Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015

Attendance Sparse at Planned Parenthood Video Screening

UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at a mid-day rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in support of defunding Planned Parenthood. During the rally, Sen. Paul announced a commitment from Senate leadership for a vote on his legislation to defund Planned Parenthood prior to the August recess.   (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at a rally in favor of de-funding Planned Parenthood (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

Two thousand is the number of Democratic House and Senate staffers invited to a screening of the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissues and organs.

Sixteen is the number of Congressional aides who responded to the invitation, sent out by the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. Full story

Iran Vote Puts Focus on House Democrats

UNITED STATES - JULY 16: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds up a copy of the Iran nuclear deal as she speaks during her weekly on camera media availability on Thursday, July 16, 2015.  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House lawmakers return from the August break next week with a slate of issues they need to resolve before Oct. 1 — most notably government funding — and one issue they’ll tackle almost immediately: Iran.

The House is scheduled to start debate on a disapproval resolution that aims to block the Iranian nuclear deal on Wednesday. And while Republicans are overwhelmingly, perhaps entirely, against the nuclear agreement, the question is how many Democrats will oppose the deal. Full story

The ‘Trump Phenomenon’ and the Effort to Overthrow Boehner

Donald Trump leaves a Congressional Gold Medal in the Capitol's rotunda at which golf legend Jack Nicklaus was presented the award, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump has turned the GOP presidential race upside down, but will he have an impact on House Republicans? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A day before the August recess, when Rep. Mark Meadows announced a legislative move to strip Speaker John A. Boehner of his gavel, few would have predicted that Donald Trump would be the summer’s biggest political story.

But with the billionaire developer consistently topping the polls, and with most theories on his ascendance citing a general disgust with business as usual in Washington, Meadows sees Trump as a harbinger for his colleagues in the House. Full story

September 2, 2015

House to Vote Next Week on Iran Disapproval Resolution

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 4: House Majority Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., addresses the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy says the House will vote next week on the Iran nuclear deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House returns next week from a month-long recess, and before it starts to tick off any of the other items on its lengthy September to-do list, it will tackle the pending nuclear deal with Iran.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., made the significant scheduling announcement Wednesday evening, just hours after Senate Democrats secured the votes that will allow the agreement to proceed, regardless of whether both Republican run chambers reject it. Full story

Papal Address Comes With Complications for Both Parties

(Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis has shown repeatedly he’s willing to wade into controversial topics. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

With his ongoing criticisms of hardline immigration policies and consistent warnings about climate change, Pope Francis’ address to Congress later this month is starting to look a little uncomfortable for Republicans — especially Catholics such as Speaker John A. Boehner, who invited the religious leader to speak.

This week, with the pope’s new comments on abortion, Democrats got a reminder that the head of the world’s largest church can make politicians from either party squirm. Full story

September 1, 2015

Wasserman Schultz in Tough Spot on Iran Deal

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Wasserman Schultz, left, speaks with Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., on the East Front of the Capitol (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in an unenviable position.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee has yet to announce where she stands on President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran — and no matter how she eventually votes, the Florida Democrat is likely to pay a political price.

Full story

Report: Hensarling’s Ex-Im Bank Opposition Costs Dallas

UNITED STATES - APRIL 14: Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, listens as House GOP leaders speak to reporters following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hensarling and other opponents of the Ex-Im Bank may start to feel some heat themselves. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the Export-Import Bank’s charter now expired for two months and counting, pro-Ex-Im businesses are putting new pressure on the House Republicans behind the effort to shut down the federal credit agency.

General Electric has dropped Dallas from a list of prospective sites for a new corporate headquarters as punishment for some Texas lawmakers who oppose the bank, Bloomberg News recently reported. Full story

August 28, 2015

Iran Deal Puts Jewish Democrats in Spotlight

Israel, D-N.Y., arrives at the House steps of the Capitol before the final votes before the August recess on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The House of Representatives will not meet again until September 8, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Israel is one of the few Jewish members — past or present — weighing in against the Iran nuclear deal. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

With Senate Democrats getting closer to thwarting a GOP override vote on the Iran deal, and with House Democrats increasingly showing their own strength in upholding a presidential veto, one constituency remains a key focus in the public relations battle over the Iranian nuclear agreement: Jewish Democrats.

On Friday, six Jewish House Democrats sent a letter to colleagues pointing out the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has their support and support from a number of former Jewish members. The “Dear Colleague” letter directs Democrats to a New York Times ad in which 11 former Jewish members endorsed the agreement on Thursday. Full story

American Refugees: Hill Staffers Share Katrina Stories

UNITED STATES - August 14: From left, Peter Hunter, Senior Legislative Assistant, Joe Lustig, Legislative Assistant, and Brandon Gassaway, Press Secretary, all for the office of Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., pose for a portrait in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Friday, August 14, 2015 (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Katrina’s impact continues to be felt in the lives of Louisianians, including Hunter, left; Lustig, center; and Gassaway, all staffers for  Richmond. 
(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In the final installment in a series of stories on Hurricane Katrina, House staffers reflect on the storm’s impact. 

