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- Grimm's N.Y. District Stays in Republican Hands
- Senate Races, Pro Salaries and Perspective on Spending
- Democrats Look Past Tuesday's New York Special Election
Posts by Emma Dumain
May 1, 2015
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
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.
April 30, 2015
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 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 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.
April 28, 2015
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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