Louisiana

State Department Hedges on Proposed New Russia Sanctions
Trump administration “needs discretion”

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., questioned a senior State Department official Tuesday about sanctions against Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A senior State Department official on Tuesday urged senators to give the Trump administration considerable leeway as lawmakers contemplate new punitive sanctions against Russia.

“We need discretion with those sanctions,” testified Wess Mitchell, assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on relations with Russia. “Sanctions without discretion, in my mind, is the antithesis of diplomacy.”

Connecticut Likely to Send Its First African-American Democrat to Congress
Jahana Hayes won the Democratic nomination for the 5th District

Jahana Hayes, whom former President Barack Obama named teacher of the year in 2016, won the Democratic nomination for Connecticut's 5th District on Tuesday night. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Teacher Jahana Hayes has won the Democratic nod in Connecticut’s 5th District, defeating the party-endorsed candidate and setting her up to be the likely new member from the safe Democratic seat next year.

With 44 percent of precincts reporting, Hayes led 2006 lieutenant governor nominee Mary Glassman 60 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race.

Trump’s Turkey Spat Could Rouse Army of Well-Paid, Connected Lobbyists
Turkey has spent millions to promote its interests in Washington

Former Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., shown here in October 2005 with House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is one of numerous retired lawmakers who have signed lucrative agreements to lobby on behalf of Turkey. (Ian Hurley/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whatever the result of President Donald Trump’s tariff fight with Turkey, it is almost certainly going to rouse a well-financed and deeply entrenched influence-peddling operation in Washington.

The Republic of Turkey spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on well-connected D.C. lobbyists to promote its interests in Washington. It makes major gifts to American think tanks that do not have to be reported under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Young Voters Don’t Like Being Called Millennials, Or Too Much Trump-Bashing
Millennials and Gen Z to make the largest demographic come 2020

Darren Scioneaux, center, and other Dillard University students march to their polling place on campus to vote in New Orleans, La., November 8, 2016. Caroline Fayard, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, walked with the students. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By Election Day 2020 Millennials and Generation Z will make up 40 percent of eligible voters. 

Right now, only 23 percent of that demographic turns out to vote, according to Ben Wessel, director of NextGen Rising. His organization is aiming to change that.

House Republicans Considering Leadership Bids — So Far
Much will depend on whether Republicans hold the majority and if so how speaker’s race unfolds

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. All three men are looking to move up in leadership next Congress . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will have a new leader next Congress since Speaker Paul D. Ryan is retiring, but will there be additional changes in their top ranks?

The answer to that question will depend in large part on whether Republicans can hold onto their majority in the November midterms, and if they do, how the speaker’s race unfolds.

Speaker Ryan Strips Chris Collins of Committee Membership
Leadership move is not uncommon against scandal-plagued members

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who was indicted Monday on securities fraud charges, attends a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building on June 28, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has removed Rep. Chris Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, following Collins indictment Wednesday on charges of insider trading and lying to authorities.

“Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Ryan said in a statement.

Rating Change: Chris Collins’ Arrest Puts Seat in Play
Inside Elections is shifting the rating from Solid to Likely Republican

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., was reportedly arrested on Wednesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Rep. Chris Collins continues to run for re-election, he would do so while facing charges of insider trading and lying to the F.B.I. But just because a member of Congress is indicted, doesn’t mean they can’t win.

GOP Rep. Michael Grimm of New York and Democratic Rep. William J. Jefferson of Louisiana are two recent examples of incumbents who won re-election in the face of significant legal problems.

Congress Isn’t Perfect but the Politicians Aren’t Always to Blame
Fixing the Hill is easier said than done

Politicians aren’t always to blame for the dysfunction in Congress and the perceived solutions are more complicated than many realize, Gonzales writes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After 30 years of covering Congress, David Hawkings has a good idea of how Capitol Hill works — or more important, how it doesn’t — and he laid out five key reasons why Congress is broken.

But whether it’s money, maps, media, mingling or masochism, there are no easy solutions. Nor are they entirely the responsibility of the politicians to address.

Kennedy on Kennedyisms: ‘I Try Not to Talk Like a Senator Is Supposed to Talk’
Louisiana Republican attributes his gift of glib to his constituents, his father and reading

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy's willingness to stop and talk to reporters comes from advice from his first boss in politics. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John Kennedy  loves a good analogy and a witty one-liner, and they’ve gotten him more attention than most freshman senators get.

“For better or worse, this is the way my mind works, and it’s the way I talk, and some people like it, some people don’t, but we all are who we are,” the Louisiana Republican said.

Cruz Highlights Hurricane Relief Work in First TV Ad
Texas Republican faces challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke

Sen. Ted Cruz’s first TV ad in his race against Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke shows scenes and testimonials of the incumbent’s hurricane relief efforts. (Ted Cruz for Senate via YouTube)

Sen. Ted Cruz released his first ad in his re-election bid highlighting his efforts to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey last year.

The ad says Cruz “brought home billions in disaster relief” and passed tax relief for people affected by the hurricane over scenes of the senator touring hard-hit areas and comforting survivors.