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At the Races: Is Iowa over yet?

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Like McCain before him, Romney rebukes President Trump
2008 and 2012 presidential nominees have been most forceful GOP critics in the Senate

Back in 2008, Mitt Romney spoke at the Republican National Convention to back the presidential candidacy of onetime rival John McCain. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The greatest rebukes of Donald Trump’s presidency from the Republican side of the aisle have come from the two previous standard-bearers for the GOP.

When Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a freshman senator best known for being the 2012 Republican nominee for president, announced Wednesday on the Senate floor that he would vote to convict Trump of abuse of power, it evoked memories of the time when the late Arizona Sen. John McCain voted in 2017 to thwart the president’s desired repeal of the 2010 health care law.

Goodbye, Iowa. Hello, Bloomberg
If Democrats are serious about beating Trump, former New York mayor may be their best hope

If Democrats are serious about beating President Donald Trump, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be their best hope, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Iowa Democrats can’t seem to count caucus votes, even though the votes were cast Monday night in public and covered by so many cable news reporters, they could have rolled up their sleeves and tallied the ballots themselves.

Reporters compared Monday night’s debacle to a goat rodeo. I’ve never been to a goat rodeo, but I have been to a sheep rodeo, and I can tell you the sheep were a lot more organized. Those little guys probably could have counted votes too. It’s not really that hard.

The SOTU guest list: Who are lawmakers bringing?
Did John Bolton’s invite get lost?

Former Washington National Jayson Werth was a guest of Rep. Rodney Davis at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is on deck to deliver his third State of the Union, and what he’ll say about impeachment is the big question of the night.

Whether he lets fly with the “i”-word or avoids it, congressional Democrats are trying to move on — or at least that’s what they’re signaling with the guests they’ve invited.

View from the gallery: Senators pack up desks as impeachment trial nears its end
Chamber takes on a last-day-of-school vibe

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., leaves the Capitol after the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Feb. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer tightly hugged Rep. Adam B. Schiff just after the closing argument in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, and spoke directly into the House lead manager’s ear for about 10 seconds.

Before the New York senator let go, he gave Schiff three loud pats on the back, as a line of other Senate Democrats waited to hug the California Democrat or shake his hand.

Dollar dominance: Average vulnerable House Democrat starts 2020 with $1.8 million
Eye-popping numbers and other takeaways from fourth quarter

New York Rep. Max Rose, left, and Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin raised the most among vulnerable House Democrats in the latest fundraising quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nine months out from Election Day, the latest fundraising reports provide new clues about both parties’ prospects in the battles for the House and Senate. 

In the fight for the House, vulnerable Democrats continued to raise eye-popping numbers as their party tries to hold on to its majority. Republican leaders last week sounded the alarm about their candidates’ fundraising, and the latest reports show why.

View from the gallery: Restless senators eager to flee impeachment court for weekend
Chief justice silences senators for the first time in the trial

From left, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., leave the Senate Republicans’ caucus meeting in the Capitol during a recess in the Senate impeachment trial proceedings on Friday evening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton accidentally voted the wrong way on a procedural vote late Friday during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, so when he got the next vote right he turned to his colleagues and took a dramatic bow.

Georgia Republican David Perdue missed his queue to vote twice because he was chatting with Texas Republican Ted Cruz, who offered to take the blame.

At the Races: Iowa still matters after Monday

By Stephanie Akin, Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathé 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

House Republicans sound fundraising alarm. What now?
Two kinds of candidates: ‘Those who raise money and losers’

Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, shown at his 2018 campaign office in Mankato, Minn., says he raised $1 million last year for his 2020 reelection. Republican leaders are urging members to step up fundraising to keep pace with Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn, a freshman Republican from Minnesota who says he raised $1 million last year, isn’t worried about fundraising.

“That’s pretty good for a rural district,” he said Tuesday outside the House chamber.

Shelby skeptical of nascent House discussions on earmarks
‘The Republican Caucus is on record against that,’ Senate Appropriations chairman says

Chairman Richard C. Shelby, center, and Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, attend the Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement implementation bill on Jan. 15. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said it’s unlikely Republicans in his chamber will bring back spending bill earmarks, regardless of what the House decides.

“The Republican Caucus is on record against that, so that’s not going to go anywhere right now,” the Alabama Republican said Tuesday. Himself a prolific earmarker before the practice stopped in 2011, Shelby declined to discuss his personal views on the topic at this point. “I’m part of the [GOP] caucus and the caucus is not going to support that. So unless the caucus is involved it won’t happen,” he said.