conclusions yet about whether Trump should face impeachment. But some Republican lawmakers have been candid in recent days about the prospect of impeaching the president, and what would need to happen for them to consider such a step.

Giffords Backing New Jersey Republican Lance’s Re-Election Bid
Former Democratic congresswoman and gun control advocate endorses Lance over stance on guns

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, is greeted by, from left, Reps. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a ceremony in the Capitol in November to name the House Democratic Cloakroom in honor of Giffords and the late Rep. Leo Ryan, D-Calif., who were victims of gun violence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords is backing Rep. Leonard Lance in his bid for for a sixth term in New Jersey.

It’s a notable endorsement because it crosses party lines: Giffords, one of the nation’s leading gun control advocates and a former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, vacated her seat in 2012 after she was shot in 2011 in an apparent assassination attempt.

Red-State Democrats Zero In on Opioid Epidemic
Issue could buoy vulnerable incumbents in West Virginia, Missouri

Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin III are two vulnerable Democrats looking to highlight their work on opioids. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Vulnerable red-state Democrats are highlighting their work to address the opioid crisis in an effort to hold on to their congressional seats, even as it remains unclear whether the Senate will take key action before the midterm elections.

While the opioid epidemic is a priority for much of Congress, candidates in especially hard-hit states, such as West Virginia, have made it a core issue in their re-election bids.