Medicare

Arizona’s Special Election Heads to Home Stretch
Both parties watching whether 8th District race will be close

Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko has benefited from significant outside spending in the 8th District special election. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko for Congress)

Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. Next week, no matter which party wins the race to replace the Arizona Republican, a woman will be elected to succeed him.

The April 24 special election in the 8th District pits former GOP state Sen. Debbie Lesko against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer research advocate and former emergency room physician. The two could also meet again in November since both intend to file to run for a full term.

Tax Day Fight Previews Larger Political Battle Over New Law
Midterm messaging is likely to contain a heaping dose of tax rhetoric

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., holds a sample of a postcard-style tax filing during a news conference in the House studio after a meeting of the GOP Conference on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As citizens across the country rush to submit their 2017 tax returns before the deadline, Republicans and Democrats in Congress on Tuesday amped up the messaging battle over last year’s tax law.

The dueling talking points presented by each party are a preview of the months to come as the midterm elections approach.

Rohrabacher Challenger Keirstead Drops $152,000 for First TV Ad
Ad goes after Trump in district that Hillary Clinton won in 2016

Democratic candidate for California's 48th District Hans Keirstead released his first ad. (Keirstead campaign via YouTube)

One of the Democratic challengers to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is spending $152,000 on his first ad in California’s 48th District.

Hans Keirstead never mentions Rohrabacher by name in the ad.

Balanced-Budget Amendment Falls Short in House
Roll call vote could provide midterm campaign fodder

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., encouraged her caucus to vote against the balanced budget amendment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans fell short of the two-thirds support needed to send a balanced-budget amendment to the Senate on Thursday, but they succeeded in getting a roll call vote that can be used during the midterm campaigns to criticize Democrats as lax on fiscal discipline.

The 233-184 vote followed four hours of debate that centered on the growth of entitlement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, as well as how balancing the budget would impact the economy.

Ryan: Liberated Deficit Hawk or Lame Duck Whose Quack Won’t Be Heard?
Keeping his options open might mean reviving his personas of Trump critic and fiscal doomsayer

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., announces his retirement at a press conference on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan is the first speaker of the House to depart on his own timetable in more than three decades. So what’s he going to do with the time he’s given himself for trying to massage his wounded legacy?

His most obvious option is working to revive a pair of well-remembered but recently abandoned roles — earnest fiscal doomsayer in a time of coursing red ink, and steward of seriousness and stability in a Republican Party that’s in the thrall of President Donald Trump.

State Activists Watching Washington Balanced-Budget Kabuki
Rapt audience for Thursday’s symbolic vote

State activists hope this week’s balanced-budget vote will bring national attention to their work. Above, staffers attend a House Financial Services Committee hearing in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House’s balanced-budget amendment vote Thursday may be a symbolic gesture aimed at shoring up Republicans’ conservative base in advance of the midterm elections. But it’s all too real for activists at the state level, who are watching closely and thrilled about the national spotlight on an issue that has been percolating quietly outside the Beltway.

Despite the joint resolution’s lack of support within the halls of Congress, there is still optimism that a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution will be sent to the states for ratification during the next few years.

Tipirneni Fends Off Attacks on Medical Career Weeks Before Election Day
Criticism stems from old settlement, campaign ads

Hiral Tipirneni is pushing against opposition to her projected image as a doctor just days before an Arizona special election. (Courtesy Dr. Hiral Tipirneni for Congress)

Just 13 days before Arizona’s 8th Congressional District holds its special election to send a new member to the House, the Democratic candidate there is warding off political volleys regarding her time as an emergency room doctor.

Hiral Tipirneni, who won the Democratic nomination in February to replace disgraced former Rep. Trent Franks, is under siege by Republican operatives pushing the narrative that she has been dodgy with voters about her medical career.

Ryan Won’t Run for Re-Election, Ready to Go Home to Family
Democrats say speaker’s retirement is a sign of things to come in November

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, D-Wis., arrives for his news conference on Wednesday to announce his retirement at the end of his current term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election and will leave Congress at the end of his term.

“This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life,” the speaker said. The other, he said, is his role as a husband and father, which he cited as his reason for leaving.

Hoyer Listening Tour Gathers Ideas for Unifying Economic Agenda
Latest iteration of Make It In America agenda can be used in quest for House majority

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., right, and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., left, tour Culimeta-Saveguard, an exhaust insulation manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wis., last week during Hoyer’s Make It In America listening tour.(Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

MADISON, Wis. — As progressives and moderates battle it out in primaries, national Democrats like House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer are crafting an economic agenda their candidates can use to help them win back the House in November.

House Democrats across the political spectrum understand that without a strong economic message with crossover appeal, they will be relegated to another two years in the minority.

Pelosi Urges Democrats to Oppose Farm Bill, Balanced Budget Amendment, Rescissions
Minority leader pens Dear Colleague letter on 'what challenges lie ahead'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is urging her colleagues to oppose the farm bill and a balanced budget amendment measure. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi welcomed her Democratic colleagues back from a two-week spring recess with a “Dear Colleague” letter urging them to oppose several upcoming pieces of legislation. 

Included in Pelosi’s list was the farm bill reauthorizing agriculture programs, which is typically a bipartisan measure. But Republicans this year have been pushing to add work requirements to food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.