Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2015

Posts by David Eldridge

103 Posts

April 16, 2015

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

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 9, 2015

Conservatives Find Political Red Meat in USDA Diet Guidelines

From the IRS to the Environmental Protection Agency to the Federal Communications Commission, federal agencies are under more scrutiny from congressional Republicans concerned about regulatory overreach than at any time in Barack Obama’s presidency.

Add the Department of Agriculture to the list. Full story

April 6, 2015

Best Bracket in Congress? Maybe, but It’s Tough to Top Romney

Deutch, D-Fla., speaks with Roll Call in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deutch’s bracket is in the top 2 percent in the ESPN contest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After correctly calling each of the teams in the Final Four, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., was bragging on April 4 — deservedly so — about his NCAA bracket.

“Best bracket in Congress?” the Florida congressman asked on Twitter, noting his ESPN Tournament Challenge entry was ranked in the top 2 percent of the contest’s almost 12 million entries worldwide.

Unfortunately for Deutch, that’s probably as good as it’s going to get: He correctly picked Duke over Michigan State, but he also incorrectly picked Kentucky over Wisconsin — and had Kentucky winning the championship, which obviously isn’t going to happen.

Still, the Florida lawmaker had a much better year than the master of “Barack-etology,” the president himself (who is down around the 40th percentile this year).

But the gold standard for political hoops prognosticators in 2015 is undoubtedly Mitt Romney — the 2012 GOP presidential contender’s bracket is, amazingly, in the 99.98th percentile in the ESPN contest.

“He’s got more time to scout these teams out,” Deutch told CQ Roll Call Monday with a chuckle.

The Big Ten alum (he’s a graduate of Michigan) said he’d be rooting for Wisconsin over Duke in the title game.

And he’s not letting the success in the ESPN contest go to his head — in the office pool, he said, his bracket’s in last place.

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

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April 3, 2015

Boehner’s Travels: Speaker Shares Details on Trip

Boehner's Medium

Boehner, visiting the Gaza-Israel border, in a photo from his posts on the Middle East trip. (Courtesy John A. Boehner’s Office)

John A. Boehner’s trip to the Middle East this week was covered extensively by the press both here and overseas, but few news organizations offered the behind-the-scenes details the House speaker himself shared on a new blog.

Boehner, or someone on the speaker’s team writing under his name, posted four journal-style entries this week on the congressional delegation’s stops in England, Jordan, Israel and Iraq. Full story

March 29, 2015

Boehner Promises Sanctions Action if Iran Talks Fail

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

Boehner said he’ll remain speaker “until I’ve had enough.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner, in an interview that aired Sunday, said the House will act quickly to tighten sanctions on Iran should the administration’s nuclear talks with the Islamic republic fail.

The Ohio Republican told CNN he’s skeptical the Obama administration will reach a deal with Iran to rein in the country’s nuclear program. Full story

March 22, 2015

McCarthy: Clinton Should Turn Over the Email Server

McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during the press conference at the Republican National Committee following the House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy called on Clinton to turn over the email server. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., added his voice Sunday to a growing number of Republicans calling for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to turn over her personal email server to an independent third-party arbiter.

McCarthy, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said an arbiter should determine which emails might be related to the House’s investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador. Full story

March 10, 2015

Gowdy: Benghazi Panel Will Ask Clinton to Appear — Twice

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 he will call for Clinton to appear before the House Benghazi panel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Saying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Tuesday afternoon news conference raised more questions than it answered, the Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi announced plans to call the former secretary of State to appear — at least twice — before his investigative panel.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in a statement issued after Clinton spoke for the first time publicly about her extensive use of a private email address and server during her four years at State, said the email server should be turned over to a neutral third party. Full story

March 4, 2015

House Looks to Get Out of Town Before Snow

Forecasters are calling for as much as eight inches of snow in Washington Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Forecasters are calling for as many as eight inches of snow Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a snowstorm expected to hit the nation’s capital Thursday, the House canceled scheduled sessions, giving lawmakers — many headed to Selma, Ala., for a Saturday event to take part in the 50th anniversary of the town’s historic civil rights marches — a chance to fly out ahead of the weather. Full story

February 26, 2015

Fire Boehner? Mia Love Says Maybe McConnell Needs the Boot

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 26: Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, poses for a selfie with a CPAC attendee following her appearance on stage at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Love poses for a photo Thursday with a CPAC attendee following her appearance on stage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid new speculation that John A. Boehner’s speakership somehow hangs in the balance as Republicans struggle with the Department of Homeland Security funding standoff, freshman Rep. Mia Love said maybe it’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who should be worried. Full story

January 27, 2015

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

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 plans to “ratchet up” the Benghazi hearings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Well, that honeymoon is over. After months of public deference toward one another, the top Republican and the ranking Democrat on the House Benghazi committee put on the gloves Tuesday.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., accused Chairman Trey Gowdy of violating repeated promises to conduct a nonpartisan investigation into the 2012 terror attack in Libya that cost the lives of four Americans. The South Carolina Republican fired back that Obama administration officials are deliberately wasting the panel’s time. Full story

January 22, 2015

Clyburn Offers Personal Perspective on the Relevance, Power of ‘Selma’

Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference on poverty and the House Republicans' budget on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © Roll Call Group

Clyburn will lead the Democratic Party’s efforts to increase voter participation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Selma” may have been snubbed by the Oscars, but Rep. James E. Clyburn gave the civil-rights movie a very personal endorsement Wednesday during a Democratic Party news conference on voting rights.

