Bridget Bowman

Who’s holding the impeachment hearings? Meet the House Intelligence Committee
Backgrounds vary on Intelligence Committee looking at impeachment of Trump

Most members of the House Intelligence Committee aren’t household names, but they’re about to be thrust into the national spotlight.

The committee this week begins public hearings in the House’s impeachment inquiry, which is investigating whether President Donald Trump abused his office by withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political opponents.

Former VA nominee Ronny Jackson eyes run for Congress
Jackson withdrew from consideration amid misconduct allegations he called ‘completely false’

Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson is considering a run for Congress in Texas, two sources familiar with his plans said Friday.

Jackson was the chief White House physician in 2018, when President Donald Trump nominated him to be Veterans Affairs secretary. But Jackson withdrew his name from consideration amid allegations that he abused alcohol and mishandled prescription drugs, although he said at the time the charges were “completely false and fabricated.”

Jeff Sessions’ return could be rocky, thanks to Trump
President is a major factor in GOP primaries, which could be a problem

Former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ decision to return to politics might be rockier than he anticipated, given his clashes with President Donald Trump. 

Loyalty to the president is a central factor in GOP primaries and, as Trump’s attorney general, Sessions drew the president’s ire for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Without Beto O’Rourke, Texas Senate primary is ‘wide open’
Crowded field of Democrats vying to take on three-term Republican John Cornyn

It’s not difficult to find a former presidential candidate who swore off running for Senate and then changed his mind. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper did in August. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio did it too, in 2016.

Just don’t expect former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke to join them after ending his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination

Jeff Sessions to run for Senate in Alabama again
Former attorney general’s tangles with Trump could be a liability in campaign

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to run for his old Senate seat in Alabama, a source familiar with his plans said.

He has yet to file with the state Republican Party, according to a party spokeswoman. The deadline is Friday. 

DCCC’s Lucinda Guinn hopes to turn tragedy and turmoil into triumph
Texas mass shooting, recent committee upheaval strengthen executive director’s resolve

This summer, Lucinda Guinn was weighing whether to apply to be the next executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It was already several months into the 2020 cycle, and the committee staff was in upheaval.

Then tragedy struck her hometown.

The most vulnerable 2020 House and Senate incumbents, explained
Political Theater, Episode 99

One year out from Election Day 2020 and Senate Republicans and House Democrats find themselves in parallel universes. The GOP is on defense in Senate races, where more Republicans are on the ballot, and it’s the opposite in the House, where many Democrats who won in hostile territory last year find themselves in tough races. CQ Roll Call’s campaign team, Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin, run through the 10 most vulnerable members of both the House and Senate.

Show Notes:

The 10 most vulnerable senators in 2020: Republicans play defense
2 GOP senators must win in states that went for Hillary Clinton in ’16

Although most competitive Senate races in 2020 involve Republicans defending their seats, it’s a Democratic senator who tops the list of the most vulnerable incumbents in the chamber one year out from Election Day.

Alabama’s Doug Jones is running for a full Senate term after winning a special election in 2017, and he faces the difficult task of overcoming the partisan dynamics of a deeply Republican state. Michigan Sen. Gary Peters is the other Democrat running in a state that President Donald Trump won in 2016, but he is further down the list, since Trump won the Wolverine State by a much smaller margin.

The 10 most vulnerable House members in 2020: Democrats dominate
Majority on defense after significant gains in last year’s midterms

One year out from the 2020 elections, the most vulnerable member of the House is the Oklahoma Democrat whose upset win surprised even astute politicos last fall. She is joined by a California Republican who is under indictment and numerous Democrats running in districts President Donald Trump easily won in 2016.

Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to win control of the House, and they see their path back to the majority running through so-called Trump districts that slipped from the party’s grasp in the midterms. Whether they succeed depends on next year’s political climate and the strength of their candidates. In some districts, the GOP has worked hard to recruit more diverse challengers, especially after Democrats’ success electing women last year.

Beto O’Rourke ends bid for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination
Ex-congressman captured national attention in losing 2018 Senate bid in Texas

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is ending his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, writing in a Medium post Friday that his campaign “does not have the means to move forward successfully.”

“My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country,” O’Rourke wrote.

Rep. Katie Hill says ‘double standard’ forced her out of office
California Democrat is resigning after scandal involving explicit photos and affair allegations

California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill apologized for letting down her constituents, staff and loved ones as she made her final floor speech Thursday, but she also railed against a “double standard” and “misogynistic culture” that she said forced her out of office.

“I’m leaving, but we have men who have been credibly accused of intentional acts of sexual violence and remain in boardrooms, on the Supreme Court, in this very body, and, worst of all, in the Oval Office,” she said on the House floor the day before she leaves office. 

