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February 8, 2016

Posts in "Dave Camp"

December 16, 2015

GOP Went Big With Tax Deal


Ryan's influence was felt on the tax deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan’s influence was felt on the tax deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Big is the word that can best be used to describe the tax extenders package the House will vote on Thursday: big in policy, big in cost, big compared to past efforts and a big win for Republicans.

Lawmakers have not passed a significant tax bill since the 2012 fiscal cliff deal that staved off massive tax hikes. Since then, Republicans have expressed interest in making moves on taxes, but little happened until retiring Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., released his plan. After it failed to gain traction, Camp brokered a deal last year with then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make 10 expiring tax provisions permanent, but the White House threatened to veto the package before it was finalized.

When the tax extenders bill was released late Tuesday, it called for the permanent renewal of 22 tax breaks and several other sweeteners. In doing so, it also provided a down payment on a more ambitious overhaul of the tax code, a priority for Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who started off the year in his dream job by replacing Camp as head of the House tax-writing panel. Full story

October 23, 2014

GOP Gavel Fights: 11 House Committee Chairmanships In Play


Hensarling (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hensarling may have a challenger for the Financial Services’ gavel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Almost every House member is on the stump this month, wrapping up re-election bids, with most cruising to new terms and a handful on both sides of the aisle scrambling to hang on to their jobs. But for a select few GOP lawmakers — those actively seeking committee chairmanships — the final days before Nov. 4 are as much about lining up support among colleagues as they are about connecting with voters.

Every two years, after the Election Day dust settles, members return to Capitol Hill for a lame-duck session that includes the selection of colleagues to serve as senior lawmakers on the chamber’s standing committees during the new Congress.

Republicans, widely expected to retain the majority this cycle, will be particularly busy during the lame duck, scheduled to begin Nov. 12, when it comes to doling out committee leadership appointments. Thanks to retirements, possible assignment shuffles and a 20-year rule capping panel leadership at three terms, as many as 11 out of 21 committees could see new chairmen in the 114th Congress.

A twelfth committee could even be at play, if term-limited Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas of Oklahoma decides to challenge Jeb Hensarling’s grip on the Financial Services gavel, as he recently suggested he might.

For the decidedly open chairmanships, some lawmakers are expected to win their desired posting without competition, while others will be facing off against their peers. All of the slots are filled by a secret ballot vote of members on the Republican Steering Committee, comprised of party leaders, top-tier panel chairmen and regional representatives.

Here’s a rundown of 11 committee gavels that are up for grabs, and which members stand to snag them. Full story

July 9, 2014

GOP Plan to Save Highway Trust Fund May Win By Default


Camp, R-Mich., and Levin, D-Mich., preside over a Ways and Means Committee meeting (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Camp, R-Mich., and Levin, D-Mich., preside over a Ways and Means Committee meeting (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Republican plan to prevent, through the middle of next year, the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund is drawing grumbles from both the left and the right, but there is increasing recognition that Congress has little choice but to enact it, or something like it.

Resignation that passing a short-term extension is likely the only way to avoid an August shutdown of transportation projects across the country was on full display Wednesday, the eve of a markup of the new proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee.

“It’s the only proposal out there,” Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., told reporters Wednesday afternoon in defense of his bill.

Full story

Uncertain Future for Next Week’s Highway Trust Fund Extension Vote


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Camp, R-Mich., will lead a Thursday markup of legislation to extend the Highway Trust Fund (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House GOP leadership is prepared to push ahead on legislation to save the Highway Trust Fund from looming insolvency, with a vote expected on the chamber floor next week.

It all depends, however, on the reception to the new proposal, already being met with some skepticism from key lawmakers and influential outside groups. The House will also have to reconcile its work with that of the Senate, which is taking a different track.

And the clock is ticking quickly down to the August recess. Full story

June 11, 2014

Cantor Quake Sets Off GOP Leadership Fights


House Republicans quickly sloughed off the shock of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat and were immediately thrust into a weeklong, all-out sprint for power.

