Tom McClintock

Republican Study Committee to Decide Between Mike Johnson, Tom McClintock for Next Chairman
Both candidates want to boost the RSC’s role in developing and communicating conservative policy ideas

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is running to be the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans aren’t shying away from their conservative beliefs after they lost more than 30 seats to Democrats in last week’s midterm election. If anything they’re doubling down and trying to hone in on a more conservative message heading into 2020.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, has long wrestled with questions about what it means to be a conservative and how to enact conservative policy in a divided Congress. Even with unified Republican government these past two years, the RSC struggled to enact some of its key priorities, such as pro-life policies and work requirements for government benefits.

California Wildfires Headed to Capitol Hill
Funding fire suppression a looming issue

A firefighting helicopter drops water as the Holy Fire burns near homes on Friday in Lake Elsinore, California. Wildfires continue to burn in the state. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Lawmakers thought they fixed the U.S. Forest Service’s “fire borrowing” problem earlier this year. But the breadth and intensity of fires scorching the West this year is likely to prompt the agency to raid other accounts one last time before budgetary changes go into effect in fiscal 2020.

The issue could come to a head once again on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks and months, as lawmakers and the administration weigh the need for another infusion of taxpayer dollars ahead of the midterm elections — and California’s devastating fires have already become a campaign issue.

Democratic Group Launches Wildfire Ads Against California Congressman
Red to Blue CA is targeting GOP Rep. Tom McClintock in NorCal district

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., is a DCCC target this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic outside group is launching a new ad campaign against California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, accusing him of voting against wildfire assistance last year. The launch comes as the largest wildfire in the state’s history rages in northern California.

Red to Blue CA is coming out with mailers and a digital ad on Facebook linking the congressman from the largely rural 4th District to the wildfire. The group cites his December 2017 vote against an emergency spending bill that offered additional funds to communities recovering from hurricanes and wildfires. The measure did pass the House.

Uncertainty Lingers in Critical California House Races
Democratic nominees remain unknown after initial primary results

Democrats are targeting 10 GOP-held seats in California. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats will keep a close eye on California county registrars over the next few days as uncertainty remains in several House races. But initial results show Democrats could avoid a general election shutout in some of their top targets.

The Associated Press has yet to call the second-place finishers in seven of Democrats’ 10 GOP-held targets in the Golden State, with mail-in ballots yet to be counted, and a voter roll debacle that threw even more chaos into vote-counting.

Democratic McClintock Opponent Drops Six Figures on Ad
Challenger Jessica Morse hits incumbent for not living in the district

“It’s easy to vote against the interests of your district when the people aren’t your neighbors,” Democrat Jessica Morse says of incumbent GOP Rep. Tom McClintock. (Jessica Morse for Congress via Facebook)

A Democratic opponent of California Rep. Tom McClintock dropped six figures for an advertisement criticizing him for not living in California’s 4th district.

Jessica Morse’s ad hits McClintock for abandoning the interests of the district by voting against money to prevent wildfires and help homeowners rebuild afterward.

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

McClintock Challenger Announces $359,000 Fundraising Haul
Both Democrats outraised incumbent Republican rep in last quarter of 2017

A Democratic challenger to Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., announced she raised $359,000 in her race to unseat him. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jessica Morse, a Democratic challenger to Rep. Tom McClintock announced she raised $359,000 in the most recent fundraising quarter.

Morse’s campaign also said in a statement that she had $717,000 in cash on hand at the beginning of the second fundraising quarter of the year.

Could Past DC Residency Be Liability for Some Democrats?
Service records can sometimes mitigate carpetbagging attacks

Democrat Tom Malinowski is running for Congress from New Jersey. (Courtesy Tom Malinowski for Congress)

One Democratic hopeful’s ties to the nation’s capital have ignited an intraparty fight in a House primary in Texas, where voters head to the polls Tuesday. But Laura Moser isn’t the only Democratic House candidate who was living in Washington, D.C., during the last election.

Democrats in more than a dozen races around the country could face similar charges of being “Washington insiders.”

Topic for Debate: Time to End Congressional Debates?
Real deliberation and persuasion are so rare, the move might improve Hill functionality

In the GOP’s successful push for its tax overhaul, floor debates appeared to have no influence on changing members’ positions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s a modest proposal to jumpstart the new year: Do away with what passes for “debate” on the floors of the House and Senate.

Doing so would mean Congress is facing up to its current rank among the world’s least deliberative bodies. It may be a place suffused with rhetoric, some of it pretty convincing at times, but next to no genuine cogitation happens in open legislative sessions and precious few ears are ever opened to opposing points of view.

Just One House Member Flips Vote on GOP Tax Overhaul
GOP leadership expects bill to pass Senate

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., was the only House member to change position on the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:46 p.m. | Despite immense pressure from GOP leaders, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, vulnerable New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, voted “no” for the second time on a Republican tax overhaul.

Just one of the 13 Republicans who voted against the House tax overhaul bill in November switched their vote to “yes” as the House passed the conference committee report Tuesday, 227-203, sending it to the Senate for final approval.