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October 7, 2015

Posts in "Congressional Operations"

October 6, 2015

House Democrats Brace for Round Two of Trade Fight

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the bipartisan news conference outside of the Capitol to unveil "a major proposal aimed at modernizing America's regulatory system to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, and improve national competitiveness" on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind helped the president whip House votes on TPA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats who fought unsuccessfully earlier this year to withhold Trade Promotion Authority from the White House are gearing up for round two: an effort to undo the sweeping 12-nation Pacific trade deal announced Monday that TPA authorized the administration to negotiate.

“The deal … is the result of negotiations between corporate interests and trade representatives, which ignored the voices of working families in all twelve countries,” Progressive Caucus Co-Chairmen Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota declared in a statement. Full story

October 5, 2015

Republicans Scurry to Advance Agendas Before Recess

Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee, talks with reporters after a news conference with members of the committee in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce the FY2016 budget resolution and discuss ways to balance the budget, March 17, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, will oversee a markup of reconciliation legislation on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans will go home for recess at the end of this week with plenty to tell their constituents — namely that they picked a new slate of leadership (if all goes according to plan) and avoided a government shutdown (with hours to spare).

Over the next four days, they’ll also lay the groundwork on some other legislative items that could play well back in their districts. Full story

October 4, 2015

GOP Split Over Whether to Fast-Track Elections or Take More Time

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)

McCarthy, center, and Scalise, right, are still expected to move up in the wake of Boehner’s resignation. But both face complications. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans were already divided over the candidates for speaker, majority leader and whip. Now they’re finding themselves split over when to hold elections.

Over the weekend, the expectation that members would vote on Thursday for a new leadership slate was turned upside down, as some lawmakers amped up lobbying efforts to postpone votes for majority leader and whip.

Members were also whispering about the ramifications of letting almost a month go by between nominating a new speaker candidate and holding the decisive roll call vote on the House floor.

Full story

October 2, 2015

Sources: Chaffetz Readies Run for Speaker

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, places his name plate at his seat as he arrives for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "White House Perimeter Breach: New Concerns about the Secret Service" on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz is reportedly making the rounds to run for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Earlier this week, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, was busy trying to push his colleague Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to run for majority leader.

On Friday, news broke that Chaffetz was laying the groundwork for a leadership run of his own. Full story

October 1, 2015

Chaffetz Told McCarthy to Apologize for Benghazi Remarks

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, arrives for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the United States Department of Homeland Security" on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz personally told Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy he should apologize for jarring comments he made about the Republican-led House Benghazi panel’s impact on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I told [McCarthy] I’m supportive of him, but I have to distance myself from his comments. I just felt they were inaccurate and wrong,” the Oversight and Government Reform chairman said.

“I have a good working relationship with Kevin McCarthy and that was for him to digest. What he does with it is his business,” the Utah Republican told CQ Roll Call and The Associated Press Thursday in a brief hallway interview.

Full story

McCarthy Gets Earful From Both Sides for Benghazi Remarks

McCarthy said it's up to the Senate. Cornyn suggests it's up to the House.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCarthy takes heat for Benghazi remarks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News Tuesday night the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s major accomplishment so far was discrediting 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, he might have expected moans and groans from Democrats.

What the California Republican and expected heir to John A. Boehner’s speakership might not have anticipated was the criticism from colleagues on his side of the aisle.

Full story

September 30, 2015

Breaking Down the CR Vote

Price, who is running for majority leader, voted "no" on the CR. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Price voted “no” on the CR. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just 91 House Republicans voted with every Democrat to keep the government open after midnight Wednesday — that’s three out of every eight members of the conference.

It could have been that the 151 GOP opponents felt free to snub the continuing resolution — which didn’t contain language defunding Planned Parenthood — knowing Democrats were prepared to make up for the shortfall.

But it could signal trouble ahead of the Dec. 11 deadline to pass a longer-term spending measure, which must adhere to higher spending caps lest it run into the veto pen of President Barack Obama, who has pledged not to sign any “omnibus” that doesn’t replace sequestration.

