Politics

North Dakota Senate Race Could Come Down to Fossil Fuels
The problem? Heitkamp and Cramer have strikingly similar stances on energy

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer are vying for North Dakota’s Senate seat. They’re also racing to show off their energy chops. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two candidates for the Senate seat in North Dakota — a toss-up race with massive implications for control of the chamber next Congress — are touting their Capitol Hill energy policy chops to gain an edge in one of the tightest races in the 2018 midterm election.

The race has triggered an escalating argument between Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and her GOP challenger Rep. Kevin Cramer over which one is the best champion of the state’s fossil fuel industries that rank among the most productive in the nation.

Trump Reverses Self on DOJ, FBI Documents He Says Show Bias
President says Justice Department, ‘key allies‘ asked him to reconsider

President Donald Trump departs the White House on Thursday for a campaign rally in Nevada. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump reversed himself on Friday on the release of reams of Justice Department and FBI documents he claims show an internal bias to wreck his 2016 campaign and then his presidency.

Trump earlier this week announced the text messages and other documents would soon be made public, per the request of House Republicans. But he backtracked in a Friday tweet, saying Justice Department officials and “key allies” urged him to avoid a huge document dump.

Senate Majority Leader Vows Kavanaugh Will Be Confirmed Soon
While Judiciary Committee negotiates testimony, Mitch McConnell tells conservatives it will be over soon

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told a conservative crowd that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court soon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell clearly doesn’t think the sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be anything more than a stumbling block on his path to confirmation to the Supreme Court.

“President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual. You’ve watched the fight. You’ve watched the tactics, but here’s what I want to tell you: in the very near future Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Biden Urges Senators Not to Treat Kavanaugh Accuser Like Anita Hill
Biden was criticized as chairman of Judiciary panel after senators grilled Hill in 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Friday he regretted that Anita Hill was “villified” in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he chaired at the time and wished he had done more to prevent that . (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged his former colleagues in the Senate to treat Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser better than they treated Anita Hill in 1991 as she testified about how then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her when they worked together.

“Anita Hill was vilified,” Biden told NBC’s “Today” show on Friday. “I wish I could have done more to prevent that.”

Trump Calls on Kavanaugh Accuser to Present Police Report
If attack ‘was as bad as she says,’ Christine Blasey Ford should have filed charges, Trump says

President Donald Trump said Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford or her “loving family” should have filed charges over her sexual assault allegations in the 1980s. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:03 a.m. | President Donald Trump suggested Friday that if Christine Blasey Ford had been sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh when they were both in high school, then charges would’ve been filed against him.

That claim runs contrary to the fact that most sexual assault victims do not report the incidents.

Rohrabacher Ridicules Kavanaugh Accusation
‘High school? Give me a break!’ California Republican says of sexual assault allegation

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., dismissed the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh because it allegedly stemmed from high school. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher dismissed the sexual assault claim leveled against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a selective smear effort by the left that should have little bearing on Kavanaugh's confirmation because it allegedly occurred in high school.

"This guy who’s going to be our Supreme Court justice, and he better be our Supreme Court judge, he’s a perfect candidate, and what do they say? ‘Well, in high school you did this.’ High school? Give me a break,” the California Republican said in a recording obtained by Talking Points Memo.

Kavanaugh Accuser’s Lawyers Negotiating Terms of Senate Testimony
Reports: Christine Blasey Ford doesn’t want Kavanaugh in room, wants to be questioned by senators

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is ready to return for more testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Christine Blasey Ford likely will not be testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be testifying at all.

Attorneys for Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their high school years,reportedly had a logistical conversation over the phone with Judiciary Committee staff Thursday night.

Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall
As DHS waives its way across Texas, Congress is rethinking a thirteen-year-old law

Barriers at the southern border hem in more than people, environmentalists say. Wildcats, tortoises and other animals can get trapped. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

When rains pushed the Rio Grande River to flood stage in 2010, an existing border wall acted as a flood barrier, protecting some lowlands but also trapping some animals. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club noted the discovery after the flooding of shells from “hundreds” of Texas tortoise, which that state lists as a threatened species.

