Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2015

Posts by David Eldridge

122 Posts

October 18, 2015

Gowdy: Republicans Not on Benghazi Panel Should ‘Shut Up’


Gowdy and Cummings both appeared on CBS. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you’re not on the Benghazi panel, Chairman Trey Gowdy said Sunday, shut up — and that includes fellow Republicans.

In an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the South Carolina Republican and former federal prosecutor brushed aside assertions that the panel charged with investigating the 2012 terror attack has lost credibility in the wake of a string of embarrassing comments — from a gaffe on the part of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to speculation by New York Republican Richard Hanna to the explosive allegations from a former GOP Benghazi staffer. Full story

September 30, 2015

Congressman: Expand Obamacare to Undocumented Immigrants (Video)

Updated 5:40 p.m. | Rep Luis V. Gutiérrez, one of Congress’ most outspoken advocates for immigrants, on Wednesday called for expanding the Affordable Care Act to cover all of the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants in the United States.

“The goal is to make integration and inclusion real for millions of families that are locked out under current law,” the Illinois Democrat said in a floor speech introducing his proposed legislation.

Full story

September 28, 2015

It’s Official: McCarthy Announces Speaker Bid


UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress  on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy, as expected, will seek the top position in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as expected, made it official Monday, telling fellow House Republicans in a letter he will seek the speaker’s gavel.

With Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., choosing to stand pat, McCarthy was widely regarded as the favorite to succeed House Speaker John A. Boehner, though the California lawmaker will face opposition: Florida Rep. Daniel Webster has also announced he will run. Full story

September 27, 2015

Boehner Warns Fellow Republicans: ‘Beware False Prophets’

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds a news conference on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, to discuss his decision to resign his position as Speaker and leave Congress at the end of October. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

Boehner defended his record Sunday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

House Speaker John A. Boehner has a word of warning, straight out of the Bible, for fellow Republicans: “Beware false prophets.”

Boehner’s advice, offered during an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” came after the speaker was asked if some members of the GOP conference have unrealistic ideas about how to govern.

“Absolutely they’re not realistic,” Boehner said. “Change comes slowly, and obviously too slowly for some. … There are people out there spreading, uh, noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole idea that we were going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013 just plain never had a chance.”

“We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate, here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know — are never going to happen.”

Boehner said he expects a “clean” continuing resolution will pass the chamber next week to avert a government shutdown.

In his first extensive interview since announcing he plans to step down from the speakership and from Congress at the end of October, the Ohio Republican was philosophical about his near quarter-century in Congress.

He told host John Dickerson he’d like to be remembered as “a good man,” and his advice to the next speaker was to “just do the right things for the right reasons” and “have the courage to do what you can do.”

“It’s easy to have the courage to do what you can’t do,” Boehner said.

Boehner described his incremental legislative style as “the Woody Hayes school of football: three years and a cloud of dust, three yards and a cloud of dust.”

Boehner said he was confident he would have survived a vote to remove him from the speakership. “Winning that vote was never an issue. I was going to get the overwhelming number, I’d have gotten 400 votes probably. Why do I want to make my members — Republican members — walk the plank? Because they’re going to get criticized at home by some who think that we ought to be more aggressive.”

He also said, flatly, there would be no government shutdown.

Boehner, a lifelong Catholic, told Dickerson that Pope Francis’ visit to Washington this week was “a big deal.”

And Boehner confirmed that the pope, who spoke to a joint meeting of Congress last week, blessed his grandson, who was born in August.


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September 25, 2015

Boehner Issues Statement on Resignation (Video)

UNITED STATES - September 10: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, September 10, 2015.(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner’s decision to step down stunned Washington. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker John A. Boehner ‘s statement on his decision to step down:

My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. I am proud of what we have accomplished.

The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love. It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30.

Today, my heart is full with gratitude for my family, my colleagues, and the people of Ohio’s Eighth District. God bless this great country that has given me — the son of a bar owner from Cincinnati — the chance to serve.”

