Peter Visclosky announces 2020 retirement

Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) announced that he would not seek re-election to Congress in 2020. Visclosky was first elected to represent Indiana’s 1st Congressional District in 1984 and he won re-election in 2018 by a 30-point margin. There are currently no declared candidates in the district.
Upon the announcement, Visclosky became the eighth Democratic member of the U.S. House to announce he would not be seeking re-election in 2020. There were also 19 Republican members of the U.S. House to announce 2020 retirements so far. In the 2018 election cycle, 52 members of the U.S. House—18 Democrats and 34 Republicans—did not seek re-election.
Currently, Democrats hold a 234-197 majority in the U.S. House with one independent member of the chamber. In November 2020, all 435 seats will be up for election.
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OIRA reviewed 45 significant regulatory actions in October 2019

In October 2019, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed 45 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies. The agency approved three rules without changes and approved the intent of 39 rules while recommending changes to their content. Agencies withdrew three rules from the review process.
OIRA reviewed 43 significant regulatory actions in October 2018. During the Obama administration from 2009-2016, OIRA reviewed an average of 45 significant regulatory actions each September.
OIRA has reviewed a total of 371 significant rules so far in 2019. The agency reviewed a total of 355 significant rules in 2018 and 237 significant rules in 2017.
As of November 4, 2019, OIRA’s website listed 154 regulatory actions under review.
OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.

U.S. Supreme Court extends time for oral argument in pending immigration case

On November 1, the U.S. Supreme Court added twenty extra minutes for oral argument in the case Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. Under Supreme Court Rule 28, each side is allowed 30 minutes to make their arguments, but the court has the authority to lengthen that time. In this case, the solicitor general will have 40 minutes to argue while the lawyers for the private parties and for the state officials on the other side will have 20 minutes each.
The case involves whether the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lawfully ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program protected certain individuals residing in the United States without legal permission from deportation and allowed them to go to school and work.
DHS argues that ending DACA was within its discretionary authority and that the Obama administration violated Administrative Procedure Act (APA) procedures and U.S. immigration laws in creating the program. Those who oppose how DHS ended DACA argue that the agency did not follow proper APA procedures and violated the rights of DACA beneficiaries.
The U.S. Supreme Court scheduled argument in the case for November 12.
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Joe Biden leads in Ballotpedia pageviews for a second consecutive week, Bernie Sanders is sixth candidate to reach 100,000 pageviews

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. These numbers show which candidates are getting our readers’ attention.
Joe Biden’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 2,639 views for the week of October 27-November 2. Biden’s pageview figure represents 9.8% of the pageviews for the week. Elizabeth Warren had 9.2% of the pageviews for the week, followed by Andrew Yang with 8.4%. This is Biden’s second week in a row with the most pageviews.
Every Democratic candidate other than Joe Sestak and Wayne Messam received fewer pageviews last week than the week before. Sestak’s pageviews were up 35.1% from the week before, while Messam’s were up 12.1%.
Andrew Yang remains the leader in overall pageviews this year with 135,964. He is followed by Pete Buttigieg with 128,637 and Joe Biden with 120,375. Bernie Sanders had 100,139 overall pageviews as of November 2, making him the sixth Democratic candidate to reach 100,000 pageviews this year. The last candidate to break 100,000 was Elizabeth Warren during the week of September 29-October 5.

Federal court declares patent board structure unconstitutional

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on October 31 held in Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc. et al. that the structure of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) violates the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution.
Judges Kimberly Moore, Raymond Chen, and Jimmie V. Reyna identified a structural flaw in the PTAB’s statutory scheme for appointing its administrative patent judges (APJs). Under the faulty system, the United States secretary of commerce appointed APJs. Once appointed, APJs enjoyed for-cause removal protections that only permitted removal by the secretary or the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “such cause as will promote efficiency of the service.”
The judges held that APJs exercise significant authority that qualifies them as principal, rather than inferior, officers. As such, APJs must be directly appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the United States Senate pursuant to the Appointments Clause.
Instead of changing the method of appointing APJs, however, the court cited precedent set forth in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to propose removing APJs’ for-cause removal protections in order to classify them as inferior officers. Without protections against removal, the judges stated that APJs would be considered inferior officers subject to at-will removal by the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“We believe that this, the narrowest revision to the scheme intended by Congress for reconsideration of patent rights, is the proper course of action and the action Congress would have undertaken,” wrote Judge Kimberly Ann Moore.
The court’s decision is likely to result in the rehearing of 50 to 70 cases before the board.

Beto O’Rourke ends presidential campaign

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) announced Friday that he was ending his presidential campaign.
In a tweet announcing his withdrawal, O’Rourke said, “Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively. In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.”
O’Rourke is the tenth noteworthy Democratic candidate to suspend his bid for the presidency this year. The most recent candidate before O’Rourke to do so was Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) on October 24.
O’Rourke’s withdrawal leaves 17 noteworthy Democrats in the running. As of Monday, there were 286 Democratic presidential candidates registered with the Federal Election Commission.
O’Rourke was first elected to represent Texas’ 16th Congressional District in 2012 after defeating incumbent Silvestre Reyes (D) in the Democratic primary. He had earlier served six years on the El Paso City Council. O’Rourke challenged Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in 2018 rather than seek re-election, losing by a margin of 2.6 percentage points.

