Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 28, 2015

March 27, 2015

The Speaker Strikes Back: Boehner Cancels Gohmert’s Travel (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speaks during a news conference at the House Triangle announcing the formation of a Caucus on Egypt, July 16, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner’s playing hardball, says Gohmert (nTom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner has repeatedly said he doesn’t believe in retribution against the GOP lawmakers who didn’t vote for him to be speaker. But he increasingly seems to believe he doesn’t exactly have to reward those members either.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a member who has made no secret of his opposition to many of Boehner’s plans, has found himself kicked off two upcoming congressional trips during the House’s two week recess. Full story

Did Van Hollen Miss a Layup Opportunity With Progressives? (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., participates in the National Press Club Newsmaker Program with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on "future federal budget priorities and methods to achieve them" at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen surprised some progressives when he didn’t vote for their budget this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:42 p.m. | Congressional Progressive Caucus members were emboldened this week.

Their fiscal 2016 budget proposal won 96 votes on the floor, which translates into half of all House Democrats endorsing the policy platform of one third of the whole House Democratic Caucus — plus a higher threshold than for any CPC budget ever before.

Full story

Warm Fuzzies After Boehner-Pelosi SGR Deal Not Likely to Last (Video)

Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., run into each other in the green room in between their weekly news conferences in the Capitol Visitor Center's Studio A, July 10, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and Pelosi, right, came together for the Medicare fix, but don’t expect the togetherness to last. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House lawmakers left for a two-week recess on a high note Thursday, with members of both parties banding together in nearly equal measure to pass a substantive piece of legislation.

But unlike the longevity of the bill that permanently ends the “sustainable growth rate” used to calculate doctors’ payments for Medicare, and extends for two years the Children’s Health Insurance Program, it’s highly doubtful the bipartisan comity will endure. Full story

March 26, 2015

Boehner: Obama Is ‘Anti-War President’ Unwilling to Lead (Video)

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks back to his office after leaving the House floor on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner slammed the president Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner dismissed Barack Obama Thursday as an “anti-war president” unwilling to lead an international coalition against the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL; al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

“The world is starving for American leadership, but America has an anti-war president. We have no strategy, overarching strategy, to deal with a growing terrorist threat, and it’s not just ISIS or al-Qaida and all of their affiliates,” the Ohio Republican said at his weekly news briefing.

“If America leads, our allies would be tickled to death and be happy to join our coalition.”

Full story

House Passes SGR Deal in Big, Bipartisan Fashion (Video)

Boehner and Pelosi got the 'doc fix' deal done in a big fashion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner and Pelosi got the ‘doc fix’ deal done. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On Thursday, the House touched the third rail. Lawmakers didn’t punt. They didn’t kick the can down the road. And they were bigger than the clichés that have come to describe the predictable patterns of Congress.

In a bipartisan vote, 392-37, House lawmakers passed a bill to end the “sustainable growth rate” used to calculate doctor’s payments for Medicare. After extending the program 17 times with only partial offsets, the House sent a bill to the Senate that would eliminate the need for patches and would pay for at least some of it by changing how much wealthy seniors pay for their Medicare prescriptions and doctors visits, and by instituting a $147 deductible for supplemental Medicare coverage (Medigap). Full story

March 25, 2015

GOP Defense Hawks Trump Conservatives as House OKs Budget

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wednesday’s budget vote was a win for Scalise and the rest of the GOP leadership team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After months of leadership’s best-laid plans falling apart on the floor and behind the scenes, House GOP leaders eked out a much-needed victory Wednesday, with Republicans endorsing a budget that added even more defense dollars to the blueprint reported out committee.

The House voted 228-199 to adopt the budget resolution, after first endorsing that budget in a closer 219-208 vote. Full story

New Jersey Republicans Set Stage for Fight on U.S.-Cuba Relations

Garrett, R-N.J., joins House Republicans to speak during a news conference in opposition to the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) decision on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Garrett and other New Jersey Republicans want Cuba to hand over an escaped fugitive before relations are normalized. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers are always eager to use appropriations bills to make political statements; this year, House Republicans are using the power of the purse to weigh in on President Barack Obama’s move to normalize U.S. and Cuba relations.

