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October 10, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

618 Posts

October 9, 2015

Speaker Election Delay Stirs Conservative Anger

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: From left, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Rep. Pete Roskam, R-Ill., and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., leave the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Massie, left, and Amash, right, flank Pete Roskam after a House Republican Conference meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the speaker race Thursday gave Republicans a lot to think about. But some Republicans say their leaders imposed a top-down decision on the process that fundamentally altered the outcome.

Two Republicans, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Tom Rice of South Carolina, spoke out during a special GOP conference meeting Friday to express concern that the rules of the House were not followed when Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, postponed the speaker election. Full story

October 8, 2015

Does ‘No’ Still Mean ‘No’ for Paul Ryan?

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 07: Rep. Tim Ryan, R-Wisc., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, October 7, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After Kevin McCarthy’s Thursday announcement he won’t seek the speakership, Republicans are asking themselves who will. And the name everyone keeps coming back to is the one person who issued the first statement saying he wouldn’t go for the job: Paul D. Ryan.

Ryan has mastered the art of turning down the speaker’s gavel, so much so that the former vice presidential nominee and current Ways and Means chairman had a statement out within 20 minutes of the majority leader’s unexpected announcement. Full story

Why Did Kevin McCarthy Step Aside?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy entered the Ways and Means Committee room Thursday, almost everyone expected him to exit as the Republican nominee to be speaker. Instead, McCarthy shocked the conference and dropped out of a race he almost certainly would have won, prompting one obvious question: Why?

In a roughly five minute speech to his colleagues, McCarthy told members he did not want to be someone who divided the country. He said Republicans need someone who could unite them — and he simply wasn’t that person. Full story

McCarthy Shocks Conference by Dropping Speaker Bid (Video)

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 8: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives in the Longworth House Office Building for the House Republicans' election to nominate the next Speaker of the House on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:50 p.m. | House Republicans were in disarray Thursday after House GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy unexpectedly took himself out of the race for House speaker. “I am not the one,” the California Republican told colleagues inside the room, according to Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas.

Full story

October 7, 2015

HFC Looks for Leverage in Speaker’s Race

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 7: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) cuts through a crowd of tourists as he walks back to his office in the U.S. Capitol following the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy cuts through a crowd of tourists as he walks back to his office in the Capitol Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Barring a historic meltdown, Republicans will select Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be their nominee for speaker Thursday. But does that mean McCarthy will get 218 votes in the House floor vote on Oct. 29?

Conservatives spent the better part of an hourlong panel discussion Wednesday suggesting that even if he’s selected during the conference’s noon meeting Thursday, it doesn’t mean McCarthy is guaranteed to take the speakership. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 6:04 p.m.

October 6, 2015

McCarthy Courts House Freedom Caucus, but Will It Matter?

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress  on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy wooing support for Thursday — and for Oct. 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans will meet behind closed doors Thursday to choose a new speaker — but the day everyone is waiting for is Oct. 29.

That’s when the presumed next speaker, likely Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, will go to the floor and find out whether he really has the votes, or whether conservatives actually possess veto power over the conference. Full story

October 5, 2015

Boehner Throws Leadership Races a Curveball

McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks beside House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. McCarthy is reinforcing to Republicans that he can keep them united, despite conservatives trying to move their party to the right after Boehner's sudden resignation. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner, right, said the decision on down-ballot leadership races will be up to his successor. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In the latest plot twist to House Republicans’ leadership drama, Speaker John A. Boehner announced Monday that potential majority leader and majority whip contests would only take place if Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is confirmed as speaker on the floor at the end of October.

Boehner set Oct. 29 as the date for a floor vote for speaker, after which the person holding that title could set the date — if necessary — for a majority leader race, which could then set off a majority whip race. And while the domino-effect timetable might not change the outcome, the extra weeks of uncertainty about GOP leadership has some happy and others worried. Full story

Chaffetz: McCarthy Support ‘Dwindling, Not Growing’

Chaffetz, R-Utah, speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz speaks with reporters last month as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s not that Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz thinks he’s going to be elected speaker on Thursday — though he said he’s not giving up on that idea — it’s just that the Utah Republican doesn’t think Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy can be elected on the floor.

“Clearly Kevin McCarthy has the majority of the conference. I have no doubt about that,” Chaffetz told reporters Monday morning. “The math problem is on the floor.”

Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 12:58 p.m.

October 4, 2015

Scalise Says He’s Already Got Votes to Win Majority Leader (Updated)

Scalise, R-La., leaves a news conference in the Capitol that followed a meeting of the House Republican Conference, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No. 3 House Republican Scalise says he’s got the votes to be majority leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 7:48 p.m. | Majority Whip Steve Scalise is telling members he has the race to be majority leader locked up — as long as there is a race to be majority leader.

Scalise held a roughly 15-minute conference call with committed supporters Sunday night to tell them he is well beyond having a majority of the conference behind him.

A source with knowledge of the whip operation told CQ Roll Call on Sunday the Louisiana Republican has more than 140 committed votes, while — by Scalise’s count — his only announced opponent, Budget Chairman Tom Price, has just over 50 members firmly supporting him. Scalise’s operation estimates there are roughly 50 members still undecided.

