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March 26, 2015

Posts in "Conservatives"

March 25, 2015

GOP Defense Hawks Trump Conservatives as House OKs Budget

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wednesday’s budget vote was a win for Scalise and the rest of the GOP leadership team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After months of leadership’s best-laid plans falling apart on the floor and behind the scenes, House GOP leaders eked out a much-needed victory Wednesday, with Republicans endorsing a budget that added even more defense dollars to the blueprint reported out committee.

The House voted 228-199 to adopt the budget resolution, after first endorsing that budget in a closer 219-208 vote. Full story

New Jersey Republicans Set Stage for Fight on U.S.-Cuba Relations

Garrett, R-N.J., joins House Republicans to speak during a news conference in opposition to the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) decision on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Garrett and other New Jersey Republicans want Cuba to hand over an escaped fugitive before relations are normalized. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers are always eager to use appropriations bills to make political statements; this year, House Republicans are using the power of the purse to weigh in on President Barack Obama’s move to normalize U.S. and Cuba relations.

GOP lawmakers began to set the stage Wednesday, when New Jersey Republican Reps. Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance and Tom MacArthur officially asked senior appropriators to withhold necessary funding to fulfill the diplomatic process unless the Cuban government agrees to extradite copkiller Joanne Chesimard, an enemy of the Garden State and a longtime fixture on the FBI’s “most wanted” list. Full story

March 24, 2015

House GOP Leaders Prepare For Budget Battle (Updated)

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scalise denied he had a whipping problem. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:54 p.m. | At their weekly news conference Tuesday morning, House Republican leaders went on the offensive to sell their budget resolution.

One aspect of the pitch — along with the fact that their budget balances and doesn’t raise taxes — focuses on the spending plan’s proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In the event the House and Senate go to conference on their two fiscal blueprints, a procedural gambit known as “reconciliation” could, they argue, accomplish that goal. Full story

March 23, 2015

Make-or-Break Week for Republicans on ‘Doc Fix,’ Budget

Boehner, R-Ohio, conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, March 19, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) boehner008_031915.JPG

Boehner and the leadership team face two big tests this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the House returns Monday, Speaker John A. Boehner faces two big tests of his hold on the ever-unruly Republican Conference: pushing through the GOP budget and putting the final touches on a speaker-approved Medicare “doc fix.”

After days of closed-door whip checks and haggling on amendments, the House Budget Committee advanced its fiscal 2016 budget on March 19 by a 22-13 vote. Every Republican supported the measure in committee, but GOP leaders are unlikely to be so lucky if the bill comes to the floor next week, as leaders said it would.

Full story

March 22, 2015

Conservatives: Cruz Candidacy Puts Key Issues on Table

Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015. The day featured addresses by potential presidential candidates. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:55 p.m. | What seemed inevitable is now, almost, official: Ted Cruz is running for president. Because of course he is.

The Texas senator’s expected announcement Monday is being greeted enthusiastically by a specific brand of GOP conservative — a group that includes many of the House lawmakers who’ve made a habit recently of semi-secret meetings with Cruz.

For those members, a Cruz candidacy likely means a higher profile for the values and legislative solutions they hold dear.

Full story

March 19, 2015

Fiscal Conservatives Buck Leadership, Send Tighter Budget to Floor (Updated)

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’s budget goes to the House floor without the additional defense spending national security hawks had insisted upon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:02 p.m. | House fiscal conservatives took the upper hand — for the moment — Thursday in their struggle with Republican defense hawks for control of the GOP’s 2016 federal budget proposal.

After 24 hours of uncertainty and stops and starts, the House Budget Committee voted along party lines, 22-13, to send a leaner spending plan to the House floor for a vote. Full story

March 18, 2015

After GOP Hawks Threaten Mutiny, Budget Committee Set to Add Defense Dollars

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

Rokita’s amendment adds to defense spending in the GOP budget. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a win for defense hawks, the House Budget Committee is set to vote Wednesday night on an amendment that would add $2 billion to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund and strike provisions requiring that the money be offset.

After more than a day of uncertainty — Would they add money in the Budget Committee? Would they not? Do it on the floor? In the Rules Committee? — Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee may finally be getting the extra dollars they pushed for.

