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April 25, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

510 Posts

April 22, 2015

Conservatives Surprisingly Optimistic About Ending Ex-Im Bank

Jordan, center, called the Ex-Im Bank is the "Bridge to Nowhere." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jordan, center, called the Ex-Im Bank is the “Bridge to Nowhere.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It was a smaller room than usual for the monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” event Wednesday. There were fewer attendees than normal, too, both among members and the audience. But among the many topics conservatives delved into — over plates of their customary Chick-fil-A — members seemed united, even hopeful, on one item: the Export-Import Bank.

It’s no surprise conservatives want to kill the bank, which has a charter that expires on June 30. But it was surprising just how confident members sounded that they would actually end the 81-year-old agency. Conservatives said they think the bank’s looming expiration is one deadline GOP leaders won’t cave on. Full story

April 21, 2015

Conservative Groups: Let Ex-Im Bank Expire

Hensarling (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hensarling has led efforts to end funding for the Ex-Im Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress approaches a June 30 expiration date on the Export-Import Bank, more than 50 conservative groups wrote to lawmakers Tuesday urging them to oppose its reauthorization.

“On behalf of our groups and organizations, together representing millions of Americans, we urge you to oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank,” the letter begins. “It unfairly hurts domestic companies and risks billions of taxpayer dollars.” Full story

April 20, 2015

House to Take Up Cybersecurity Bills in Condensed Week

 Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walk through Statuary Hall en route to the Capitol's Rayburn Room for a signing ceremony for a bipartisan bill to "strengthen Medicare and fix its payment formula for doctors," April 16, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will take up a cybersecurity bill this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

With a scheduled work week that even a college senior could endorse, House lawmakers return to the Capitol Tuesday for just three days to deal with cybersecurity bills and to put the finishing touches on a budget and trade legislation.

The House will deal with two cybersecurity bills this week: the Protecting Cyber Networks Act and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015. The first bill, which the Intelligence Committee agreed to on a noncontroversial voice vote, is intended to promote information sharing about cybersecurity threats and would provide liability protections for companies that share that information with other companies and the government. There is, however, some controversy surrounding the bill. Full story

April 16, 2015

House Wraps Tax Week, Prepares Trade Issues

A U.S. Capitol Police officer removes a package from the undercarriage of the gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The small helicopter was painted with a U.S. Postal Service logo. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Capitol Police officer removes a package from the undercarriage of the gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the exception of a homemade gyrocopter landing on the Capitol lawn, everything in the House went just according to plan this week.

Lawmakers hit the exits Thursday after voting, 240-179, to kill the so-called death tax, also known as the “estate tax” in less Republican circles. Full story

All the Budget Conference’s a Stage

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

After wrangling a Republican budget through the House, House Budget Committee Chairman Price now has to find common ground with Republicans — and maybe a few Democrats — in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How do Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate conference a partisan budget that is little more than a messaging document? They don’t — at least, not really.

No one truly expects both sides to come to a consensus agreement on the budget. No one even really expects Democrats to play much of a role in the budget conference. It could be, as one Democratic aide with knowledge of the situation predicted, one public meeting “just for show, just to check that box.”

But there are plenty of House and Senate differences on the budget that will need to be worked out between Republicans and, well, Republicans. Full story

April 14, 2015

Boehner: Corker Bill to Move Before Iran Deal Finalized (Video)

Boehner wouldn't rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner wouldn’t rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate prepares to take up legislation that would let Congress reject a nuclear agreement with Iran, Speaker John A. Boehner reaffirmed Tuesday he’s waiting for that bill with open arms.

“Congress absolutely should have the opportunity to review this deal,” Boehner said Tuesday. “We shouldn’t count on the administration, who appears to want a deal at any cost.” Full story

April 13, 2015

At Reinstated Pen-and-Pads, McCarthy Gives Press Plenty (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JULY 23: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., addresses the media after a meeting of House Republicans in the Capitol, July 23, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy held his first pen-and-pad session as majority leader Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:20 p.m. | House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy did something Monday that hasn’t happened in years: a pen-and-pad sit-down with Capitol Hill reporters. And this was a good one.

The no-cameras news conference, which McCarthy held around a Capitol conference table with more than 35 reporters, lasted 29 minutes and represented the first majority leader pen-and-pad since former GOP leader Eric Cantor ended the practice in 2011.

“I guess you guys haven’t had these in a while, huh?” McCarthy said as he welcomed reporters back Monday. Full story

Is Reconciliation a Real Challenge to Obamacare?