“The winning number is 124,” the source told CQ Roll Call, “and Scalise is well past it. He has an opportunity to absolutely run away with this.” Full story

October 2, 2015

Sources: Chaffetz Readies Run for Speaker

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, places his name plate at his seat as he arrives for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "White House Perimeter Breach: New Concerns about the Secret Service" on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz is reportedly making the rounds to run for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Earlier this week, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, was busy trying to push his colleague Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to run for majority leader.

On Friday, news broke that Chaffetz was laying the groundwork for a leadership run of his own. Full story

In Majority Leader Race, Scalise Lapping Price in This Key Measure

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., talk as they walk back to their offices following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

By one key measure, Scalise, right, is trouncing the competition in the race to succeed McCarthy, left. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

While there’s no definitive favorite in the majority leader race — especially with lingering questions about Select Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy’s interest — Majority Whip Steve Scalise has one distinct advantage over Budget Chairman Tom Price: Scalise has spread around a lot more cash.

According to Federal Election Commission documents reviewed by CQ Roll Call, Scalise has given roughly $700,000 to fellow Republican members and candidates over the course of the first three quarters of 2015. (The third quarter data, which is not yet public, was supplied by Scalise’s office.) In contrast, Price has transferred at least $139,000 to members and candidates through the third quarter.

Full story

October 1, 2015

Pelosi Touts Export-Import Rescue, Chastises Abortion Reporter (Video)

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly on camera media availability in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nancy Pelosi suggests Democrats would help a Republican-led effort to save Ex-Im. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the Export-Import Bank future still in doubt, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday Democrats would sign on to a Republican-led discharge petition for the embattled export-credit agency.

Pelosi, speaking at her weekly on-camera news conference, said Democrats would support the discharge petition from Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher for the Ex-Im Bank, as long as Fincher collected enough signatures from Republicans first so that, with the addition of the Democratic Caucus, it would trigger a vote.

Fincher introduced the discharge petition Thursday morning, and while finding enough Republicans willing to force their leadership into the position of holding a vote could be a challenge, it will certainly help to know that Democrats will sign on.

Full story

September 29, 2015

Rules Chairman Running for Whip: ‘Process Is Broken’

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Sessions speaks with reporters Tuesday as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If you don’t remember Rules Chairman Pete Sessions’ run for majority leader in 2014, you can’t be blamed.

After Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary, Sessions was quick to jump in to the leadership race — and just as quick to jump out when he realized he didn’t have the support. Full story

September 28, 2015

Roskam: Republicans Cannot Be Led Unless Changes Are Made

UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., walks across the East Plaza as he leaves the Capitol on Friday, July 25, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roskam says the House GOP conference is at a crossroads. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While most members running for leadership are scrambling to win over as many members as possible, Rep. Peter Roskam reports he hasn’t made a single phone call soliciting support.

“There’s nothing to run for right now,” Roskam told CQ Roll Call in his Rayburn office Monday. “My theory is this: Unless we change as a conference, we can’t be led.” Full story

September 27, 2015

Boehner Warns Fellow Republicans: ‘Beware False Prophets’

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds a news conference on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, to discuss his decision to resign his position as Speaker and leave Congress at the end of October. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

Boehner defended his record Sunday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

House Speaker John A. Boehner has a word of warning, straight out of the Bible, for fellow Republicans: “Beware false prophets.”

Boehner’s advice, offered during an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” came after the speaker was asked if some members of the GOP conference have unrealistic ideas about how to govern.

“Absolutely they’re not realistic,” Boehner said. “Change comes slowly, and obviously too slowly for some. … There are people out there spreading, uh, noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole idea that we were going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013 just plain never had a chance.”

“We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate, here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know — are never going to happen.”

Boehner said he expects a “clean” continuing resolution will pass the chamber next week to avert a government shutdown.

In his first extensive interview since announcing he plans to step down from the speakership and from Congress at the end of October, the Ohio Republican was philosophical about his near quarter-century in Congress.

He told host John Dickerson he’d like to be remembered as “a good man,” and his advice to the next speaker was to “just do the right things for the right reasons” and “have the courage to do what you can do.”

“It’s easy to have the courage to do what you can’t do,” Boehner said.

Boehner described his incremental legislative style as “the Woody Hayes school of football: three years and a cloud of dust, three yards and a cloud of dust.”

Boehner said he was confident he would have survived a vote to remove him from the speakership. “Winning that vote was never an issue. I was going to get the overwhelming number, I’d have gotten 400 votes probably. Why do I want to make my members — Republican members — walk the plank? Because they’re going to get criticized at home by some who think that we ought to be more aggressive.”

He also said, flatly, there would be no government shutdown.

Boehner, a lifelong Catholic, told Dickerson that Pope Francis’ visit to Washington this week was “a big deal.”

And Boehner confirmed that the pope, who spoke to a joint meeting of Congress last week, blessed his grandson, who was born in August.


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