Next Thursday’s vote for new leadership will have ripple effects that touch every aspect of House policymaking, messaging and scheduling.

Republicans are hoping for a quick transition, counting on the chaos of this week’s unexpected primary results to give way to unity and a new leadership team. Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio called on his conference to come together, even as internal elections are sure to tear them apart for the next week.

“This is the time for unity; the time for focus — focus on the thing we all know to be true: The failure of Barack Obama’s policies and our obligation to show the American people we offer them not just a viable alternative, but a better future,” he told his conference in a private meeting Wednesday night. Full story

May 30, 2014

House Marijuana Votes Earn Backing of Rare Bipartisan Coalition (Video)


UNITED STATES -Sept 12: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA., hams it up for the camera as Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist look on before the start of a news conference on the "fair taxation of marijuana businesses." on September 12, 2013.  (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Rohrabacher helped steer the medical marijuana amendment through the House. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a series of late-night votes that marijuana-rights advocates say reflect a nation’s changing attitudes, the Republican-controlled House moved early Friday  to block the federal government from interfering with state laws on pot and hemp.

The most far-reaching of the votes — a measure to cut funds for Drug Enforcement Agency raids on medical marijuana operations — passed 219-189 on the strength of an unusual coalition that cut across traditional partisan lines.

The medical marijuana measure was offered by conservative Republican Dana Rohrabacher of California as an amendment to the fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill. 

There were 49 Republicans who voted “yes” on the medical marijuana amendment, jointly sponsored by Rohrabacher; Sam Farr, D-Calif.; Don Young, R-Alaska; Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; Tom McClintock, R-Calif.; Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.; Paul Broun, R-Ga.; Jared Polis, D-Colo.; Steve Stockman, R-Texas; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Justin Amash, R-Mich.; and Dina Titus, D-Nev. Full story

April 14, 2014

Boehner Leads Delegation to Afghanistan to Observe Presidential Elections


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:15 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner kicked off the two-week congressional recess with a visit to Afghanistan to observe the historic presidential election there.

According to a statement and press release from the Ohio Republican’s office Monday morning, datelined from Kabul, Boehner was accompanied by Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline, R-Minn.; Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash.; Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich.; and National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore.

Also in attendance were some of the Speaker’s friends and allies: Republican Reps. Tom Latham of Iowa, Devin Nunes of California and Steve Womack of Arkansas.

House GOP leadership aides could not shed light on why this particular “Gang of Eight” had been assembled — it could just be that Boehner wanted to bring lawmakers with whom he has a good rapport. Full story

April 10, 2014

Boehner Hammers Obama Administration Over Benghazi, IRS (Video)


Speaker John A. Boehner had a few things to say Thursday morning.

During his weekly press conference, which lasted just over 6 minutes, Boehner criticized former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, Lois G. Lerner, and knocked Democrats for playing politics rather than working with Republicans to create jobs. But Boehner most notably and vociferously went after the Obama administration for putting up roadblocks to answers on Benghazi, Fast and Furious and the IRS scandal.

The Ohio Republican also addressed the recent kissing controversy surrounding Louisiana Republican Vance McAllister, saying he had spoken to the freshman Congressman and expects all members to be held to the highest ethical standards.

Boehner said Republicans were “trying to build a consensus” on an Obamacare replacement bill, and were waiting for Democrats to offer an unemployment extension that was paid for and would address the economic problems in the United States.

Boehner’s press conference turned into an outburst, however, when he fielded a question from Fox News’s Chad Pergram regarding Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s intimation that he had been treated unfairly because of his race.

Watch the full press conference below:

April 9, 2014

House Republicans Ask Holder to Pursue Criminal Charges for Ex-IRS Official (Updated)


Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the Internal Revenue Service. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lerner (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:30 p.m. | The House Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday in support of launching a criminal investigation into the woman at the center of the IRS scandal — just one day before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is set to vote on holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.

In a 23-14 party line vote, the Ways and Means panel approved submission of a formal letter to Eric H. Holder Jr., asking that the attorney general pursue charges against the former IRS official using evidence uncovered during the committee’s year-long investigation.

