Susan Collins

Progressive group spending $100,000 to pressure McConnell, vulnerable GOP senators on election security
Facebook ads, billboard in majority leader’s hometown and call-in campaign among tactics

Progressive activists are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to pass $600 million in election security funding with a billboard in downtown Louisville, Ky., from Sept. 1 through Sept. 9. (Courtesy Stand Up America)

A national progressive group is spending over $100,000 on a campaign to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators to pass a bill to provide $600 million in election security funding.

The group, Stand Up America, has rented a billboard alongside the Kennedy Bridge near McConnell’s office in downtown Louisville, Ky., from Sept. 1 through Sept. 9 that includes an image of McConnell’s face and the message, “Tell Mitch McConnell: Stop blocking election security funding.”

Manchin decides not to run for governor of West Virginia
Democrat narrowly won Senate reelection last fall

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a former two-term governor, is not running for his old job in 2020. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has decided not to run for governor in 2020, which is welcome news for Senate Democrats who would have had a hard time defending a Senate seat in the Mountain State without him.

Manchin, who narrowly won reelection last fall, said remaining in the Senate puts him in a better position to help West Virginia.  

Hickenlooper says he’ll give ‘serious thought’ to Senate run after dropping presidential bid
Colorado and national Democrats see former governor as best chance to capture Gardner’s seat

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, shown in Iowa on Saturday, announced Thursday he is ending his bid for the presidency. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, and said he will consider a run against Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in a battleground state Democrats need to win to take control of the upper chamber.

“People want to know what comes next for me,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

Hickenlooper still fundraising, despite reports he may drop presidential bid
Colorado Democrats have been lobbying former governor to drop presidential bid and run for Senate against Cory Gardner

Democratic presidential candidate and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake on Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent out a fundraising email for his presidential campaign on Tuesday despite reports that he is weighing an end to his bid for the White House in order to run for a GOP-held Senate seat.

Before the Wing Ding dinner at the Iowa State Fair last Friday, Hickenlooper jumped into the passenger seat of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s car to talk about his political future, the New York Times reported.

How Elizabeth Warren learned to be a candidate
Warren took on a Republican in 2012 who wasn’t supposed to win. Can she do it again?

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ran for office the first time in 2012, when she unseated Republican Scott P. Brown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This is the fifth installment in “Battle Tested,” a series analyzing early campaigns of some Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination. Read our earlier pieces on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Democrats were hurting. 

Democrats not sweating contested Senate primaries — yet
Another Democrat jumped into the Texas Senate race on Monday

Democrats are gearing up for a competitive Senate primary in Texas to take on Republican incumbent John Cornyn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Another Democratic candidate jumped into the race Monday to take on Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn — the latest sign that Democrats could face multiple contested primaries for Senate seats they think they can win in 2020.

Despite the prospect of intramural warfare, Democrats say they aren’t fretting yet that the primaries could endanger efforts to win control of the Senate, which will likely go through Texas, Colorado and other states.

Leahy casts his 16,000th vote, joining an exclusive Senate club
No currently serving senators have cast more career votes

Sen. Patrick Leahy cast his 16,00th vote Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“Just a little perspective, imagine taking 16,000 pennies and stacking them one on top of the other, they’d surpass the height of the Washington Monument. They’d more than double the height of the Capitol Dome,” said Schumer. “It’s a reminder that a multitude of smaller actions and the accumulation of smaller accomplishments over a lifetime of quiet dedication can amount to a great monument of achievement.”

After accolades and congratulations, Leahy had some words of his own. 

Democrats condemn Trump’s racist tweets, congressional Republicans mostly silent
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern calls his GOP colleagues ‘cowards’

Democratic Reps. Ayanna S. Pressley, from right, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Veronica Escobar  testify about their trip ICE detention facilities at the southern border last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:59 p.m. | While Democrats were united in their condemnation of President Donald Trump’s call Sunday for four members of Congress to “go back” to “the crime infested countries from which they came,” Republicans on Monday were slow to publicly comment on the president’s tirade. 

On the Republican side of the aisle, condemnations of Trump for calling four of their colleagues unworthy to serve in Congress because of their non-European heritage were slow to materialize. Even as conservative pundits decried the president’s targeting of four progressive lawmakers — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — as an ugly attack rooted in racism, not a political critique. 

No one told the New England delegation it was cafeteria lobster week
Mainer who brought us the lobster emoji misses out on crustacean grilled cheese

Sen. Angus King is the man who brought us the lobster emoji. But he was out of the lobster loop on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maine independent Angus King did not try the lobster grilled cheese that was on the menu at the Dirksen Senate Office Building cafeteria this week.

“I didn’t even know about it. My staff will be severely reprimanded,” the senator told Heard on the Hill.

Senators mount pressure on equal pay for World Cup champs
More lawmakers introduce measures pushing equal pay for U.S. women's soccer team

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are leading an effort in the Senate to make salaries for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams equitable. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the U.S. soccer women’s team embarks on a whirlwind victory lap from its recent World Cup domination, more lawmakers are joining the four-time champions in calling for pay equity.

A group of senators led by Robert Menendez, Susan Collins and Dianne Feinstein introduced a resolution congratulating the team for winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and asking U.S. Soccer to provide the players with pay comparable to their counterparts on the men’s team.