Jordan doesn’t think it’s a problem that Obama would veto the reconciliation effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Even if some Republicans don’t really want to go there, even if it’s an exercise in futility, many are convinced the guaranteed-to-be-vetoed process of budget reconciliation promises to put Obamacare at the center of the 2016 debate.

And that, conservatives say, is exactly where they want it. Full story

April 7, 2015

Boehner: Obama Knows Deal Leads to Nuclear Iran

Iran Deal

Boehner released a statement Tuesday condemning the “deal” with Iran. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s no surprise that Speaker John A. Boehner isn’t happy with the Obama administration’s Iranian nuclear deal, but his level of discontent seems to be mounting.

While Boehner refrained from saying much of anything about the nuclear negotiations during his trip to Israel last week, the Ohio Republican is stepping up his criticism after President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday that, under the framework, Iran would be about a year away from a nuclear bomb for the first 13 years of the agreement — and would be able to produce a weapon almost immediately after that. Full story

April 3, 2015

Boehner’s Travels: Speaker Shares Details on Trip

Boehner's Medium

Boehner, visiting the Gaza-Israel border, in a photo from his posts on the Middle East trip. (Courtesy John A. Boehner’s Office)

John A. Boehner’s trip to the Middle East this week was covered extensively by the press both here and overseas, but few news organizations offered the behind-the-scenes details the House speaker himself shared on a new blog.

Boehner, or someone on the speaker’s team writing under his name, posted four journal-style entries this week on the congressional delegation’s stops in England, Jordan, Israel and Iraq. Full story

April 1, 2015

In Israel, Boehner Dials Down Anti-Iran Nuclear Deal Rhetoric

Netanyahu and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, left, walk through Statuary Hall, after the PM addressed a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Boehner, left, and Netanyahu last month in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Speaker John A. Boehner announced he would lead a congressional delegation to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, many believed it was another effort to undermine the efforts of President Barack Obama’s administration to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.

But fans of the Boehner-Netanyahu bromance might have been disappointed by the two leaders’ news conference Wednesday; it lasted all of four minutes, and Boehner said less than 200 words — none of them in opposition to an Iranian nuclear deal, and hardly any of them even substantive.

Boehner avoided the word “Iran,” opting for a more ambiguous allusion to threats in general. (The Ohio Republican, who has been leading a congressional delegation around the Middle East, said the message members received while in the region was, “You can’t continue to turn your eye away from the threats that face all of us.”)

But Boehner didn’t exactly offer his most full-throated defense of Netanyahu’s position that a nuclear deal with Iran is a bad idea. In fact, Boehner noted the United States and Israel “may have political disagreements from time to time,” though he immediately followed that pronouncement by saying, “the bonds between our two nations are strong and they’re going to continue to be strong.”

Netanyahu, for his part, was characteristically chummy with Boehner — he repeatedly referred to him as “John” — and the recently re-elected prime minister hammered home the strong, special bond between Israel and the United States.

“In this violent and unstable region, where states are imploding and fanaticism is exploding, one thing remains rock solid: Our friendship, our alliance, our partnership,” Netanyahu said.

“So let me use this opportunity of your visit to reiterate something that I’ve said before but needs to be said again and again,” Netanyahu said. “The people of Israel know that we have no better friend in the world than the United States of America. And the American people should know that they have no better friend in the world than the state of Israel.”

Meanwhile, nuclear negotiations with Iran continue and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday the United States would not “abruptly” walk away from Iran talks for sake of arbitrary deadline if progress continues to be made.

The United States and Iran are part of a group of nations discussing a more permanent loosening of sanctions against Iran in return for downgrading much of its most enriched uranium and opening up nuclear facilities to inspections.

Netanyahu thrashed that potential agreement during his joint address to Congress in March, and Boehner has previously signaled he is skeptical of any deal that could be reached between Iran, Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.

Related:

Boehner, House Delegation to Meet Netanyahu in Israel (Updated)

Netanyahu Speech Lives Up to Controversial Expectations (Video)

Democrats Facing Choice Between Obama, Netanyahu (Updated)

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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March 31, 2015

Gowdy Requests ‘Transcribed Interview’ With Clinton Over Emails

hairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi hearing on "Implementation of the Accountability Review Board Recommendations" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ R

Gowdy (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy wants answers — and the truth, presumably — from Hillary Clinton regarding her use of a private email address and server during her time as secretary of State, and he wants those answers no later than May 1.

On Tuesday, Gowdy wrote a letter to Clinton’s lawyer requesting that the former secretary of State appear before the Bengahzi Committee for a “transcribed interview.” Full story

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

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