Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 26, 2014

December 23, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion (Updated)

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Grimm said he won’t step down, despite pleading guilty to a felony tax evasion charge Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:21 p.m. | NEW YORK — Rep. Michael G. Grimm said he won’t step down, despite pleading guilty Tuesday to one of the 20 felony tax fraud charges he’s been battling since April — immediately raising questions about whether the New York Republican will be forced to resign his seat in Congress.

A two-term lawmaker who won re-election in November by steadfastly maintaining his innocence, Grimm entered a Brooklyn courthouse on Tuesday afternoon and admitted to tax evasion in connection to the health food restaurant he owned and operated prior to serving in Congress. Full story

Pelosi: Boehner Has to Oust Michael Grimm (Updated)

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Grimm is expected to plead guilty later Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:05 a.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi became the first member of leadership on either side of the aisle to call for Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s ouster from Congress.

Amid reports that Grimm, a New York Republican, hopes to remain in Congress if he escapes jail time in an expected plea deal in a felony tax evasion case, Pelosi said Tuesday that Speaker John A. Boehner must act.  Full story

Stalemate: How an Immigration Rewrite Died in the 113th Congress (Video)

The 113th Congress began with an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws seeming likely, if not inevitable.

But despite an overwhelming bipartisan Senate vote to send a broad measure to the House, the issue died by the time Congress adjourned.

Here’s how it happened.

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

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In New Role on Capitol Hill, Duppler Goes From ‘Outsider’ to ‘Insider’

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House Republicans hired Duppler away from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a town where everyone wants to be heard, a big part of Mattie Duppler’s job is to listen.

Duppler, who made a name for herself as the director of budget and regulatory policy for Americans for Tax Reform, is the new coalitions director for the House Republican Conference. Full story

December 22, 2014

Reports: Indicted Congressman Expected to Plead Guilty to Tax Evasion

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Grimm said he’d step down if found guilty, but would that earlier promise cover a plea deal? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., is expected to plead guilty in court to at least one of the 20 felony counts lodged against him, local news outlets reported Monday.

CQ Roll Call did not immediately hear back from Grimm spokesmen or attorneys for confirmation, with one of his lawyers, Miami-based Daniel Rashbaum, saying, “We have no comment at this time.” Full story

Six Degrees of Terri Sewell

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Sewell first met Barack and Michelle Obama as college students. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Call her the Kevin Bacon of Congress.

Democratic Rep. Terri A. Sewell of Alabama is one of only a handful of people who can say she knew Barack and Michelle Obama before they knew even each other.

Full story

December 19, 2014

Heritage Action Staffers Migrate to House

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Brat’s new top aide comes over from Heritage Action. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heritage Action for America is losing three staffers, including its top House lobbyist, to a trio of newbies in the 114th Congress.

Freshman Rep. Dave Brat, the Virginia Republican who famously unseated then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a June primary contest, has tapped Heritage’s Erin Siefring as his chief of staff. Siefring has been the conservative group’s chief liaison with House members. Full story

By Kate Ackley Posted at 3:56 p.m.
Uncategorized

The Friday Before Christmas, a Quieter House

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It was the week before Christmas, and things were quiet all through the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Incoming Rep. Barry Loudermilk said he was surprised anybody at all was on Capitol Hill on Dec. 19, the last Friday before Christmas.

The Georgia Republican, who had returned to the gift shop in the Longworth House Office Building hoping to retrieve some misplaced paperwork, told CQ Roll Call he was only around to do a bit of housekeeping in advance of the first day of the 114th Congress in January. Full story

December 18, 2014

‘Do-Nothing Congress’ Rewrites Legacy With ‘Cromnibus’

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Johnson called the 113th the “Do-Nothingest Congress,” but that label may not fit in the wake of a far-reaching “cromnibus.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 6:37 p.m. | They say numbers don’t lie. But in this case, numbers don’t tell the whole truth, either.

The 113th Congress wrapped up this week with 285 pieces of legislation signed into law by the president as of Thursday — one more than the 284 measures enacted in the 112th, which was previously the modern era’s least productive Congress. Both two-year terms end up well below the average from the preceding 20 Congresses, which typically produced 564 bills signed into law. (The median number of laws enacted for the past 20 Congresses is 604.) Full story

December 16, 2014

Chaffetz Lays Out Different Direction for Oversight

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Chaffetz offered a preview of what’s in store for Oversight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If incoming Chairman Jason Chaffetz made just one thing clear Tuesday, it’s this: The Oversight and Government Reform Committee is not Darrell Issa’s anymore — in fact, Issa won’t even be on the committee next year.

Chaffetz gathered roughly a dozen reporters in his new Rayburn office Tuesday to discuss the 114th Congress and his vision for the Oversight panel, one that focuses less on political scandals and more on the “government reform” part. And it was evident to everyone present the Utah Republican has a dramatically different vision for the panel than that of his predecessor. Full story

Dingell’s Condition Improving at Washington Hospital

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Dingell is on the mend at a Washington hospital. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Rep. John D. Dingell, hospitalized last week after a hip fracture, will likely spend the holidays at George Washington University Hospital recuperating, according to a Facebook update from the congressman’s wife.

The 88-year-old Michigan Democrat, the nation’s longest-serving congressman ever (he took office in 1955), is “making steady progress and is far better than when he was admitted,” Debbie Dingell wrote Tuesday. Full story

December 15, 2014

Defiant Pelosi Stands Firmly on Left

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Pelosi signals she’d rather fight than move to the middle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wide swaths of House Democrats have said they attribute Election Day losses to the caucus’s lack of a unified message, a strong pitch they can sell to voters and, above all else, a true sense their actions will match up with their rhetoric.

So when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi broke with the White House last week and fought against a trillion-dollar spending package containing policy riders abhorred by her caucus, progressives cheered the return of their liberal champion. Full story

December 13, 2014

John Dingell Fractures Hip

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John Dingell and Debbie Dingell last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Dean of the House, retiring Rep. John Dingell, fractured his hip and will not be able to travel for weeks, according to his wife Debbie.

The Michigan Democrat and longest-serving congressman of all time was admitted to George Washington University Hospital Friday for observation.

Debbie Dingell, who will succeed her husband in January, posted on Facebook thanks for prayers for her husband and said it had been “a rough 24 hours.” Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 3:11 p.m.
Democrats

December 12, 2014

House Passes Second CR in Near-Empty Chamber

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With Messer presiding over a near-empty chamber, the House approved a continuing resolution to keep the government running. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House quietly passed another continuing resolution Friday that would fund the government through Wednesday, providing the Senate more time, if needed, to pass the longer-term “cromnibus” — but also raising questions about the procedure for a bill that was unexpectedly passed in a nearly empty House chamber.

With just three members on the floor — GOP Policy Chairman Luke Messer of Indiana in the presiding officer’s chair, senior Republican appropriator John Culberson of Texas making the motion, and Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores of Texas standing by — the House passed a new continuing resolution Friday that would extend government funding through Dec. 17. Full story

Issa Subpoenas Gruber’s Contracts, Documents on Obamacare

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Issa may be wrapping up his term on Oversight, but he’s not done with Gruber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

You didn’t really think House Republicans were done with Jonathan Gruber, did you?

No, of course not.

Outgoing House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa late Thursday issued a subpoena for the Obamacare consultant who testified earlier this week before the panel on his comments about “the stupidity of the American voter.” Full story

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