Full story

Boehner to Resign


UNITED STATES - JULY 29: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, participates in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner, R-Ohio, told fellow Republicans he will resign. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner told fellow Republicans Friday morning he will resign from Congress and give up his House seat at the end of October, according to members.

The Ohio Republican has been under fire from hard-line conservatives in his conference over the GOP leadership’s reluctance to shut down the federal government in order to defund Planned Parenthood.

According to Rep. Thomas Massie, Boehner told GOP lawmakers during a closed-door GOP conference meeting this morning that he plans to put a clean continuing resolution on the floor — a move that critics of the speaker have warned could cost him his gavel.

Boehner’s resignation will complicate President Barack Obama’s last year in office. The two men often were at odds but maintained a cordial relationship and the speaker was seen as a moderating influence on a wing wanting their party to use all the tools of the Constitution to stand up to the president — including the power of the purse.

Boehner had made clear he thought the 2013 government shutdown was a mistake and another one now wouldn’t have resulted in a better result. And after he succeeded in getting the president to agree to trillions of dollars in spending cuts in return for a debt limit hike in 2011, the president made clear he would never again give anything in return for a debt limit increase.

Facing a potentially catastrophic default, Boehner blinked, and his “Boehner Rule” requiring a dollar in deficit cuts for every dollar of debt limit hikes effectively headed for the dustbin.

Another debt limit hike will be required this fall, not to mention a budget deal, a highway bill deal and plenty more before Obama heads for the exits, all with the 2016 presidential election ramping up in the background.


Boehner Preps Sales Pitch on Planned Parenthood, CR

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By David Eldridge Posted at 9:42 a.m.
John Boehner

September 24, 2015

Pelosi’s Pope Guest List Includes Brother, Husband

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly on camera media availability in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi’s guests include her husband and her brother. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The pope’s joint address will be a family event for many members of Congress, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is bringing her brother (former Baltimore Mayor Thomas D. Alesandro III) and her husband, Paul.

The San Francisco Democrat’s other guests for the speech are:

  •  Mr. & Mrs. Marc and Lynne Benioff of San Francisco
  •  Mrs. Matilda Cuomo of New York
  •  Ms. Mary Kay Henry, international president, Service Employees International Union, Washington, D.C.
  •  Mr. Tom Steyer and Ms. Kat Taylor of San Francisco


Roll Call Presents: Pope Francis’ Address to Congress

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By David Eldridge Posted at 9:16 a.m.
Nancy Pelosi

September 14, 2015

Pallone Wants Congressional Hearing on Fantasy Football (Video)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 2: Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., speaks during the news conference on the Takata airbag recall outside the Capitol on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pallone Jr. calls for a congressional hearing into fantasy football leagues. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If you found the unending, repetitive and relentless stream of fantasy football commercials that flooded this weekend’s National Football League broadcasts annoying, you weren’t alone.

On Monday, New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. called for a congressional hearing into the relationship between the NFL and the fantasy leagues that clogged airwaves during this season’s opening weekend.

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 16, 2015

Gowdy Predicts Marathon Benghazi Hearing in October

UNITED STATES - JULY 6 - Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., asks a question to GOP presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee during the Presidential Town Hall series, hosted by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., at the Civic Center of Anderson in Anderson, S.C. on Monday, July 6, 2015. Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Clinton’s Oct. 22 hearing appearance is likely to be a marathon, Gowdy said. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Oct. 22 appearance before the House committee investigating the Benghazi attack is shaping up as a potentially explosive showdown between the Democratic presidential front-runner and panel Chairman Trey Gowdy, who said Sunday he expects a marathon hearing.

“If she’s going to insist … that she’s only coming once, I’m going to insist that that once be fully constructive, which means that she’s going to be there a while,” the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi told “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re going to stay there until all of the questions [are answered].” Full story

July 29, 2015

Pelosi Cites Fattah’s Service, Calls Charges ‘Saddening’ (Updated) (Video)

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)

Pelosi (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., released the following statement Wednesday after news that Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has been indicted on 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of an FBI and IRS probe.

