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July 2, 2015

Posts in "Congressional Operations"

July 2, 2015

Who’s Backing Whom? The House GOP Endorsement List

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s a long time before primary season and the list of GOP presidential candidates is still likely to grow before it gets smaller — but plenty of House Republicans have already decided who they’re backing.

In the weeks and months ahead, 218 will update this running tally of which House Republican lawmakers are backing which 2016 hopefuls. We’ll keep the list as current as possible, drawing from press releases, official statements and face-to-face interviews. Full story

June 30, 2015

Zombie Bank: Why Killing Ex-Im Doesn’t Mean It’s Dead

Congressional staffers stand below a television monitor as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, testifies during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional staffers stood below a television monitor on June 3, as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank, testified before the House Financial Services Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With only hours to go before the Export-Import Bank’s charter expires for the first time in its 81-year history, lawmakers who support the agency are pointing fingers at the base of opposition — but not sounding the alarm bells of imminent catastrophe.

Starting Wednesday, the bank won’t be able to extend new loans — but it will still be able to serve out existing contracts. Most members are confident the operation will get reauthorized, some way or another, in the weeks before the month-long August recess and before the funding lapse becomes a real problem. Full story

June 26, 2015

How One House Democrat Helped Save Trade for Obama

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the House New Democrat Coalition news conference to unveil a policy agenda "aimed at creating a new era of American prosperity" on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind, D-Wis., helped get 28 Democrats to vote for TPA (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At midday Thursday, there was a gathering in Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s members’ lounge off Statuary Hall to toast House passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance, the last piece of a legislative package giving Trade Promotion Authority to President Barack Obama.

But among the select group of lawmakers and aides from both parties, there was one notable absence: The House Democrat who helped win for Obama the ability to negotiate a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Full story

June 25, 2015

One Lawmaker’s Supreme Court Gloom Is Another’s ACA Joy

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, received the gavel from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the first day of the 113th Congress. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Boehner didn’t make news at news conferences post-Supreme Court ruling upholding Affordable Care Act subsidies. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday’s weekly leadership news conferences, coming in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling to uphold subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, were studies in contrast: One one side was a somber John A. Boehner, vowing to keep fighting, on the other, an ecstatic Nancy Pelosi, celebrating the affirmation of her signature legislative achievement.

Full story

Buck Fundraises Off Attempts to Oust Him as Class President

Buck, R-Colo., takes his seat for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Examining the Adequacy and Enforcement of Our Nation's Immigration Laws" on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Buck wasn’t ousted, but he’s fundraising off of it nonetheless. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ken Buck learned Thursday morning he could keep his slot as freshman class president, but the Colorado Republican is still calling in the reinforcements.

A few hours after his fellow classmates decided not to punish him for voting against GOP leadership on the rule for Trade Promotion Authority, Buck sent out a fundraising email asking for financial support. Full story

June 24, 2015

House Rebels Warn of Blowback for Boehner

Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during the House GOP leadership media availability following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner’s crackdown has Republican dissidents talking about retaliation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Freedom Caucus has a secret it wants to share with Democrats.

“If the Democrats were to file a motion to vacate the chair and were to vote for that motion unanimously, there probably are 218 votes for it to succeed,” one member of the House Freedom Caucus told CQ Roll Call Tuesday night, as he exited an meeting in the basement of Tortilla Coast. Full story

Obama Gets Trade Win: Democrats Give In on TAA

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer will vote for TAA when it comes back to the House floor Thursday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s over.”

That’s how several House Democrats and senior aides described the current feeling in the caucus regarding their efforts to stop “fast-track” trade authority for the White House.

Over the past two weeks, most members of the House Democratic Caucus have gone from opposing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation — packaged with the related Trade Promotion Authority, a Republican and Obama administration priority — to acknowledging there’s little point in voting “no.” Full story

June 23, 2015

Friday Votes Canceled in Deference to Charleston Funerals (Updated)

Boehner speaks to reporters the same week the House passed two cybersecurity bills (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner’s team canceled Friday votes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 4:50 p.m. | House GOP leaders announced Tuesday afternoon they would end the week’s legislative business Thursday in an effort to allow members more time to travel to Charleston, S.C., to participate in funeral proceedings for the nine victims of last week’s church massacre.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to Charleston on Friday, he said in a statement later in the day.

“The people’s House continues to keep the people of Charleston in our prayers as they mourn such senseless loss,” Boehner said.

Full story

June 22, 2015

Conservatives Fume Over Leadership’s Crackdown on Rebels

Meadows, R-N.C., listens as IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen testifies during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the IRS scandal on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Meadows is firing back at leadership over his demotion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The punishment from GOP leadership over a procedural vote didn’t start with Mark Meadows — and it might not end with him either.

The two-term North Carolina Republican is the latest conservative to face retribution for voting on June 11 against the rule to bring trade legislation to the House floor, joining 33 other Republicans in a major sign of defiance that embarrassed leadership. Full story

House Poised to Let Ex-Im Bank Charter Expire

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cole has spoken with leadership regularly about the future of the Ex-Im Bank. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will consider its seventh appropriations bill of the year this week — one to fund the Interior Department and related activities — and possibly more legislation related to trade in the event the Senate keeps to its schedule.

But with only four scheduled legislative work days left before the weeklong July 4 recess, there’s one thing the House is not expected to take up: reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

Full story

June 20, 2015

Rule Vote Retribution Continues; Chaffetz Takes Away Subcommittee Gavel

 Meadows, R-N.C.,questions IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the IRS scandal on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who has bucked leadership, has been demoted. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

And the payback keeps on coming.

After three conservative House Republicans were kicked off the whip team as a result of voting against a rule for trade legislation on June 11, a new round of punishment is being meted out: Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz has taken away the gavel of Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows. Full story

June 18, 2015

House Passes Trade Promotion Authority Bill (Updated) (Video)

Benghazi Committee Democrats

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., has been leading the charge against Trade Promotion Authority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:22 p.m. | The House narrowly passed Trade Promotion Authority Thursday — the first step of many to resurrect President Barack Obama’s trade agenda after his own party torpedoed a combined bill last week.

The chamber voted 218-208 on TPA, which will give him the latitude to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal sought by most Republicans and a small number of Democrats. Full story

Lawmakers Mourn Charleston Church Shooting

Lawmakers on Wednesday night were winding down from the White House summer picnic and strategizing on a looming trade vote when news broke of a tragic shooting in Charleston, S.C.

Nine people were killed in a rampage on a historically black church, including a state senator who was also the congregation’s leader. The white gunman is still at large and authorities are calling the incident a hate crime. Full story

June 17, 2015

CBC Chairman Concerned Trade Maneuvers Imperil Africa Pact

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)

Butterfield is concerned about what would happen if the AGOA reauthorization bill is amended to include TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation could be a casualty of efforts to stymie Trade Promotion Authority; now, some members fear the long-heralded African Growth and Opportunity Act could fall to the wayside, too.

As pro-trade lawmakers from both parties in the House and Senate move ahead with an effort to pass “fast-track” negotiating authority Thursday using a complex procedural maneuver, some skeptical Democrats are raising concerns the TPA maneuvering endangers the renewal of AGOA, a multi-nation pact that has long enjoyed bipartisan support.       Full story

June 16, 2015

How Republicans Could Get Obama Trade Promotion Authority (Video)

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions in his office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions could set up a vote on TPA this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders are mulling their options for forcing a vote on Trade Promotion Authority while saving reconsideration of Trade Adjustment Assistance for another day.

The Rules Committee could meet this week to establish parameters for floor consideration of TPA that, if approved, clears the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal. Full story

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