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May 27, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

527 Posts

May 21, 2015

Quid Pro Nope: Boehner, Cantwell and the Ex-Im Bank (Video)

Hensarling, R-Texas, left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, listen as other House GOP leaders speak to reporters following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hensarling, left, is working to kill the bank, but Boehner isn’t saying much. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The only commitment Speaker John A. Boehner is making on the Export-Import Bank is this: If the Senate is able to pass a bill on the export credit agency’s future, there will be an “open amendment debate.”

The Export-Import Bank charter is set to expire on June 30, and conservatives are expressing increased optimism that the 81-year-old federal bank’s charter will lapse. More to the point, and perhaps more importantly, GOP leaders are increasingly sounding open to letting the bank die.

Full story

Could Conservatives Push TPA Over the Finish Line?

As the House inches closer to a vote on the long-awaited Trade Promotion Authority bill, conservatives who have traditionally been hard-liners in their opposition to deals with the White House are taking a softer approach.

While many on the right are still hedging their position on the TPA, there appears to be some conservative support for the trade process legislation. And with congressional Democrats increasingly taking a firmer line against the TPA, which would give expedited consideration to the Trans-Pacific Partnership under negotiation with 11 other countries, conservatives could be the key to getting the TPA over the finish line.

Full story

May 19, 2015

House Freedom Caucus Lines Up Opposition to Export-Import Bank

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters after his presentations at the Heritage Action for America's Conservative Policy Summit  in Washington on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jordan thinks Boehner will keep his word on the Ex-Im bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The room where the House Freedom Caucus frequently convenes is really too small for a group of 30-some-odd congressmen. It’s certainly too small for a meeting with more than a dozen speakers and 20 reporters. But, on Tuesday, the oddly shaped room on the fourth floor of the Cannon House Office Building was the site of the conservative group’s first news conference — and the HFC might have finally found an issue they can make a name for themselves on: the Export-Import Bank.

“In the mission statement for the House Freedom Caucus, we have this: ‘The goal of the House Freedom Caucus is to give voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them,'” the chairman of the HFC, Jim Jordan of Ohio, said. “One big reason so many Americans think this town has forgotten them is because they see big corporations cozy up to big government to get special deals with their hard earned tax dollars.”

“And in 40 days,” Jordan said, referring to the expiration of the bank’s charter next month, “we have a chance to start to change that. In 40 days, we have a chance not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.” Full story

May 18, 2015

Amid Calls for Resignation, Guinta Refuses to Answer Questions (Audio)

Guinta, R-N.H., arrives outside of the Capitol Hill Hotel during check-in for incoming freshmen members of Congress, November 12, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Guinta isn’t backing down. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There are plenty of questions surrounding Rep. Frank Guinta’s agreement to repay more than $350,000 in improper campaign contributions, but the embattled New Hampshire Republican isn’t answering any of them — at least not meaningfully.

CQ Roll Call caught up with Guinta Monday evening as he walked to House votes. And despite a number of lingering issues associated with his alleged violation of Federal Election Commission rules in 2009 and 2010 — Was the money he loaned to his campaign, as he still contends, actually his? If so, what is Guinta apologizing for? — the New Hampshire Republican would not go off-script when asked about his agreement to pay a $15,000 penalty to the FEC and repay $355,000 to his parents, who gave him $381,000 in 10 checks between June 2009 and September 2010.

Full story

May 15, 2015

Breaking Down the House Defense Bill Vote

Smith, D-Wash., speaks during the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smith is the ranking Democrat on Armed Services, but said he couldn’t support the GOP’s defense spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After clearing an amendment hurdle Thursday that looked like it could jeopardize passage, the House easily passed the National Defense Authorization Act Friday, 269-151.

It was a strong vote, with 41 Democrats joining 228 Republicans to pass the annual defense authorization measure. But it was closer than it’s been in years, with 143 Democrats and eight Republicans saying “no” to a bill with issues both parochial and perennial. Full story

May 14, 2015

Steel Exit: Boehner Has ‘Awfully Big Loafers to Fill’

UNITED STATES - JULY 15 2014: Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is pictured at the RNC, July 15, 2014 (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Steel, center, is leaving Boehner’s office to work for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The departure of Speaker John A. Boehner’s longtime press secretary Michael Steel raises plenty of questions. Is this another sign Boehner is done at the end of this term? What does it mean for Boehnerland? What skills does Steel bring to the team that will work to elect Jeb Bush as the next president?

Perhaps the most pressing question is simply this: Who will replace him?

Full story

May 13, 2015

‘Pain-Capable’ Abortion Bill Passes House (Video)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

McMorris Rodgers helped rally GOP support for the revised 20-week abortion ban bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After months of delays, House Republicans passed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s life.

