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March 6, 2015

Posts in "Congressional Operations"

March 3, 2015

Centrist New Democrats Want Bigger Role in Party’s Message

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 said the centrist group wants a bigger role in helping to shape Democrats’ message. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the New Democrat Coalition have struggled for years to make their centrist message heard in the larger, and distinctly more left-leaning, House Democratic Caucus.

The 46 self-described “moderate” and “pro-growth” House members in the coalition say they agree with the rest of their caucus on “90 percent of the issues” — it’s the remaining 10 percent that’s harder to summarize. 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

March 1, 2015

Boehner Says House Will ‘Follow Regular Order’

Boehner is in a tough spot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner is in a tough spot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House will reconvene Monday with little sense of how the dynamics will play out in the quest to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year, but Speaker John A. Boehner said he intends to follow “regular order.”

In an interview on “Face the Nation” Sunday, the Ohio Republican was asked what promise he made Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that secured enough votes from House Democrats Friday night to pass a one-week extension of DHS funding, just hours before the agency was due to shutter.

Boehner chose his words carefully: “The promise I made to Ms. Pelosi is the same promise I made to Republicans, that we would follow regular order.” Full story

February 27, 2015

Pelosi: Democrats Won’t Help GOP Pass 3-Week DHS Funding Bill (Video)

“Ineptitude,” “staggering failure of leadership” and “amateur hour.”

Those were the words House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi used Friday morning to describe the current state of House Republicans. Full story

February 26, 2015

Some Democrats May Skip It, but Netanyahu Speech Is Still a Hot Ticket

Dozens of House Democrats are planning to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3, and they’re hoping their absence will send a strong signal.

One of those Democrats is Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Full story

February 19, 2015

Nearly Two Dozen House Democrats Call for Netanyahu Delay

Waters, D-Calif., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference to discuss Republican lawsuit against President Obama and the House Democrats' focus on the economy on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Waters and other progressives in the Democratic Caucus are calling for a Netanyahu postponement.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Twenty-three House Democrats have signed onto a letter calling on Speaker John A. Boehner to postpone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled March 3 address to a joint session of Congress.

The lawmakers argue that while they are loyal allies of Israel, the timing of the planned visit — two weeks before the Middle East nation’s elections — betrays a political agenda on the part of the GOP. Full story

February 11, 2015

Lawmakers Push Longshot Bid to Rewrite Voting Rights Act

Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., prepares to testify during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act" on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sensenbrenner seeks more Republican support for a revived Voting Rights Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner fell short in his 2014 efforts to convince GOP leadership to take up his Voting Rights Amendment Act, but the Wisconsin Republican is ready to take another stab at passing a rewrite of the historic law.

But there’s little indication this year will be any different.

Full story

February 10, 2015

House Says, Senate Says: GOP Split on Next DHS Move (Updated)

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

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

Updated 3:28 p.m. | When it comes to Department of Homeland Security funding, the ball is still in the Senate’s court, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

“A hundred senators got elected to say they wanted to solve problems,” McCarthy told a small group of reporters Tuesday morning. “They didn’t get elected to say, ‘we’ll wait and see what the House does.’ They should show us where they stand.” Full story

February 3, 2015

Why 3 House Republicans Voted Against Repealing Obamacare (Updated)

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Rep.-elect John

Katko and two other Republicans bucked party leadership to vote against the Affordable Care Act repeal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:27 p.m. | House Republican leaders gave their freshmen members a political gift Tuesday: The chance to vote “yes” on a symbolic bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

For three new Republican representatives, however, the repeal vote was an opportunity to vote “no.” Full story

February 2, 2015

Parties Split on Obama Budget, but Not on ‘Groundhog Day’

Hoyer, D-Md., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle couldn’t resist getting in a few “Groundhog Day” jibes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama has released his fiscal 2016 budget and the reviews are in: Democrats love it, Republicans hate it.

Democrats and Republicans spent Monday trading jibes over Obama’s multi-agency spending blueprint as well as the latest GOP attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle unable to resist using “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray’s classic 1993 comedy, to hammer home their respective messages. Full story

January 29, 2015

Obama Fires Up House Democrats (Updated)

US President Barack Obama delivers the State of The Union address on January 20, 2015, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.  Credit: Mandel Ngan / Pool Copyright ©2015 Agence France Presse Photos

Obama told Democrats to take credit for the improving economy (Mandel Ngan/AFP File Photo)

Updated 10:55 p.m. | PHILADELPHIA — A fiery President Barack Obama addressed House Democrats Thursday night, saying while there’s more work to do in restoring the economy, Democrats can’t be shy about what they’ve already accomplished.

His remarks, delivered in the ballroom of a Sheraton hotel on the second evening of the House Democratic retreat, were tailored to the caucus’s new strategy: Focus the party’s message on growing the middle class and take full credit for the nation’s economic recovery of the past six years.
Full story

Democrats Unite Around Middle-Class Message, Israel Says

Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the DCCC, speaks at the National Press Club's Newsmaker series on how Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., budget will effect the midterm elections. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Israel says Democrats are behind the new “middle class” focus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

PHILADELPHIA — House Democrats are united around a new messaging strategy for the 2016 cycle, according to Rep. Steve Israel of New York.

“Middle class, middle class and middle class,” the chairman of a newly created Democratic Policy and Communication Committee told reporters on Thursday morning. Full story

January 28, 2015

White House Helping Democrats Shape Message to Middle Class

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 is one of the Democrats championing more “aspirational” messaging. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The same day House Democrats are set to go to their annual issues conference in Philadelphia to discuss messaging for the 2016 election cycle, among other things, the caucus’s new messaging group held its inaugural meeting on Capitol Hill.

The newly minted, 16-member Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which was tailored specifically to be led by recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York, heard Wednesday morning from David Simas, the White House director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. Full story

January 27, 2015

House Democrats Brace for Potentially Tense Retreat

elosi, D-Calif., arrives for her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, January 22, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi’s Democrats head to Philadelphia looking for unity. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The official theme of the House Democrats’ annual “issues conference” this week is “Grow America’s Economy, Grow American Paychecks.”

But the three-day retreat in Philadelphia, which kicks off Wednesday afternoon, could be a test of whether leaders and rank-and-file members can return to Washington, D.C., having found some common ground. Full story

January 22, 2015

What the House GOP’s Abortion Bill About-Face Really Means

Ellmers, R-N.C., questions HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during her testimony before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on the failures of Affordable Care Act's enrollment website. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ellmers and other Republican women had concerns about the way the 20-week abortion ban was written. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A significant contingent of women and moderate members of the House Republican Conference prevailed Wednesday, convincing GOP leadership that the political blowback for voting to ban abortions after 20 weeks could far outweigh any favor curried with the anti-abortion base of the party.

It wasn’t clear Thursday whether the decision to swap out the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” for less controversial legislation to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion services signaled a permanent shift back toward the middle for House Republicans. Full story

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