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What Really Happens During Congress’ Freshman Orientation
Political Theater, Episode 45

Members-elect from left, Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., take a selfie after the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on November 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

What’s my Representational Allowance? Why can’t I take pictures on the House floor? Where are the bathrooms? Newly elected lawmakers are participating in freshman orientation this week, and while it has a first day of school vibe, they should pay attention. It could save them some embarrassment, and maybe even avoid getting into hot water with the Ethics Committee or even federal authorities. Roll Call Staff Writer Katherine Tully-McManus runs down what the members-to-be are doing during freshman orientation, and why it matters.

Fist Bumps and Bagels in 40-Degree Weather: The Next Congress Has Arrived
Members-elect take line up for their traditional class photograph as part of New Member Orientation

Members-elect from left, Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., take a selfie after the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshly elected members of Congress from warmer climates got their first taste of D.C. winters on Wednesday.

But chilly November temperatures couldn’t derail their first class photo — a ritual in which dozens of newcomers squeeze onto risers as the Capitol looms in the background.

A Father Drops Off His Son for Congress’ Freshman Orientation
Andy Levin, who will succeed his father in the House, was one of dozens of new members in Washington to learn the ropes

Members-elect from left, Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., Colin Allred, D-Texas, and Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., arrive for New Member Orientation at the Courtyard Marriott in Southeast Washington on Nov. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Retiring Rep. Sander M. Levin drove away from the Courtyard Marriott in Southeast Washington, leaving his son on the curb in front of the hotel.

It was a true first day of school moment for Michigan Rep.-elect Andy Levin, who will be succeeding his father. As the Democrat made his way into the lobby around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, the official orientation for new members of Congress was just getting started.

Trump Claims No Mueller Probe Chats With Acting AG Whitaker
Sessions replacement has blasted Russia probe in the past

President Donald Trump says he has never discussed the Russia investigation with Acting Attorny General Matthew Whitaker. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday claimed he has never discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling and possible coordination with his campaign with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

“I didn’t speak to Matt Whitaker” about the ongoing Justice Department probe before naming him to the post, Trump said. 

There Will Be More Latinos in Congress Than Ever
42 Hispanic members will serve in the 116th Congress

Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington won a fourth term in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Washington Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s re-election win made official Wednesday night, Congress is set to see its largest ever class of Latino lawmakers. 

There will be at least 42 Latinos serving, between both chambers, come January.

The Midterms' Most Memorable Moments
Political Theater, Episode 44

Constituents show their disagreement as Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., answers a question during his town hall meeting at the Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J., on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Every campaign season is defined by moments when the big picture starts to come into focus. A parade outside Kansas City where Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder is confronted about gun violence. A pizza parlor in New Jersey becomes an overflow town hall. Roll Call politics reporters Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman and elections analyst Nathan Gonzales discuss such moments during the 2018 midterms, as well as how to address the dreaded election hangover we’re all suffering.

 

Trump Country Democrats Hold Their Own
Trump’s policy agenda was not a winning message for Republican challengers

Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois was one of nine Democrats who have held onto their seats in districts Donald Trump won in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Of the 12 Democrats running for seats in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016, nine had claimed victory by Wednesday afternoon.

Democrats were aided by flawed opponents who ran on Republican legislative priorities that poll poorly among independent voters — including the 2017 tax bill and the prolonged push to strip protections for patients with preexisting conditions from the 2010 health law.

Indictment Caucus: Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins Win Re-Election
Republicans facing federal charges win over their voters

House Republicans Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins won re-election, despite facing federal indictments. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call).

Two House Republicans under federal indictments are heading back to Congress. Voters in California and New York are sending Reps. Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins back to Capitol Hill even as they face federal charges.

Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted by a federal grand jury in late August for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and covering their tracks in campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission. The couple is facing 60 federal charges.

Two Electorates, Two Outcomes
Consensus, bipartisanship could be in short supply

The 2018 midterm showed the divided electorate with its divided outcome. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s rare that both parties can celebrate after an election, but that’s exactly the situation after Republicans gained a handful of Senate seats and Democrats picked up around 30 House seats Tuesday night.

Conservatives, white men (particularly those without a college degree) and pro-Trump voters backed GOP nominees, while women (particularly those with a college degree), minorities and younger voters lined up overwhelmingly behind the Democrats.

Where Newly Elected Democrats Stand on Nancy Pelosi Speaker Bid
Few of the winners have explicitly said they’d vote against Pelosi on the floor

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi takes the podium before speaking during an election watch party at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C. Pelosi is seeking another bid for the speakership. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Updated on Nov. 14 at 7:51 p.m. | Now that she’s helped Democrats win the House majority, Nancy Pelosi’s bid to reclaim the speaker’s gavel is officially underway. 

Several Democratic candidates expressed opposition to Pelosi or echoed general calls for new leadership during their campaigns, but only a handful had made specific pledges to oppose her during a floor vote for speaker. That number has grown since the election.