Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Posts by Kate Ackley

12 Posts

November 15, 2015

Ryan: ‘No Idea’ How Long I’ll Be Speaker

Ryan addresses the House. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan addresses the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, after two weeks on the job, said he has “no idea” how long he may lead the House, committing only to the 14 months left in the current Congress during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

No matter the duration of his tenure, the Wisconsin Republican told Scott Pelley of CBS News he is willing to risk losing the job in pursuit of major policy initiatives including tax and entitlement overhauls. The speaker also said in the interview that aired Sunday he and President Barack Obama could find common ground on select issues.

Full story

November 5, 2015

Boehner Team in Place to Show Him the Money

Boehner during his days in office. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner during his final days in office. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner Inc. begins.

It took former Speaker John A. Boehner less than a week after leaving Congress to start assembling a team of power players to help him cash in.

Full story

November 4, 2015

Boehner May Do More Than Golf After Congress

A man walks by Boehner's new Longworth office Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A man walks by Boehner’s new Longworth office Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:51 a.m. | Former Speaker John A. Boehner may have more than golf on his post-congressional to-do list.

The Ohio Republican has hired Robert Barnett, a high-powered attorney with Williams & Connolly, who is best known for helping former government officials ink lucrative book deals and private-sector gigs. He helped Hillary Rodham Clinton negotiate publishing agreements such as the $8 million deal for her “Living History” memoir.
Full story

November 2, 2015

Taxpayers Foot Bill for Boehner’s Post-Speaker Office

Boehner gets a standing ovation before his farewell address.  (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner gets a standing ovation before his farewell address. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:10 p.m. | Looking for John A. Boehner? Try the Longworth House Office Building.

The former House speaker, whose resignation from Congress became effective over the weekend, is taking advantage of little-known perks and privileges taxpayers provide by law to those vacating the chamber’s highest office. Boehner is setting up a government-funded office that may have as many as three aides with salaries of more than $100,000 each.

Full story

October 29, 2015

It’s All in the Family for Ryan on Speaker Day

Ryan with his wife, kids and mom at the 2012 Republican national convention. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan with his wife, kids and mom at the 2012 Republican national convention. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:45 p.m. | It was a job he said he didn’t want — largely because of the toll it may take on his family.

But as Paul D. Ryan claimed the speaker’s gavel, that is who surrounded him: His wife, Janna; their three kids: 13-year-old Liza, 12-year-old Charlie and 10-year-old Sam; his mother; siblings; and “more cousins than I can count on a few hands,” the Wisconsin Republican noted in his first words to the House chamber.

Full story

October 27, 2015

Grass Roots to Ryan: Show, Don’t Tell, on Budget Deal

Boehner, left, and Ryan share a moment on the House floor.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Boehner, left, and Ryan share a moment on the House floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul D. Ryan isn’t even House speaker yet, but conservative grass-roots activists say he can’t hide while his predecessor moves a budget and debt-limit deal they despise. Their message: Ryan must lead — now.

Outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, in setting the stage for Ryan to take the gavel Thursday, is pushing through a major deal the nation’s business community widely cheers. But instead of leaving Ryan with the clean barn the retiring Ohio Republican promised, the move already is creating blowback from GOP hard-liners for the likely speaker. Full story

October 26, 2015

It’s Already Go Time for Ryan’s Speaker Staff

Ryan conducts a pen and pad briefing with reporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ryan conducts a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Everybody knows Dave Hoppe — at least that’s how it seems in Washington’s GOP circles.

Presuming Paul D. Ryan wins the gavel later this week, one of the youngest House members to become speaker picked a grownup with reach across the Capitol to run his operation. Hoppe, 64, could play a pivotal role brokering signature legislative items that make it to the White House.

In selecting Hoppe well ahead of Thursday’s floor vote, Ryan, 45, also signaled he realizes it’s go time and that he can’t delay. Hoppe, a lobbyist at one of the city’s biggest firms, Squire Patton Boggs, will assemble a staff that will help Ryan steer a fractured GOP conference through the fallout from mega policy fights. Full story

October 25, 2015

Ryan Staffing Up for Speaker’s Office

paul ryan

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If he’s elected speaker Thursday, Paul D. Ryan plans to name David Hoppe — a man best known around the Capitol for his Senate experience — to be his chief of staff.