The Budget Committee is slated to vote during the marathon markup session on Indiana Republican Todd Rokita’s amendment that would bring OCO funding up to $96 billion from $94 billion. Full story

Quiet Win for Boehner? Bending the Entitlement Curve

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks back to his office after leaving the House floor on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner is close to an elusive deal on a small piece of what allies are calling entitlement reform. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If the phrase “sustainable growth rate” sounds like it might be useful in putting you to sleep, you might have missed it.

Speaker John A. Boehner is quietly putting the finishing touches on a legacy item that generations of high school civics teachers insist is the third rail of politics: “entitlement reform.” Full story

For House Budget Negotiators, the Stakes Are High

Tom Price, R-Ga., chairs the House Budget Committee hearing on "The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Price (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dead on arrival at the White House and with little chance in the Senate, the House Republican budget presented Tuesday doesn’t mean a lot in terms of actual legislation. But don’t try telling that to Rep. Tom Price, the document’s chief GOP architect or Rep. Chris Van Hollen, his foil on the Democratic side.

The rollout of the House Republicans’ spending plan comes with enormous stakes for the two Budget Committee lawmakers: Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat, is looking to raise his profile ahead of a Senate run in Maryland, while Chairman Price has the unenviable task of following the gavel-holder whose name is synonymous with GOP budgets of the past four years: Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. Full story

March 17, 2015

Threatening Revolt, Defense Hawks Win Budget Concession

UNITED STATES - JULY 10: Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, is interviewed by Roll Call in his Rayburn office, July 10, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Defense hawk Turner led efforts to add more Pentagon spending to the GOP budget. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing the prospect of an open revolt from defense hawks, the House Budget Committee is poised this week to add even more defense dollars to a budget proposal that already goes beyond President’s Barack Obama’s Pentagon spending request.

House Armed Services Committee members met early Tuesday, before the budget’s release, to sort out a strategy to get more military money into a spending plan the GOP leadership was moving ahead with despite HASC concerns. Full story

Watch Live: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Testifies Before House Committee

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will give his annual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on the “State of the International Financial System.” Coverage begins at 10 a.m. Full story

March 16, 2015

Republicans Open to Potential ‘Doc Fix’ Deal

 Pitts, R-Pa., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pitts was optimistic about a long-term “doc fix” deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress approaches another deadline, lawmakers seemed hopeful Monday evening they could do something increasingly rare: take off their can-kicking shoes and make a deal.

Aides told CQ Roll Call that Speaker John A. Boehner was set to give the Republican Conference an update on the “bipartisan discussions” regarding the Sustainable Growth Rate during the GOP’s weekly meeting Tuesday morning. And the prospect of reaching an elusive long-term deal on the payment formula for doctors and medical professionals accepting Medicare was looking better and better. Full story

GOP’s Post-Ryan Budget: Price Outlines Spending Plan (Video)

Tom Price, R-Ga., chairs the House Budget Committee hearing on "The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Price outlines the GOP spending plan Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the past four years it’s been all about the “Ryan budget,” the House GOP’s spending blueprint informally named for then-Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan — and synonymous with the Wisconsin Republican’s fiscal austerity.

This year, get ready for the “Price budget.” Full story

‘Doc Fix’ Is Latest Spending Battle for Conservatives

Doc Fix

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Republicans a “doc fix” vote is coming up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

As the House returns Monday for its first legislative week after Republicans caved on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, GOP leaders are gearing up for their next battle: the Sustainable Growth Rate.

SGR, as it’s more commonly known, deals with the payment formula for Medicare doctors. If the current “patch” expires on March 31, Medicare payments to doctors would be reduced by 21 percent. The only problem is the last time Congress extended the so-called “doc fix,” they didn’t exactly have the votes — a conundrum leaders solved by quickly voice voting the measure before members on the floor even realized what had hit them. Full story

March 10, 2015

Gowdy: Benghazi Panel Will Ask Clinton to Appear — Twice

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)

Gowdy said he will call for Clinton to appear before the House Benghazi panel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Saying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Tuesday afternoon news conference raised more questions than it answered, the Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi announced plans to call the former secretary of State to appear — at least twice — before his investigative panel.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in a statement issued after Clinton spoke for the first time publicly about her extensive use of a private email address and server during her four years at State, said the email server should be turned over to a neutral third party. Full story

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