Amy Klobuchar

At the Races: Is Iowa over yet?

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Republicans attack bill to block Minnesota wilderness mining
Mining in Boundary Waters, bill critics say, will help meet U.S. renewable energy needs

Gosar led Republican attacks on the bill to protect a Minnesota wilderness from mining. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Wednesday ripped into a bill that would block mining in about 340 square miles of sprawling wilderness in northeast Minnesota, arguing the legislation would harm the expansion of renewable energy sources.

Leading the attack at a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing was Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. At times bordering on shouting, Gosar said failing to ramp up U.S. mining would leave the country beholden to foreign powers and lead to exploitation of child workers abroad.

After Iowa, a boost for Buttigieg and concerns for Biden and Warren
Partial results put the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor in enviable position

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg talks with attendees at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa, on Aug. 15. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — One state down, and many states to go. In one respect, Pete Buttigieg “won” the Iowa caucuses Monday evening regardless whether he finishes first in delegates or in the popular vote.

One year ago, Buttigieg was a mere asterisk in the Democratic contest. Then 37 years old and the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg seemed unlikely to raise the necessary money or excite Democratic voters, who were likely to gravitate to better-known officeholders like former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Even former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, fresh off an unsuccessful but enthusiasm-generating Senate campaign, seemed like a potentially more significant hopeful in the Democratic field.

Lobbyists donate to presidential contenders, who then reject it
Democrats have policies against lobbyist cash

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shown speaking at the Iowa State Fair in August 2019, does not accept lobbyist campaign donations. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic presidential contenders — including Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren — have official policies of rejecting campaign donations from registered federal lobbyists, but lobbyists still donated to all of them in recent months, new disclosures show. 

Some of the K Street cash has already been refunded to the contributors, lobbyists told CQ Roll Call. Other donations may be on their way back, as some of the campaigns said they would return any newly identified contributions from registered federal lobbyists. 

Majority of election sites in battleground states lack validation, McAfee finds
Local government election-related websites lack the .gov domain

A Board of Elections official places signs around the One Judiciary Square building as District of Columbia residents head to the polls for the first day of early voting in the 2014 general election at the Board of Elections headquarters in Washington on Oct. 20, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A vast majority of election-related websites operated by local governments in battleground states lack a key feature that would help distinguish them from those run by commercial entities or criminal hackers — a site that ends in .gov as opposed to .com or other extensions, according to cybersecurity research firm McAfee.

Of 1,117 counties in 13 key states, which account for 201 of the 270 Electoral College votes that determine the winner of presidential contests, 83.3 percent didn’t have the .gov validation, McAfee found. 

View from the gallery: Senators pack up desks as impeachment trial nears its end
Chamber takes on a last-day-of-school vibe

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., leaves the Capitol after the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Feb. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer tightly hugged Rep. Adam B. Schiff just after the closing argument in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and spoke directly into the House lead manager’s ear for about 10 seconds.

Before the New York senator let go, he gave Schiff three loud pats on the back, as a line of other Senate Democrats waited to hug the California Democrat or shake his hand.

Impeachment news roundup: Feb. 3
House managers and Trump defense team revisit familiar themes in closing arguments

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, arrives at the Capitol on Monday before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Warren is expected to leave Washington later Monday for Iowa for the first contest in the Democratic presidential primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5 p.m.

Both sides in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial delivered their closing arguments today, with Democrats defending their case — and staff members — while the president’s team repeated their allegations that the impeachment effort is just a bid to undo Trump’s election.

View from the gallery: Restless senators eager to flee impeachment court for weekend
Chief justice silences senators for the first time in the trial

From left, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., leave the Senate Republicans’ caucus meeting in the Capitol during a recess in the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Friday evening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton accidentally voted the wrong way on a procedural vote late Friday during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, so when he got the next vote right he turned to his colleagues and took a dramatic bow.

Georgia Republican David Perdue missed his queue to vote twice because he was chatting with Texas Republican Ted Cruz, who offered to take the blame.

Senate plans Wednesday vote to acquit Trump
Chamber adopts second organizing resolution to allow senators to have their say

Reporters watch the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the Senate Press Gallery in the Capitol on Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8 p.m. | The Senate is now expected to vote to acquit President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one day after the president delivers his State of the Union address to Congress.

After rejecting a move Friday night that would have allowed motions to introduce witnesses and documents to the impeachment proceeding, the two parties huddled to discuss next steps, eventually deciding on a second organizing resolution for the trial that takes it to a conclusion. 

Senate rejects motion for witnesses at Trump impeachment trial
Trial now moves toward acquittal, but schedule far from certain

House managers Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia, D-Texas, and Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., walk to the Senate chamber for the start of the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Jan. 31. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Friday rejected a motion to hear from additional witnesses or to see new documents in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, ending weeks of speculation over whether Republicans would break with their party to extend the trial.

Republican senators largely stuck together in Friday’s pivotal 49-51 vote that would have allowed the body to subpoena new information before voting on whether to remove Trump from office on the two articles of impeachment presented by House impeachment managers.