Paul D Ryan

Texas Rep. Conaway, top Republican on Agriculture panel, not seeking reelection
Eight-term congressman to leave open seat in deep red district

Rep. K. Michael Conaway is not seeking reelection in 2020. The top Republican on the Agriculture Committee is term-limited from staying in that position. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. K. Michael Conaway, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, is planning to retire at the end of his current term, according to GOP sources. 

Conaway’s decision not to seek reelection in 2020, which he is not expected to formally announce until a press conference Wednesday, leaves an open seat in the deep red 11th District, a part of West central Texas that President Donald Trump won by 59 points in 2016.

Here are the ‘squads’ of Congresses past
AOC isn’t the first to have a lawmaking crew with a catchy moniker

From left, Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley hold a July 15 news conference, after the president tweeted they should “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It started as a simple Instagram caption: “Squad.” Then the media and pundits got hold of it. “These four people in the so-called ‘squad’ … have done squat in Congress,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News earlier this month, clearly relishing the alliteration.

The four progressive House members in question — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley — have weathered insults and worse as they challenge their party’s leadership and feud with President Donald Trump. Their nickname is just one more thing to mock.

Clete Willems is trading in the White House for K Street
“My biggest joke now is I went to become a partner in a law firm, so I can work less”

Clete Willems has gone from chauffeuring Rep. Paul D. Ryan to working on trade policy at the White House to partnering at the Akin Gump law firm on K Street. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The timing of Clete Willems’ recent departure from the White House seemed a bit inopportune what with negotiations over trade disputes with China hitting a pivotal point. But the international economics adviser to the president says he had other commitments to keep.

Though the Trump White House has a reputation for unpredictability and plenty of staffing drama, Willems says the reason for his departure was more personal. When he took on the new gig at the beginning of the Trump administration, he made a pact with his wife: When they had a second child, he would head for the exit. His daughter was born in March.

James Clyburn: Live at the Comedy Cellar
House majority whip kicks off International Joke Day with a 3-joke set (on Twitter)

Despite his best efforts, there is probably no Netflix standup special in House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn’s future. (Courtesy Rep. James E. Clyburn via Twitter)

We may be weeks removed from Father’s Day but that didn’t discourage House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn from unleashing a torrent of dad jokes so corny his district now qualifies for ethanol subsidies.

The South Carolina Democrat logged on to Twitter dot com on Monday to rattle off some turtle-themed material in celebration of International Joke Day. His jokes included gems like this:

Trump escalates trade tussle with India, putting U.S. farmers at risk — again
‘We’ve been very good to our allies,’ POTUS says amid warnings of economic damage

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a joint session of Congress as then-Speaker Paul D. Ryan and then-Vice President Joe Biden, watch on June 8, 2016. Three years later, he is in a trade spat with President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Of the many trade wars Donald Trump has launched since becoming president, his relatively quiet and in-the-weeds one with India had flown mostly below the radar. No more.

GOP lawmakers and analysts worry that those most impacted will be the American farmers who send nuts and fruits to India, as well the U.S. firms that export aircraft and machinery there. Voters who make a living in both sectors are already leery of Trump’s trade tactics, making an escalation with India dicey politics as he revs up his re-election campaign.

Democratic voters are channeling Mick Jagger
‘I can’t get no satisfaction,’ Jagger sang — and Dems are starting to agree

A quarter of Democrats don’t like what their party is doing in the House, according to the latest Winning the Issues survey. They’re channeling Mick Jagger, Winston writes. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — “I can’t get no satisfaction,” sang Mick Jagger. Apparently, neither can the majority of the country’s voters. So says our latest Winning the Issues survey, conducted May 31-June 1.

“Are you satisfied or not satisfied with what the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has done so far?” That was the neutral question we asked voters in the survey, trying to get a handle on just how the new Democrat-led house is doing. In essence, we were asking people to rate whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her new majority had met their expectations in these first six months.

Hyde amendment, other abortion riders in the spending limelight
Democrats set for showdown with Republicans, administration

Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro opposes the Hyde amendment, but says it needs to be maintained for the spending bills to be signed into law. {Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The debate surrounding abortion access is about to spill over from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill as lawmakers begin debating must-pass appropriations bills.

Starting Wednesday, the House will take up a nearly $1 trillion spending package written by Democrats that would roll back Trump administration anti-abortion policies, including restrictions barring health clinics from recommending abortion services and preventing U.S. foreign assistance to aid groups that perform or promote abortions.

Congressional pay raise amendments roil House
Five House lawmakers have offered amendments that would bar funding for a cost of living increase for members of Congress

House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., will navigate the proposals to keep congressional pay stagnant. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A potential pay raise for Congress is stirring up debate on Capitol Hill, and with funding for the Legislative Branch on deck for floor action next week, at least four proposals to keep lawmaker pay frozen are on the table.

Five House lawmakers have offered amendments that would bar funding for a cost of living increase for members of Congress. The three Republicans and two Democrats are raising opposition to House appropriators excluding language barring cost-of-living raises in both the Financial Services and Legislative Branch fiscal 2020 spending bills.

America is about to find out if ‘Lunch Bucket Joe’ is a man of steel
Biden’s first big test will come in Miami

When the Democrats hold their first debate in June, Joe Biden could cement his front-runner status — or he could leave voters wondering whether he belongs there at all, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, the next political destination for the Democratic presidential pack of contenders is the first two-night debate scheduled for June 26-27 in Miami. Twenty of the qualifying candidates are expected to take the stage hoping to walk away with an attention-getting debate performance that will propel them into the spotlight in what is a ridiculously crowded field.

Nineteen have everything to gain.

Union Pub is like the ‘Matthew McConaughey of Capitol Hill’
Through renovations and name changes, beery refuge on the Senate side keeps staying the same

Patrons gather in the dining room of Union Pub on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Settled on the Senate side, a couple of blocks northeast of the Capitol, and nearly centered between the Hart Building and Union Station, sits a beery refuge that seems miles away.

“We’re in the business of hospitality and having a good time. We’re not in the business of trying to extend any kind of political discourse or our political feelings,” says Union Pub owner Matt Weiss.