Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 29, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

498 Posts

March 27, 2015

The Speaker Strikes Back: Boehner Cancels Gohmert’s Travel (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speaks during a news conference at the House Triangle announcing the formation of a Caucus on Egypt, July 16, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner’s playing hardball, says Gohmert (nTom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner has repeatedly said he doesn’t believe in retribution against the GOP lawmakers who didn’t vote for him to be speaker. But he increasingly seems to believe he doesn’t exactly have to reward those members either.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a member who has made no secret of his opposition to many of Boehner’s plans, has found himself kicked off two upcoming congressional trips during the House’s two week recess. Full story

March 26, 2015

House Passes SGR Deal in Big, Bipartisan Fashion (Video)

Boehner and Pelosi got the 'doc fix' deal done in a big fashion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner and Pelosi got the ‘doc fix’ deal done. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On Thursday, the House touched the third rail. Lawmakers didn’t punt. They didn’t kick the can down the road. And they were bigger than the clichés that have come to describe the predictable patterns of Congress.

In a bipartisan vote, 392-37, House lawmakers passed a bill to end the “sustainable growth rate” used to calculate doctor’s payments for Medicare. After extending the program 17 times with only partial offsets, the House sent a bill to the Senate that would eliminate the need for patches and would pay for at least some of it by changing how much wealthy seniors pay for their Medicare prescriptions and doctors visits, and by instituting a $147 deductible for supplemental Medicare coverage (Medigap). Full story

March 25, 2015

GOP Defense Hawks Trump Conservatives as House OKs Budget

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wednesday’s budget vote was a win for Scalise and the rest of the GOP leadership team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After months of leadership’s best-laid plans falling apart on the floor and behind the scenes, House GOP leaders eked out a much-needed victory Wednesday, with Republicans endorsing a budget that added even more defense dollars to the blueprint reported out committee.

The House voted 228-199 to adopt the budget resolution, after first endorsing that budget in a closer 219-208 vote. Full story

March 23, 2015

Quirky ‘Queen of the Hill’ Rule Could Solve GOP Budget Impasse

Flores, R-Texas, attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce border security legislation titled "Support More Assets, Resources and Technology on the Border of 2013." The bill would allow for the employment of additional border officers and a temporary deployment of the National Guard if Congress deems that operational control of the U.S. southern borders is not established. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Flores, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said his group’s proposed budget sets out markers for the GOP. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are breaking out their procedural rulebooks for the House budget resolution, with leadership getting creative to appease defense hawks who want additional spending and conservatives who are apt to reject more military dollars that aren’t offset.

The House Rules Committee Monday set up a series of votes this week on six budget proposals: The one reported out of committee, the version reported out of committee with an additional $2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, a leaner Republican Study Committee budget, a House Democratic Caucus budget, a proposal from the Progressive Caucus, and one from the Congressional Black Caucus. Full story

Make-or-Break Week for Republicans on ‘Doc Fix,’ Budget

Boehner, R-Ohio, conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, March 19, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) boehner008_031915.JPG

Boehner and the leadership team face two big tests this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the House returns Monday, Speaker John A. Boehner faces two big tests of his hold on the ever-unruly Republican Conference: pushing through the GOP budget and putting the final touches on a speaker-approved Medicare “doc fix.”

After days of closed-door whip checks and haggling on amendments, the House Budget Committee advanced its fiscal 2016 budget on March 19 by a 22-13 vote. Every Republican supported the measure in committee, but GOP leaders are unlikely to be so lucky if the bill comes to the floor next week, as leaders said it would.

Full story

March 22, 2015

Conservatives: Cruz Candidacy Puts Key Issues on Table

Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015. The day featured addresses by potential presidential candidates. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:55 p.m. | What seemed inevitable is now, almost, official: Ted Cruz is running for president. Because of course he is.

The Texas senator’s expected announcement Monday is being greeted enthusiastically by a specific brand of GOP conservative — a group that includes many of the House lawmakers who’ve made a habit recently of semi-secret meetings with Cruz.

For those members, a Cruz candidacy likely means a higher profile for the values and legislative solutions they hold dear.

Full story

March 18, 2015

After GOP Hawks Threaten Mutiny, Budget Committee Set to Add Defense Dollars

Rokita, R-Ind., attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center with members of the House Budget Committee to introduce the FY2016 budget resolution and discuss ways to balance the budget, March 17, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rokita’s amendment adds to defense spending in the GOP budget. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a win for defense hawks, the House Budget Committee is set to vote Wednesday night on an amendment that would add $2 billion to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund and strike provisions requiring that the money be offset.

After more than a day of uncertainty — Would they add money in the Budget Committee? Would they not? Do it on the floor? In the Rules Committee? — Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee may finally be getting the extra dollars they pushed for.

