Scott Tipton

Word on the Hill
Scalise scoots, Lieu trolls Trump, and a new elected Ellison

No comment: Microphones stand in front of a the bust of former Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth before the Democrats’ press conference on tax reform outside of the House Ways and Means hearing room Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. And some of the best ones are those that we come across while reporting the big ones.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Here’s How Republicans Reacted After Trump (Again) Flip-Flopped on Charlottesville
Many in president’s own party countered his stance

A man carries an American flag during a protest against racism and the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 14, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

An unprecedented outpouring of congressional Republicans reacted Tuesday as President Donald Trump flipped his position (again) on last weekend’s violent outburst in Charlottesville, Virginia.

First Trump held “both sides” responsible just after protesters demonstrating in support of a General Robert E. Lee statue clashed with counterprotesters. Then a prepared speech Monday had the president condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s and the violence generally. Finally, Tuesday night Trump came back to two-sided rhetoric when he said some members of the far-right organized demonstration were “very fine” people.

Wynonna Judd Rips Her Backup Singers During Grammys on the Hill
But Trump was ripped the most over proposed art funding cuts

Wynonna Judd was joined on stage by members of Congress. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

Just when you thought the American public was the hardest on politicians, country singer Wynonna Judd took the cake.

“Loosen up your ties,” the singer said. “Come on, big babies.”

Word on the Hill: How Much Sleep Did You Get?
It's over and D.C. is running on empty

Albertine Reid leaves the booth after voting at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School For Science and Technology in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The election is finally over after a tiring and shocking night.

For a breakdown of down-ballot races, check out Roll Call’s interactive map.

Even with Trump, Democratic House Gains Look Smaller Than First Expected
Republican candidates have proved surprisingly resilient to Trump

Democrat Monica Vernon is challenging vulnerable GOP Rep. Rod Blum, but his 1st District Iowa seat has proven harder to put away than Democrats initially expected. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Picking up 30 House seats didn’t always seem such an impossible feat. But even with Donald Trump dragging down some Republicans, Democrats will be lucky to gain half as many seats as they would need to win the majority.

So how did a year of bright prospects turn into one of Democratic leaders managing expectations?

How Many House Seats Will Democrats Pick Up? Watch These Districts
Certain district types may provide early clues

Democrats need to knock off Republicans who sit in seats President Barack Obama won, like Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, center, and Frank Guinta, R-N.H., right. Defeating Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., would suggest more of a wave. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Not all districts are created equal. They all count the same when adding for a majority, but victories in one type of district may portend a much better night for Democrats than in others. With just four days to go until Election Day, Democrats almost surely won’t gain the 30 seats needed for a House majority on Tuesday. But they will make some gains. Here’s where to watch for early clues as to just how big or small Democratic gains will be.

To achieve double-digit gains, Democrats must win the known battlegrounds. These are the districts that always were going to be competitive, and where presidential year turnout usually gives Democrats an advantage. At the very least, Democrats need to win the districts that President Barack Obama carried — places like Illinois’ 10th District, Nevada’s 4th and 3rd Districts, Maine’s 2nd District, Florida’s 26th District, (which is now even more Democratic), Iowa’s 1st District and New York’s 19th District. If they’re not able to win these seats, Democratic gains in the House will likely be very minimal.  

Word on the Hill: Get Your Books
Staffer engagement and bats for Halloween

Head to the Madison Building today for bags of books. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s bag day at the Library of Congress. As part of its annual book sale, which ends today, you can fill an entire bag with books for $5.

Books have been donated by employees at the library — and are not actually Library of Congress books — and proceeds benefit the general fund of the Combined Federal Campaign.

As Funding Government Stalled, Fundraising for Congress Soared
Perpetual brinksmanship, perpetual campaigning the new normal

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte arrives at Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant for a fundraising event, one of dozens held by members of Congress in recent weeks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As members of Congress postured and blamed each other for a budget impasse that threatened to shut down the government, the Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant was a happening place for backroom fundraising.

In separate dining rooms that were just steps from each other, three members of Congress — two House Democrats from safe districts and a Republican senator in a competitive race — entertained contributors who’d paid as much as $2,500 for lunch.

Democrats Aim to Reduce 30-Seat House Deficit With Help From Trump
Female lawmakers have taken the lead this recess by mentoring recruits

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos is campaigning for female Democratic recruits this recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers this recess are out campaigning for recruits in districts they never thought they’d be setting foot in this time last year.

The party is optimistic that with Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket, they can make a serious dent in their 30-seat House deficit by contesting seats that wouldn’t be otherwise competitive in a presidential election year.

Members Support Their Second Home
Eighth annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids raises more than $500,000

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., right, sons, from left, Owen and Rider, wife Cathy Holahan, center, and director of Home Runs for Horton’s Kids Ellen Palmer at last week's event. (Courtesy of Jenn Reid and Jim Kurtz)

Two days before the Congressional Baseball Game took over Nationals Park , Horton’s Kids used it to raise more than $517,000 to support children in Anacostia.  

“I don’t think people ever get a chance in their life to be on a Major League baseball field — in the dugout, in the batting cage, pitching cage,” New York Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley said last week at the eighth annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids. “So for kids especially, it gives them a real thrill, to some an inspiration to want to go the next step.”