Denny Heck

DCCC Names First 11 Candidates in ‘Red to Blue’ Program
2018 program will include more targeted and frequent additions

Angie Craig, back for a rematch against Rep. Jason Lewis in Minnesota’s 2nd District, is one of 11 candidates named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming 11 candidates Wednesday in the first round of its Red to Blue program, which highlights strong Democratic recruits.

The list of 11 candidates, obtained first by Roll Call, includes recruits running in 10 competitive Republican-held seats and in an open seat Democrats are hoping to keep blue.

Garrett’s Jabs at Export-Import Bank May Stop His Bid to Lead It
The former N.J. congressman once voted against reauthorizing the bank

Former New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett, center — shown here at a 2015 House Financial Services hearing — has been nominated to head the Export-Import Bank, an organization he once said “embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system.” (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett faces an unusual combination of Democrats and business groups opposing his nomination to lead the Export-Import Bank as the Senate hearing on his confirmation approaches.

Garrett, who lost his bid for re-election in 2016, is part of the wing of the Republican Party that sees the Ex-Im Bank’s loan, insurance and guarantee programs as corporate welfare that mainly benefits large companies. He was a founding member of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus. 

Photos of the Week: House in While Senate's Out, Congressional Football and a Wharf
The week of Oct. 10 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., holds up bunny ear fingers behind a a technician testing the microphones before the start of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Thursday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

The House was the only chamber in session this week in Washington. The lawmakers headed out of town Thursday for their own recess. The Senate returns next week. 

The congressional football team played a game against Capitol police officers this week while D.C. leaders christened a new wharf in town. 

Word on the Hill: Week Wrap Up
Tennis tournament results, Baby Desk report, bossy staffers

A Capitol employee pushes a cot towards Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s suite of offices in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the end of a very long congressional week.

Senators spent the night in the Capitol and I’m sure many of you reading this now are running on little — or no — sleep.

Former Navy Pilot Challenging New Jersey’s Rodney Frelinghuysen
Democrats targeting Appropriations Committee chairman in 2018

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, is a Democratic target in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Navy veteran and federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill announced a challenge to New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen Thursday. 

Frelinghuysen, chair of the Appropriations Committee, is a Democratic target this cycle, and he’s facing fresh heat for voting for the Republican health care bill last week. 

The Loneliness of the DCCC Recruiter
Four open seats this year don’t provide much opportunity

Washington Rep. Denny Heck who chairs the DCCC’s Recruitment committee, says he’s realistic, but optimistic, about the Democrats’ chances of picking up open seats this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BALTIMORE — The head recruiter for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has four open seats he needs candidates for. But in an illustration of the challenges Democrats face in clawing their way back to the majority, all four vacancies are in heavily Republican districts.

At a panel here Thursday during the minority party’s issues retreat, Rep. Denny Heck of Washington, who chairs the DCCC’s Recruitment committee, said he would remain realistic, but optimistic, about the potential for Democrats to fill the positions long held by the opposing party. The four seats are the ones held by Republicans picked to serve in the administration of President Donald Trump.

DCCC Announces 2018 Leadership Team
Expanded team includes returning members and some fresh faces

Washington Rep. Denny Heck will return as DCCC recruitment chairman for the 2018 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced his leadership team for the 2018 cycle on Thursday.

The 20-person team, shared first with Roll Call, is an expanded group from previous cycles. 

NRCC Goes After Blue-Collar Districts in 2018
GOP campaign arm releases list of 36 initial targets

Rep. Tim Walz speaks with guests during a campaign event in Duluth for fellow Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s initial list of offensive targets for 2018 includes 36 Democrat-held districts, many in blue-collar areas of the country.

If Democrats are targeting the well-educated suburbs (see New Jersey’s 11th District, for example), where Donald Trump either barely won or underperformed, Republicans are going after many rural districts where Hillary Clinton underperformed the congressional ticket. 

New Democrats Want a Piece of the Policy Pie
Coalition arranges task forces around top issues

Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer hopes the task forces gives the New Democrats a chance to help hone policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are in control of Congress, but the House’s New Democrat Coalition does not plan to sit by and let the GOP generate all the policy ideas on issues like taxes, infrastructure and cybersecurity. 

In continuing with their effort to be leaders on policy issues and find potential areas of bipartisan compromise, the New Democrats are launching new task forces designed to generate policy solutions for issues on the GOP’s congressional agenda, as well as policy areas that may not get as much traction in a Republican-controlled Congress, Rep. Derek Kilmer, the coalition’s vice chairman of policy, told Roll Call.

John Rutherford Continues Recuperation
In the House, new Intelligence Committee members announced

Florida Republican Rep. John Rutherford has been dealing with a health scare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Washington continues to prepare for the inauguration, one member looks to fully recover from a health scare, while others are settling into new roles on a key committee.

Florida Rep. John Rutherford is expected to be released from the hospital in “the next several days” after the freshman congressman suffered an “acute digestive flare up,” according to his chief of staff, Kelly Simpson.