Who Is Cecil Andrus?
How the late Idaho governor almost derailed the omnibus

Former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus speaks during the National Audubon Society Gala Dinner at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on March 31, 2015. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for The National Audubon Society)

Cecil who?

The spirit of the late Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus graced the political stage this week when a provision in the omnibus spending package naming the Gem State’s White Clouds Wilderness after the Democrat snarled progress on the legislation, which was needed to fund the government past Friday.

Rep. Lujan Grisham Gets Restraining Order Against Former Intern
New Mexico Dem ‘fearful’ of fired intern, who says she was discriminated against because she is transgender

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order against a former intern in her office on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order Tuesday against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Steve Israel to Democrats: Don’t Be Distracted by 2018 Midterms
Former DCCC chairman wants party to focus on winning governorships

Former New York Rep. Steve Israel is looking beyond 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Steve Israel, former two-time chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, isn’t giving the DCCC his time this year. He’s taking a longer view of House Democratic campaign politics.

He’s been sounding the alarm, urging Democratic activists and donors to look beyond flipping the House in 2018, which he’s still not very bullish about, and focus on controlling the state infrastructure that will allow them to hold whatever gains they make in 2018 and pick up more seats after the next redistricting.

Bredesen Says He and Corker Discussed Senate Race
Corker’s retirement led to former Democratic governor’s candidacy

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., briefly reconsidered his decision not to seek re-election before announcing he would not run. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Senate candidate and former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said he and outgoing Republican Sen. Bob Corkerhad “numerous” conversations about the race.

Bredesen’s candidacy has cleared the Democratic field after Corker announced in September he would not seek re-election after two terms.

Trump Again Criticizes Police Over Florida School Massacre
President: I would have confronted gunman ‘even if I didn’t have a weapon‘

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks with President Donald Trump as they arrive for the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch in the Capitol on Oct. 24. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump again on Monday criticized Florida law enforcement officers who did not enter the Parkland high school where a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people earlier this month.

“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” the president told a group of Republican and Democratic governors during a summit on a range of issues at the White House. He called it “disgusting” that a handful of officers who responded to the shooting quickly did not immediately storm the school.

Medicaid Changes Require Tens of Millions in Upfront Costs
But Kentucky governor says move will eventually yield savings for state

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin projects that the state’s Medicaid program — which could cost nearly $187 million in the first six months with the addition of work requirements and other sweeping changes — will eventually yield savings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The addition of work requirements and other sweeping changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program could cost nearly $187 million in the first six months alone to get up and running. 

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin projects that the program will eventually yield savings but the changes require an upfront investment in administrative expenses. Much of that money is aimed at creating complex electronic systems and other changes needed to track work hours, monthly premium payments and other elements of Kentucky’s recently approved plan to revamp the government insurance program for low-income Americans.

Florida to Be Spared In Offshore Drilling Expansion, Zinke Says
Sen. Bill Nelson alleges move was aimed at helping rival score political points

The Interior Department has backed away from a proposal to expand offshore drilling on Florida’s two coasts. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

A plan to open Florida’s tourism-dependent Atlantic and Gulf coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling was dropped by the Trump administration on Tuesday after a bipartisan backlash that also threatened to complicate a must-pass fiscal 2018 spending bill.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose department on Jan. 4 revealed a draft five-year plan for expanding the sale of federal offshore drilling leases to the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, announced Tuesday night on Twitter that Florida’s two coasts would not be included in the expansion.

Northeastern Lawmakers Unite Against Trump Offshore Drilling Plan
Republicans and Democrats from region join Florida and West Coast colleagues blasting plan

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, penned a joint letter on Monday to resist the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans off their state’s coast. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers in the Northeast united across party lines on Monday to hazard against President Donald Trump’s offshore drilling plan to re-open more than 90 percent of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas companies.

Roughly 94 percent of the coastline, including the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts, remains off limits to oil and gas drilling. But Trump’s Interior Department revealed a five-year plan proposing 47 potential lease sales to energy companies through 2024, including two in the North Atlantic region from Maine to New Jersey.

DeSantis Touts Trump Endorsement in Announcing Florida Governor Run
Florida rep is 10th GOP House member to announce run for higher office

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced Friday he will run for governor of Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ron DeSantis will run for Florida governor in 2018, the third-term Republican announced Friday morning.

Appearing on the morning cable show “Fox & Friends,” DeSantis touted his strong relationship with President Donald Trump — who endorsed the 39-year-old lawmaker for a governor bid in recent weeks — before revealing his intention to run.

Speier, ‘MeToo’ Spearhead in House, Shoots Down Governor Run Rumor
Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown speculated about her plans in newspaper column

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., denied through a spokesman Wednesday she was weighing a possible bid for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jackie Speier tamped down gossip from the New Year’s weekend that she was considering entering the California governor race with a statement Wednesday flatly denying any such claims.

“I still have a lot of work to do in Washington,” the Bay Area Democrat said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.