Hoppe is a lobbyist who has worked as a chief of staff on both sides of the Rotunda. Most notably, Hoppe has worked under senators including Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona. Like his new boss, Hoppe is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and fellow shareholder. Full story

October 21, 2015

Who Whispers in Paul Ryan’s Ear?

paul ryan

Ryan greets a visitor Wednesday along Independence Avenue after a vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After the 1994 elections handed Republicans control of the House, freshman Sam Brownback of Kansas searched for a legislative director. His pick: A boyish, almost 25-year-old policy wonk named Paul D. Ryan, who had left the Hill for a policy job.

It was a pivotal career move for Ryan, who during his decades in Washington has amassed a cadre of loyal aides and policy insiders that comprise a seasoned inner circle, helpful to the conditional speaker-in-waiting.

Full story

December 19, 2014

Heritage Action Staffers Migrate to House

Brat's new top aide comes over from Heritage Action. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brat’s new top aide comes over from Heritage Action. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heritage Action for America is losing three staffers, including its top House lobbyist, to a trio of newbies in the 114th Congress.

Freshman Rep. Dave Brat, the Virginia Republican who famously unseated then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a June primary contest, has tapped Heritage’s Erin Siefring as his chief of staff. Siefring has been the conservative group’s chief liaison with House members. Full story

By Kate Ackley Posted at 3:56 p.m.

November 17, 2014

Ex-Rep. Bill Frenzel, Brookings Scholar, Dies at 86

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Frenzel died Monday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Bill Frenzel, a Minnesota Republican who spent two decades in the House and the rest of his professional life shaping trade and budgetary policy from off the Hill, died Monday at his home in McLean, Va. He was 86.

Frenzel, who retired from Congress in January 1991, remained engaged for the next 23 years from his perch at the Brookings Institution in some of the biggest policy debates including the North American Free Trade Agreement. On NAFTA, he served as a special adviser to then-President Bill Clinton, helping the Democrat sell the pact to lawmakers.

He “was instrumental in getting the agreement passed,” Brookings said in a statement.

Frenzel was known as much for his serious policy chops as for his understated, folksy Minnesota style. Full story

June 12, 2014

Top Cantor Aide Steve Stombres Announces Capitol Hill Departure

With Cantor stepping down as majority leader next month, Stombres is leaving Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Cantor stepping down as majority leader next month, Stombres is leaving Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As House Republicans adjust to the coming transition among their leadership ranks, one longtime aide for outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor says he plans to leave Capitol Hill.

Steven Stombres, chief of staff in the leadership office, is expected to remain on Cantor’s staff until the end of July when Cantor will resign his leadership spot. Stombres, a member of Roll Call’s Fabulous 50 leading staffers, could be a highly sought-after candidate for a private-sector lobbying or think tank gig, head hunters and K Street sources said.

Cantor, of course, lost his primary this week to upstart candidate Dave Brat in a contest that has rocked Washington from the capitol to K Street.

Stombres’ top priority now though is helping his colleagues find jobs. “We’re not going to rest until everybody on this team has found a good place to land,” Stombres said.

Cantor, he added, “has always attracted the best talent on the Hill.” Stombres said people on the Cantor leadership team may pursue opportunities working for other members or in the private sector.

“The good news for them is that Leader Cantor was, from a private sector perspective, was viewed positively,” said K Street recruiter Nels Olson, who runs Korn/Ferry’s Washington office. “Those individuals will have an opportunity to make a transition.”

Stombres said that he has not yet determined his next chapter and whether it will involve lobbying or advocacy but that he plans to find “a new professional endeavor.” Stombres is a three-term member of the Fairfax City Council, but earlier this year he announced he would not run for re-election to that post this fall.

Stombres has been on the Hill for 20 years and with Cantor since 2001.

By Kate Ackley Posted at 4:45 p.m.
Eric Cantor

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