The Budget Committee is slated to vote during the marathon markup session on Indiana Republican Todd Rokita’s amendment that would bring OCO funding up to $96 billion from $94 billion. Full story

Quiet Win for Boehner? Bending the Entitlement Curve

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks back to his office after leaving the House floor on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner is close to an elusive deal on a small piece of what allies are calling entitlement reform. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If the phrase “sustainable growth rate” sounds like it might be useful in putting you to sleep, you might have missed it.

Speaker John A. Boehner is quietly putting the finishing touches on a legacy item that generations of high school civics teachers insist is the third rail of politics: “entitlement reform.” Full story

March 17, 2015

Threatening Revolt, Defense Hawks Win Budget Concession

UNITED STATES - JULY 10: Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, is interviewed by Roll Call in his Rayburn office, July 10, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Defense hawk Turner led efforts to add more Pentagon spending to the GOP budget. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing the prospect of an open revolt from defense hawks, the House Budget Committee is poised this week to add even more defense dollars to a budget proposal that already goes beyond President’s Barack Obama’s Pentagon spending request.

House Armed Services Committee members met early Tuesday, before the budget’s release, to sort out a strategy to get more military money into a spending plan the GOP leadership was moving ahead with despite HASC concerns. Full story

March 16, 2015

Republicans Open to Potential ‘Doc Fix’ Deal

 Pitts, R-Pa., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pitts was optimistic about a long-term “doc fix” deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress approaches another deadline, lawmakers seemed hopeful Monday evening they could do something increasingly rare: take off their can-kicking shoes and make a deal.

Aides told CQ Roll Call that Speaker John A. Boehner was set to give the Republican Conference an update on the “bipartisan discussions” regarding the Sustainable Growth Rate during the GOP’s weekly meeting Tuesday morning. And the prospect of reaching an elusive long-term deal on the payment formula for doctors and medical professionals accepting Medicare was looking better and better. Full story

‘Doc Fix’ Is Latest Spending Battle for Conservatives

Doc Fix

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Republicans a “doc fix” vote is coming up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

As the House returns Monday for its first legislative week after Republicans caved on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, GOP leaders are gearing up for their next battle: the Sustainable Growth Rate.

SGR, as it’s more commonly known, deals with the payment formula for Medicare doctors. If the current “patch” expires on March 31, Medicare payments to doctors would be reduced by 21 percent. The only problem is the last time Congress extended the so-called “doc fix,” they didn’t exactly have the votes — a conundrum leaders solved by quickly voice voting the measure before members on the floor even realized what had hit them. Full story

March 13, 2015

Longtime Leadership Staffer Announces Next Move(s)

Climbers from the office of Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va, from left, Matt Bravo, Jeff Burton, Neil Bradley, John Stipicevic, Chris Vieson, April 9, 2009.

The way they were: This 2009 photo captures, from left, Cantor staffers Matt Bravo, Jeff Burton, Bradley, John Stipicevic and Chris Vieson. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the most respected policy minds in House GOP circles may have left Capitol Hill, but he isn’t going far.

Neil Bradley, the former deputy chief of staff for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — and for Eric Cantor before him — will help run the Young Guns Network as it undergoes an identity transformation from a 501(c)4 dedicated to conservative principles to a similar Republican group with a different name. Full story

March 10, 2015

Boehner Survives, Conservatives Cope: Ongoing Saga of the 114th (Updated)

Updated 11:19 a.m. | It was an unconditional, unmitigated cave. In the battle to defund President Barack Obama’s immigration action, Democrats won. Republicans lost. So why does Speaker John A. Boehner’s job look as secure now as it did a month ago? And why aren’t conservatives more outraged?

“To be honest with you,” Rep. Paul Gosar told CQ Roll Call, “not all of it is his fault.” Full story

March 3, 2015

Deal or No Deal? How Boehner and Pelosi Funded the DHS

Boehner, R-Ohio, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other leadership are introduced before the 114th Congress was sworn in on the House floor, January 6, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It started with a phone call. On Tuesday, Republicans and Democrats in the House came together to pass a measure funding the Department of Homeland Security through the rest of the fiscal year. And despite the repeated insistence from Speaker John A. Boehner’s office that there was “no deal” between the Ohio Republican and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic sources close to negotiations tell a slightly different story.

There may not have been a “deal,” but there was “an understanding.”
Full story

Netanyahu Speech Lives Up to Controversial Expectations (Video)

In January, when Speaker John A. Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, it caused the type of controversy and media attention normally reserved for a declaration of war, not a speech that’s little more than a glorified press release.

But by the time Netanyahu showed up Tuesday, the furor surrounding his address had eased somewhat, overshadowed by a battle — and capitulation — over funding the Department of Homeland Security and blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. Full story

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