Full story

July 24, 2015

Democrats Push Back Hard on Clinton Email Story

Clinton waves to tourists as she makes her way through the Capitol en route to the Democratic Senate Policy luncheon, July 14, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clinton  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For months, it looked like the partisan wrangling over Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails might be relegated to the occasional House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing and that panel’s increasingly contentious clashes between Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy and ranking Democrat Elijah E. Cummings.

That changed dramatically Friday, after the New York Times reported two federal inspectors general had asked the Department of Justice to open a “criminal” investigation into the handling of classified information in some of the Clinton emails stored on her private server.

Within hours, Gowdy, Cummings, House Speaker John A. Boehner and the former secretary of State were firing off statements, trading quips and racing to react to a story the Clinton team immediately dismissed as without merit.

“Maybe the heat is getting to everyone,” Clinton said before a speech on the economy in New York Friday afternoon.

The DOJ initially confirmed the Times story before backing away a few hours later, specifically from the use of the word “criminal” in connection with the request, which came from two inspectors general from the State Department and intelligence agencies.

Cummings and other Democrats pounced, calling the Times’ report inaccurate.

Cummings said in a statement the DOJ told him directly the inspectors general’s request was “a ‘routine’ referral, and they have no idea how the New York Times got this so wrong.”

Clinton, who has agreed to an as-yet unscheduled appearance before the Benghazi panel, said, “I have said repeatedly that I will answer questions before the House Committee. We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right, and I will do my part. But I’m aso going to stay focused on the issues, parituclarly the big issues that matter to American families.”

Boehner called on Clinton, who has ackowledged using a personal, home-based server to store thousands of emails from her tenure as secretary of State, to hand over the server “immediately.”

“Two inspector generals appointed by President Obama have now called on the Justice Department to investigate Secretary Clinton’s mishandling of classified email. If Secretary Clinton truly has nothing to hide, she can prove it by immediately turning over her server to the proper authorities and allowing them to examine the complete record,” Boehner said in a statement.

Gowdy echoed the speaker in his statement, saying, “The number of questions surrounding Secretary Clinton’s unusual email arrangement continues to grow.”

The Benghazi panel was created by Boehner in May 2014 to consolidate investigations into the September 2012 terror attack that killed four Americans in Libya, but Democrats have increasingly dismissed the committee’s efforts as a partisan witch hunt aimed at derailing Clinton’s bid for the presidency.


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By David Eldridge Posted at 4:37 p.m.

June 14, 2015

Ryan Still Optimistic on Trade Deal: ‘Heavy Lift Is Done’

House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Roll Call in the House Ways and Means Committee room in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll

Ryan is still optimistic on trade bills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Ways and Means Chairman Paul D. Ryan, Capitol Hill’s biggest Republican proponent of “fast-track” trade legislation, said Sunday he remains optimistic, despite the recent collapse of a deal that would have cleared the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific pact.

Ryan, R-Wis., in an interview on Fox News Sunday, said the most difficult legislative work required for fast track — lining up GOP and Democratic votes for Trade Promotion Authority for the president — is done. Now it’s up to Obama and the Democrats to come to an agreement on an underlying worker-training bill that failed on the floor Friday, derailing the entire package. Full story

June 9, 2015

House Votes Headed for Extra Innings?

UNITED STATES - JULY 30: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference to discuss Republican lawsuit against President Obama and the House Democrats' focus on the economy on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer, D-Md., said lawmakers might be called back to the Capitol to vote after Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Talk about your extra innings.

House lawmakers were told to expect late hours this week as leadership tries to plow through a backlog of appropriations bills — but coming back to the Capitol to vote after Thursday night’s 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game seems like, well, a tough call. Full story

May 14, 2015

Democrat Tosses ‘Shame’ Card Back at Boehner

Smith, D-Wash., speaks during the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smith wouldn’t back down from the shame game. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Shaming the other guy into submission is pretty much impossible on Capitol Hill (this is Congress, after all), but that doesn’t stop Democrats and Republicans from trying.

After John A. Boehner played the card in a Thursday news conference, telling reporters that voting against the upcoming defense spending bill  as some Democrats have threatened to do  would be “shameful,” one Democrat threw the gauntlet right back at the Ohio Republican. Full story

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