Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

Posts by Emma Dumain

730 Posts

July 30, 2015

CBC Chairman: Charges Against Chaka Fattah ‘Very Serious’

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., speaks to reporters before a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center to receive a briefing on security from Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse and Assistant Chief Dan Nichols in the wake of Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is recovering from surgery after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

CBC Chairman Butterfield called Fattah’s indictment “serious”  (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Within 24 hours of being slapped with a 29-count indictment, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., voluntarily relinquished his ranking member position on an appropriations subcommittee and resigned as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Board of Directors.

Both actions were appropriate, said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield — and, he suggested, necessary. Full story

July 29, 2015

Chaka Fattah Case Could Get Awkward Fast for Democrats (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chaka Fattah has been under federal investigation for years, so for many of his colleagues the question was not whether an indictment would come, but when. But it could get awkward for Democrats in a hurry, as Fattah holds prominent positions within the party’s establishment and next year’s presidential nomination convention is being held in his native Philadelphia.

Within hours of being slapped with 29 counts — for racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud — the Pennsylvania Democrat had agreed to relinquish his post as ranking member on the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, per rules and precedent. Full story

Pelosi Spokesman: Anti-Boehner Move Signifies GOP Dysfunction (Video)

Pelosi and the Democrats forced Republicans to retreat Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pelosi could be key to Boehner’s fate if the House votes to “vacate the chair” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Would House Democrats vote to remove John A. Boehner’s speaker gavel?

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., isn’t tipping her hand on which way she would urge her members to vote, should Rep. Mark Meadows’s motion to “vacate the chair” receive consideration on the House floor. Full story

Republicans Enter Policing Debate With New Task Force

UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., left, and Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., speak during an interview in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Reichert is the previous Sheriff of King County, Wash. and is working to improve community policing. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Reichert and Messer. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans have, for the most part, avoided one of the thorniest debates roiling the country in recent months: How does the United States begin to address the crisis of people, often minorities, being killed in violent encounters with police?

Now, 11 House GOP lawmakers think it’s time Republicans enter the fray. Full story

July 28, 2015

Meadows Explains Effort to Overthrow Boehner

Meadows, R-N.C., is taking his dissatisfaction with GOP leadership to the next level (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meadows,is taking his dissatisfaction with leadership to the next level. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

So why exactly did Rep. Mark Meadows offer a resolution to strip Speaker John A. Boehner of his gavel?

Holding court with reporters Tuesday night, nearly an hour after stunning colleagues by filing a motion to “vacate the chair,” the North Carolina Republican’s message was simple: He was left with no choice. Full story

July 27, 2015

House GOP Threatens Contempt Vote for IRS Head

John Koskinen

Chaffetz announces next phase in Congress’s IRS investigation (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen is the latest Obama administration official House Republicans want fired — or, in Koskinen’s case, held in contempt of Congress, or even impeached.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee put out the proverbial call for Koskinen’s head Monday, alleging he lied under oath and oversaw the destruction of key records that might have shone light on the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative nonprofit groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Full story

Why Eric Swalwell Endorsed Martin O’Malley

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks with Roll Call in his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., endorsed former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When it comes to 2016 endorsements, House Democrats were, until just a couple of days ago, divided into two camps : Those who had publicly endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president and those who hadn’t.

Enter Rep. Eric Swalwell. Full story

On Highways and Ex-Im, House Watches Senate

Crowley (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., is not enthusiastic about the Senate’s highway bill (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week, the House is expected to take up legislation to make new major executive branch rules contingent upon congressional approval, consider a bill to streamline “accountability” at the Department of Veterans Affairs and vote on a whole slew of suspensions.

But it’s the legislative business not currently listed on the floor schedule that’s likely to make the most headlines in the last days before the monthlong August recess. Full story

July 24, 2015

Despite White House’s Iran Blitz, Democrats Struggle With Backing Deal

The State Department isn't saying whether Kerry plans to testify May 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kerry is making frequent visits to Capitol Hill to sell lawmakers on the Iran nuclear agreement (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats were briefed on the Iran nuclear deal Thursday afternoon by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Earnest J. Moniz, but many sounded as undecided when they came out as when they went in.

“I’m working through it,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “That’s why we have 60 days.” Full story

July 22, 2015

House GOP Appropriators Prepare for Sequester Showdown

Harold Rogers

Rogers, R-Ky., gathered top House GOP appropriators Wednesday for a meeting to discuss how to avoid a year-long continuing resolution (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders don’t want to be the first to flinch at Democrats’ calls to repeal sequester-level spending caps, but senior GOP appropriators emerged from a closed-door meeting Wednesday in agreement: Congress has to do something.

Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., gathered his 12 subcommittee chairmen together to discuss next steps for the fiscal 2016 appropriations process that has ground to a halt on Capitol Hill with just 15 scheduled legislative days left to avert a government shutdown in September. Full story

July 21, 2015

Panel Eyes Debate Over Confederate Symbols in Capitol

Lawmakers will debate the propriety of displaying Confederate imagery, such as that contained in Mississippi's flag. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers could debate displaying Confederate imagery on the Hill, such as that contained in Mississippi’s flag, seen hanging here in the Senate Subway. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Could the House Administration Committee actually take up a resolution to take down the Mississippi state flag?

The panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., is still noncommittal on whether she’ll hold hearings or markups on a pair of measures that would bar Confederate imagery on House grounds — including the official Mississippi banner, with its Confederate flag inset, that hangs with 49 other state flags in the tunnel of the Rayburn House Office Building.

But Miller on Tuesday suggested she was open to discussion, penning a letter to the committee’s three Democrats asking for suggestions on who might be good to testify on the matter. Full story

Texas Congresswoman to Trump: Have You No Decency?

Granger is leading a GOP task force to make recommendations on the child migrant border surge (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Granger, R-Texas, ripped into Donald Trump for disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kay Granger has a reputation for telling it like she thinks it is, from colleagues who have “no business being in Congress” to fellow Texas Republicans who are “misbehaving” — but she usually does it quietly, preferring behind-the-scenes nudges to soundbite-ready shoves.

But when it comes to Donald Trump, she’s not pulling punches. Full story

GOP Leader Cracks Door, Slightly, on Voting Rights Act

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., makes his way to the House floor through the media pack, who were waiting for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy, R-Calif., thinks it’s time for an “overall review” of the VRA (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last year, House Democrats saw ex-Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a possible (if ultimately disappointing) ally in the fight to rewrite the Voting Rights Act for the 21st century.

On Tuesday, Cantor’s leadership successor, Kevin McCarthy, might have revealed himself as another important potential friend to the effort. Full story

July 19, 2015

Planned Parenthood Video Refuels GOP’s Abortion Agenda

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., leaves the Capitol following a vote on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Franks has consistently backed legislation to ban abortion practices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In undercover film footage of a Planned Parenthood official discussing in graphic detail how to preserve aborted fetal organs for medical research, anti-abortion Republicans hope they’ve finally found an opening to advance their agenda.

So far, they have a few things working in their favor. Full story

July 17, 2015

Lovenheim Joins Xavier Becerra as Communications Director

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. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic Caucus has a new communications director.

Sarah Lovenheim will start working for Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., on July 22, she told colleagues in a farewell email Friday. Full story

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