Congress

Voters Eye Pennsylvania’s Wide-Open, Crowded U.S. House Races

May 7, 2018
Marc Levy / AP

Like his seven Republican rivals before him, Stephen Bloom had delivered all the conservative bona fides to the crowd at the social hall in rural southern Pennsylvania when he offered a sweetener: He will visit often if he's elected to Congress.

Jacqueline Martin / AP

A Pennsylvania Republican who used taxpayer money to settle a former aide's sexual harassment charges has abruptly resigned from Congress.

Congressman Patrick Meehan had already decided not to seek re-election. Meehan resigned Friday, saying he'll repay the government $39,000 he used to help settle the allegation against him.

Meehan says in a resignation letter that his decision is in the best interest of constituents and will avoid the "rigors" and expense of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. But he says he believes he would have been exonerated.

Courtesy Guy Reschenthaler official Facebook page; Keith Srakocic/AP


State Rep. Rick Saccone (R - Elizabeth) sits at his campaign headquarters in Southpointe with one other staffer.

Not Seeking Re-Election, GOP Rep. Dent To Resign From House

Apr 17, 2018
J. Scott Applewhite / AP, file

Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a leader of an influential caucus of GOP moderates and a critic of President Donald Trump, said Tuesday that he will resign from Congress in May, after announcing last year he would not seek re-election.

Dent's announcement sets up the potential for a special election as early as mid-summer to serve the remaining months in his term while candidates campaign for a full two-year term in the November election.

Friends of Ray Linsenmayer, Don Wright/AP, Conor Lamb for Congress

A month after winning the special election in the 18th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D - Mt. Lebanon), now faces a new drama on a new stage.

Courtesy Rahul Kale / Chrissy Houlahan for Congress

The names of distinguished men who have represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives could fill a book. But names of the women who have done the same fit comfortably on a sticky note.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced his second congressional hearing of the week Wednesday, and Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle of the 14th District is one of many members of Congress to question him on the privacy of Facebook's users. He also proposed a government oversight agency to regulate Facebook and its competitors.

Edwards4Pgh

Shannon Edwards' name didn't appear in a Department of State listing of candidates filing to run for a U.S. House seat by Tuesday evening's deadline. 

Edwards says bad weather prevented her from filing paperwork on time to run for a U.S. House seat in Pittsburgh. A lawyer for Edwards said in a statement Wednesday evening that she'll seek a court order to get on the ballot for the Republican nomination in May 15's primary election.

Candidates Blitz Pennsylvania’s Newly Competitive Districts

Mar 20, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

An avalanche of would-be candidates filed to run for Congress in Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday's deadline, taking advantage of more competitive districts and far surpassing candidate numbers in the three elections since Pennsylvania dropped to 18 U.S. House seats.

As of Tuesday evening's deadline, 94 people had submitted paperwork, according to postings by the state elections bureau, including 16 aiming for an open Philadelphia-area seat that is considered likely to flip from Republican to Democrat in this year's mid-term elections.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Voters head to the polls Tuesday in the special election to fill the empty seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA


Just days away from the March 13 special congressional election between Republican Rick Saccone (Elizabeth) and Democrat Conor Lamb (Mt. Lebanon), volunteers are knocking doors, calling voters and distributing campaign literature in an effort to get out the vote in the 18th District south of Pittsburgh.

New Congressional Districts In Philly Suburbs Could Help Democrats Win In DC

Feb 27, 2018
Dan Gleiter / Pennlive.com

Pennsylvania’s new court-ordered congressional map has thrust the commonwealth into the national spotlight, and the readjusted political calculus in the Philadelphia suburbs is a big reason why.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s congressional races are seeing a lot of upheaval in the wake of the state Supreme Court redrawing the map after declaring it unconstitutional.

 

The new map drastically shifts district boundaries, and renders several parts of the state much more competitive for Democrats.

 

That left a lot of state politicians feeling compelled to hastily consider—or reconsider—launching congressional bids.

 

Bradley C. Bower / AP

A Pennsylvania state senator who was the subject of allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward female employees and campaign aides has announced he is ending his stalled congressional bid.

