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April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

The Steve Scalise Comeback Tour

UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. speaks during a news conference in the Capitol as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., looks on, after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Persistence, Scalise says, is his key to success. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When Majority Whip Steve Scalise walked to the floor on Feb. 27 for the vote on a three-week continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security, he knew it was going to fail.

“When we put the bill out there,” Scalise recounted in a sit-down with CQ Roll Call, “there were a lot of members who felt that was the right way to go — over 80 percent of our conference voted for it — but we still didn’t have enough to get there, and you couldn’t expect any Democrats.”

Welcome to the role of the modern majority whip.

It’s an increasingly difficult position. There are no earmarks to dangle in front of members. Plenty of Republicans, having discovered pathways to re-election by being party antagonists, have little reason to fear leadership. And plenty of other Republicans, tired of the conference catering to its most conservative members, are ready for a revolt of their own.

Full story

April 27, 2015

Scalise: Export-Import Bank ‘On Track’ to Expire

Scalise, R-La., arrives at the Republican National Committee offices for the House GOP leadership press conference following the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise said the Ex-Im Bank is “on track” to expire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Majority Whip Steve Scalise doesn’t seem to be making any reversals on the Export-Import Bank.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, the Louisiana Republican signaled continued opposition to an Ex-Im reauthorization. Full story

Trade Fight Galvanizing the Left

Ellison, D-Minn., attends a rally with labor groups, including the American Federation of Government Employees, in Upper Senate Park to support federal workers and the working class, February 10, 2015. Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, appears at right. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ellison, shown here at a February labor rally on the Hill, said there will be blood in the fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With the first round of appropriations bills and a possible budget conference report on the House floor this week, the chamber’s progressive contingent is looking farther down the road at the storm brewing over so-called Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track.”

Legislation allowing President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would ordinarily be divisive within the House Democratic Caucus, but progressives say there’s even more at stake in this most recent fight: 2016. Full story

April 23, 2015

Gowdy Invites Clinton to Capitol Hill for Public Hearings

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER14: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., leaves the Capitol following the last votes of the week on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ex-first lady, former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton could be swinging by Capitol Hill before too long — but not to glad-hand with congressional Democrats, at least not exclusively.

Rather, the Democratic front-runner will be appearing twice before the House committee investigating the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

One of those times she’ll be asked to “answer questions regarding the completeness of her public record” in light of the controversy over missing private emails, according to a statement from committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

The second appearance, Gowdy said, would deal with “the substance of the Benghazi terrorist attacks.”

“Unless we hear differently from you, the Committee will schedule a public hearing with Secretary Clinton in which to discuss ensuring the public record is complete the week of May 18, 2015, and we look forward to coordinating a day that week convenient for Secretary Clinton,” Gowdy wrote in a letter to Clinton’s attorney.

“If that hearing results in assurances the public record is indeed complete, the Committee will schedule Secretary Clinton’s public hearing with respect to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi no later than June 18, 2015.”

Though the hearings would take place well in advance of presidential primary season, Gowdy announced Wednesday the Benghazi committee’s final report won’t likely come out before 2016.

Read Gowdy’s full letter here.

Related:

Gowdy: Benghazi Panel Will Ask Clinton to Appear — Twice

Gowdy: ‘Southern Politeness’ Isn’t Working in Benghazi Probe

Benghazi Hearing Opening Statements From Gowdy, Cummings

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

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Trade Deal: Boehner, Pelosi Both Put Onus on Other Side (Video)

Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walk through Statuary Hall en route to the Capitol's Rayburn Room for a signing ceremony for a bipartisan bill to "strengthen Medicare and fix its payment formula for doctors," April 16, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Both Boehner, left, and Pelosi said they hope a Pacific trade deal passes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House leaders of both parties said Thursday they’re hopeful Congress could pass legislation giving President Barack Obama authority to negotiate his long-sought Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

They differed on whether Republicans or Democrats are responsible for making sure such a deal takes place. Full story

Courting the Cucumber-Infused Crowd: Democrats Woo Millennials

Moulton, D-Mass., along with Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., far right, Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., talk with young entrepreneurs during a Future Forum event at District Cowork in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

From left, Meng, Moulton, Swalwell and Israel meet with entrepreneurs during a Future Forum event — part of the Democratic Party’s efforts to reach out to millennials — in New York City earlier this month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

NEW YORK — On a Thursday evening earlier this month, a group of Democratic lawmakers entrusted with a big chunk of the party’s future mingled with well-dressed young professionals in an industrial-chic space in Manhattan, drinking glasses of wine and Mason jars of water infused with strawberries or cucumbers.

The New Yorkers were eager to interact with the four Democrats — three of whom are not much older than the millennial-aged crowd of entrepreneurs, investors and innovators in attendance. Full story

April 22, 2015

2016’s ‘October Surprise?’ Not Much of a Surprise

Boehner is in a tough spot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Benghazi panel has more work to do, Baehner said Wendesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

October revelations about the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi weren’t enough to get the Republican presidential candidate over the hump in 2012 — but that doesn’t mean it won’t work in 2016, right?