“Animals caught between the river and the flood wall that could not escape around the edges of the floodwalls likely perished,” said the report. Endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, both small wildcats, also might have died, according to the report.

New Bill Would Hold HHS Feet to Fire for Unaccompanied Minors
Whereabouts of nearly 1,500 undocumented children are reportedly unknown

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., says the Department of Health and Human Services has a responsibility to ensure the safety of unaccompanied minors even after they’re placed with a sponsor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill designed to ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services takes full responsibility for, and keeps better track of, unaccompanied children who come to the border seeking entry to the United States and then are placed with U.S. sponsors.

The legislation follows a new report that revealed that the government could not determine the whereabouts of nearly 1,500 children that HHS had placed with sponsors this year.

Power, Confirmation & Lies
High court confirmation battle comes to a head, and the midterms loom, kind of

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., hold a press conference with Holton-Arms alumnae in support of Christine Blasey Ford in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

After what seems like a nonstop election cycle since Nov. 9, 2016, with several special elections since then and a president that never seems to tire of political events, it’s safe to say even politics junkies are looking forward to Nov. 6, the day of the congressional midterms. Except … it might not even be over then, according to Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, who says the number of close House races and likely runoffs might preclude us from knowing who will be in control of Congress for maybe weeks to come. Thanks, Nathan. 

Trump Calls Heller a ‘Champion,’ Slams Opponent ‘Wacky Jacky’ Rosen
Nevada Democrat is ‘bought and paid’ by her ‘out-of-state donors,’ he says

President Donald Trump, here at a rally in Montana in July, campaigned in Nevada on Thursday (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Aiming to boost vulnerable Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on his home turf amid a fierce re-election bid, President Donald Trump dubbed the Republican a “champion” of conservative causes and called his Democratic foe “wacky.”

“There’s been no better friend — we started off slow — but I’ve had no better friend in Congress than Dean Heller,” Trump said Thursday at a campaign rally in Las Vegas.

Trump to Senate Judiciary on Kavanaugh Hearing: ‘Get On With It’
President says no further delays should be allowed by panel’s GOP leaders

President Donald Trump returns to the White House Wednesday  after visiting the storm-ravaged Carolinas. He was in Las Vegas on Thursday night for a campaign rally. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has a message for Senate Democrats and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser about an upcoming hearing to discuss the sexual assault allegations against the judge: “Get on with it.”

“I don’t think you can delay it a little longer,” Trump said of that session during a Thursday interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I have been accommodating,” he added, saying Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, should be allowed to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Romanian Cyberattack Targeted Security Cameras Ahead of Inauguration
Eveline Cismaru pleaded guilty to wire and computer fraud

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty to a cyberattack on surveillance cameras ahead of the 2017 inauguration. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty in connection with a cyberattack against the D.C. police department that disabled two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras operated by Metropolitan Police Department, just days before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Eveline Cismaru, a Romanian citizen, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges related to her role in the cyberattack.

Waltz Fixes Financial Disclosure After Consulting Company Omission
Florida Republican’s company led group of defense manufacturers to Libya in 2013

(Courtesy Michael Waltz for U.S. Congress)

Florida congressional candidate Michael Waltz originally did not divulge on his financial disclosure form to run for office that he owned a 50 percent stake in a consulting firm that led U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturers on a trip to Libya in 2013 to meet with government officials there.

Waltz, the Republican candidate for Florida’s open 6th District seat and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, has since filed an amendment to his financial disclosure form listing himself as a partner in the defense consulting firm, Askari Associates, LLC.

Democratic Women in Congress Launch Campaign to Recruit More Female Candidates
Elect Democratic Women would raise money for pro-choice women in potential swing districts

Lois Frankel, D-Fla, center, shown here with, from left, Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  will chair a new organization geared toward recruiting pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A group of female Democratic lawmakers launched an effort Thursday to recruit pro-choice women to run for office, a campaign they tied to efforts to peg 2018 as the second “Year of the Woman.”

Elect Democratic Women will be chaired by Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel and raise money for female candidates within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees “Red to Blue” program, which seeks to identify and funnel support to candidates with a strong shot of unseating Republican incumbents.