Wednesday’s action — coming after a rare closed-to-the-press meeting — is the latest salvo in what has rapidly escalated into a fiercely partisan battle over the extent to which lawmakers should probe Lerner’s actions. Full story

March 24, 2014

Tax Reform to Start With Baby Steps in the House


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp is pushing ahead with an incremental approach on tax reform for now.

In a memo to committee colleagues on Monday, the Michigan Republican said he planned to take several steps over the next several months, “pav[ing] the way for tax reform by making incremental progress towards full reform.”

In addition to holding “bipartisan meetings with the staff of the [Joint Committee on Taxation] until we have walked through the entire draft” and convening “public hearings on specific portions of the bill,” Camp said that the panel would mark up “permanent legislation” to address the so-called tax extenders which expire every year. Full story

February 28, 2014

GOP’s Obamacare Rewrite Remains Uncertain


(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCarthy and McMorris Rodgers hosted a discussion with members on how to sell a health care bill to the conference. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders are proceeding cautiously on a rewrite of Democrats’ health care law amid skepticism that any plan can pass muster in a conference with widely differing ideas about how to move forward.

Several members said this week that they realize the public relations problems Republicans have in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act five years after it was passed. So leaders are building the bill out from the message, in order to convince their members the endeavor is worthwhile and to show the electorate that their ideas merit control of both chambers of Congress.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” said GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington. “We want to have the policy solutions as well as the communications strategy so that America knows that Republicans are committed to quality affordable health care.”

McMorris Rodgers and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California hosted a group of roughly 30 members in the whip’s office on Wednesday, where they discussed, how to sell a bill to the conference.

Full story

Kevin Brady Challenging Paul Ryan for Ways and Means Chairmanship


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Brady has put his hat in the ring for the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan has said he wants the Ways and Means Committee gavel next year, but the Wisconsin Republican will face a challenge from Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Brady, the current chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, told columnist Al Hunt in an interview that will air Friday evening that he wants the top slot on the Ways and Means Committee, where he is currently the No. 2 Republican.

Reigning Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., must relinquish his title next year due to term limits.

Full story

February 26, 2014

Camp Gets Plaudits for Tax Plan’s Audacity, but Few Endorsements


(CQ Roll Call/Bill Clark)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp released his long-awaited rewrite of the nation’s tax code into a hostile political environment Wednesday afternoon, earning plaudits for his audacity, but little backing for moving the plan this year.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and top party leaders received Camp with pats on the back, but largely kept their hands off the substance of the bill.

“Chairman Camp’s worked on this for years. It’s time to have a public discussion about the issue of tax reform, and so I welcome the conversation,” Boehner told reporters earlier in the day. Full story

Boehner Declines to Endorse Camp’s Tax Reform (Updated) (Video)


 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours ahead of the rollout, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio declined to endorse Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s plan for a rewrite of the country’s tax code.

Pressed repeatedly on whether he supports the bill that the Camp, R-Mich., will unveil Wednesday afternoon, Boehner said only that it is a “discussion draft” that will begin a “conversation” about the issues.

Full story

February 19, 2014

Dave Camp to Unveil Tax Code Overhaul, Despite Long Odds


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp appears determined to take one last stab at making good on his promise to pass an overhaul of the nation’s tax code by the end of the 113th Congress.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Republican told GOP members of the committee that he would, next week, release a “comprehensive discussion draft” of a tax code rewrite, one that would make the tax code “simpler and fairer for families and employers, and … strengthen our economy — meaning higher wages and more take home pay for the American worker.”

“It is time to make a choice,” said Camp in his email to colleagues, obtained by CQ Roll Call. “We can choose to have a real discussion about what tax reform can mean for American families and employers or we can choose to cower to special interests and maintain the status quo. Clearly, I choose the former.”

Though Camp’s decision to unveil his draft legislation marks a turning point for proponents of overhauling the tax code on both sides of the aisle, the political odds remain stacked against him. Full story

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