Everyone who lived through Hurricane Katrina has a story: where they were, what they did and how they coped.

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise and Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, who both represented pockets of New Orleans in the Louisiana Legislature before coming to Washington, reflected on their experiences ahead of this weekend’s 10th anniversary of the storm.

But they aren’t the only ones on Capitol Hill with tales to tell. Full story

August 27, 2015

5 Members of Congress Who Could Endorse Trump

UNITED STATES - August 15: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets fairgoers as he visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, August 15, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Trump greets fair-goers in Iowa earlier this month. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump may be polling far ahead of the rest of the GOP presidential field, but there’s one constituency that remains reluctant to support the insurgent candidate: Congress.

To date, not one member of Congress has formally endorsed the GOP front-runner. Perhaps that’s part of Trump’s charm for some voters. He’s a Washington outsider — as much as a New York billionaire can be, at least — and voters have taken to his monkey-wrench style of politics. Full story

August 26, 2015

Scalise, Richmond: Two Takes on Post-Katrina New Orleans

UNITED STATES - MARCH 18:  Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., speaks during an event at 101 Constitution Avenue with the National Bankers Association, Visa, and NFL players, to educate teens about financial responsibility, March 18, 2015. At the event, teens and NFL athletes Heisman Trophy winner and New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram and Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles, played "Financial Football," a free educational video game that incorporates football and questions about money management. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If Katrina happened in 2015, New Orleans could expect less help from Congress than it got a decade ago, Richmond said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Here’s the latest in a CQ Roll Call series of reports on the legacy of Hurricane Katrina, continuing our conversations with New Orleans’ congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric L. Richmond:

Ten years ago, Congress barely blinked before greenlighting billions to rebuild the Hurricane Katrina-battered city of New Orleans. Would Congress do the same today?

“Yeah, I think Congress would, and has,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said. “There were a lot of debates, as there should have been, but ultimately, the decision was made that they weren’t going to let a major national city fade away.” Full story

August 25, 2015

A Decade After Katrina, 2 New Orleans Lawmakers Look Back

Richmond, left, and Scalise represented New Orleans in the Louisiana State House before being elected to the U.S. House (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Richmond, left, and Scalise represented New Orleans in the Louisiana House before being elected to Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On Saturday, New Orleans observes the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The storm left behind unimaginable destruction as well as a complicated and emotional legacy with which survivors still grapple. CQ Roll Call met separately recently with Louisiana Reps. Steve Scalise, the House Republican whip, and his longtime friend Cedric L. Richmond, a Democrat, to talk about the impact of Katrina. Their recollections (both were state lawmakers at the time), edited for length and organized for chronology, are part of a series on the storm 218 will publish this week. 

Saturday, Aug. 27
Two days before the storm. Full story

August 21, 2015

Despite Side Deal Report, Support Lines Up for Iran Deal (Updated)

Nadler, D-N.Y., participates in the news conference at the Capitol to introduce H.R.1962, the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2013" on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The legislation would "increase protections for member

Nadler is the latest Democrat to back the Iran deal. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:49 p.m. | Despite revelations this week of a previously undisclosed side deal, despite face-to-face entreaties from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and despite nonstop criticism from Republicans, the Iran nuclear deal continues to pick up steam in Congress.

On Friday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler announced his support, saying the deal, “for all its flaws, gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

Full story

August 20, 2015

Congress’ Squishy Financial Disclosure Deadline

UNITED STATES - JULY 24: Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, heads to the House floor for a vote on Thursday, July 24, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCaul, one of Congress’ wealthiest members, has yet to file a 2014 disclosure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A week after Congress’ Aug. 13 deadline for members filing financial disclosures — a deadline already extended 90 days from May 15 — there are still almost a dozen members who have not turned in their forms.

But fear not, those who might be inclined to worry about the difficulties and demands of congressional life. According to financial disclosure rules — confirmed by a House Ethics Committee aide on Wednesday — members get an additional 30-day grace period before they are penalized. Full story

August 19, 2015

Louis Stokes, First Black Appropriator, Dies at 90

Stokes died Tuesday night after battling cancer. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Stokes died Tuesday night after battling cancer. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Cleveland-area congressman who was chairman of the House select committee that investigated the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., passed away late Tuesday at the age of 90.

Rep. Louis Stokes, D-Ohio, served in the House for three full decades, retiring in 1999. He was notable on Capitol Hill for serving as chairman of the Ethics Committee, as well as chairman and ranking Democrat on the old Veterans’ Affairs-Housing and Urban Development appropriations subcommittee, which drafted one of the two largest domestic discretionary spending bills.

Full story

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