Bull’s Eye: Handicapping the Energy and Commerce Chairman Race

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Nov. 30, 2016, 8 p.m.


The House’s pas­sage of the 21st Cen­tury Cures Act on Wed­nes­day could be a tem­plate for the kind of le­gis­la­tion that ad­vances un­der Pres­id­ent-elect Trump: lofty goals, a big price tag, and op­pos­i­tion from both con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers of the House Free­dom Caucus and lib­er­al sen­at­ors. Fi­nal roll-call votes on an in­fra­struc­ture pack­age next year—if they hap­pen—could look very sim­il­ar.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., left, shakes hands with Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., center, and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich, right, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Upton and Murphy talked about the 21st Century Cures Act which would provide $6.3 billion over the next decade, including $1 billion for state grants for programs for preventing and treating the abuse of opioids and other addictive drugs. It would also expand government mental health programs. AP Photo/Susan Walsh


“Once he’s pres­id­ent-elect, the rules of en­gage­ment changed.”
Jason Forge, one of the plaintiffs’ at­tor­neys be­hind the Trump Uni­versity case, ex­plain­ing to The Na­tion­al Law Journ­al why they were able to reach a set­tle­ment last week.

“Clearly, for Xavi­er Be­cerra it’s not about what is good for the caucus, but what is polit­ic­ally ex­pedi­ent for Xavi­er Be­cerra.”
— Rep. Filem­on Vela, in a scath­ing let­ter cri­ti­ciz­ing his fel­low Demo­crat’s bid to be Ways and Means Com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber.


10:30 a.m. Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee hear­ing on coun­terter­ror­ism strategies.

5 p.m. The Na­tion­al Park Ser­vice holds the 94th an­nu­al Na­tion­al Christ­mas Tree Light­ing fea­tur­ing the first fam­ily.

7 p.m. Don­ald Trump and Mike Pence kick off their “Thank You” tour in Cin­cin­nati.

7 p.m. The Na­tion­al Archives holds a dis­cus­sion on the Four­teenth Amend­ment.


The Of­fice of Gov­ern­ment Eth­ics, which was so giddy over Don­ald Trump’s de­cision to di­vest his busi­ness in­terests to his chil­dren that it praised him in nine tweets.

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Trump, Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump, speaks during the grand opening of the Trump International Hotel-Old Post Office in Washington. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci


Rep. Bar­bara Lee, who lost the race for House Demo­crat­ic Caucus vice chair by only two votes.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., accompanied by fellow House Democrats, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 16, 2016, to discuss opposition to the President Barack Obama's trade deal. AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke


$100: The cost of a “phone bed”—com­plete with sat­in mat­tress—to store your di­git­al device overnight on Arianna Huff­ing­ton’s new Thrive Glob­al ven­ture.

QUICK TAKES ON THE NEWS: Chair-raising contest to lead House panel

Un­like Wed­nes­day’s anti-cli­mactic Demo­crat­ic lead­er­ship vote, the race between John Shimkus and Greg Walden to chair the power­ful House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee is hard to han­di­cap in ad­vance of Thursday’s vote in the Re­pub­lic­an Steer­ing Com­mit­tee. En­ergy and Com­merce has par­tial jur­is­dic­tion over the House’s Obama­care re­place­ment plan, and will deal with re­new­able-fuels policies, fuel-eco­nomy stand­ards, and the Clean Power Plan. Shimkus, the head of the en­vir­on­ment and eco­nomy sub­pan­el, has seni­or­ity and has prom­ised to use the post to dig in­to policy mat­ters, es­pe­cially on en­ergy where he is in lock­step with the in­com­ing Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. (He’s also com­ing off a le­gis­lat­ive vic­tory with pas­sage of a bi­par­tis­an, bicam­er­al chem­ic­al-re­form bill.) Plus, he out­raised Walden among donors from the health care and en­ergy in­dus­tries this cycle. For his part, Walden out­drew Shimkus from the tele­com and In­ter­net in­dus­tries, and is him­self com­ing off a huge vic­tory as head of the Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee, with the GOP only los­ing six seats in the House. And what would a race be without a dark horse? Former pan­el chair­man Joe Bar­ton has pushed for con­sid­er­a­tion, but is likely on the out­side.

—Jason Plautz

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

SPOTLIGHT ON POLITICS: In defeat, a silver lining for Tim Ryan

If he runs for gov­ernor in 2018, Rep. Tim Ry­an will have served all of his 16 years in Con­gress with Nancy Pelosi as the lead­er of the House Demo­crat­ic caucus.

Even though he failed to topple Pelosi on Wed­nes­day, his pub­lic push for the party to ad­just its mes­sage and his long-shot bid to be the new mes­sen­ger could po­s­i­tion him well to run statewide back home in Ohio.

Ry­an first ran for Con­gress in 2002, win­ning the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion des­pite be­ing vastly out­spent by an eight-term in­cum­bent forced by re­dis­trict­ing to run for the seat of ex­pelled Rep. Jim Trafic­ant. Ry­an ran with the en­dorse­ment of the Na­tion­al Rifle As­so­ci­ation and at­tacked Rep. Tom Saw­yer’s votes for NAF­TA and nor­mal­iz­ing trade re­la­tions with China.

Since then his name has seem­ingly floated every two years for oth­er of­fices, in­clud­ing this year to be Hil­lary Clin­ton’s run­ning mate. He has de­clined mul­tiple chances to run for gov­ernor and Sen­ate.

But in the wake of Don­ald Trump’s vic­tor­ies across the in­dus­tri­al Mid­w­est, be­ing the guy who took on Pelosi and who pub­licly en­cour­aged Demo­crats to reach out to work­ing-class con­stitu­ents could prompt the 43-year-old fath­er of three to take a shot.
—Kyle Tryg­stad

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, left, walks to microphones to speak following the House Democratic Caucus elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, for House leadership positions. Ryan challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., but lost, 134-63. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

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