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July 1, 2015

Posts in "Conservatives"

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 25, 2015

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

Meadows Gets Subcommittee Gavel Back (Updated) (Video)

 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 got his gavel back Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 12:55 p.m. | After all the infighting, after all the threats and bad blood caused by Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz stripping Mark Meadows of his subcommittee gavel, Meadows is staying put.

In a joint news release, Chaffetz announced that he was keeping Meadows in his role as chairman of the Government Operations Subcommittee. Chaffetz said a number of people had asked him to reconsider his decision. 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

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 16, 2015

GOP Leadership Metes Out Retribution for Rules Votes (Updated)

a Lummis, R-Wyo., participates in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority" on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lummis and two other members of the GOP whip team were demoted Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated, 10:29 p.m. | It may not stop the most diehard conservatives — six Republicans voted against yet another procedural motion Tuesday — but GOP leadership is pushing back against members of its own party who vote “no” on rules, removing from the whip team three members who voted against last week’s resolution to bring Trade Promotion Authority to the floor.

Reps. Cynthia M. Lummis, Steve Pearce and Trent Franks have all been kicked off the team tasked with holding Republicans together following a 34-member House floor revolt on the TPA rule last Thursday. (Republicans were only able to adopt the rule because eight Democrats broke from the normally party-line vote to support the rule.) Full story

June 12, 2015

President Gets Weekend to Swing Democrats on Trade Deal (Video)

he top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will take a second crack at passing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation early next week, after giving President Barack Obama and pro-trade Democrats the weekend to flip some of the party’s 144 “no’s.”

Republicans say this is Democrats’ last chance to pass TAA, which provides resources for retraining programs for U.S. workers displaced by international trade agreements, and which Democrats have typically supported. Full story

Rebuffing Obama, Pelosi and Democrats Scuttle Trade Deal (Video)

 Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the end, Pelosi came down against the trade deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite an eleventh-hour plea from President Barack Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats turned their backs on the White House Friday and blocked the chamber from advancing — for now — the administration’s trade agenda.

It’s an outcome supporters of Trade Promotion Authority say could have irreversible repercussions for key training programs the party has traditionally supported, and it leaves Democrats as fractured as they’ve ever been during the Obama presidency. Full story

June 11, 2015

Trade Rule Passes Despite Conservative Mutiny

UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. speaks during a news conference in the Capitol as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., looks on, after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise needed eight Democrats to help Republicans pass the rule for TPA and TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Plans to vote Friday on Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance could still fall through, but the House is moving ahead on a multi-pronged strategy to send the measures to the president’s desk by the week’s end.

The House on Thursday voted 217-212 on the rule that sets up votes on a bill to give President Barack Obama latitude to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal and to fund programs to retrain U.S. workers displaced by trade agreements. Full story

Democrats Weigh Sinking the Trade Deal With TAA (Video)

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, who supports the trade deal, says reports of dissension among Democrats are overblown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats described the situation as “fluid,” but for advocates of the package of trade bills backed by the president and a fragile bipartisan coalition of House members, it was more like “dire.”

House Democrats emerged from a meeting with Obama administration leaders Thursday afternoon with more questions than answers on how members will proceed on Trade Promotion Authority — and few predictions of if or how the impasse would be broken.

“My colleagues are angry birds right now,” said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., who as of this morning says he will vote for TPA. Full story

Pragmatist Tom Cole on Legislative Success, Working the Press

Cole. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Compromise is not a dirty word for Cole. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tom Cole may not make the decisions for House Republicans, but he’s often the one explaining them.

Credit is due to any lawmaker constantly willing — eager, even — to talk to reporters. Love him or hate him — and there are plenty lawmakers from both parties who privately express frustration with his seemingly outsized influence in the media — Cole has emerged in recent years as a fixture for the Capitol Hill press. Full story

June 10, 2015

Medicare Dispute Could Derail Friday Trade Votes

aul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan remains confident about the trade deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A lingering dispute over language regarding Medicare cuts could delay House Republican leaders’ plan to put a package of four trade bills related to Trade Promotion Authority on the floor Friday.

Democrats are balking at the Medicare language embedded in the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill, which would help retrain American workers displaced by trade agreements. It’s one part of the trade package supported by President Barack Obama and most Republicans, as well as a crucial handful of pro-trade Democrats. Full story

Trade Bills Filed With Rules; Possible Votes Friday (Updated)

Ryan and other potential GOP House chairmen will have to seek a waiver if they want to keep their gavels while seeking another office. 014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan and House Republican leaders sound like they’ve got the votes for Trade Promotion Authority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 1:49 p.m. | House Republican leaders early Wednesday filed a package of trade bills with the Rules Committee, putting the gears in motion for the most anticipated floor showdowns of the legislative session so far.

Though nothing is set in stone, lawmakers who support Trade Promotion Authority are growing increasingly confident they have the votes to bring the measure to the floor on Friday.

The Rules Committee is set to meet Wednesday afternoon to establish parameters for floor debate on a TPA, along with two related bills which would clear the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a controversial, 12-nation Pacific trade deal.

Full story

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