The South Carolina Democrat, introduced at the event by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the chairman of a new task force charged with increasing voter participation, shared an anecdote about how the movie about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement of the 1960s resonated with one of his younger relatives:

I have now seen the movie, “Selma,” twice and I plan to see it again in this building next Tuesday evening. The second time I watched it was last week and I watched it sitting with my just-turned 18-year-old granddaughter. I didn’t say anything to her about the movie. I just told her that I was sponsoring the movie for members of — of my staff and others in the community.

We rented out a theater of 120 seats. Within two hours, we had to go back and get a 300-seat theater. But I was really focusing on my granddaughter, so I sat next to her during the movie. She was — she had her iPhone, doing what 18-year-olds do.

I’m — like a granddaddy; I’m scared to look at see what was going on on that iPad, so I kept looking forward. But she stayed, when even the movie came on, she didn’t turn off that iPhone until those little four girls was walking down the staircase in the church, going to their Sunday School room and the bomb went off.

At that point, she turned off her iPhone and intently watched the movie; even asked me at one point, a question about who that person was that was having a little interchange with John Lewis about whether or not to march, James Foreman, who was one of my best friends in the movement.

And I explained who James Foreman was and she was a little bit surprised to know that I — I knew him and he was a friend. But the next morning, when the movie was over, she went home. I got a call the next morning. She wanted to have lunch. And so I said OK.

And she told me what time and I — I objected to the time. And I said, ‘Well — well, can’t we do it a little earlier?’ She says, ‘No, because I’m going to register to vote. And when I finish my registration, I want to come and have lunch with you.’

And she brought some of her friends with her. And we talked about the movie. And we talked about voting. And when lunch was over, the rest of her friends; they left and went to the voter registration office.

I think that we’re at a time that young people, who seem not to be participating at the same level as young people did when I was young; that we can get people re-engaged once again. And that’s what this task force is all about.

Clyburn, the House’s No. 3 Democrat, will head the 11-person Democratic Outreach & Engagement Task Force, which will also include California’s Lucille Roybal-Allard and Barbara Lee; New York’s Nydia Velázquez, Hakeem Jeffries and Grace Meng; Indiana’s André Carson; Louisiana’s Cedric Richmond; Pennsylvania’s Matt Cartwright and Brendan Boyle; and New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham.

 

Related:

Cantor Voting Rights Act Legacy is Failure to Deliver, Democrats Say

Democrats Commemorate Voting Rights Act Anniversary as Legislative Fix Remains Elusive

Voting Rights Rally Calls on Congress to Act

Can Cantor Deliver on Voting Rights Act?

Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Voting Rights Act Fix

Republicans to Eric Holder: Don’t Mess With Texas on Voting Rights

Cantor Calls For a Voting Rights Act Fix

Voting Rights Act Puts GOP in Pickle

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January 21, 2015

Boehner Invites Netanyahu to Address Congress (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 8: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his weekly press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner has invited Netanyahu to address Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 2:26 p.m. | House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress on Feb. 11 — an invitation the White House called a breach of normal protocol.

The invitation comes just hours after President Barack Obama, in his Tuesday night State of the Union address, warned lawmakers in both chambers he would veto any attempts to increase sanctions against Iran while the administration is involved in negotiations to limit the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

Boehner said at a press conference that he did not consult the White House prior to sending out the invitation, as is customary when it comes to coordinating such joint sessions.
Full story

January 20, 2015

Boehner Invites Anti-Castro Cubans to Obama Speech

President Barack Obama greets Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the House floor after the State of the Union address to Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama greets Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the House floor last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner’s list of invitees to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address includes two prominent Cuban dissidents, Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as Antúnez) and Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera.

Pérez is a leader of the Cuban resistance movement who was jailed for 17 years for publicly denouncing the Castro regime. He was released in 2007. Full story

January 7, 2015

Louie Gohmert: Does Leadership Staff Call the Shots?

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speaks during a news conference at the House Triangle announcing the formation of a Caucus on Egypt, July 16, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Gohmert asked whether leadership staff have too much control. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louie Gohmert, the Texas Republican who came up short in his bid to wrest the speaker’s gavel from John A. Boehner a day earlier, asked Wednesday if leadership staff has too much authority in running Congress.

In an appearance on Fox News to talk about the aftermath of Tuesday’s failed revolt against Boehner, Gohmert criticized the removal of Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent, who voted against the speaker, from the Rules Committee in the 114th Congress. Full story

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