Sen. Daylin Leach, a lawyer and a Democratic state lawmaker since 2003, had announced in December he would "step back" from his campaign after the allegations were published by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In a Facebook post Saturday night, Leach cited attacks on his family but also said "how unappealing Congress has become." He said he would instead remain in the state Senate.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The March 13 special election to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh is widely viewed as a bellwether for the midterm elections later this year, and that’s due in part to candidate Rick Saccone’s (R-Elizabeth) vocal support for President Donald Trump.

Philly Congressman Brady Won't Seek Another Term

Jan 31, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady of Philadelphia will not seek another term in Congress, giving up the seat he's held for two decades, his office said Wednesday.

Brady revealed the news to reporters and Democratic Party ward leaders in Philadelphia, his hometown and the city where he has been the longtime Democratic Party leader.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Parents of 180,000 children across Pennsylvania, including 14,000 kids in Allegheny County, are breathing sighs of relief now that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been renewed for six years.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Shark Snider cut out of preschool early for an appointment with his pediatrician, Dr. Jonathan Weinkle of Squirrel Hill Health Center. The 3-year-old’s snoring had gotten worse, and his parents were worried it could be a symptom of something bigger.

Susan Walsh / AP

A former drug prosecutor who once ran for state attorney general is entering the field vying to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in 2019.

Joe Peters announced Monday that he'll seek the Republican Party's nomination to run for Pennsylvania's 11th District seat in Congress. The district stretches from Shippensburg in southcentral Pennsylvania some 140 miles to rural northeastern Pennsylvania. The primary election is May 15.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

Many observers have found loopholes in the Republican tax bill passed by the Senate and House late Tuesday and into early Wednesday. Some provisions were even found to violate budget rules and were changed last minute. University of Pittsburgh law professor Tony Infanti found that one loophole could also leave targets of sexual misconduct vulnerable. Infanti discussed the provision with 90.5 WESA's An-Li Herring.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is urging Congress to shift its focus to funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, instead of pursuing the federal tax overhaul bill. 

The insurance plan covers nearly 9 million children nationwide whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance. About 180,000 Pennsylvania children are covered by CHIP.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

The open enrollment period for people buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act comes to a close this Friday—a period half as long as last year’s. Nearly 80 percent of Pennsylvanian consumers selected the “middle-of-the-road” silver plan last year, but this year, costs for silver plans have rocketed.

ERIKA BERAS / 90.5 WESA

Community health clinics in Pennsylvania say they are on the verge of crisis. 

Congress has yet to reauthorize federal health center grant funding to Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs, which provide primary, dental, behavioral and substance abuse services to people with limited access to care. The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers said this money comprises roughly 13 percent of the total revenue for FQHCs in the commonwealth.

Amy Sisk / StateImpact Pennsylvania

As lawmakers hash out differences between the tax bills in front of Congress, they must decide whether to keep a proposed tax break for oil and gas investors -- and just how big the reduction should be.

An-Li Herring / WESA

Democrats have chosen former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) to run in the March 13 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

An-Li Herring / WESA

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth), 59, will be the GOP’s nominee in the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He won the nomination at a convention the Republican Party of Pennsylvania held in Canonsburg Saturday.

 

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Tech giants are testifying before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday about Russian efforts to spread disinformation in the U.S. Representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google, along with two national security analysts, will speak with lawmakers about ways that Russia has used the social media platforms.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

This week is Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy’s last in Congress. The embattled politician is resigning with one year left in his term, meaning Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District must hold a special election to fill the vacancy.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

A fifth Democrat, and eighth candidate overall, has announced his run for a southwestern Pennsylvania congressional seat being vacated by GOP Congressman Tim Murphy.

Conor Lamb announced his candidacy Saturday. He recently resigned as an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh and is the nephew of Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb. This will be the first run for public office by 33-year-old Conor Lamb.

Murphy is resigning effective Oct. 21 after the anti-abortion lawmaker urged his former mistress to get an abortion.

Marc Levy / AP

It’s been less than a week since U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair) announced he’s resigning from Congress, and already three Republican state lawmakers have declared they will run for his seat.

State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) declared Sunday that he’s suspending his U.S. Senate campaign to jump into the race. He joined state Sens. Kim Ward (R-Hempfield) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Jefferson Hills), who announced last week that they will run to replace Murphy.

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