Daniel Lipinski

At the Races: We have 2020 vision

By Stephanie Akin, Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathé

Welcome back to At the Races! We are relaunching just as the campaign cycle gets interesting. 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.

Women’s health political fights heat up in battleground states
Opponents and supporters of abortion rights gear up for record-setting advocacy campaigns

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on the ability of proponents and opponents of abortion rights to turn out core supporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fights over abortion and birth control in all three branches of government are fueling record-setting advocacy campaigns by liberal and conservative groups ahead of the 2020 elections.

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on special interests turning out core supporters and elevating issues such as the Supreme Court’s consideration this term of a potentially landmark abortion case.

Lawmakers aim to thwart Amtrak forced-arbitration policy
New rule prevents lawsuits over injuries or deaths of passengers in rail accidents

Emergency crews at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment that killed three people in December 2017 near DuPont, Wash. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Lawmakers are in the initial stages of determining whether they can prevent Amtrak from implementing a forced arbitration policy that would bar passengers from suing if they’re hurt or killed in crashes.

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, said Wednesday that he was trying to determine how best to stop the government-supported passenger rail service from imposing the forced arbitration policy on customers. Amtrak began imposing the policy in January.

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

Oklahoma Democrat Kendra Horn, who won her seat in a surprising upset last fall, is the most vulnerable House member running in 2020. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.

Bipartisan bills push carbon tax, as GOP pollster offers Democrats help on climate
Frank Luntz pledged to help Democrats with their climate messaging

Republican pollster Frank Luntz, pledged to help Democrats address climate change in a nonpartisan, dispassionate way. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Climate change policy may be in for a softer, less polarized atmosphere with Republicans and Democrats teaming up on a flotilla of legislation to tax carbon emissions and decarbonize American industries, and a longtime Republican spin guru pledging to help Democrats with their climate messaging.

For instance, in the Senate, Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Cory Booker of New Jersey joined with Republicans Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Mike Braun of Indiana on Thursday to introduce a bill targeting emissions from the industrial sector.

House Democrats lose procedural vote to GOP minority for first time in months
Approval of Republican motion to recommit on Financial Services spending bill added a last-minute Iran amendment

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the members of his caucus who voted for the GOP motion to recommit felt they had to support the Iran language. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Democratic majority on Wednesday lost a procedural vote to the Republican minority for the first time in four months, as 37 Democrats joined Republicans in adding a last-minute Iran amendment to the Financial Services spending bill.

The amendment was approved through a Republican motion to recommit, or MTR — a procedural tool of the minority used primarily for messaging.

Beltway ‘inundated’ with fundraisers as deadline nears
From barbecue to New Kids on the Block, it’s a busy week for money-seekers in Washington

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn is breaking out the barbecue, Mario Diaz-Balart is gearing up for a transportation breakfast and Jaime Herrera Beutler is jamming out to New Kids on the Block. The second quarter scramble is officially on. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

The subject line of a recent email solicitation from Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s campaign captures this week’s fundraising scene perfectly: “You’re about to be inundated. Sorry in advance.”

With the second quarter fundraising deadline looming on Sunday, lawmakers are sounding the alarms for their donors — making pleas to far-flung, small-dollar givers online and reliable contributors from K Street’s lobbying community to help them boost their numbers.

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.

Early strike: Progressive groups unite behind Lipinski foe in Illinois
Backing for Marie Newman comes amid tension with Democratic leaders trying to protect incumbents

Marie Newman is making a second primary challenge to Rep. Daniel Lipinski in Illinois and got the early backing of liberal and abortion rights groups Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several abortion rights and progressive groups announced on Monday they are endorsing Marie Newman’s bid to oust Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski in next year’s primary, an unusually early and coordinated strike against one of the of the most moderate Democrats in Congress. 

The endorsements, from EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, MoveOn, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, are among the first from major national organizations for the 2020 primaries. 

DCCC to meet with progressives over controversial ‘blacklist’ policy
Party leaders face grassroots pressure to revise incumbent-protection policy

DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos, D- Ill., is facing pressure from progressives over a policy meant to shield incumbents from primary challengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Cheri Bustos, facing mounting pressure from the party's left, has agreed to a DCCC meeting with progressive groups who want her to ditch a controversial policy meant to shield incumbents from primary challenges, according to representatives from the progressive group Our Revolution. 

Bustos has so far given no public indication that the committee would relax its stance against working with consultants and other operatives who assist candidates who challenge incumbent House Democrats.