The ongoing partisan rancor over the GOP-controlled House Select Committee on Benghazi erupted again Wednesday after Bloomberg reported a day earlier that the panel’s final report — originally expected sometime his year — likely won’t be finished until sometime in the presidential election year of 2016. Full story

Conservatives Surprisingly Optimistic About Ending Ex-Im Bank

Jordan, center, called the Ex-Im Bank is the "Bridge to Nowhere." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jordan, center, called the Ex-Im Bank is the “Bridge to Nowhere.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It was a smaller room than usual for the monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” event Wednesday. There were fewer attendees than normal, too, both among members and the audience. But among the many topics conservatives delved into — over plates of their customary Chick-fil-A — members seemed united, even hopeful, on one item: the Export-Import Bank.

It’s no surprise conservatives want to kill the bank, which has a charter that expires on June 30. But it was surprising just how confident members sounded that they would actually end the 81-year-old agency. Conservatives said they think the bank’s looming expiration is one deadline GOP leaders won’t cave on. Full story

April 21, 2015

Conservative Groups: Let Ex-Im Bank Expire

Hensarling (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hensarling has led efforts to end funding for the Ex-Im Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress approaches a June 30 expiration date on the Export-Import Bank, more than 50 conservative groups wrote to lawmakers Tuesday urging them to oppose its reauthorization.

“On behalf of our groups and organizations, together representing millions of Americans, we urge you to oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank,” the letter begins. “It unfairly hurts domestic companies and risks billions of taxpayer dollars.” Full story

‘Nice Guy’ Crowley Eyes Bigger Role in Democratic Caucus

 Crowley , D-N.Y., speaks to reporters following the House Democrats' caucus meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New York’s Crowley is eyeing a bigger role in the Democratic House Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ask Washington lawmakers what they think of Rep. Joseph Crowley and they’ll use words such as “funny,” “kind,” “helpful,” “good listener” and “loyal colleague.”

Those aren’t bad things, especially on Capitol Hill, where sincerity and generosity are sometimes in short supply. And so far, these qualities have helped get the New York Democrat where he is today: vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Full story

April 20, 2015

House to Take Up Cybersecurity Bills in Condensed Week

 Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walk through Statuary Hall en route to the Capitol's Rayburn Room for a signing ceremony for a bipartisan bill to "strengthen Medicare and fix its payment formula for doctors," April 16, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will take up a cybersecurity bill this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

With a scheduled work week that even a college senior could endorse, House lawmakers return to the Capitol Tuesday for just three days to deal with cybersecurity bills and to put the finishing touches on a budget and trade legislation.

The House will deal with two cybersecurity bills this week: the Protecting Cyber Networks Act and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015. The first bill, which the Intelligence Committee agreed to on a noncontroversial voice vote, is intended to promote information sharing about cybersecurity threats and would provide liability protections for companies that share that information with other companies and the government. There is, however, some controversy surrounding the bill. Full story

April 19, 2015

McCarthy Uses Bully Pulpit to Spotlight California Drought

McCarthy said it's up to the Senate. Cornyn suggests it's up to the House.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCarthy has made the California drought a priority in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislation targeting arcane water rules is not typically the stuff of legacy building for high-profile political figures.

But for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, shepherding through Congress a bill aimed at easing the water shortage in his home state — while taking down some federal regulations conservatives contend contributed to the crisis — would be a personal triumph years in the making. Full story

April 16, 2015

House Wraps Tax Week, Prepares Trade Issues

A U.S. Capitol Police officer removes a package from the undercarriage of the gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The small helicopter was painted with a U.S. Postal Service logo. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Capitol Police officer removes a package from the undercarriage of the gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the exception of a homemade gyrocopter landing on the Capitol lawn, everything in the House went just according to plan this week.

Lawmakers hit the exits Thursday after voting, 240-179, to kill the so-called death tax, also known as the “estate tax” in less Republican circles. Full story

Throwback Thursday: Bud Shuster Lodging With Ex-Aide-Turned-Lobbyist

Bill Shuster's father made the front page of Roll Call on Feb. 8, 1996. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bill Shuster’s father made the front page of Roll Call on Feb. 8, 1996. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the revelation Thursday that House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., has “a personal and private relationship” with a top airline lobbyist, according to a Politico report, it seemed only fitting to pull this exclusive out of the Roll Call archives.

Shuster’s father was chairing the same committee in 1996 when Roll Call observed him leaving a lobbyist’s Alexandria, Va., home on Jan. 25 at 7 a.m. Their deep ties were uncovered in this 1,400-word front-page story published on Feb. 8, 1996.  Full story

Homeland Security Morale Woes Blamed on Immigration Policies (Video)

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 17: Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi hearing on "Implementation of the Accountability Review Board Recommendations" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gowdy said the president’s immigration policies have a lot to do with low morale at the Department of Homeland Security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Republican House members, both former prosecutors, said at a Capitol Hill hearing Thursday that White House immigration policies are contributing to low morale at Homeland Security.

The comments came as Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Ken Buck of Colorado questioned federal officials at a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing titled “The Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government.” Full story

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