Fourth Democrat qualifies for December presidential debate

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg gained his fourth and final poll on Oct. 29 to qualify for the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19.
Candidates must meet one of two polling standards: receive 4 percent support or more in at least four national or early state polls or receive 6 percent support or more in at least two state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada. Candidates must also receive contributions from at least 200,000 unique donors and a minimum of 800 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.
Buttigieg joins former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in qualifying.
Four other candidates have reached just the fundraising threshold: Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Harris needs one more qualifying poll to make the debate stage, Klobuchar and Yang need three each, and O’Rourke needs four.
Candidates have until Dec. 12 to qualify. The debate will take place at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. PBS NewsHour and Politico are hosting.

Harris bulks up campaign in Iowa, reduces staff in Maryland

October 31, 2019: Kamala Harris is restructuring her campaign, sending more staffers to Iowa and reducing staff at her Maryland headquarters. Donald Trump ran a campaign ad during the final night of the World Series on Wednesday.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Last week, two polls painted two very different pictures of the state of the primary race. A CNN/SSRS poll put former Vice President Joe Biden 15 points ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 34 percent to 19 percent, while a Quinnipiac University poll released a day later found Biden trailing Warren by 7 points, 21 to 28 percent. …

In short, the fact that they found such different outcomes isn’t that big a deal. As you can see in the chart below, once we control for house effects, the overall spread between polls since May isn’t actually all that large. In fact, the spread of values for both Biden and Warren fall within a range we might expect. So don’t read too much into those two polls. Turns out they’re just the kind of outliers we’d expect to see in this range of polls.”

– Laura Bronner, FiveThirtyEight





  • Bennet spoke about healthcare at the HLTH conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas.



  • Booker discussed gun buyback programs and civility in politics on The View Wednesday.



  • Tulsi Gabbard tweeted Wednesday she was preparing for Army National Guard duty. She also called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “radical Islamist  megalomaniac who wants to establish a caliphate.”



  • Harris is restructuring her campaign, sending more staffers to Iowa and reducing staff at her Maryland headquarters. Her campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez, is also reducing his salary. Harris is planning to launch a seven-figure ad campaign before the Iowa caucuses.



  • Klobuchar begins her second bus tour of Iowa Thursday with an event in Des Moines.



  • Sanders is attending a forum hosted by Rights & Democracy, the New Hampshire Youth Movement, and People’s Action in New Hampshire Thursday. He is also filing to run in the state primary. 



  • Warren is expected to open her first California offices in Oakland and Los Angeles in November.





  • Yang is holding a Halloween Power Hour Thursday, where he will call 60 supporters in 60 minutes during a livestream.






  • Donald Trump ran a campaign ad during the final night of the World Series on Wednesday. “He’s no Mr. Nice Guy, but sometimes it takes a Donald Trump to change Washington,” the narrator says in the clip.


General Election Updates

  • Twitter announced Wednesday that it will no longer accept political advertising on its platform beginning Nov. 22.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: October 31, 2015

Donald Trump released his platform for veterans’ healthcare and employment services.

Katie Hill announces resignation amid ethics investigation

Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) announced that she would resign from her position representing California’s 25th Congressional District. Hill did not initially announce the effective date of her resignation. The announcement followed Hill’s acknowledgment that she had been involved in an intimate relationship with a campaign staffer.
Once her resignation becomes effective, Hill will be the seventh member of the 116th Congress to leave office prior to the end of their term. Of those seven, six were members of the U.S. House (two Democrats and four Republicans), and the other was a Republican U.S. Senator.
Currently, Democrats hold a 235-199 majority in the U.S. House with one independent member of the chamber. In November 2020, all 435 seats will be up for election.
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One Congressional resignation and one retirement announced; 1,794 major party candidates filed for 2020

In the past week, one member of the 116th Congress announced her resignation: Democratic Rep. Katie Hill (Calif.-25). She will be the seventh member of the 116th Congress to leave office early.
One member of the House also announced his retirement after the 2020 elections: Republican Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.-2), who was first elected in 1998. To date, four Senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) and 26 Representatives (19 Republicans and seven Democrats) are not running for re-election. In 2018, 55 total members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.
As of October 28, 2019, 275 candidates are filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate in 2020. Of those, 242—130 Democrats and 112 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.
1,652 candidates are filed with the FEC to run for U.S. House in 2020. Of those, 1,552—782 Democrats and 770 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.
On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly-scheduled elections, one is a special election in Arizona, and another is an expected special election in Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, where all the seats are up for election, Democrats currently hold a 235-seat majority.
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