Full story

Rules Could Complicate Leadership Fight (Updated)

UNITED STATES - September 29: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., listens as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a new conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise listens as McCarthy speaks Tuesday during a new conference on Capitol Hill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:26 p.m. | A rules fight could determine who holds power in the House Republican Conference under a new speaker when the elections are held on Oct. 8.

While Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California remains the odds-on favorite to inherit John A. Boehner’s gavel, the race for his position remains fluid and that has caused all kinds of uncertainty down the ballot. Full story

Congress Averts Government Shutdown With Hours To Spare (Video)

For Boehner and other GOP leaders, the clock is ticking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and other GOP leaders avoid government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Though conditions on the ground looked eerily similar to those that caused a two-week government shutdown two years ago, the House on Wednesday passed legislation to keep federal operations afloat through Dec. 11.

With hours to spare, the chamber voted on the stopgap spending bill, 277-151, with every Democrat, joined by 91 Republicans, voting “yes” and 151 Republicans voting “no.” Full story

September 29, 2015

Gowdy Insists He’s Not Running

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gowdy, right, and Mulvaney. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Trey Gowdy made it clear Tuesday afternoon he will not be running for majority leader in the upcoming House GOP leadership elections.

The South Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Select Committe on Benghazi confirmed to reporters he was not in the game as he made his way to the floor for a vote series. Full story

Trey Gowdy Leadership Candidacy Still a Big Question Mark

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 17: Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi hearing on "Implementation of the Accountability Review Board Recommendations" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz, R-Utah, left, speaks to Gowdy, R-S.C., in Sept. 2014 (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Would Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., serve as House majority leader?

It’s not entirely clear.

Full story

McHenry, Sessions Will Face Off — If There’s a Whip Race

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, leaves a meeting of House Republicans in the Capitol, September 25, 2015, after Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he will resign from Congress at the end of October. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sessions will face McHenry if there is a whip race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There won’t be a race for majority whip if the current No. 3 House Republican, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, doesn’t beat Budget Chairman Tom Price of Georgia for majority leader. (The draft Trey Gowdy movement doesn’t seem to have any backing from the South Carolina Republican.)

But at least two lawmakers so far are officially banking on the likelihood of Scalise moving up in the ranks, clearing the way for a successor. Full story

Leadership Roundup: Scalise Is in, Gowdy Isn’t (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 2: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks to the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise made it official, he’s running for majority leader. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:46 p.m. | Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., will play coy no longer with the public and the press: On Tuesday morning, he announced he was running for majority leader.

“I understand from experience that unity is easy to call for, but it takes the right kind of leadership to achieve. As both Republican Study Committee Chairman and Majority Whip, I’ve made it a top priority to bring openness and inclusiveness into the legislative process so we can bring our dynamic conference together as we advance our agenda,” Scalise wrote in a letter hand-delivered to colleagues.

He continued, “As your Majority Leader, we’ll build upon this inclusive approach to deliver results you can be proud of.” Full story

September 28, 2015

It’s Official: McCarthy Announces Speaker Bid


UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress  on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy, as expected, will seek the top position in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as expected, made it official Monday, telling fellow House Republicans in a letter he will seek the speaker’s gavel.

With Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., choosing to stand pat, McCarthy was widely regarded as the favorite to succeed House Speaker John A. Boehner, though the California lawmaker will face opposition: Florida Rep. Daniel Webster has also announced he will run. Full story

Tom Price Scores Influential Endorsements in Majority Leader Bid

Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee, talks with reporters after a news conference with members of the committee in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce the FY2016 budget resolution and discuss ways to balance the budget, March 17, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is becoming the conservative favorite for majority leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Budget Chairman Tom Price hasn’t officially declared his candidacy for majority leader, but two high-profile endorsements Monday sent as clear a signal as any that the Georgia Republican is in the game.

Ways and Means Chairman and 2012 vice presidential candidate Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., released a statement Monday afternoon in praise of Price, who was previously Ryan’s vice chairman on the Budget panel. Full story

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