Sam Graves

A Workhorse and a Hard Charger Aim for Transportation Top Spot
Sam Graves and Jeff Denham mostly align on policy, but couldn’t vary more in style

An airplane takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport at sunrise on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The personalities of the two candidates angling to be the next top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee may be the starkest difference between them.

As Steering Committee members decide committee leadership posts later this year, they’ll have to choose between behind-the-scenes operator Sam Graves of Missouri and Jeff Denham, a hard-charging Californian best known for nearly forcing House leadership’s hand on immigration votes by advancing a discharge petition earlier this year. 

FAA Authorization Still Grounded in Senate
Congress could be looking at sixth straight extension as Sept. 30 deadline approaches

Los Angeles International Airport in March. Congress could be headed toward its sixth straight extension of FAA authorization if it fails to meet a Sept. 30 deadline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration in June of last year. But the measure’s proponents have struggled ever since to get it to the floor, even as another deadline approaches at the end of this month.

Congress could be headed toward its sixth straight extension of FAA authorization if both chambers can’t pass a yet-unfinished conference bill before Sept. 30. House leaders on the issue, who steered easy passage of their measure earlier this year, have blamed the other chamber, which hasn’t passed its own bill.

Jeff Denham Claims He’ll Be Transportation Chair — But What About Sam Graves?
Both GOP lawmakers want to lead panel; Steering Committee will decide

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., said at an event Friday that he’s going to be the next Transportation Committee chairman, ignoring the other member running to head the Transportation and Infrastructure panel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Rep. Jeff Denham told a local GOP women’s group Friday that he will be the next House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, ignoring the fact that he is not the only member running for the position, the Republicans are far from a lock to hold their majority and Denham himself faces a potentially competitive race. 

The panel’s current chair, Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, is retiring. Missouri Rep. Sam Graves and Denham are both running to replace him. The Republican Steering Committee, a panel of 30-some members primarily comprised of GOP leadership and regional representatives, selects committee leaders.

Staffers Find Community Service Sees No Party Lines
‘We come from all different parts of the country but we call this place home’

The Capitol Hill Community Service Association did a cleanup at the John Taylor Elementary School in August 2017. School business manager Joe Brown, center, is flanked by, from left, Ron Hammond, Imani Augustus, Brad Korten, Kristen Siegele, Alex Erwin and Maureen Acero. (Courtesy CHCSA)

Congressional staffers who may not agree ideologically are finding ways to come together in service. The bipartisan Capitol Hill Community Service Association gives them a chance to volunteer in D.C.

“I was trying to find a way to help bridge the divide. We all know it can be very toxic here sometimes, not to the fault of staffers, obviously. We’re all here because we want to serve and I think community service is one of those places where we can find that common ground,” said the association’s co-leader Brad Korten, a legislative aide to New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.

Opinion: Let’s Build Something Great Together
Trump and Congress should work toward a 21st century infrastructure system

The Trump administration is expected to prioritize ways to encourage investment in infrastructure, Rep. Sam Graves writes. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

2017 was a record year for our economy. Thanks to tax reform, and this administration’s aggressive regulatory reduction, our economy is growing at an exponential rate. 2018 presents a great opportunity to push the throttle on our economic growth as we move to our next big priority: infrastructure.

Infrastructure is pure commerce. Everything in this country moves. So an efficient transportation network is vital to our economic future. However, federal funding for infrastructure is not unlimited.

Axiom Strategies Partners with Prosper Group on Digital Efforts
Combined, two firms will represent a quarter of GOP lawmakers

There’s an increasing demand for digital services in congressional campaigns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican consulting firm Axiom Strategies is announcing Monday it’s entering into a strategic partnership with The Prosper Group, a digital marketing agency. 

For these two firms, which have worked together for over a decade, the partnership is an opportunity to increase efficiency and share political expertise. 

Bill Shuster Won’t Run for Re-Election in 2018
Pennsylvania Republican term-limited as Transportation Committee chairman

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:30 p.m. | Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, who is term-limited as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will not seek a ninth full term in 2018, leaving behind a safe Republican seat. 

“Rather than focusing on a re-election campaign, I thought it wiser to spend my last year as Chairman focusing 100% on working with President Trump and my Republican and Democratic colleagues in both Chambers to pass a much needed infrastructure bill to rebuild America,” the GOP lawmaker said in a statement Tuesday. 

Trump to Tout Tax Overhaul in Missouri
Two main talking points focus on middle class

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol to discuss the tax reform bill on November 28, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will “be a part of pushing this process forward” when he heads to St. Charles, Missouri, Wednesday to tout the tax overhaul package, two senior administration officials said Tuesday.

The officials told reporters on a conference call to expect a message similar to Trump’s August speech in Springfield, Missouri.

Word on the Hill: Hobbit in Congress?
AUMF play, McCain’s had it with his boot, and Scott hosts Carson in South Carolina

Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, is looking to throw his hat into the ... Ring. (New Line Cinema)

Is there another celebrity waiting in the wings to join those who have thrown their names in the ring to run for public office?

As if Congress wasn’t nerdy enough, J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous hobbit of the Shire, Samwise Gamgee, tweeted at a fan that being a member of Congress would be a “dream come true.”

Trump Wants More Interstate Tolling, But Lawmakers Skeptical
Plan would give states more options

The Trump administration suggested in a fact sheet last week the idea of reducing restrictions on tolling on interstate highways. Pictured: I-278 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images File Photo)

President Donald Trump fleshed out his proposal last week to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure by listing tolling on interstate highways as one way to raise funds, but his idea is encountering reluctance in Congress.

Several key lawmakers said they were receptive to the idea, but cited obstacles to moving forward.