Andy Barr

DCCC sets its eyes on Texas suburbs and beyond for 2020
House Democrats unveiled their offensive targets for presidential year

Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, won re-election to his suburban Dallas seat last fall by just 3 points. He’s on the Democrats’ target list for 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the heels of their historic midterm success, the House Democratic campaign arm has identified 32 Republican-held seats it’d like to peel off in 2020. 

Democrats netted 40 seats in the chamber last fall by going after the suburbs and areas of diverse and rapid population growth where President Donald Trump has been unpopular. The party is looking to the next tier of these districts to help them make more gains next year. 

DCCC hits Republicans on shutdown in first digital spending of 2020 cycle
Facebook ads target 25 Republicans for missed pay for national security workers

The DCCC’s first digital expenditure of the 2020 cycle uses the government shutdown to attack GOP incumbents like Minnesota’s Jim Hagedorn, pictured above in his Mankato, Minn., campaign office last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s first digital spending of the 2020 cycle attacks House Republicans for the shutdown.

The DCCC ads, obtained first by Roll Call, will target 25 House Republicans, specifically blaming them for national security workers missing their second paycheck. The static ads begin running Friday and will be geotargeted on Facebook. 

CFPB asks Congress for authority to sniff out predatory military lenders
Previous director piqued Democrats when he said the bureau doesn’t yet have legal standing to audit firms

Kathy Kraninger, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, submitted a legislative proposal to “clarify” the bureau’s authority to supervise compliance with a military lending law. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking Congress to give the agency explicit authority to examine financial services companies for compliance with a law that caps how much a creditor can charge military servicemembers for loans.

In letters sent Thursday to Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger submitted a legislative proposal to “clarify” the bureau’s authority to supervise compliance with a military lending law designed to protect servicemembers from certain lending practices that may be considered predatory.

Democrats back Pelosi decision to delay State of the Union as Republicans cry politics
Pelosi can prevent joint session from occurring Jan. 29 since Congress has yet to pass a concurrent resolution setting date

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., here with Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., right, and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., wants the State of the Union delayed until the government is reopened. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats lined up behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to delay the State of the Union until the government is reopened, even as Republicans decried the California Democrat for playing hardball politics, saying the speech should occur Jan. 29 as scheduled.

Pelosi jolted Washington on Wednesday when she sent a letter to President Donald Trump seeking to postpone a joint session of Congress to receive his annual address. While she offered it as a suggestion, it’s ultimately her call.

They raised millions and lost. Now what?
Democrats who were top fundraisers look to stay involved in politics

Kentucky’s Amy McGrath was one of the top Democratic fundraisers of the 2018 cycle in her unsuccessful challenge to GOP Rep. Andy Barr. (Jason Davis/Getty Images file photo)

Democrats who ran for the House in 2018 shattered fundraising records, some even surpassing Senate candidates. But not all of the cycle’s top fundraisers ended up winning their races. 

That’s left a number of candidates — with high profiles and massive donor lists — pondering their next moves. And some are still eyeing careers in politics. 

The Future of Ads Is Digital — But Not Quite the Present
Some say campaigns are still slow to shift to digital-focused strategies

An iPhone captures then-presidential candidate Donald Trump after the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate in early 2016. (Meredith Dake-O’Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There were plenty of signs that Democrats found success online this election cycle: catchy videos went viral; a burgeoning army of small-dollar donors produced eye-popping fundraising numbers; and voters targeted online showed up at the polls. 

But for some in the party, their digital efforts left much to be desired. Television ads still dominated campaigns, and Republican outside groups outpaced Democrats in digital ad spending. 

Andy Barr Started Out as Mitch McConnell’s Intern
‘I kind of dove right in,’ Kentucky Republican says

From Mitch McConnell’s intern to Heritage Foundation hire, Andy Barr had worn a lot of hats in Washington before he returned as a lawmaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thousands of House and Senate staffers storm across Capitol Hill each day, many with ambitions of their own for one day holding higher office. They may want to take a page out of Rep. Andy Barr’s book.

The Kentucky Republican, fresh off a 51-48 victory over Democratic fighter pilot Amy McGrath in the midterms last month, will be back for a fourth term in January. It all started with an internship in Mitch McConnell’s office.

How FEC Babysitting Decision Could Pave Way for More Hill Diversity
Candidates, advocates say barrier has been broken for young mothers and middle-class candidates

Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath was among a handful of 2018 candidates who reported child care as part of their campaign expenses. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amy McGrath broke records with the millions of dollars she raised in her congressional bid in Kentucky. But for most of her campaign, the first-time Democratic candidate struggled to pay for one critical expense: the $15-per-hour babysitter that federal officials said she had to pay from her own pocket.

So she did what dozens of other candidates with young children do. She brought plastic cars and old puzzles to her campaign headquarters for after-school entertainment. She brought her kids to her stump speeches. And every time she was expected to attend an evening campaign event with her husband, she paid from a family budget already stretched to its limits, or she stayed at home. 

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

Democrats Take Control of the House With Victories in the Suburbs
Republicans struggled in districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell defeated GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida's 26th District.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are poised to take over the House after notching key victories in the suburbs.

NBC, ABC News and CNN projected Democrats would take control of the chamber even as the outcome in number of competitive races remains unclear. But early Democratic victories signaled a tough night for Republicans, especially in the 25 GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.