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April 1, 2015

Posts by Matt Fuller

March 3, 2015

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

February 26, 2015

House GOP Faces Another Whip Test on DHS Punt

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When in doubt, punt. That’s the latest plan from House Republicans, but even trying to pass a tried-and-true congressional maneuver might be a tall order for the GOP’s fractured conference.

They met again in the Capitol basement Thursday night and settled on a game plan: a three-week continuing resolution stripped of all provisions blocking President Barack Obama’s immigration action, as well as a separate motion to go to conference with the Senate.

It’s not a plan for victory, per se, but it keeps the game going — and it’s a chance to save face somewhere down the line.

But with House Democratic leaders planning to whip against it, Republican leaders will have to get their team to march in the same direction, and that’s never been an easy feat.

Full story

GOP Leadership Floats 3 More Weeks of DHS Funding (Video)

House Republican leadership plans to move forward with another stopgap spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security, in a move sure to draw additional criticism from Democrats.

Rep. Darrell Issa said he supports a three-week clean continuing resolution for DHS funding, and he suggested that’s the plan leaders will move forward with. Issa said Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, proposed such a plan to the conference during a special meeting Thursday afternoon.

Full story

A Kiss for Luck? DHS Funding Falls Back to Boehner

Things are getting weird in the House.

Despite a GOP Senate that is waving the white flag, Speaker John A. Boehner isn’t ready to admit defeat on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill — at least not yet. Full story

New Tea Party Caucus Chairman: DHS Fight Could Break the GOP

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The act of listening is one of the safest, most clichéd strategies in Washington. Candidates embark on public relations-friendly “listening tours.” Committee members nod as experts testify. Congressional leaders sit through sessions with frustrated members, rope-a-doping their party’s most spirited lawmakers by responding to tirades with an open ear.

The strategy is exactly what Speaker John A. Boehner gave his conference Wednesday, telling Republicans to wait and see what the Senate delivers on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill before gathering their pitchforks. Full story

February 25, 2015

The Foggy, Imperfect, No-Good End Game on DHS Funding

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., conduct a news conference after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, February 25, 2015. The group fielded questions on funding for the Department of Homeland Security. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and Scalise look on as McCarthy takes questions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

If you’re wondering how the fight over the Department of Homeland Security funding bill is going to end, you’re not alone: Lawmakers and aides across the Capitol genuinely don’t know — which doesn’t exactly portend well for avoiding a department shutdown.

After a two-week stint where they purportedly didn’t directly speak to each other, Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thawed the silence during a 41-minute meeting in McConnell’s office Wednesday. Full story

On DHS Funding, House Republicans Agree to Wait on Senate

House Republicans emerged from their closed-door meeting Wednesday morning in agreement they’ll wait and see what the Senate can pass in regards to legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security.

That is, however, where the strategy ends, at least in terms of what’s being articulated publicly. Full story

February 24, 2015

House GOP in Holding Pattern on Funding DHS

Republicans are waiting for leadership to finalize a DHS funding strategy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are waiting for leadership to finalize a DHS funding strategy before Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans on Tuesday evening were still digesting the news that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hoped to advance a “clean” bill to float Homeland Security operations before department funding expires at the end of the week.

GOP lawmakers won’t know how leadership will respond until the regularly scheduled Wednesday morning members’ meeting — and even after that, a path forward could remain elusive. Full story

February 23, 2015

CBC Chairman: ‘Black America Is in a State of Emergency’

The Congressional Black Caucus is still getting up and running for the 114th Congress — it announced its staff Monday — but its new chairman sees an urgency for an organization that has long been known to represent the interests of minorities and the poor.

“We have a traditional role and that is to be the conscience of the Congress,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., told CQ Roll Call on Feb. 20. “We’ve been using ‘conscience of the Congress’ as our brand, if you will, since our founding. But we’ve got to do more than that because black America is in a state of emergency right now.” Full story

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