Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 2, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

January 12, 2015

New Republicans Take Aim at Familiar Target: Establishment GOP

Ratcliffe, Republican candidate from Texas' 4th Congressional District, is interviewed by Roll Call. (Photo By Meredith Dake/CQ Rol

Ratcliffe said constituents in Texas’ 4th District are frustrated with both parties. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a clear indication of the divisions facing Republicans in the new Congress, four House GOP freshmen made the pilgrimage to the Massachusetts Avenue headquarters of The Heritage Foundation Monday and offered sharp criticism of a party they don’t seem quite comfortable belonging to.

“I do not blame liberals for the condition of the country,” said newly elected Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., repeating one of his stump speech lines. “I blame us.” Full story

January 9, 2015

House Conservatives Expect ‘Solid Votes’ for New Immigration Strategy (Updated)

Fleming, R-La., speaks with the media before a meeting of the House Republican caucus in the Capitol to discuss an immigration bill, August 1, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Fleming and other conservatives who oppose Obama’s immigration plan are optimistic about a new GOP strategy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | House Republicans emerged from a special conference meeting Friday with a new plan and a new tone pleasing to conservatives who have long been intent on defunding President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

GOP leadership laid out a strategy in which Republicans would have the opportunity to vote on a number of amendments aimed at defunding certain immigration activities: the president’s executive action, his Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program and the so-called Morton Memos, which are formal measures from former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton that relax enforcement of certain immigration laws.

Full story

January 8, 2015

Schiff Named Top Democrat on Intelligence Panel

Schiff, D-Calif., 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)

Schiff named ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that California Democrat Adam B. Schiff will be the next ranking member on the Intelligence Committee.

“As a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, Congressman Schiff has been a vital voice on the most pressing national security challenges of our time, including counter terrorism efforts and challenges in the Middle East,” Pelosi said in a statement. “He has proven himself to be a capable leader and a proponent of surveillance reforms.” Full story

Boehner Fires Back, Says He’s No ‘Squish’ (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 pushed back Thursday at the notion he’s an “establishment” Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner took to the press conference podium Thursday to set the record straight on a line of attack he seems to be hearing from conservatives: That he has no spine.

“It does pain me to be described as ‘spineless’ or a ‘squish,'” a somewhat-jocular Boehner said. Full story

The Real Reason Some Members Voted Against Boehner

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, leaves the news conference following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some of the 25 Republicans who bucked Boehner on Tuesday feared that a vote for the Ohio Republican could hurt them in their districts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For many of the 25 House Republicans who broke ranks in the speaker election Tuesday, voting against John A. Boehner was a reflection of a long-simmering dissatisfaction with the Ohio Republican.

But for some other members, it may have just been about political survival. Full story

January 7, 2015

Boehner Weighs Punishments for Speaker Election Dissidents

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 7: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive to speak to the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy arrive to speak to the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The morning after Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent were kicked off the Rules Committee, freshly re-elected Speaker John A. Boehner left the door open to possibly reinstating the two Florida Republicans.

Webster launched a surprise challenge to Boehner in Tuesday’s leadership election, garnering 12 votes — including his own and one from Nugent. Twenty-three other Republicans also defected, voting present or for Webster or other candidates, including Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Ted Yoho of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Full story

January 6, 2015

GOP Leaders Boot Webster, Nugent Off Rules Committee (Updated)

Reps. Richard Nugent, R-Fla., left, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla., confer before a House Rules Committee hearing in the Capitol, July 16, 2014, on the constitutionality of a House Republican led lawsuit against President Obama for allegedly overstepping his authority with certain provisions in his health care law. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Reps. Rich Nugent, R-Fla., left, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla., confer before a House Rules Committee hearing in the Capitol last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:00 p.m. | After Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent bucked leadership and voted for a speaker whose last name was not “Boehner,” House leaders stripped the two Florida congressmen of their positions on the Rules Committee.

The roster for the Rules Committee, which is often referred to as “the speaker’s committee,” was approved Tuesday evening by unanimous consent after GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers made a motion on the floor. Missing from that roster were Webster and Nugent, both members of the panel in the 113th Congress. Full story

Boehner and House GOP Regroup After Tumultuous Speaker Election

As in the 113th, Boehner will have to keep the tea-party wing of the GOP conference in line.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As in the 113th, Boehner will have to keep the tea-party wing of the GOP conference in line. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After the election of John A. Boehner to a third term as speaker Tuesday, House Republicans start the 114th Congress in a similar fashion to the 113th: Conservatives are unhappy with leadership and leadership’s not too pleased with some conservatives.

