Mark Walker

Rhonda Foxx on her ‘superwoman cape’
She was one of the youngest women of color to land a top job on the Hill — and now she’s trying for a repeat

Rhonda Foxx, former chief of staff for Rep. Alma Adams, is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you know where to look, you can spot Rhonda Foxx’s “superwoman cape.” Hint: It’s not draped behind her.

It’s worn on her wrist — a large metallic bracelet that she twists whenever she’s feeling self-doubt. “If you ever see me speak, you’re going to see me touch a cuff,” she told me on a recent Sunday night.

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.

House retirements already outpace average for past election cycles
Decisions by 27 lawmakers compares with average of 23 per election cycle, and more could be coming

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is the latest member of the House to announce his retirement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The number of House members deciding to retire has already exceeded the average for recent election cycles, and more could be coming as lawmakers return to the nation’s capital after the holidays.

Since 1976, an average of 23 House members have retired each two-year election cycle, according to CQ Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, the publisher of Inside Elections. In 2019 alone, however, 27 House members announced they will retire, opting not to run for reelection nor for another office (these figures do not include lawmakers who have resigned or died while in office). 

At the Races: Article II, Section 4

By Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman 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.

North Carolina’s Mark Meadows won’t run for reelection
Former Freedom Caucus chairman signals he may go work for Trump

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, right, is not running for reelection in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies and most vocal defenders on Capitol Hill, is not running for reelection in 2020.

In an exclusive interview with CQ Roll Call, Meadows said he knows the timing of his retirement announcement — just after House Democrats voted to impeach Trump — will be spun a thousand different ways but that he’s been mulling this decision a long time. 

House members feel the weight of history in impeachment votes

Tourists walk past a plaque marking Andrew Johnson's congressional seat in Statuary Hall as the House takes up articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Johnson was the first U.S. president to be impeached. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Virginia Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman stopped for a split second as he walked into the House chamber Wednesday afternoon, held up a copy of the two-minute speech he was about to give on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, and posed as a staffer took his photo for Twitter.

On a day when Democrats and Republicans divided sharply over whether Trump’s behavior in office should make him just the third president to face impeachment in the House, Riggleman’s move was among the many small signs that members of Congress could agree on one thing.

Rep. Mark Walker rips NCAA chief for meeting with Romney, Murphy at Senate
Player compensation talks off to ‘ignominious start,’ North Carolina Republican says

NCAA President Mark Emmert, center, and Sens. Chris Murphy, right, and Mitt Romney conduct a news conference on student athlete compensation in the Russell Senate Office Building on Dec. 17. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

National Collegiate Athletic Association President Mark Emmert received a warm welcome in the Senate on Tuesday morning. But that didn’t spare him withering criticism from Rep. Mark Walker, who called the meeting an “ignominious start” to player compensation discussions.

Emmert told Sens. Mitt Romney and Chris Murphy, members of a bipartisan working group on student-athlete pay, that he is “hopeful” that by next spring, the association will have “some clear indication of where the universities want to go on” player compensation.

Walker not running for reelection in House, will consider 2022 Senate bid
North Carolina Republican faced troubles after redistricting, said Trump will support him for Senate

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., takes the Senate subway in the Capitol on Oct. 16, 2019. Walker announced Monday that he will not seek reelection to the House next year but will consider a Senate bid in 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker announced Monday that he will not run for reelection in the House next year but is considering running for Senate in 2022.

“I believe the best way we can continue to serve the people of North Carolina is as a United States Senator,” Walker said in a statement. “As I have always sought to have serving people supersede our ambition, I will dedicate my full heart and efforts to finishing my term in Congress. After we have secured more conservative policy and Republican electoral victories for North Carolina, we will take a look at the 2022 Senate race and we are thankful to have President [Donald] Trump’s support.”

Next year’s Congressional Baseball Game set for June 10
At least some things are moving...

They may not be able to play government very nicely, but they will still play ball next year. The next Congressional Baseball Game for Charity will take place June 10. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While Congress attempts to figure its stuff out for 2020 within the next five days, at least one decision involving its members has been agreed upon: The date for next year’s Congressional Baseball Game.

The annual game for charity, which pits Democratic and Republican members of Congress against each other on the baseball field, is poised to take place June 10 at Nationals Park, according to an Instagram post.

North Carolina ratings changes offer a taste of redistricting to come
After seats held by Holding and Walker lean more Democratic, one retires with the other deciding

North Carolina GOP Rep. George Holding announced his retirement after the makeup of his district changed dramatically. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ten years is long enough to forget the chaos of covering campaigns during redistricting. But North Carolina, bless its heart, was kind enough to offer us an early taste of the upcoming craziness of a redistricting cycle.

First, new congressional lines can put new pressure on members.