Meet the two Democrats who broke with their party on impeachment
Collin Peterson and Jeff Van Drew represent districts Trump carried by very different margins

Two Democrats in competitive districts broke with their party on Thursday’s impeachment resolution in the House — a reminder of how complicated the politics of impeachment may be in seats in conservative parts of the country that Democrats want to hold in 2020.

Minnesota’s Collin C. Peterson and New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew were the only two House Democrats to vote against the resolution, which lays out procedures that will govern the public portion of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It was adopted 232-196 without any Republican support.

Katie Hill’s exit shakes up competitive race in Southern California
Expensive special election in Los Angeles TV market would face both parties

Democratic Rep. Katie Hill’s decision to resign amid allegations of an improper relationship with her staffer has upended the battle to control a competitive district in Southern California.

Republicans believe they can win the 25th District back, especially now that they don’t have to face Hill and her sizable war chest, which was already at $1.5 million on Sept. 30. But Democrats contend that the district will stay in their hands, citing partisan dynamics and demographics of the district.

Oregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden not running for reelection
Walden is the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden announced Monday that he will not run for reelection to a 12th term next year.

Walden, 62, said in a statement he was confident he would have won re-election, but “the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities.”

Senate Majority PAC announces new senior staff
Democratic super PAC raised and spent more than $164 million in 2018 cycle

The Democratic super PAC focused on Senate races is announcing a new round of senior staff hires, according to an announcement shared first with CQ Roll Call. All of the new staffers are women with experience in competitive races. 

Senate Majority PAC is a major spender in Senate races and its president, J.B. Poersch, said the group is looking to expand the Senate map in 2020. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates eight GOP-held Senate seats as competitive, and Democrats need a net gain of four seats to flip the Senate (or three if they win the White House, since the vice president casts the chamber’s tie-breaking vote).

Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid allegations of improper relationships with staffers
Ethics Committee last week said that it would investigate allegations

Mired in scandal over allegations she had an improper relationship with a congressional aide and revelations about another affair she and her now estranged husband had with a woman on her 2018 campaign staff, California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill announced Sunday that she is resigning. 

“It is with a broken heart that today I announce my resignation from Congress,” Hill said in a statement. “This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I believe it is the best thing for my constituents, my community, and our country.”

John Conyers Jr., former dean of the House, has died
Former Judiciary chairman resigned his seat after a 2017 sexual harassment scandal

Former House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr., who served more than five decades in Congress, died Sunday at age 90, a spokesperson confirmed.

The Democrat from Michigan had been the longest serving African American lawmaker in congressional history, but resigned in 2017 amid a sexual harassment scandal after what was seen as an illustrious career.

Vulnerable GOP senators back Graham impeachment resolution
Condemnation of Democrats’ process signals strategy for 2020 hopefuls as probe continues

Republican senators who could be vulnerable in next year’s elections, including some who have declined to say whether it would be appropriate for a president to use U.S. aid to get political favors from a foreign leader, have signed on to a measure condemning the House impeachment process.

Their support for a resolution introduced in the Senate on Thursday by South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shows the GOP is rallying behind criticism of Democrats’ tactics as a way to blunt questions about President Donald Trump’s behavior.

Republicans scramble to dispose of campaign cash from Giuliani associates
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas plead not guilty Wednesday to violating campaign finance laws

Republican lawmakers unwittingly entangled in a campaign finance scandal have scrambled to get rid of contributions from two men at the center of the alleged wrongdoing, both of whom were back in court Wednesday.

Igor Fruman and and Lev Parnas pleaded not guilty to violating campaign finance laws when they appeared in federal court in New York for their arraignment. Fruman, Parnas and two other men were indicted earlier this month for “engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates.” The indictment alleged the two men did so to “buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates’ governments.”

Democratic Rep. Katie Hill denies relationship with congressional staffer
Conservative blog alleged California lawmaker had affair with man who is now her legislative director

Rep. Katie Hill on Tuesday denied allegations she had an improper relationship with the man who is her legislative director. The California Democrat said in a statement that her estranged husband is attempting to humiliate her and suggested there is a “coordinated effort” to destroy her.

On Friday, conservative blog RedState published a story detailing Hill’s alleged relationships with 2018 campaign staffers. The first allegation involved a female campaign staffer who entered into a relationship with Hill and Hill’s husband. The second allegation is that Hill also had an extramarital affair with Graham Kelly, who worked for her campaign and is now her legislative director. A relationship with a current congressional staffer would be a violation of House rules.