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September 2, 2015

Posts in "Congressional Operations"

September 1, 2015

Wasserman Schultz in Tough Spot on Iran Deal

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Wasserman Schultz, left, speaks with Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., on the East Front of the Capitol (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in an unenviable position.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee has yet to announce where she stands on President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran — and no matter how she eventually votes, the Florida Democrat is likely to pay a political price.

Full story

August 28, 2015

American Refugees: Hill Staffers Share Katrina Stories

UNITED STATES - August 14: From left, Peter Hunter, Senior Legislative Assistant, Joe Lustig, Legislative Assistant, and Brandon Gassaway, Press Secretary, all for the office of Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., pose for a portrait in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Friday, August 14, 2015 (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Katrina’s impact continues to be felt in the lives of Louisianians, including Hunter, left; Lustig, center; and Gassaway, all staffers for  Richmond. 
(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In the final installment in a series of stories on Hurricane Katrina, House staffers reflect on the storm’s impact. 

Everyone who lived through Hurricane Katrina has a story: where they were, what they did and how they coped.

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise and Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, who both represented pockets of New Orleans in the Louisiana Legislature before coming to Washington, reflected on their experiences ahead of this weekend’s 10th anniversary of the storm.

But they aren’t the only ones on Capitol Hill with tales to tell. Full story

August 26, 2015

Scalise, Richmond: Two Takes on Post-Katrina New Orleans

UNITED STATES - MARCH 18:  Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., speaks during an event at 101 Constitution Avenue with the National Bankers Association, Visa, and NFL players, to educate teens about financial responsibility, March 18, 2015. At the event, teens and NFL athletes Heisman Trophy winner and New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram and Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles, played "Financial Football," a free educational video game that incorporates football and questions about money management. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If Katrina happened in 2015, New Orleans could expect less help from Congress than it got a decade ago, Richmond said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Here’s the latest in a CQ Roll Call series of reports on the legacy of Hurricane Katrina, continuing our conversations with New Orleans’ congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric L. Richmond:

Ten years ago, Congress barely blinked before greenlighting billions to rebuild the Hurricane Katrina-battered city of New Orleans. Would Congress do the same today?

“Yeah, I think Congress would, and has,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said. “There were a lot of debates, as there should have been, but ultimately, the decision was made that they weren’t going to let a major national city fade away.” Full story

August 25, 2015

A Decade After Katrina, 2 New Orleans Lawmakers Look Back

Richmond, left, and Scalise represented New Orleans in the Louisiana State House before being elected to the U.S. House (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Richmond, left, and Scalise represented New Orleans in the Louisiana House before being elected to Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On Saturday, New Orleans observes the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The storm left behind unimaginable destruction as well as a complicated and emotional legacy with which survivors still grapple. CQ Roll Call met separately recently with Louisiana Reps. Steve Scalise, the House Republican whip, and his longtime friend Cedric L. Richmond, a Democrat, to talk about the impact of Katrina. Their recollections (both were state lawmakers at the time), edited for length and organized for chronology, are part of a series on the storm 218 will publish this week. 

Saturday, Aug. 27
Two days before the storm. Full story

August 20, 2015

Congress’ Squishy Financial Disclosure Deadline

UNITED STATES - JULY 24: Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, heads to the House floor for a vote on Thursday, July 24, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCaul, one of Congress’ wealthiest members, has yet to file a 2014 disclosure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A week after Congress’ Aug. 13 deadline for members filing financial disclosures — a deadline already extended 90 days from May 15 — there are still almost a dozen members who have not turned in their forms.

But fear not, those who might be inclined to worry about the difficulties and demands of congressional life. According to financial disclosure rules — confirmed by a House Ethics Committee aide on Wednesday — members get an additional 30-day grace period before they are penalized. Full story

August 11, 2015

The Bipartisan Working Group’s Elusive Target

Clockwise from left, Reps. David Joyce, R-Ohio, Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, Daniel Webster, R-Fla., Lou Barletta, R-Pa., Mark Amodei, R-Nev., Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., Scott Peters, D-Calif., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and John Carney, D-Del., attend a Bipartisan Working Group (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clockwise from left, Reps. Joyce, Renacci, Webster, Barletta, Amodei, Maloney, Peters, Welch and Carney attend a BPWG meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About a dozen House Republicans and Democrats sat around a table on a recent early morning, eating doughnuts and discussing the highway bill.