The bill, which passed 242-184 along mostly party lines, was pulled in late January after a number of Republican women protested a rape-reporting requirement, calling it insensitive to rape survivors who did not immediately report a sexual assault. Originally, the bill required that a rape be reported to law enforcement officials for women to be exempt from the 20-week limit. That provision was removed but, as a compromise, the bill now requires rape victims to receive counseling and face a 48-hour waiting period before getting an abortion after 20 weeks. Full story

May 10, 2015

House to Consider 20-Week Abortion Ban This Week

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 9: Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new version of Rep. Trent Franks’ abortion bill returns this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are aiming to reconsider this week the so-called “pain capable” abortion bill, which would prohibit abortions, in most cases, after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill was pulled in late January after a number of Republican women pushed back against the legislation, particularly the provisions requiring women to have reported rape to law enforcement to be eligible for an abortion after 20 weeks. Leaders haven’t released the final language of the bill, but they seemingly have worked out the issues — though it wouldn’t exactly be the first time they’ve miscalculated where the conference is on the issue.

Full story

May 7, 2015

150 Democrats Sign Letter Supporting Iran Deal

Tax Inversion Legislation

Doggett was one of three Democrats to write the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a major signal of public support, 150 House Democrats signed a letter Thursday supporting President Barack Obama’s framework for a nuclear deal with Iran.

“As negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continue, we urge you to stay on course, building on the recently announced political framework and continuing to work toward a strong and verifiable agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran that will prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon,” the letter begins. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 3:17 p.m.
Uncategorized

May 4, 2015

Coffee, ’Cue and M&M’s: How to Survive a Markup All-Nighter

(Matt Fuller/CQ Roll Call)

Smith, still recovering from hip surgery, ended up casting votes while prone. (Matt Fuller/CQ Roll Call)

It started at 10 a.m. More than 18 hours later, at 4:39 a.m., it ended.

Few things in Congress are more tedious, or arduous, or taxing, or redundant than the marathon markup. It’s easy to fall into the legislative lullaby of amendment debate, to close your eyes just for a minute and wake up a few amendments — and many snarky tweets — later. Full story

May 1, 2015

House Rejects Marijuana-for-Veterans Amendment — Barely

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Blumenauer’s amendment failed, narrowly. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In about as close a vote as you can get, the House rejected an amendment Thursday that would have allowed veterans to seek medical marijuana through the Veterans Affairs health system.

The amendment, offered by Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer, was rejected 210-213. Full story

Trade Deal on Hold While Obama Woos Democrats (Video)

Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., run into each other in the green room in between their weekly news conferences in the Capitol Visitor Center's Studio A, July 10, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner, left, and Pelosi don’t have a trade deal yet, but President Obama is actively lobbying Democrats to sign on. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been a week since Speaker John A. Boehner warned the stalled Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal backed by President Barack Obama needed help from the White House. On Thursday there were indications the president is stepping up his efforts.

Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi each used much of their weekly news conferences Thursday to temper expectations for the prospects of the trade deal. But a group of about 30 Democrats who met later in the day with Obama were more optimistic.

Full story

April 30, 2015

Boehner Tells Hensarling to Develop Ex-Im Bank Plan (Video)

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 4: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during his weekly press conference on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner doesn’t sound quite as sure as some of his lieutenants about ending the Ex-Im Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner — publicly, at least — has more questions than answers on the Export-Import Bank.

Asked Thursday during his weekly news conference whether he would consider just putting a Senate-passed bill on the floor for a vote if the House Financial Services Committee and the panel’s chairman, Jeb Hensarling of Texas, did not advance an Ex-Im Bill of their own, Boehner sounded as if that’s a question he himself is asking. Full story

April 29, 2015

Abe Speech Checks All but 1 Conspicuous Box

The Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues Inc. holds a rally on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, calling for "Japan's Official Apology" for the "comfort women" who were imprisoned and forced into sexual slavery during World War II. The rally was timed to coincide with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's address to the U.S. Congress. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues, Inc. rallies Wednesday outside the Capitol during Abe’s address to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was a perfectly acceptable address: reverent, touching, even a little funny. But Shinzō Abe’s speech to Congress Wednesday will be remembered less for any applause line and more for what was left unsaid.

The Japanese prime minister avoided the most contentious issue surrounding the speech, namely: demands for an overt apology for Japan’s sexual enslavement of “comfort women” during World War II.

Abe acknowledged the controversy with only a passing reference.

Full story

April 28, 2015

On Baltimore, Race, and Policing: No Easy Answers for Hoyer

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer tried to thread the needle on the Baltimore riots. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer’s weekly pen-and-pad Tuesday was a case study for politicians looking to say something about the riots in Baltimore while also saying, largely, nothing.

The Maryland Democrat did his best to show support for both police and protesters after a day of violent clashes in his home state’s largest city — clashes sparked by unrest over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was arrested in West Baltimore on April 12 and, while in police custody, suffered spinal cord injuries that led to his death. Full story

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