Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

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

Boehner to Allow Clean Homeland Security Vote (Updated)

John boeher dhs funding bill vote immigration reform amnesty

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:04 a.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner told his restive flock Tuesday he would allow a vote on a clean Homeland Security spending bill later in the day, citing concerns about terrorism and pinning blame on the Senate for failing to pass limits on President Barack Obama’s immigration actions.

In a humbling moment for the Ohio Republican, he told his members the Senate’s DHS bill would be brought up for a roll call vote after it arrives in the House later Tuesday, according to a source in the room. That effectively leaves it up to the courts to rein in Obama — or not.

“I am as outraged and frustrated as you at the lawless and unconstitutional actions of this president,” Boehner said. “I believe this decision — considering where we are — is the right one for this team, and the right one for this country. The good news is that the president’s executive action has been stopped, for now. This matter will continue to be litigated in the courts, where we have our best chance of winning this fight.” Full story

March 2, 2015

Conservatives Push Effort to Block ‘Clean’ DHS Bill

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

King. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing the prospect of Democrats forcing a vote on a “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding bill, conservatives are calling on House Republicans to adopt a resolution blocking the legislative maneuver.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, released a statement Monday following a Roll Call story laying out how Democrats could use House rules to get a vote on the Senate-passed DHS funding bill  the one that doesn’t block President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration and funds the agency through Sept. 30. Full story

Democrats Expect ‘Clean’ DHS Bill — One Way or Another

Hoyer, right, outlined expectations for the DHS funding bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer, right, outlined expectations for the DHS funding bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With funding for the Department of Homeland Security set to run out Saturday, it should be no surprise that House Democrats expect a vote on a bill to further fund the agency. It’s just unclear what form that vote will take.

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer told reporters Monday morning he expects a vote on a “clean” bill — one devoid of provisions blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration — at some point this week.

Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 12:13 p.m.
Democrats, Immigration

DHS Funding Battle Reveals a Republican House Divided

Boehner has to figure out a path forward to avoid a DHS shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress returns this week facing yet another Department of Homeland Security funding deadline — but the appropriations squabble has suddenly become overshadowed by an increasingly bitter internal fight among House Republicans for the soul of the party.

House conservatives sank the GOP leadership’s plan for a three-week continuing resolution for DHS while an appeals court rules on an injunction blocking the administration from implementing the president’s executive action on immigration — but the victory was short-lived. The Senate sent over a one-week CR. The House passed it. And, with just minutes to spare before a lapse in appropriations at DHS, President Barack Obama signed the bill.

Now, with a House and Senate seemingly out of sync, and with a House GOP that’s becoming more splintered by the day, Republican leaders are squaring off this week for a battle that could set the tone for the rest of the 114th Congress.

Full story

February 27, 2015

House Averts Shutdown of DHS for 1 Week (Video)

Just two hours before the Department of Homeland Security was set to run out of funding, the House delivered a bill to float the agency for one more week.

But last-minute maneuvering almost put a snag in that plan.

Shortly after learning that GOP leaders intended to bring the stopgap measure to the floor after Senate passage earlier in the evening, a band of conservatives huddled in the chamber to plot their next move. Full story

With Conservative Opposition, DHS Funding Vote Looks Tight

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’s House Freedom Caucus is leaning against the DHS funding bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid dissension in the conservative ranks, House GOP leaders are furiously whipping the Department of Homeland Security funding bill in an attempt to get it to the Senate with hardly any help from Democrats.

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus emerged Friday afternoon from their second meeting in fewer than 24 hours with a seemingly unified front: They are going to vote no. Full story

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