Politics

McCarthy Bill Would Fund Border Wall, Boost Speaker Bid
Legislation not likely to move this year, but raises issue profile

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has introduced legislation to fund a border wall, something that could boost his bid to lead the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has introduced legislation that includes more than $23 billion for President Donald Trump’s border security agenda and numerous enforcement provisions aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities and undocumented criminals, a proposal that could boost his bid to lead the House GOP after next month’s elections.

The California Republican introduced the bill on Friday after visiting the El Paso, Texas, sector of the southern border on Thursday.

Emotional Lou Barletta Calls Foul on Bob Casey Health Care Ad
Ad calls out Barletta, whose grandson has cancer, on vote that allowed higher pre-existing condition rates

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Lou Barletta, who’s running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, said Casey “should be ashamed of himself over a new ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Rep. Lou Barletta posted an emotional video on Twitter Sunday, bucking criticism of his vote for the Republican health care bill.

A new ad from Sen. Bob Casey hits Barletta on his vote for the American Health Care Act during Republicans’ prolonged effort to roll back the 2010 health care law last year. The ad is narrated by a constituent with twin daughters with cancer.

Arizona Congressional Candidate Greg Stanton Was Victim of Armed Robbery
Attacker wielded hatchet-like weapon

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Greg Stanton , shown here with his wife Nichole Stanton at an event in Phoenix in 2014, was robbed Saturday. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate Greg Stanton was robbed Saturday outside of a Thai restaurant by a man yielding a hatchet-like weapon but says he is fine, according to The Arizona Republic.

Police do not have a suspect but Stanton believes the robbery was “a random act,” according to the newspaper.

Trump: Missing Saudi Journalist Perhaps Slain by ‘Rogue Killers’
President says he’s dispatching Secretary of State Pompeo to discuss disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

Demonstrators hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last week. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appears ready to believe the Saudi king’s rejection of charges he had a Washington Post journalist killed, using language almost identical to his statements that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling.

“Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen,’” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Results Show Native American Heritage
Democratic senator derisively called ‘Pocahontas’ by doubting Trump

In a video released Monday, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren tells her family’s story with the help of her older brothers and other family members. (Elizabeth Warren via YouTube)

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released the results of a genetic test showing her Native American ancestry dating back “six to ten generations” ahead of a possible 2020 presidential run.

“In the Senator’s genome, we did find five segments of Native American ancestry with very high confidence where we believe the error rate is less than one in a thousand,” said Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford, who conducted the test.

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ponder their next move during a session on the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

You Can’t Beat Pelosi With a Nobody
California Democrat is still likely to be speaker again if her party wins back House

It’s hard to see Nancy Pelosi stepping down if the Democrats take back the House next month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.”

That political axiom explains in just six words why Nancy Pelosi is likely to be elected speaker if Democrats retake the House in November. No one has announced plans to challenge the California Democrat, and it’s unclear if anyone will after the election.

Three States Get Ready to Vote on Abortion
Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia have measures on the ballot

Students protest abortion outside the Supreme Court in June. When voters in three states go to the polls this November, they’ll see abortion initiatives on the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia voters will face separate ballot initiatives next month aimed at restricting abortion access in those states.

These initiatives fit into a larger fight over abortion that continues to heat up. Anti-abortion advocates hope that changes at the state level can be used as test cases and later implemented more broadly, while abortion rights advocates hope to defeat them. A particularly contentious ballot initiative can be used as a messaging move to drive voters to the polls in tight elections such as this fall’s West Virginia Senate race.

Why Trump Spent His Friday Night in Deep-Red Southwest Ohio
Rep. Steve Chabot won re-election by 18 points in 2016. Now he faces a closer race

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday night. Two days later, he took his campaign road show to Ohio. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took his campaign road show to Ohio on Friday, a state that is a microcosm of the fight his Republican Party faces in next month’s midterm elections.