The Highway Trust Fund’s July 31 expiration date was near, party leaders seemed resigned to advance yet another stopgap extension and the assembled rank-and-file lawmakers wondered whether they could fully unite around a strategy to force passage of long-term legislation. Full story

August 4, 2015

Royce, Boehner Set Stage for House Disapproval of Iran Deal

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Royce has introduced a resolution to disapprove of the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File  Photo)

The gears have been set in motion for the House to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal when the chamber returns from recess in September.

On Tuesday afternoon, Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., announced the introduction of a resolution to reject the agreement, despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to veto any legislation that undermines the negotiated framework. Full story

August 3, 2015

Ethics Committee to Investigate Chaka Fattah (Updated)

Ethics Committee Chaka Fattah

Fattah faces an Ethics Committee probe following his indictment last week. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 8:55 p.m. | The House Ethics Committee did its due diligence Monday evening.

Per its rules, the panel has formally convened an “investigative subcommittee” to probe possible misconduct by Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was slapped last week with a 29-count federal indictment for alleged conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud. Full story

July 30, 2015

CBC Chairman: Charges Against Chaka Fattah ‘Very Serious’

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., speaks to reporters before a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center to receive a briefing on security from Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse and Assistant Chief Dan Nichols in the wake of Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is recovering from surgery after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

CBC Chairman Butterfield called Fattah’s indictment “serious”  (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Within 24 hours of being slapped with a 29-count indictment, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., voluntarily relinquished his ranking member position on an appropriations subcommittee and resigned as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Board of Directors.

Both actions were appropriate, said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield — and, he suggested, necessary. Full story

July 29, 2015

Chaka Fattah Case Could Get Awkward Fast for Democrats (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chaka Fattah has been under federal investigation for years, so for many of his colleagues the question was not whether an indictment would come, but when. But it could get awkward for Democrats in a hurry, as Fattah holds prominent positions within the party’s establishment and next year’s presidential nomination convention is being held in his native Philadelphia.

Within hours of being slapped with 29 counts — for racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud — the Pennsylvania Democrat had agreed to relinquish his post as ranking member on the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, per rules and precedent. Full story

Pelosi Spokesman: Anti-Boehner Move Signifies GOP Dysfunction (Video)

Pelosi and the Democrats forced Republicans to retreat Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pelosi could be key to Boehner’s fate if the House votes to “vacate the chair” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Would House Democrats vote to remove John A. Boehner’s speaker gavel?

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., isn’t tipping her hand on which way she would urge her members to vote, should Rep. Mark Meadows’s motion to “vacate the chair” receive consideration on the House floor. Full story

July 28, 2015

Meadows Explains Effort to Overthrow Boehner

Meadows, R-N.C., is taking his dissatisfaction with GOP leadership to the next level (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meadows,is taking his dissatisfaction with leadership to the next level. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

So why exactly did Rep. Mark Meadows offer a resolution to strip Speaker John A. Boehner of his gavel?

Holding court with reporters Tuesday night, nearly an hour after stunning colleagues by filing a motion to “vacate the chair,” the North Carolina Republican’s message was simple: He was left with no choice. Full story

July 27, 2015

Why Eric Swalwell Endorsed Martin O’Malley

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks with Roll Call in his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., endorsed former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When it comes to 2016 endorsements, House Democrats were, until just a couple of days ago, divided into two camps : Those who had publicly endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president and those who hadn’t.

Enter Rep. Eric Swalwell. Full story

On Highways and Ex-Im, House Watches Senate

Crowley (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., is not enthusiastic about the Senate’s highway bill (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week, the House is expected to take up legislation to make new major executive branch rules contingent upon congressional approval, consider a bill to streamline “accountability” at the Department of Veterans Affairs and vote on a whole slew of suspensions.

But it’s the legislative business not currently listed on the floor schedule that’s likely to make the most headlines in the last days before the monthlong August recess. Full story

July 24, 2015

Despite White House’s Iran Blitz, Democrats Struggle With Backing Deal

The State Department isn't saying whether Kerry plans to testify May 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kerry is making frequent visits to Capitol Hill to sell lawmakers on the Iran nuclear agreement (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats were briefed on the Iran nuclear deal Thursday afternoon by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Earnest J. Moniz, but many sounded as undecided when they came out as when they went in.

“I’m working through it,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “That’s why we have 60 days.” Full story

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