Collin C Peterson

States in the Midwest with outsize roles in the 2020 elections
Rust Belt states helped decide the presidency, and have numerous competitive races for House, Senate

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst’s reelection is one of several that make Iowa at battleground state in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.

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.

Democrats facing tough races receive suspicious packages after impeachment vote
Packages sent from National Republican Congressional Committee prompted Capitol Police to investigate

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., was one of several Democrats who were sent a suspicious package by the NRCC Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several House Democrats in battleground districts complained Thursday that a political stunt by Republicans intended to warn them they would not be in office long because of impeachment instead ended up wasting the time of Capitol Police after aides complained of receiving suspicious packages.

The National Republican Congressional Committee sent packing boxes to the Capitol Hill offices of the Democrats, most of whom flipped Republican districts in 2018 and are expected to have competitive campaigns to keep them next year.

Meet the two Democrats who broke with their party on impeachment
Collin Peterson and Jeff Van Drew represent districts Trump carried by very different margins

Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson was one of just two Democrats who voted against Democrats’ impeachment resolution in the House on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Democrats in competitive districts broke with their party on Thursday’s impeachment resolution in the House — a reminder of how complicated the politics of impeachment may be in seats in conservative parts of the country that Democrats want to hold in 2020.

Minnesota’s Collin C. Peterson and New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew were the only two House Democrats to vote against the resolution, which lays out procedures that will govern the public portion of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It was adopted 232-196 without any Republican support.

House Democrats adopt rules for public impeachment proceedings
Procedures set up public hearings in Intelligence panel, deliberations on articles in Judiciary

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the results of the vote on a resolution outlining rules for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Thursday. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Pool)

House Democrats adopted a resolution Thursday adopting procedures that will govern the public portion of their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but no Republicans joined them in supporting the measure despite requesting the probe be conducted transparently. 

In a rare move for the speaker showing the seriousness of the vote, Nancy Pelosi presided over the chamber as the House adopted the resolution, 232-196. 

House Democrats clarify impeachment procedures but probe remains partisan
Republicans get some process answers they've asked for but said it's too late to fix 'broken' inquiry

Rep. Collin C. Peterson is among a small number of Democrats who have not publicly endorsed the impeachment inquiry. On Thursday, he'll go down on record on a resolution outlining the process for it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A House vote on a resolution outlining procedures for the next phase of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry may nullify some specific GOP complaints about the process, but it is not going to change the partisan divide over whether President Donald Trump should be removed from office.

The resolution specifies that the Intelligence Committee shall conduct the public hearing portion of the impeachment inquiry. It allows for the chairman and ranking member of the committee or a designated staff member to conduct multiple rounds of 90-minute questioning, alternating sides every 45 minutes, before moving into a traditional hearing format allowing all committee members five minutes of questioning each, alternating between the parties.

DCCC again asks NRCC to pledge not to use hacked materials
Bustos resending a letter first sent to Emmer six months ago

DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos is resending a pledge to her NRCC counterpart about not using hacked material. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is renewing a request to its Republican counterpart that both parties pledge not to use hacked materials in the 2020 campaign.

DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois first sent such a letter to National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Emmer in April. Six months later, she’s resending the letter, following House passage — largely along party lines — of an election security bill this week.

Health care riders, farm payouts slow stopgap deal
Bill pulled from House Rules agenda late Tuesday afternoon

Montana Sen. Jon Tester is among those objecting to potential provisions in a stopgap spending bill needed to keep the government open after Sept. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trade assistance for farmers hit by retaliatory tariffs and the details of several health care program extensions were standing in the way of agreement on a stopgap funding measure Tuesday, sources said.

According to a senior Democratic aide, the bill was likely to include an increase in the Commodity Credit Corporation’s $30 billion borrowing cap that the Trump administration asked for earlier this month. But provisions on “accountability and transparency” were still under discussion, the aide said.

How a handful of vulnerable incumbents got bills signed into law
Bipartisanship is key, according to Democrats who got bills through the Senate

From left, Democrats Tom O’Halleran, Antonio Delgado and Lucy McBath are in the DCCC’s Frontline program for vulnerable members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

House Democrats frequently complain about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocking bills they’ve passed, but 30 of the 56 measures that have been signed into law so far this Congress have been theirs.

Some of those bills include bipartisan, bicameral spending agreements needed to keep the government operational or extensions of critical government programs, while others represent policy needs members have identified. 

Lowey faces her first primary challenge in three decades
Powerful chairwoman to face 32-year-old newcomer in Democratic contest

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, an 82-year-old incumbent who was first elected in 1988, speaks to reporters in July 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The year was 1988. Def Leppard topped the charts and stonewashed jeans were all the rage. It was also the last time powerful House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey faced a primary challenge.

That’s all changed now with the decision by Mondaire Jones, a former Obama administration Justice Department staffer and attorney for Westchester County’s Law Department, to challenge Lowey in next June’s primary. The 32-year-old political novice plans to take on the New York Democratic incumbent over her positions on issues ranging from climate change to student debt forgiveness to oversight of the Trump administration.