campaigns

Ethics report on former Schweikert chief of staff raises questions about lawmaker’s conduct
Schweikert says he will not let ethics cloud deter re-election efforts

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., said the ethics investigation into him and his chief of staff was prompted by a disgruntled former employee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. David Schweikert’s former chief of staff used official funds on a six-day trip to Arizona in which he attended Super Bowl XLIX; separately, he made impermissible contributions to his boss and received income beyond the House’s outside earned income limit for his position, according to a report made public Wednesday by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Many of the allegations into the former chief of staff, Richard Oliver Schwab, Jr., relate to Schweikert, who is under the scrutiny of a House Ethics Committee investigative subcommittee.

Rep. Greg Pence tweaked his campaign finance report ‘to avoid confusion ... from hostile reporters,’ spokesman says
Report had said Pence spent thousands on ‘lodging’ on Trump International Hotel

Rep. Greg Pence, R-Ind., amended campaign finance reports to address questions about spending at Trump International Hotel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Greg Pence, facing scrutiny for spending campaign funds on overnight stays at the Trump International Hotel, tweaked his campaign finance filings Tuesday “in order to avoid confusion here from hostile reporters,” a spokesman said.

A report to the Federal Election Commission shows that Pence, the brother of Vice President Mike Pence, has spent$22,064 at the Trump's hotel in Washington since December for various fundraising-related expenses.

Rep. Hartzler to host $500-per-person event for defense executives on eve of defense markup
The timing may raise eyebrows in the lobbying community and among campaign finance overhaul supporters

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., left, and Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., leave the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on June 13, 2018. Hartzler has invited defense industry executives and other D.C. insiders to a luncheon fundraiser Tuesday, on the eve of the panel’s signature markup of the year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated June 10, 2019, 10 p.m. | Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a high-ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, has invited defense industry executives and other D.C. insiders to a luncheon fundraiser Tuesday, on the eve of the panel’s signature markup of the year.

House Armed Services has scheduled its marathon markup of the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which sets the Defense Department’s annual policy and budget priorities, for Wednesday.

Rep. Ilhan Omar to reimburse $3,500 in misspent campaign funds
Omar pledged the money to organizations that train rookie political candidates

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a news conference at the House Triangle, on legislation to create special immigrant visas for Iraqi and Afghan wartime translators on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota regulators say Rep. Ilhan Omar violated state campaign finance rules and must reimburse $3,469.23 in campaign funds that were improperly directed to accounting expenses and out-of-state travel. 

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ordered Omar to reimburse her campaign committee for the payments Thursday. She must also pay a $500 civil fine.

HR 1 provides freshman House Democrats a McConnell 101 lesson
First-term lawmakers want to see Senate action on ethics overhaul

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., was among the freshman House Democrats urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow consideration of HR 1. "He won't even take a meeting with us," Rose says of McConnell. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While it is not quite an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, the metaphor is close enough: Freshman House Democrats who roared into the majority in January with ambitious legislative plans are increasingly facing the reality of a Senate majority leader who has little interest in what they want.

The latest reality check came on Wednesday when a substantial portion of first-year House Democrats — 62 members — urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on HR 1, a sweeping House-passed bill that seeks to fortify ethics rules for public officials, overhaul campaign finance and expand access to voting.

Abortion politics: Warning of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ versus a $41 million budget
House hearing examines restrictive state laws as anti-abortion group promises major 2020 push

Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va., described his home state of Virginia as “ground zero in the fight over late-term abortions.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Laws passed by Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, which conservatives hope will spur the Supreme Court to reverse the nationwide guarantee of a right to abortion, were the focus of heated partisan debate at a House hearing Tuesday.

Democrats on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties said the laws place an undue burden on women seeking abortion, while Republicans said they are about protecting life.

Women donors could again shatter records in 2020 elections
2018 wave propelled unprecedented number of women into Congress

The success of women candidates like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., may be helping spur increased political giving by women as the 2020 election cycle heats up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Female donors, who opened their wallets like never before in the 2018 midterm elections and helped propel an unprecedented number of women into Congress, appear poised again to break records in their contributions to congressional and presidential contenders running in 2020.

The crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, along with hotly contested Senate and House races, are motivating first-time women donors to federal campaigns, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which has tracked donors’ gender for decades.

PAC seeking campaign finance reform launches $50,000 ad targeting Mitch McConnell
Digital ad is first from Democratically aligned End Citizens United group

Outside groups are targeting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, but so far none of the big name challengers eyeing his seat in 2020 have announced a bid. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratically-aligned group End Citizens United on Tuesday launched a $50,000 digital advertising campaign aimed at unseating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky — before McConnell even has a credible challenger.

The ad, End Citizens United’s first independent expenditure of the 2020 cycle, highlights McConnell’s work to block campaign finance reform measures in Washington. 

Reps. Crenshaw, Gallagher, Waltz urge more GOP veterans to run for Congress
Republicans cite Democratic successes in 2018 midterms, and seek to recruit more veteran GOP candidates

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and two other Republican House members are making a push to elect more GOP military veterans to Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three Republican congressmen who served in the military are relaunching a PAC to help recruit more GOP veterans like themselves to run for Congress.

Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Michael Waltz of Florida announced Wednesday they are forming the War Veterans Fund PAC this cycle, which aims to recruit Republican veterans of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to run in their home districts and assist them with funding.

These Democratic women don’t want to be ‘show ponies’
Political Theater: Episode 73

Democratic House freshmen banding together to help each other raise money to keep their seats in 2020 are, from left, Reps. Mikie Sherrill, Abigail Spanberger, Elissa Slotkin, and Chrissy Houlahan, along with Rep. Elaine Luria. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five Democratic freshmen, all women with military or intelligence backgrounds, are banding together to help each other fundraise for their 2020 races. They all flipped Republican districts in 2018, and they know winning districts like theirs is the key to holding and expanding the House majority in 2020. 

After a few months in Congress, they’ve figured out who are the “workhorses” and who are the “show ponies,” in the words of Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, and they’re tired of the latter getting all the attention. Along with Slotkin, Reps. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania are fighting to hold the majority.