Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 21, 2015

April 21, 2015

‘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

Top Cruz Aide to House Colleagues: Please Say Nice Things

Cruz, R-Texas, talks with guests after a convocation at Liberty University's Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va., where he announced his candidacy for President of the United States, March 23, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz talks with guests after a convocation at Liberty University’s Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va., where he announced his candidacy last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz has plenty of friends in the House Republican Conference, and quite a few in his home-state delegation, too.

But most GOP members aren’t quite ready to officially back the Texas senator’s 2016 presidential bid. Full story

All the Budget Conference’s a Stage

Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee, talks with reporters after a news conference with members of the committee in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce the FY2016 budget resolution and discuss ways to balance the budget, March 17, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After wrangling a Republican budget through the House, House Budget Committee Chairman Price now has to find common ground with Republicans — and maybe a few Democrats — in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How do Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate conference a partisan budget that is little more than a messaging document? They don’t — at least, not really.

No one truly expects both sides to come to a consensus agreement on the budget. No one even really expects Democrats to play much of a role in the budget conference. It could be, as one Democratic aide with knowledge of the situation predicted, one public meeting “just for show, just to check that box.”

But there are plenty of House and Senate differences on the budget that will need to be worked out between Republicans and, well, Republicans. Full story

Cleaver’s Civility a Key Part of His Leadership Appeal

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver

Cleaver isn’t campaigning to move up into House Democratic leadership, but the Missouri lawmaker is on a lot of short lists if a spot opens. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Every power player in Washington, D.C., has a different metric for what makes a day a success. For one Missouri Democrat, it comes down to whether he was able to do his job without stepping on people.

“I want to say, ‘I did nothing today to intentionally hurt anybody.’ I want to be able to say that every night,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II said in a recent interview. “If I live that way, people will probably like me.” Full story

April 15, 2015

Funeral Services Held in Ohio for Boehner’s Brother

Funeral services were held Wednesday in Ohio for House Speaker John A. Boehner’s younger brother, Richard “Rick” A. Boehner, who died Saturday of natural causes. He was 60.

Boehner’s office confirmed to CQ Roll Call Wednesday that the speaker attended the funeral services in Liberty Township, outside Cincinnati.

According to the Dayton Daily News, the speaker’s brother was a “blue-collar mechanic” survived by his wife Sharon Boehner, two stepchildren, six grandchildren, three sisters and eight brothers, including the speaker.

Olivia Hnat, a spokesperson for John Boehner told the paper: “The Speaker is saddened by the death of his brother, who was cherished and loved by so many. He appreciates the prayers for the Boehner family at this time.”

Correction 8:17 p.m.

An earlier version of this post misstated the name of the Dayton newspaper.

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

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By David Eldridge Posted at 7:42 p.m.
John Boehner

April 14, 2015

Top House Democrats Warming to Senate’s Iran Bill

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer are open to the Senate’s Iran bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top two House Democrats are warming to the Iran legislation that will likely come to their chamber floor if it passes the Senate.

On Tuesday afternoon, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer signaled — to a gaggle of reporters and in a written statement, respectively — they aren’t dead-set against a bill that had just sailed, 19-0, out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Full story

Boehner Adds 2 Rules Republicans — Not the Ones He Booted

Byrne, R-Ala., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Byrne, R-Ala., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., are the newest members of Rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Remember when two Florida Republican representatives voted against John A. Boehner for speaker and got themselves removed from the House Rules Committee?

They haven’t been reinstated — but they have been replaced. Full story

Boehner: Corker Bill to Move Before Iran Deal Finalized (Video)

Boehner wouldn't rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner wouldn’t rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate prepares to take up legislation that would let Congress reject a nuclear agreement with Iran, Speaker John A. Boehner reaffirmed Tuesday he’s waiting for that bill with open arms.

“Congress absolutely should have the opportunity to review this deal,” Boehner said Tuesday. “We shouldn’t count on the administration, who appears to want a deal at any cost.” Full story

April 13, 2015

At Reinstated Pen-and-Pads, McCarthy Gives Press Plenty (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JULY 23: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., addresses the media after a meeting of House Republicans in the Capitol, July 23, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy held his first pen-and-pad session as majority leader Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:20 p.m. | House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy did something Monday that hasn’t happened in years: a pen-and-pad sit-down with Capitol Hill reporters. And this was a good one.

The no-cameras news conference, which McCarthy held around a Capitol conference table with more than 35 reporters, lasted 29 minutes and represented the first majority leader pen-and-pad since former GOP leader Eric Cantor ended the practice in 2011.

“I guess you guys haven’t had these in a while, huh?” McCarthy said as he welcomed reporters back Monday. Full story

House Democrats Challenge GOP to Condemn LGBT Discrimination

 Carson, D-IN, in his Cannon office. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call).

Carson is pushing for an official House condemnation of his home state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats, sensing a growing political advantage over Republicans on LGBT issues, are pushing a resolution to express congressional condemnation of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The action comes on the heels of, and in direct response to, the national uproar over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say gives businesses permission to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers. Full story

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