Plenty of Pitfalls for Hill Staffers Doing Campaign Work
Lines between official and campaign time can be murky

Staffers doing campaign work have to make sure they’re not doing it on government time. But there’s no set way to keep track of that time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With campaign season here, Hill staffers are likely to find their duties expanding with election-related tasks.

Press secretaries and senior staff doing paid or volunteer campaign work routinely flock to nearby coffee shops with their personal laptops to send campaign press releases or go on walks to take reporters’ calls about their boss’s re-election. Campaign work has to be done on staffers’ own time, off government property.

House Majority PAC Reserves $43 Million in Airtime for Fall
Democratic super PAC’s initial reservations in 33 media markets

House Majority PAC is reserving nearly $1.8 million in the Denver media market, which could be used in the race against Colorado GOP Rep. Mike Coffman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority PAC, the group that helps House Democrats, is making $43 million in TV reservations in 33 media markets for the final weeks of the 2018 campaign.

These initial reservations will be placed over the course of the month, which is the earliest the super PAC has booked time for the fall.

Trump-GOP Marriage Sours Again Amid Tariff Tussle
Republican congressional leaders not ruling out counter action

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, second lady Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump at last Wednesday’s ceremony for the late Billy Graham at the Capitol. (Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein)

In this corner are two wealthy businessmen, Donald Trump and Wilbur Ross. In the opposing corner are Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and just about the entire Republican conference.

Not long ago, Trump boasted of leading the most unified Republican Party in American history. A few weeks later, his talk of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and declaration that “trade wars are good” have caused this marriage of convenience to sour.

Trump Attacks Canada Over ‘Highly Restrictive’ Trade Tactics
President: Relief from coming tariffs depends on outcome of NAFTA talks

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and President Donald Trump pose for photographs at the White House in October. The United States, Canada and Mexico are currently engaged in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

The only way for coming steel and aluminum tariffs on Canadian goods to be waived is if the North American Free Trade Agreement is rewritten, President Donald Trump said Monday.

The Trump administration is slated this week to implement tariffs on all steel and aluminum imported into the country above the objections of close U.S. allies, economists, national security experts and even Republican lawmakers. On Monday morning, the president went after one of those allies, criticizing America’s northern neighbor as a trade conflict between Washington and Ottawa nears.

Commerce Secretary Lectures Global Markets on ‘Overreaction’
Wilbur Ross downplays negative reaction to steel, aluminum tariffs

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross blamed the market plunge on an overreaction to the tariff announcement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. and global market slide following President Donald Trump’s announcement of coming steel and aluminum tariffs “a tremendous overreaction,” says Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Asian markets were sharply down Friday, as were ones in Europe one day after American indices dipped following Trump’s announcement that he intends to slap 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and a 10 percent one on aluminum that comes into the United States. Markets in the U.S. opened down Friday and continued to show losses at time of publication.

Cyber Command Nominee Deflects Questions on Russia
Nominee defers to current commander who warned Russia is virtually unchecked

Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, nominee to be NSA director and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, testifies during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The nominee to lead U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency told lawmakers Thursday he would offer options to the president and Defense secretary to respond to Russian hacking of U.S. elections “if directed” to do so.

Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the current head of the Army’s Cyber Command, said the decision whether or not to retaliate for Russian disinformation efforts during the 2016 presidential election or to preempt future attempts at election interference is a policy matter for civilian leadership in the executive and legislative branches.

Nebraska Democrats Ask Ethics Office to Review Rep. Bacon Tweets
Tweets violate House Ethics manual, party says

The Nebraska Democratic Party has filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., for alleged misuse of taxpayer dollars for political activity. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic party of Nebraska has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to review Rep. Don Bacon's official Twitter account for political activity.

The request stems from two tweets the Omaha Republican published, one last November and the other in January, criticizing his predecessor, former Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford.

Republicans Irate, Democrats Press After Trump Gun Control Meeting
GOP members rebuke president for putting gun control over due process

President Donald Trump met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss gun control measures in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As Republican leaders scrambled to address the apparent disconnect between themselves and President Donald Trump on gun control legislation at a bipartisan meeting of lawmakers on Wednesday, Democrats pressured the president to keep his word.

“We’re not ditching any Constitutional protections simply because the last person the President talked to today doesn’t like them,” GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement Wednesday.

Analysis: Will the Suburbs Flip the House? Watch These Seats
If Trump keeps bleeding suburban support, GOP House majority could be at risk

Retiring Michigan Rep. Dave Trott’s 11th District is overwhelmingly suburban, offering Democrats a pickup opportunity. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If elections and national surveys over the past year have shown us anything, it is that suburban voters could well be the key to the 2018 midterm House elections.

Turnout among minority voters and younger voters could affect the result in a district here or there, but an increase in suburban turnout or a substantial shift by suburban voters (especially suburban women) from the Republicans to the Democrats could have a much broader impact on the fight for control of the House.

The ICE Man Cometh, Prompting a New Look at E-Verify
After high-profile federal raids, Congress is revisiting an employment verification system

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store on Jan. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Chris Carlson/AP file photo)

When federal agents arrived at nearly 100 7-Eleven locations across the country last month to check the paperwork of store clerks selling Big Gulps and coffee, it was the clearest sign that President Donald Trump is serious about taking on employers who illegally hire undocumented immigrants.

Twenty-one arrests were made during the Jan. 10 raids at convenience stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia in what was the Trump administration’s strongest action yet targeting employers. Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said at the time that the raids sent “a strong message” to employers that “ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.”