Randy Leonard

Foreign Influence Peddlers Show Face in Wake of Manafort Woes
Foreign Agent registrations have spiked since former Trump aide indictment

It will be months before we know the full extent of Paul Manafort’s impact on the culture of Washington influence peddling. 

But as Manafort’s trial continues this week, this much is already clear: the former Trump aide’s legal woes have made the world of D.C. lobbyists who work for foreign governments slightly less murky.

Overview: Where the Omnibus Money Is Going
Congress last week passed a $1.3 trillion government spending bill

Ignoring President Donald Trump’s budget request in some cases, lawmakers last week passed a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending package with a discretionary funding level of $1.29 trillion — 10 percent higher than fiscal 2017 thanks to the budget agreement reached last month.

Here’s a look at how the enacted omnibus, previously proposed spending levels by the House and Senate, and the president’s FY18 request stack up:

Every Member of Congress’ Wealth in One Chart
While the superrich hold more than half the wealth, nearly a quarter are in the red

While politics is no place to get rich, many people may assume that only the wealthy elite are able to get into the highest positions in power.

Though two-fifths of senators and representatives are millionaires, there are plenty with humbler backgrounds and more modest bank accounts. Almost a quarter of voting members have a negative net worth.

Winners and Losers in the Trump Budget in One Chart
Administration released its budget request Monday

The Trump administration submitted its fiscal 2019 budget request to Capitol Hill on Monday, outlining the president’s priorities for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Roll Call analyzed the documents and put together the following graphic on the departmental winners and losers in the proposed budget:

The State of the Union in Trump's Words: American, Great and Tax
Analysis of how his speech stacks up to his past big addresses

During his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Donald Trump continued the nationalist theme he emphasized during his campaign, mentioning America or some variation 79 times. His other top mentions were the words “great” (26 times) and “tax” (15 times).

Here’s a look at the topics that Trump covered and how his use of certain words compares to his previous major speeches as a president and a candidate, and to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union in 2016.

The State of the Union in Eight Charts
Putting the economy in context ahead of Tuesday’s speech

The state of the union is … nuanced. In President Donald Trump’s first year, the stock market continued to climb as unemployment fell. While the president will likely point to these accomplishments in Tuesday’s speech, the bigger picture suggests they are longer-term trends. Here’s a look at several slices of U.S. economic data and other indicators.


Appropriators Softening Trump's Proposed Fiscal 2018 Cuts
How House and Senate levels agreed upon by leaders compare to Trump's

Appropriators are not giving President Donald Trump the degree of overall cuts that he asked for in fiscal 2018 funding. The House passed a package of four titles last week and has cleared the remaining eight through full committee, while the Senate has cleared six titles through full committee. Appropriators are softening Trump’s cuts by more than $50 billion.

Here's a look at how Trump's budget request for the coming fiscal year compares to levels agreed upon by Appropriations leaders in the House and Senate:

How the Courts Could Upend Gerrymandering
Democrats and voter rights groups pin hopes on high court case


Congressional maps in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania have shifted the political balance of Congress toward Republicans — but that could soon change.

What the GOP Wants to Keep or Gut from Obamacare
One Republican health plan is heading toward the House floor next week


A GOP proposal to repeal and replace portions of the 2010 health care law is making its way though the House, but it faces an uncertain fate.

Graphic: How Trump Cabinet Compares to Other Presidents' First Cabinets
Expect fewer lawyers, more military experience


Donald Trump’s picks for his Cabinet have less government experience and schooling than the first Cabinets of the past three presidents. Trump's skews older, much wealthier and has fewer minorities. 

The Convoluted Process for Dismantling Obamacare
Budget reconciliaton, explained

In the early hours of Jan. 12, the Senate took the first step in the convoluted process of dismantling and replacing the 2010 health care law. To overcome the potential filibuster power of Senate Democrats, GOP lawmakers are relying on budget reconciliation, the same procedural mechanism their counterparts across the aisle used seven years ago to implement parts of the health care overhaul.

The budget reconciliation process is filled with procedural complications — and in this case, political uncertainty — as GOP leaders and President-elect Donald Trump have signaled various ideas about the timing of changes.

Party Diversity Gap to Remain in 115th
A look at the demographics of the next Congress

Though the next Congress will see slight increases in women and racial minorities, it will still consist mostly of white males, especially among Republicans. On the Republican side, 11 House members and three senators come from racial minority groups, compared to the Democrats’ 81 House members and six senators.

Note: 2016 counts do not include four undecided House races and one undecided Senate race as of press time, and do not include delegates. 

A Museum Opens Following a Century of Effort
The winding road to the building of an African-American history museum

After numerous challenges and outright opposition, the quest for a national museum documenting the history and cultural contributions of African-Americans has been realized.

Follow the decades of history, full of starts and stops, below:

Congress Weighs Weed: The March Toward Legalization
Four states and D.C. allow recreational use


McMullin Presidential Run an Uphill Battle, per State Filing Deadlines
Reports have surfaced that GOP political operative is launching an anti-Trump campaign

Could a #NeverTrump Republican really launch an independent campaign for president right now? Not a successful one, according to a Roll Call analysis of state filing deadlines for independents to get on the ballot across the U.S.

Evan McMullin, a longtime GOP Hill operative and former CIA officer, is planning a presidential campaign for those Republican loyalists distancing themselves from the party's nominee, Donald Trump. He's launched a website saying just that.

Chart: How the Senate Race Ratings Have Changed Since Early 2015
34 seats are up for election this 2016 cycle

As Roll Call's Alex Roarty reported on Wednesday , new candidates and disappointing nominees have changed expectations for 2016 Senate races since the start of the election season.  

No races have seen bigger shifts than the ones in Indiana and Florida, where the return of political stars Evan Bayh and Marco Rubio have turned each election on its head.    

What Are Undecided Voters Thinking About the Election?
How those mulling a presidential pick stand on key issues

In an Aug. 1 poll, undecided Americans said they are more likely to end up voting for GOP nominee Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton. But ideologically, they appeared to have more in common with Democratic Clinton backers.  ...
Thinking Ahead: Who Could be the Next Woman to Lead a Ticket?
Hillary Clinton cracked the glass ceiling, and that changes the dynamic for 2020 and beyond

Whether or not Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November, her place in history as the first female nominated to lead a major party was cemented this week.  

Although the race is far from over, her success has added a new dynamic to presidential politics in the United States for both parties. What may not have been possible before, now is, and for many women on the rise, it's time to think bigger.  

A Quick Look: Immigration Reform in Washington
A timeline dating back to 2001 will get you up to speed on the issue

Immigration policy has been a dominant topic on both convention stages these past two weeks. But what are the specific policy initiatives that are being debated?  

CQ Roll Call has a brief recap of what's happened to immigration policy on the House and Senate chamber floors in recent years.  

The State of the Economy Is...

By many indications, the country's condition continues to improve. Gas prices are down. So is the unemployment rate. But other aspects are lagging. Wage growth, in particular, remains stubbornly low....