Just two of the 14 House members who sought Senate seats this cycle are favored to win with less than a week to go. Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois are the only members holding significant leads, while Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis is the only failed Senate candidate poised for reelection to his House seat.
Reps. Joe Heck of Nevada and Todd Young of Indiana, are deadlocked in competitive Senate races that are central to determining who holds the majority, while Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy trails Sen. Marco Rubio by a few points. Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick challenged Sen. John McCain after her House district was reshaped, but McCain holds a solid lead.
In California and Louisiana, both of which hold unusual top-two primaries, three House members are running behind statewide-elected officials from their own party. Public polling shows a difficult path for either of Reps. Charles Boustany or John Fleming to advance to Louisiana’s Dec. 10 runoff. Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy leads the pack and could face an easy race against either of two leading Democrats. Meanwhile California Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who advanced from a June primary with Democratic state Attorney General Kamala Harris, trails her President Obama-endorsed opponent by double digits.
Reps. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, Alan Grayson of Florida, and Donna Edwards of Maryland lost primaries earlier this year to fellow members of Congress. Florida Rep. David Jolly, like DeSantis, returned to his House race after Rubio announced his plans to seek reelection. But Jolly’s seat was redistricted to add a significant number of Democrats, making him the underdog against former Gov. Charlie Crist.
If Rubio wins, all three senators who ran for president, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is also up for reelection this year, will remain in the Senate. Should Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine become vice president, the special election a year from now could be between a Republican congressman and a former House Democrat appointed to the Senate in January.
— Andrea Drusch
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"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.