GOP lawmakers began to set the stage Wednesday, when New Jersey Republican Reps. Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance and Tom MacArthur officially asked senior appropriators to withhold necessary funding to fulfill the diplomatic process unless the Cuban government agrees to extradite copkiller Joanne Chesimard, an enemy of the Garden State and a longtime fixture on the FBI’s “most wanted” list. Full story

Watch Live: Tom Wheeler Testifies on FCC Net Neutrality Rules

The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rules. Officials from the FCC, including Chairman Tom Wheeler, and the Federal Trade Commission will testify. Coverage begins at 2 p.m.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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March 24, 2015

Boehner ‘Baffled’ by Reports of Israeli Intelligence Leaks to House Members (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner said he was “a bit shocked” by Wall Street Journal reports that Israeli officials were actively working to undermine U.S. efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy.

In particular, Boehner said he was “baffled” by allegations Israelis were spying on closed-door talks and leaking intelligence to members of Congress. Full story

House GOP Leaders Prepare For Budget Battle (Updated)

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scalise denied he had a whipping problem. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:54 p.m. | At their weekly news conference Tuesday morning, House Republican leaders went on the offensive to sell their budget resolution.

One aspect of the pitch — along with the fact that their budget balances and doesn’t raise taxes — focuses on the spending plan’s proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In the event the House and Senate go to conference on their two fiscal blueprints, a procedural gambit known as “reconciliation” could, they argue, accomplish that goal. Full story

March 23, 2015

Quirky ‘Queen of the Hill’ Rule Could Solve GOP Budget Impasse

Flores, R-Texas, attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce border security legislation titled "Support More Assets, Resources and Technology on the Border of 2013." The bill would allow for the employment of additional border officers and a temporary deployment of the National Guard if Congress deems that operational control of the U.S. southern borders is not established. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Flores, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said his group’s proposed budget sets out markers for the GOP. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are breaking out their procedural rulebooks for the House budget resolution, with leadership getting creative to appease defense hawks who want additional spending and conservatives who are apt to reject more military dollars that aren’t offset.

The House Rules Committee Monday set up a series of votes this week on six budget proposals: The one reported out of committee, the version reported out of committee with an additional $2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, a leaner Republican Study Committee budget, a House Democratic Caucus budget, a proposal from the Progressive Caucus, and one from the Congressional Black Caucus. Full story

Former Rep. Robert Kastenmeier Dies at Age 91

Former Rep. Robert Kastenmeier, a Wisconsin Democrat who represented the Badger State’s 2nd District for 32 years, died March 20 in Arlington, Va. He was 91.

Kastenmeier, a World War II Army veteran, served as a War Department claims service officer in the Philippines after the war and as a justice of the peace in Wisconsin before being elected to the House in 1958.  He served in the House from 1959-1991, tumultuous years that ranged from the end of legalized segregation to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon and the Vietnam War, for which he was an early and vocal opponent. Full story

Make-or-Break Week for Republicans on ‘Doc Fix,’ Budget

Boehner, R-Ohio, conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, March 19, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) boehner008_031915.JPG

Boehner and the leadership team face two big tests this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the House returns Monday, Speaker John A. Boehner faces two big tests of his hold on the ever-unruly Republican Conference: pushing through the GOP budget and putting the final touches on a speaker-approved Medicare “doc fix.”

After days of closed-door whip checks and haggling on amendments, the House Budget Committee advanced its fiscal 2016 budget on March 19 by a 22-13 vote. Every Republican supported the measure in committee, but GOP leaders are unlikely to be so lucky if the bill comes to the floor next week, as leaders said it would.

Full story

March 22, 2015

Conservatives: Cruz Candidacy Puts Key Issues on Table

Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015. The day featured addresses by potential presidential candidates. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:55 p.m. | What seemed inevitable is now, almost, official: Ted Cruz is running for president. Because of course he is.

The Texas senator’s expected announcement Monday is being greeted enthusiastically by a specific brand of GOP conservative — a group that includes many of the House lawmakers who’ve made a habit recently of semi-secret meetings with Cruz.

For those members, a Cruz candidacy likely means a higher profile for the values and legislative solutions they hold dear.

Full story

McCarthy: Clinton Should Turn Over the Email Server

McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during the press conference at the Republican National Committee following the House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy called on Clinton to turn over the email server. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., added his voice Sunday to a growing number of Republicans calling for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to turn over her personal email server to an independent third-party arbiter.

McCarthy, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said an arbiter should determine which emails might be related to the House’s investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador. Full story

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