- Citizens United Case Helped Elect More Republicans
- House Republicans Don't Expect Government Shutdown
- Christie Makes Mexico Trip as Foreign Policy Test
- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
Posts by JM Rieger
August 7, 2014
The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations holds a 2 p.m. hearing on the Ebola virus, which has reportedly killed more than 900 people.
Witnesses include: Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez, the assistant administrator for global health at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and representatives from the State Department, Samaritan’s Purse and SIM.
July 29, 2014
The House Judiciary Committee holds a 10 a.m. oversight hearing questioning Leon Rodriguez, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who was sworn in on July 9.
July 16, 2014
The hearing begins at 10 a.m. and you can watch live below:
June 26, 2014
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., slammed Republicans on the floor Wednesday, renewing calls for the House of Representatives to take action to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws nearly one year after the Senate passed bipartisan immigration legislation.
“Republicans have failed America, and failed themselves,” he said.
Gutiérrez’s comments came after Speaker John A. Boehner’s announcement Tuesday of a GOP task force to address the crisis of illegal immigrant children surging across the southern border.
“I gave you the warning three months ago, and now I have no other choice; you’re done,” Gutiérrez said, addressing House Republicans. “Your chance to play a role in how immigration and deportation policies are carried out this year is over.”
Speaker John A. Boehner again declined to commit to a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank at his weekly news conference Wednesday, telling reporters “we’ll see” when asked if the House would “sort through” the issue prior to the Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize the Bank’s lending authority.
“There’s a big debate going on in our conference, and we’re just going to have to sort our way through this. My job is to help facilitate the sorting through of this so that we can get to an outcome.”
June 11, 2014
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., holds a news conference at 4:30 p.m. on Capitol Hill, following a closed-door meeting with the House Republican Conference.
Reports have surfaced that Cantor will announce he is stepping down as majority leader on July 31.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, testifying Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee, told lawmakers that the Obama administration could have done a better job communicating with Congress on the decision to trade five Taliban prisoners for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
“Wars are messy, and they’re full of imperfect choices,” Hagel told the panel in his opening remarks. But he defended the White House decision to make the trade without notifying Congress, and he made it clear the decision came from the top.
The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on President Barack Obama’s decision to exchange five Taliban prisoners from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Department of Defense General Counsel Stephen Preston will testify about the swap.
The hearing, “The May 31, 2014 Transfer of Five Senior Taliban Detainees,” begins at 10 a.m.
May 30, 2014
Following the resignation Friday morning of Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, criticized President Barack Obama again for not doing more to solve problems surrounding the scheduling system and waiting lists at the Phoenix VA Health Care System.
“[Shinseki's] resignation, though, does not absolve the president of his responsibility to step in and make things right for our veterans,” Boehner said during a Friday afternoon news conference. “Business as usual cannot continue. And until the president outlines a vision and an effective plan for addressing the broad dysfunction at the VA, today’s announcement really changes nothing. One personnel change cannot be used as an excuse to paper over a systemic problem.”
May 22, 2014
Despite ongoing concerns about the Nigerian military’s shaky record on human rights, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce said Wednesday the U.S. needs to step up aid to the central African country’s armed forces — even if it means waiving the “Leahy Law,” a 1998 act designed to prevent American assistance being given to human rights abusers.
The California Republican said President Barack Obama has the power to waive the Leahy Law, an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, in “extraordinary circumstances.”
“U.S. forces are well positioned to advise and assist,” Royce said Wednesday. “If some U.S. laws would hinder such assistance, the administration should use its waiver authority under these extraordinary circumstances.”
May 21, 2014
The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in April. The hearing, “Boko Haram, The Growing Threat to Schoolgirls, Nigeria, and Beyond,” begins at 9:45 a.m.
May 7, 2014
The House Rules Committee holds a hearing on establishing a special committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
You can watch the hearing, which begins at 2 p.m. today, below:
April 29, 2014
During the Congressional Black Caucus’ special order hour on the House floor Monday night, Rep. Charles B. Rangel hammered the tea party not only for embracing the Confederate flag, but also for hating President Barack Obama “as much as their [Dixiecrat] predecessors probably hated Abe Lincoln.”
“[In] some parts of the United States of America they don’t believe that the Union won. The reason I come to that conclusion is that … I have never seen so many Confederate flags that represent groups that are proud of the fact that they call themselves the Tea Party,” the New York Democrat said during his 10-minute floor speech, referring to an event he attended with President Ulysses S. Grant’s great-great-grandson. “They’re from that part of the country that the states owned slaves.”
Rangel, the second most senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, has pushed the White House to do more to combat poverty and inequality. The Senate recently passed an extension of unemployment benefits and there are new signs the House may take up legislation on an immigration overhaul.
April 10, 2014
Speaker John A. Boehner had a few things to say Thursday morning.
During his weekly press conference, which lasted just over 6 minutes, Boehner criticized former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, Lois G. Lerner, and knocked Democrats for playing politics rather than working with Republicans to create jobs. But Boehner most notably and vociferously went after the Obama administration for putting up roadblocks to answers on Benghazi, Fast and Furious and the IRS scandal.
The Ohio Republican also addressed the recent kissing controversy surrounding Louisiana Republican Vance McAllister, saying he had spoken to the freshman Congressman and expects all members to be held to the highest ethical standards.
Boehner said Republicans were “trying to build a consensus” on an Obamacare replacement bill, and were waiting for Democrats to offer an unemployment extension that was paid for and would address the economic problems in the United States.
Boehner’s press conference turned into an outburst, however, when he fielded a question from Fox News’s Chad Pergram regarding Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s intimation that he had been treated unfairly because of his race.
Watch the full press conference below:
Updated 2:20 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday it’s up to the White House to make a new proposal before he’ll consider an unemployment benefits extension, as the House left town for two weeks without acting on a bipartisan Senate bill.
The Senate’s passage of an unemployment benefits extension earlier this week doesn’t change the House’s stand on the issue, the Ohio Republican said Thursday morning.
Boehner said he had made it clear to the president in December that an unemployment insurance extension would “have to be paid for and would have to include things that would help get our economy moving.”
“They have not put forward anything with regard to how we would create more jobs,” Boehner said. “And so the ball’s still in their court.” Full story