On the one hand, a recent Suffolk University-Cincinnati Enquirer poll showed a boost in Republican support and enthusiasm for Trump — and, he hopes, GOP candidates by extension. But on the other, those same surveys suggest the overall electorate in the Buckeye State is more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican ones.

Pastor Freed From Turkish Prison Will Meet With Trump in Oval Office
Andrew Brunson’s return after a stop in Germany will be another victory for the president

President Donald Trump did not speak to reporters as he departed for Ohio on Friday. When he landed, he hailed the release of an American pastor who had been imprisoned in Turkey. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was released by Turkey on Friday, is in “good shape” and will return to U.S. soil on Saturday, President Donald Trump said as he scored another victory.

Trump did not speak to reporters as he departed the White House for a campaign stop in Ohio, while Brunson’s plane was still inside Turkish airspace. But a spokesman told reporters as Air Force One landed in Cincinnati that Brunson had cleared Turkish territory.

Scalise: Threatening to ‘Stomp All Over’ Opponent’s Face Is ‘Unacceptable’
Majority whip criticizes Scott Wagner’s Facebook Live video

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., did not like Wagner's tough rhetoric. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise criticized a Republican candidate in Pennsylvania who threatened to “stomp all over” his opponent’s face while wearing golf spikes.

Scott Wagner, who is challenging Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, made the threats in a Facebook Live video Friday.

In His Own Words: Trump Becomes Spokesman-in-Chief as Midterms Near
President weighs in and Democratic lawmakers fume

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn before boarding Marine One at the White House on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump on Thursday said Kanye West can “speak for me anytime he wants.” But the controversial rapper is one of the few folks doing so lately.

Worried Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was in trouble, Trump decided to go on the offensive last week. He sent a message to his conservative base — and other Republican voters — when he declared men are in danger of being “ruined” by a single “false” allegation by a woman. At a campaign rally, he mocked one of Kavanaugh’s accusers as an arena full of his supporters laughed and chanted that she should be thrown in jail.

Republicans Laud Trump after Turkey Releases Pastor Andrew Brunson
Democrats welcome pastor home with open arms, but say there’s unfinished business with Turkey

American pastor Andrew Brunson, partially obscured at left, arrives at his home after being released from court in Izmir, Turkey, on Friday. Brunson had been under house arrest in Izmir since October 2016 while awaiting trial on charges of abetting terrorist groups and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed for the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. (Burak Kara/Getty Images)

Republican lawmakers lauded President Donald Trump and his administration and Democrats offered words of support after Turkish officials released U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson from custody on Friday.

“Thank you President [Trump], [Vice President Mike] Pence and [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] for your work to get Pastor Brunson released,” GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Brunson’s home state, tweeted Friday after news broke that a Turkish judge had decreed that Brunson be freed and sentenced to time served since he had already been in government detention for roughly two years.

Two Elections: Democrats’ Chance of Taking the Senate Fading, House Likely to Flip
Senate results in midterms crucial for GOP and Democratic prospects in 2020

The North Dakota Senate race looks all but over for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Rothenberg writes.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — The Democrats’ chances of netting at least two Senate seats always seemed like a long shot. But a month ago, the stars looked to be aligning for them. Today, those stars tell a different story.

With the Republican challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, opening up a clear lead over Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp, the North Dakota Senate race looks all but over now, according to multiple insiders. That means Democrats will need to swipe at least three GOP seats to take back the Senate — an outcome that currently appears somewhere between unlikely and impossible.

No to ‘Ambassador Ivanka’ — President Signals Daughter Won't Be UN Envoy
‘I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!’ Donald Trump tweets

President Donald J. Trump greets former President Barack Obama as his daughter, Ivanka Trump, looks on, after Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to signal he will not nominate his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

He used a tweet to say it is “nice” that “everyone” wants his daughter to be the U.S. envoy to the global body. But then he added this: “She would be incredible, but I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!”