Attacks Come to Life in First Indiana Senate Primary Debate
Messer, Rokita and Braun sparred in Americans for Prosperity debate

Three Indiana Republicans, including Rep. Todd Rokita, sparred in Tuesday’s debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first debate among Indiana’s three Republican Senate candidates began much as this primary race started — with some punches.

In his opening statement, Rep. Todd Rokita came out swinging. “Mike, welcome to the Republican Party. Luke, welcome back to Indiana,” he said.

Trump Announces ‘Bump Stock’ Directive After Parkland Murders
Asks AG Sessions to expediently finalize guidelines

U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the Las Vegas mass shooting at the Diplomatic Room of the White House October 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Trump announced Tuesday he signed a directive ordering Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft regulations banning “bump stocks” and other devices that turn semi-automatic firearms into automatic weapons.

The announcement comes as students lobbied state and federal lawmakers to take action after 17 were killed by a gunman with an AR-15 assault rifle at a school in Parkland, Florida.

Scott Walker Backs Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia Senate Primary
Morrisey is running for GOP nod to take on Manchin in November

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is picking up the endorsement of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday endorsed West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in his bid for the GOP nomination for Senate. 

“Attorney General Morrisey’s strong, conservative record is exactly what West Virginia needs in its next senator,” Walker said in a statement obtained first by Roll Call. 

Ethics Committee Acknowledges Investigation of John Duncan Jr.
Tennessee Republican campaign reportedly paid felon son $300,000

U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., shown here in 2009, came under fire in July after reports that his campaign had made $300,000 in payments to his son, who pleaded guilty in 2013 to a felony charge of official misconduct.

The House Ethics Committee acknowledged Tuesday an investigation of Rep. John Duncan Jr, a scion of a Tennessee political dynasty who announced his retirement in July. 

Duncan, a Republican, came under fire that month after reports that his campaign paid his son, John Duncan III, almost $300,000. In the five years since the younger Duncan pleaded guilty to a felony charge of official misconduct. Those payments were made in monthly installments of $6,000 recorded as salary expenses, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. 

Democrats See Blue in Pennsylvania With New Map
GOP legislators are expected to challenge new boundaries

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello’s district is now more Democratic, under the new congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court released a new congressional map Monday, potentially bolstering Democratic opportunities in the Keystone State. 

Republicans are expected to launch a challenge to stop the new lines from taking effect. In the meantime, as candidates and incumbents digest the new boundaries, Democrats see better chances for victory in some of their top targets. 

This Is Why Republicans Can’t Get Women Elected to Higher Office
GOP keeps throwing up roadblocks in front of credible candidates

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks at the 2016 Republican National Convention in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

I’m starting to wonder why any Republican woman would attempt to run for higher office.

Last year, GOP Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri all but announced her challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill before getting the cold shoulder from GOP strategists in Washington and the Show Me State who preferred a candidate who wasn’t even hustling to get in the race.

Justices Reject Challenge to Waiting Period for Gun Purchases
‘The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court’s constitutional orphan’

The Florida shooting has sparked protests, such as this one near the White House over the weekend, calling for gun control.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Trump Denies Forcibly Kissing Woman in 2005
‘The whole thing probably lasted two minutes,’ accuser says

President Donald Trump speaks to a group of mayors in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 24. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, less than an hour before his scheduled daily intelligence briefing, fired off a series of tweets denying a 13-year-old allegation that he forcibly kissed a young woman in Trump Tower.

At issue is an allegation by Rachel Crooks, who was a secretary for a company that had an office in Trump’s Manhattan building. She alleges that after she met Trump near the elevators, he held her hand and began kissing her against her will.

Jones Calls Arming Teachers ‘Dumbest Idea I’ve Ever Heard’
Responding to Alabama legislator’s call to give teachers guns to prevent school violence

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., called arming teachers “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones criticized the idea of arming teachers as numerous state legislatures weigh measures to prevent violence in schools after the shooting at a Florida high school.

“I think that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I think it’s crazy,” Jones said.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Over Recess?
McCain’s wife, daughter send photos of ailing senator, Nolan explains himself, and MacArthur represents both sides

Washington, D.C., area students and supporters protest against gun violence with a lie-in outside of the White House on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

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.

Rob Porter’s Ex-wives Accept Apology from Hatch
Former White House aide was Utah senator’s chief of staff

Rob Porter, right, former White House staff secretary, resigned earlier this month amid allegations of physical abuse against his ex-wives. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Former White House aide Rob Porter’s ex-wives appeared to accept Sen. Orrin Hatch’s apology letters for his initial statement on the abuse allegations against their former husband.

“I feel like it’s a sincere apology,” Jennie Willoughby, one of Porter’s ex-wives, told a Washington Post reporter over the weekend. “Having been in D.C. for upwards of 12 to 13 years, I feel like this is sufficient given what I know to be true.”

Trump Re-Ups Criticism of Obama’s Handling of Russia
POTUS pins blame on predecessor for Russia meddling in U.S. elections

President Donald Trump continued his Twitter attack on former President Barack Obama on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump kept his foot on the gas on Twitter Tuesday blaming his predecessor for Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, annexation of Crimea, and swelling influence in Syria.

The Democrats’ interest in the Russian affair, Trump alleged, arose only after he won the election.

RNC Raises $12.4 Million in January
Has four times the amount in the bank as it did at this point ahead of 2014 midterms

Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel exits the stage after speaking ahead of President-elect Donald Trump in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in December 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

The Republican National Committee announced that it has four times more cash on hand than it had at this point ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

The RNC said it raised $12.4 million in January and has a total of $40.7 million cash on hand.

DCCC Announces Six More ‘Red to Blue’ Candidates
The candidates will benefit from additional DCCC resources

Lauren Baer, a former Obama Administration foreign policy expert , is challenging first-term GOP Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six more candidates to its Red to Blue program, which helps congressional hopefuls stand out to donors and gain access to committee resources.

The candidates must meet goals for fundraising and grassroots engagement to be added to the program. The candidates will also be able to benefit from additional DCCC staff resources, guidance, trainings and organizational support.

Florida’s Tom Rooney Not Running for Re-Election
The GOP congressman leaves behind Solid Republican seat

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney will not seek a sixth term. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney announced Monday he will not seek a sixth term in November. 

“After what will be 10 years in the United States Congress representing the good people of Florida’s Heartland, it’s time to ‘hang ‘em up,’ as my old football coach used to say,” the GOP congressman said in a statement.