Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 6, 2015

Posts by Emma Dumain

646 Posts

May 1, 2015

Immigration Fight Could Return to House This Month

immigration news

Denham will try again to include in this year’s defense bill a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who serve in the armed forces. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy opened his Friday memo to House members regarding May’s legislative agenda by quoting Steve Jobs and praising Republicans for the victories they’ve overseen in the first 100 days of the 114th Congress.

But GOP success stories may be overshadowed later this month when Republicans again face one of the most politically dangerous and unforgiving issues for the party: immigration. Full story

Trade Deal on Hold While Obama Woos Democrats (Video)

Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., run into each other in the green room in between their weekly news conferences in the Capitol Visitor Center's Studio A, July 10, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner, left, and Pelosi don’t have a trade deal yet, but President Obama is actively lobbying Democrats to sign on. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been a week since Speaker John A. Boehner warned the stalled Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal backed by President Barack Obama needed help from the White House. On Thursday there were indications the president is stepping up his efforts.

Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi each used much of their weekly news conferences Thursday to temper expectations for the prospects of the trade deal. But a group of about 30 Democrats who met later in the day with Obama were more optimistic.

Full story

April 30, 2015

One Down, 11 to Go: GOP’s Uncertain Appropriations Season

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in his Capitol office, November 12, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rogers acknowledges passing all 12 GOP spending bills will be tough. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democratic leaders succeeded in holding back all but 19 of their members on the first appropriations vote of the season without even formally whipping against the Republican bill.

It’s a sign the Democratic caucus is putting a plan in motion to try to stymie GOP appropriations bills one by one, until Republicans reach a breaking point and agree to reconsider the current sequester-level spending caps. Full story

April 29, 2015

House GOP Postpones Votes on VA Spending Bill

Mulvaney, R-S.C., conducts a bicameral news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to urge passage of the Homeland Security Department funding bill, February 12, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

South Carolina Republican Mulvaney teamed Wednesday with Maryland Democrat Van Hollen to derail, for now, the veterans spending bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans have been boasting about their early start to appropriations season, but consideration of the very first spending bill — considered the least controversial of all 12 annual measures — hit a snag Wednesday night.

GOP leaders had intended to hold evening votes on a slew of amendments and on final passage of the fiscal 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, but ultimately opted to postpone that vote series at the very last minute. Full story

House Democrats Threaten to Sink House GOP Spending Bills

ocratic Caucus chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., 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

Becerra and other Democrats may defect on the Department of Veterans Affairs spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats voted unanimously last year for the appropriations bill to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs and related programs; this year, there could be considerable defections.

Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Joseph Crowley of New York, the chairman and vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus respectively, told reporters Wednesday morning they would not be complicit in passing the fiscal 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill this week — a bill they contend would ultimately decimate veterans services.

Full story

April 28, 2015

Long Odds for Congressional Action on Policing

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28:  (L-R) Congressman Elijah Cummings cries while greeting Maryland Governor Larry Hogan the morning after citywide riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Cummings sheds a tear while greeting Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in Baltimore the morning after citywide riots followed the funeral of Freddie Gray. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

It’s the fourth high-profile episode in less than a year in which police have been involved in the death of a black man under questionable circumstances — this time in Baltimore, a short drive north of Washington, D.C.

But neither the proximity of Monday’s riots over the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray nor the usual outpouring of “it’s time to do something” rhetoric are likely to inspire House lawmakers to tackle any number of existing legislative proposals aimed at addressing growing nationwide concerns about aggressive police tactics. Full story

McCarthy Defends First 100 Days, Previews What’s Ahead

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCarthy defended the House GOP’s first 100 days of the 114th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the second reporters’ briefing of his majority leader career, California Republican Kevin McCarthy offered a strong defense of the House GOP’s record in the first 100 days of the 114th Congress.

Appropriations bills are coming to the floor as early as they have since 1974, he said, with the first two up for consideration this week; and committees are passing bills at a higher rate than in the past three Congresses. Full story

April 27, 2015

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 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 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

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

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

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