Sam Johnson

Maybe They’re Too Rich for Congress?
Seventeen members departing the Capitol are millionaires

California Rep. Darrell Issa is not running for a 10th term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The wealthy are heading for the exits.

So far, 44 current lawmakers, or one in 12, have announced they are retiring at the end of the year or seeking new offices away from the Capitol. And collectively, they now account for nearly a third of the $2.43 billion in cumulative riches of the 115th Congress.

Anger Management in the 2018 Midterms
Who will turn out to vote? Depends on who is angry

Midterms getting you down? Let Stu Rothenberg and Bridget Bowman provide some context. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Howdy from Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

“Voters who are angry tend to vote in midterms,” Roll Call political analyst Stu Rothenberg says in the latest “Political Theater” podcast. “In bad times, everybody’s angry and everybody wants to send a message,” he continues.

Sam Johnson Donates Items From POW Camp
Texas congressman donates tin cup and toothpaste he smuggled out of ‘Hanoi Hilton’ to Smithsonian

Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, donated a tin cup and tube of toothpaste from his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam (Smithsonian's National Museum of American History).

Texas Rep. Sam Johnson donated possessions from his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam to the Smithsonian Institute.

The Republican donated a tin cup and a tube of toothpaste he smuggled from the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner of war camp from his seven years held captive after he was shot down.

Old Photos That Current Candidates Might Not Want You to See
A Throwback Thursday to four familiar faces

Nevada Republican Danny Tarkanian campaigns door to door with his daughters in Las Vegas in May 2010 in his ultimately unsuccessful race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Since the internet has deemed Thursday the appropriate time to turn back the clock, I dug through Roll Call’s extensive photo archives for some old photos of current candidates who previously ran for another office. Not only is there a little more gray hair this time around, but it’s a good lesson in perseverance.

Back in 2006, Texas Republican Van Taylor received national attention as an Iraq War veteran running for Congress as the war was becoming increasingly unpopular. He lost in the blue wave to Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards. But Taylor was subsequently elected to the state Legislature and is now the prohibitive favorite for Texas’ 3rd District seat, which is open because Republican incumbent Sam Johnson is not seeking re-election.

Photos of the Week: A House Tax Marathon as Senate Starts Action
The week of Nov. 6 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

From left, Rep. Sam Johnson, Chairman Kevin Brady and ranking member Richard Neal open a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republicans’ tax overhaul plan in Longworth Building on Monday. Rep. David Schweikert also appears. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ways and Means Committee finished its marathon markup of the GOP tax overhaul plan Thursday, as attention shifted to the Senate, which will be marking up its own version of the bill next week. 

Here’s the entire week in photos:

Republican Jeb Hensarling Not Running for Re-Election
Texas congressman says he has stayed far longer than originally planned

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling will not seek a ninth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling said Tuesday he will not run for re-election next year.

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” the eight-term congressman said in a statement.

In GOP Retirements, Some See an Omen
As the Ways and Means exodus continues, observers wonder what it means for tax overhaul

Rep. Dave Reichert, shown here in 2015, is one of seven Republicans on the powerful Ways and Means Committee who have announced they will leave Congress or retire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The departure of key Ways and Means Republicans could be a sign of diminished optimism for major legislative achievements, but some GOP observers say it may actually signal confidence about getting a landmark tax bill signed into law.

Six Republicans on the powerful committee with broad sway over taxes, health care and trade are running for higher office or planning to retire at the end of this term while the GOP is at the height of its power in Washington.

Word on the Hill: Football and Instagram
Dingell plays beer pong, and D.C. is foodie friendly

The Guards’ Larry Bell, left, and Travis Wells celebrate The Guards’ victory after the eighth annual Congressional Football Game for Charity in 2015. Tickets to this year’s game are $10. (Al Drago/Roll Call File Photo)

Altruism is being celebrated in D.C. today through two different mediums: football and Instagram.

Tonight is the Congressional Football Game for Charity, with members of Congress and former professional athletes facing off against Capitol Police officers. Tickets are $10 and raise money for the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund, as well as Our Military Kids and A Advantage 4 Kids. It’s from 7 to 9 p.m. at Hotchkiss Field at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave NE). Read HOH’s preview, and stay tuned for coverage of the game.

Word on the Hill: POW/MIA Recognition Day
Bottomless rosé wines, and the future of health care

Arizona Sen. John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five and a half years. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which honors missing service members and their families.

Currently in Congress, there are two lawmakers who endured time as prisoners of war during the Vietnam War: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.

House Retirement Tide Is Coming
Current number of House members retiring is far below average

With Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s upcoming retirement, Democrats are favored to pick up her south Florida seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A large crop of House members are likely to retire in the coming months, not necessarily because President Donald Trump is polarizing, the parties are divided, or Capitol Hill is “dysfunctional” — but because 40 years of history tell us it’s going to happen.

Since 1976, 22 House members, on average, have retired each cycle without seeking another office. Thus far this cycle, just five members fit that description: Republicans John J. Duncan Jr. of Tennessee, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, Sam Johnson of Texas, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, and Democrat Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts.