Battleground candidates attract most of the attention when FEC filing time rolls around, but make sure to check out House Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise‘s latest report, which details the path to power inside the Capitol. — Scalise raised and spent more money in the second quarter, around $350,000 each, than in any quarter since 2008, the year of his first election to Congress. Outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sparked the flow of money with his June 10 primary loss; after that, Scalise’s campaign committee went into action as part of his leadership campaign. — Scalise’s campaign committee gave $30,000 to 14 different Republican members, including Cantor, after Cantor’s loss, and Scalise spent a comparable sum on dinner meetings in that time. The souvenir baseball bats Scalise gave his campaign team also appear in the FEC report. But the really interesting relation between Scalise’s campaign account and leadership race comes on the fundraising side, not the spending side. — Over $122,000 came into Scalise’s campaign account from 64 different PACs on the last day of the second quarter, after Scalise had secured the whip position. Around than 20 of them had never before given to Scalise during his three-plus terms in Congress. We’re betting that we’ll see plenty more groups join those new friends in the next FEC report from July through September, Scalise’s first full quarter as an incoming member of GOP leadership and then, after July 31, the majority whip himself.— Scott Bland
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified PACs that had previously given to Scalise.
What We're Following See More »
The Republican Study Committee may lose several members of the House Freedom Caucus next year, "potentially creating a split between two influential groups of House conservatives." The Freedom Caucus was founded at the inception of the current Congress by members who felt that the conservative RSC had gotten too cozy with leadership, "and its roughly 40 members have long clashed with the RSC over what tactics to use when pushing for conservative legislation." As many as 20 members may not join the RSC for the new Congress next year.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued emergency authorization for a Zika diagnostics test from Swiss drugmaker Roche, skirting normal approval channels as the regulator moves to fight the disease's spread." Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that a new study in Nature identifies "about a dozen substances" that could "suppress the pathogen's replication." Some of them are already in clinical trials.
According to 37 newly released audits, "some private Medicare plans overcharged the government for the majority of elderly patients they treated." A number of Medicare Advantage plans overstated "the severity of medical conditions like diabetes and depression." The money has since been paid back, though some plans are appealing the federal audits.
"GOP leaders and House Democrats are already laying the groundwork for a short-term continuing resolution" on the budget this fall "that will set up a vote on a catch-all spending bill right before the holidays." As usual, however, the House Freedom Caucus may throw a wrench in Speaker Paul Ryan's gears. The conservative bloc doesn't appear willing to accept any CR that doesn't fund the government into 2017.
"The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems." Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson earlier this month conferred with state election officials, offering his department's assistance in scanning for vulnerabilities."