Tim Walz

What Happens to Franken’s Seat If He Resigns?
Governor would appoint placeholder, followed by special election in November 2018

There could be two Senate elections next fall in Minnesota instead of just one. If Sen. Al Franken steps down, there would be a special election for the remainder of his term. Senior Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat is also up next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken isn’t up for re-election until 2020. But if he announces his resignation Thursday, the North Star State will be holding two Senate elections next fall.

Ahead of next November, though, not much would shift in the Senate. If Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton appoints another Democrat immediately, the balance of power in the Senate would remain unchanged.

Pulling Out of Politics: How Members Retire From the Hill
Every lawmaker handles announcements a little differently

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen didn’t tell leadership or the NRCC she was leaving before making her announcement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s getting to be that time of year when family moments over holiday recesses inspire lawmakers to think twice about making the weekly slog back to Capitol Hill.

Sixteen current House members have already announced they’re not running for anything next year — short of the 22 members, on average, who have retired each cycle since 1976 without seeking another office. Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is expected to make a retirement announcement Tuesday.

Word on the Hill: Staffer Defends Her ‘Liddle’ Boss
Fitness trends, staffer shuffles, and a new book

Micah Johnson walks with her boss Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, center, as they get off the Senate subway in May 2016. Also pictured, North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The president may be calling out lawmakers but congressional staffers have their bosses backs.

Micah Johnson, communications director for retiring Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has been in a war of words with President Donald Trump, defended her boss when she tweeted a cartoon mocking the president.

Capitol Police Score Early, Beat Members’ Team in Congressional Football Game
Win fourth straight game, 7-0

The Guards’ Chad Nieto, center, tries to catch a pass in the end zone as California Rep. Pete Aguilar, left, and Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin break it up during the Congressional Football Game for Charity on Wednesday night. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Even Santana Moss and Herschel Walker couldn’t help the members’ team. The Capitol Police won the Congressional Football Game for Charity, 7-0, their fourth consecutive win.

The members’ team — the Mean Machine — was made up of a bipartisan group of congressmen and congresswomen plus former NFL players, and the Capitol Police team was called the Guards, a reference to the classic football film “The Longest Yard.”

Walz to Donate NRA Money to Charity
Comes after his record on guns is hit by gubernatorial primary rival

Rep. Tim Walz speaks with guests during a campaign event for Rep. Rick Nolan at the University of Minnesota Duluth in October 2016.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members, USO Make Care Packages for Hurricane Relief Troops
1,500 packages assembled for National Guard troops deployed to Texas and Florida

Reps. Suzan DelBene of Washington, second from right, and Mike Coffman of Colorado, right, assemble care packages in the Rayburn building Tuesday for members of the National Guard who are assisting in the hurricane cleanup efforts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The USO came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to get help from members and staffers in their efforts to send 1,500 care packages to National Guard members deployed to Florida and Texas to assist with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief.

Hundreds of staffers and several members pitched in and helped the organization reach that goal within two hours. 

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.

Word on the Hill: Dinosaurs at the Capitol
Kennedy on the Cajun Navy, and Shaw’s Tavern fundraiser

Dozens of dinosaurs took to the Capitol steps on Wednesday. (Service Year via Twitter)

Congress is out but there were still plenty of dinosaurs at the Capitol on Wednesday. Dozens of people dressed in orange and brown dinosaur costumes rallied to stop what they called national service extinction.

The group, Service Year Alliance, is asking Congress to vote against President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts to YouthBuild, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs.

Word on the Hill: McCain Sends Off Cardinals
Murkowski’s garden, Walzmakes a new friend, shuffling staffers, and wine

Sen John McCain talks with, from left, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, quarterback Carson Palmer, and team president Michael Bidwill at the Arizona Cardinals’ training camp. (azcardinals.com)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dropped into the Arizona Cardinals last day of training camp to wish the team well in the coming season.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey visited the team Wednesday and McCain made his appearance at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday, Arizona Sports reported. The senator chatted with players Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer and David Johnson and the team’s president, Michael Bidwill.

Democrats Say Bannon’s Ouster Not Enough
Jeffries says ‘things won't change if Grand Wizard remains in Oval Office’

Democrats say the ouster of White House adviser Steve Bannon is a good first step. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Democrats are glad President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon is gone,  but they say change is needed from the top down.

Democratic members of Congress hammered the president for choosing Bannon, the former Breitbart executive, to plot strategy in the White House in the first place. And they said if the president wants to repair the damage he has done, he should look inward.