leadership

Bill Nelson Concedes Florida Senate Race After Hand Recount
Governor Rick Scott’s victory over Nelson boosts GOP’s Senate majority

Florida Gov. Rick Scott held the hand of his grandson, Auguste, at his election night party in Naples, Fla. The Associated Press declared Scott the winner after a recount. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has conceded Florida’s Senate race to his Republican opponent Gov. Rick Scott following a hand recount.

“I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service. This victory would not be possible without the hard work of so many people,” Scott said in a statement. “Now the campaign truly is behind us, and that’s where we need to leave it.”

Incoming Freshman Chrissy Houlahan Running for Democratic Leadership Post
Pennsylvania member-elect announces bid for Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chair

Rep.-elect Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., is running to be one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pennsylvania member-elect Chrissy Houlahan is launching a bid for Democratic leadership, arguing that the nearly 60 incoming freshmen should be represented as the caucus crafts its messaging strategy for defending its newly obtained majority.

“I think that people recognize that there is this great big class of people who are coming in with kind of fresh experience and fresh legs and fresh ideas and that if we would like to maintain the majority that we need to make sure that we’re listening to everybody,” she said in an interview. 

Trump Heading to Mississippi to Give Hyde-Smith a Runoff Boost
Senator has drawn national headlines for controversial comments

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump will make an eleventh-hour attempt to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in Republican hands later this month when he headlines two rallies there the day before a runoff election.

His campaign organization announced Saturday the president will hold two rallies on Nov. 26 on behalf of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. He will be in Tupelo at 5 p.m. and then in Biloxi three hours later.

Trump Casts Himself as Pelosi’s Speaker Savior
‘I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants,’ president claims

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she has ample support among Democrats to become the next speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Saturday said he can twist enough House Republican arms to give Nancy Pelosi the necessary votes to become speaker.

The California Democrat publicly says she has ample support within her own caucus to secure the gavel. But all indications are a floor vote could be close, meaning Republicans could opt — for a list of reasons — to put her over the top.

Democrats Who Ran Anti-Pelosi Campaigns Show Signs of Cracking
Two in New Jersey, one in Michigan leave door open to supporting Pelosi after spurning her during campaign

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on November 15, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some of the newly elected Democratic House members who said on the campaign trail they would not support Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for speaker have already shown signs of cracking as Pelosi ramps up the pressure for them not to divide the party before it even takes control of the chamber in January.

Rep.-elect Mikie Sherrill, a New Jersey Democrat who said during her campaign that the party needs “new leadership, and it starts at the top,” declined to affirm that statement after meeting with Pelosi on Friday.

Photos of the Week: Lame Duck, New Member Orientation and Official Class Photos
The week of Nov. 12 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep.-elect Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., arrives for New Member Orientation at the Courtyard Marriott in Southeast D.C., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The midterms have come and gone and it’s back to the Hill for members new and old. The lame duck sessions in the House and Senate gaveled in Tuesday while new member orientation kicked off its first week.

The chambers, along with orientation, recess next week for the Thanksgiving holiday and will start up sessions again the week of Nov. 26.

Senate Human Rights Caucus Lauds Mike Pence for Pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi
Vice president reportedly called for pardoning of Reuters journalists

Sens. Thom Tillis, left, and Chris Coons, heads of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, are praising Vice President Mike Pence for pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi to release two Reuters journalists. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence is getting bipartisan backing for pressing Aung San Suu Kyi over the imprisonment of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar.

Pence met with the state counsellor of the country, also known as Burma, in connection with his trip to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, which has taken him countries across Asia, as well as Australia.

Meeting With Pelosi Doesn’t Deter Marcia Fudge From Speaker Bid
‘No,’ Fudge said when asked if Pelosi asked her not to run

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, walks into her Rayburn Building office after talking with reporters on Friday about her possible run for House speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:00 p.m. | Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi met with her potential competition for the speaker’s gavel on Friday, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who left the meeting still contemplating a bid.

“No,” Fudge told reporters when asked if Pelosi asked her not to run. “What she asked me was basically how we could get to a point where I could be supportive.”

After 181 Years of No Hats in Congress, Dems Eye Exception for Religious Garb
Ilhan Omar will become the first federal legislator to wear a religious headscarf

Member-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., will be the first member of congress to wear a hijab. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hats have been banned from the House chamber of the Capitol for nearly two centuries — 181 years, to be exact. Under a new proposal from Democrats, the rule would be relaxed to allow religious headwear, like a hijab or kippah. 

The change was proposed jointly by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Incoming Rules Chairman Jim McGovern and member-elect Ilhan Omar as part of a larger overhaul package.

Grassley Will Step into Tax Storm, Finance Gavel in Hand
Iowa Republican was a key player on big-ticket measures during his previous tenure as Finance chairman

Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, conducts a Senate Judiciary Committee markup in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley is expected to be the next chairman of the Finance Committee, putting the Iowa Republican at the center of the storm in the 116th Congress on what could be divisive debates over tax, trade and health care policy.

Grassley cited a sense of “optimism” fueled by the “pro-growth” policies of a Republican president and Congress. “Looking ahead. ... I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves,” he said in a statement released Friday. “That means working to provide Americans with additional tax relief and tax fairness so they can spend more of their hard-earned money on what’s important to them.”