Tuesday’s floor vote insurrection wasn’t particularly close — Boehner won re-election with 216 of the 408 votes cast. But in a strong statement of protest, 25 Republicans voted for someone else or voted present. (On the Democratic side, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received 164 Democratic votes, with four members of her party voting for someone other than the California Democrat.) Full story

Boehner Elected Speaker Despite 25 Republican Dissidents (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 won re-election as speaker despite a lack of support from 25 Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a dramatic vote in which Republican dissidents staged yet another unsuccessful coup attempt, Speaker John A. Boehner was elected to a third term as speaker of the House Tuesday.

Boehner won re-election with 216 of the 408 votes cast, as 25 Republicans voted for someone else or voted present in an act of protest. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received 164 Democratic votes, with four members of her party voting for someone other than the California Democrat. Full story

Weber, Backing Gohmert Over Boehner, Says ‘Retaliation’ Has Begun (Updated)

Weber, R-Texas, participates in a discussion with reporters in Rayburn, titled "Conversations with Conservatives, " at which he and others fielded questions on illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border and other issues, July 15, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Weber says Boehner is punishing him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:18 p.m. | The 114th Congress is barely underway, but Randy Weber, R-Texas, says he’s already paying a price for making known his intentions to vote against another term in leadership for Speaker John A. Boehner.

Weber, who backed the long-shot speakership bid of fellow Texan Rep. Louie Gohmert over Boehner, has been removed as the lead sponsor of a nuclear energy bill expected to brought to the floor in the 114th. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 11:54 a.m.
Uncategorized

January 5, 2015

GOP Insurgents Scramble for Anti-Boehner Votes

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his first press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, following the Republican wave midterm elections. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Despite some opposition, Boehner is headed for another term as speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John A. Boehner is expected to be re-elected as speaker Tuesday — but that doesn’t mean some conservatives in his party aren’t grasping for a miracle.

There are now about a dozen Republicans who have publicly stated they won’t vote for Boehner to be speaker. Those insurgents, however, aren’t quite surprises to the speaker or his staff. Many are the same Republicans who voted against him at the start of the 113th Congress.

Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 6:33 p.m.
Uncategorized

December 31, 2014

The Year According to Rep. Tom Cole

Cole, R-Okla., speaks to reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol, June 18, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cole offers CQ Roll Call his take on 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tom Cole, the unofficial spokesman of the GOP rank and file in the House, has never been shy about telling the truth — at least the truth as the Oklahoma Republican sees it — with anyone who’ll listen.

Continuing a tradition that began last year, Cole got on the phone recently with CQ Roll Call for more than an hour to review the ups and downs of 2014 (something he also did in a recent column). Like last year, the 65-year-old former history professor thinks Republicans — and especially Speaker John A. Boehner — enter the new year with momentum. Full story

December 30, 2014

Boehner, McCarthy Circle Wagons for Scalise

 

UNITED STATES - JULY 9: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with House Majority Leader elect Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Majority Whip elect Steve Scalise, R-La., looking on, speaks during the House GOP leadership media availability after the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise, right, still has the support of Boehner, left, and McCarthy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pressure was building on Majority Whip Steve Scalise Tuesday in the wake of revelations the Louisiana congressman spoke at a meeting of white supremacists in 2002 — but Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are standing by the No. 3 Republican in the House.

“More than a decade ago, Representative Scalise made an error in judgment, and he was right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate,” Boehner said in a statement Tuesday. “Like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I know Steve to be a man of high integrity and good character. He has my full confidence as our Whip, and he will continue to do great and important work for all Americans.”

Full story

December 29, 2014

‘Probable’ That Scalise Addressed White Supremacist Group

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 16: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks with reporters in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, following the House Energy and Commerce Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on "Examining the U.S. Public Health Response to the Ebola Outbreak." (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise staff say the House majority whip probably spoke to a white supremacist group 12 years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s office acknowledged Monday that the Louisiana Republican did, most likely, speak at a white supremacist conference in 2002. Full story

December 16, 2014

Chaffetz Lays Out Different Direction for Oversight

p. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, participates in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security" with Homeland Secretary Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday, July 19, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz offered a preview of what’s in store for Oversight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If incoming Chairman Jason Chaffetz made just one thing clear Tuesday, it’s this: The Oversight and Government Reform Committee is not Darrell Issa’s anymore — in fact, Issa won’t even be on the committee next year.

Chaffetz gathered roughly a dozen reporters in his new Rayburn office Tuesday to discuss the 114th Congress and his vision for the Oversight panel, one that focuses less on political scandals and more on the “government reform” part. And it was evident to everyone present the Utah Republican has a dramatically different vision for the panel than that of his predecessor. Full story

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