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December 2, 2015

Posts in "Debt Ceiling"

October 27, 2015

Grass Roots to Ryan: Show, Don’t Tell, on Budget Deal

Boehner, left, and Ryan share a moment on the House floor.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Boehner, left, and Ryan share a moment on the House floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul D. Ryan isn’t even House speaker yet, but conservative grass-roots activists say he can’t hide while his predecessor moves a budget and debt-limit deal they despise. Their message: Ryan must lead — now.

Outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, in setting the stage for Ryan to take the gavel Thursday, is pushing through a major deal the nation’s business community widely cheers. But instead of leaving Ryan with the clean barn the retiring Ohio Republican promised, the move already is creating blowback from GOP hard-liners for the likely speaker. Full story

October 26, 2015

5 Things to Watch in the House This Week

paul ryan

Boehner, left, will likely be handing the speaker’s gavel over to Ryan at the end of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Any other week, a rare, mid-session speaker election might be the only news of note in the House, but a confluence of legislative deadlines and a corresponding race for the Ways and Means gavel make for a hectic atmosphere in Speaker John A. Boehner’s final week in Congress.

Here are five things to watch over four pivotal legislative business days in the House: Full story

October 22, 2015

Conservative Debt Limit Plan Shelved

debt limit

Boehner wants to raise the debt limit before he resigns next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner said he hoped to raise the debt limit before he resigns from Congress, but he’s running out of time to meet the Nov. 3 deadline in advance of his scheduled Oct. 30 departure.

The Ohio Republican has five more legislative days to avoid a federal government default before the politically messy task falls to his successor. Full story

October 19, 2015

As GOP Mulls Its Future, All Eyes Fixed on Paul Ryan

UNITED STATES - October 1: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wi., runs through the rain to his car after final votes in the House of Representatives outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan faces one of the most pivotal weeks of his career. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul D. Ryan has a decision to make, and until the Wisconsin Republican makes up his mind, many of the other pressing questions that face House Republicans are on hold.

Ryan and his House GOP colleagues return to the Capitol Tuesday. But with first votes held off until 6:30 p.m., as is customary on the fly-in day, Ryan probably has until Wednesday morning, during the weekly House Republican Conference meeting, to make an announcement on whether he’s willing to run for speaker — and even then, Ryan’s decision could be in flux. Full story

October 15, 2015

Lew to Boehner: U.S. Runs Out of Cash in 19 Days

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds a news conference on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, to discuss his decision to resign his position as Speaker and leave Congress at the end of October. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

Boehner (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 1:08 p.m. | In a new letter to Speaker John A. Boehner, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has moved up slightly the timetable for action on raising the debt limit. Full story

October 14, 2015

Team Boehner: Debt Ceiling Deal ‘Certainly Possible’

UNITED STATES - JULY 23: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives to hold his weekly on-camera media availability in the Capitol on Thursday, July 23, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner wants to “clean the barn” before he resigns. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

John A. Boehner has said he wants to “clean the barn” of some unfinished legislative business before he steps down, and on Wednesday the speaker’s team confirmed that could include a deal to avoid a financial default by the federal government.

“The speaker has made it clear that he wants to solve some outstanding issues before he leaves,” a Boehner aide told CQ Roll Call. “No decisions have been made, but a resolution on the debt ceiling is certainly possible.” Full story

October 9, 2015

House GOP Regroups, Still With No Endgame in Sight

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 07: Rep. Tim Ryan, R-Wisc., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, October 7, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans described the mood as “good” inside the closed-door members’ meeting Friday morning — despite the fact that less than 24 hours earlier, lawmakers were reportedly in tears over the news that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was withdrawing from the race for speaker.

“Heh heh!” Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, trilled when asked whether he thought the uncertainty over the leadership vacuum in conference would be resolved by close of business Friday, when the House adjourns for a weeklong recess. Full story

September 27, 2015

Boehner Warns Fellow Republicans: ‘Beware False Prophets’

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds a news conference on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, to discuss his decision to resign his position as Speaker and leave Congress at the end of October. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

Boehner defended his record Sunday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

House Speaker John A. Boehner has a word of warning, straight out of the Bible, for fellow Republicans: “Beware false prophets.”

Boehner’s advice, offered during an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” came after the speaker was asked if some members of the GOP conference have unrealistic ideas about how to govern.

“Absolutely they’re not realistic,” Boehner said. “Change comes slowly, and obviously too slowly for some. … There are people out there spreading, uh, noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole idea that we were going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013 just plain never had a chance.”

“We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate, here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know — are never going to happen.”

Boehner said he expects a “clean” continuing resolution will pass the chamber next week to avert a government shutdown.

In his first extensive interview since announcing he plans to step down from the speakership and from Congress at the end of October, the Ohio Republican was philosophical about his near quarter-century in Congress.

He told host John Dickerson he’d like to be remembered as “a good man,” and his advice to the next speaker was to “just do the right things for the right reasons” and “have the courage to do what you can do.”

“It’s easy to have the courage to do what you can’t do,” Boehner said.

Boehner described his incremental legislative style as “the Woody Hayes school of football: three years and a cloud of dust, three yards and a cloud of dust.”

Boehner said he was confident he would have survived a vote to remove him from the speakership. “Winning that vote was never an issue. I was going to get the overwhelming number, I’d have gotten 400 votes probably. Why do I want to make my members — Republican members — walk the plank? Because they’re going to get criticized at home by some who think that we ought to be more aggressive.”

He also said, flatly, there would be no government shutdown.

Boehner, a lifelong Catholic, told Dickerson that Pope Francis’ visit to Washington this week was “a big deal.”

And Boehner confirmed that the pope, who spoke to a joint meeting of Congress last week, blessed his grandson, who was born in August.


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September 8, 2015

Planned Parenthood Battle Puts Boehner in Bind

UNITED STATES - JULY 29: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his weekly on camera media availability in the Capitol on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner faces balancing act this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the end of the fiscal year, September is almost always a busy month on Capitol Hill. But this year, a funding fight over Planned Parenthood is shaping up to be emblematic of John A. Boehner’s entire speakership: a subtle and chaotic effort to lead a divided Republican Conference while avoiding the most damaging public relations pitfalls.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said Republicans don’t have the votes to defund Planned Parenthood. But House conservatives — mobilized by the release of a series of undercover videos featuring officials talking about abortion procedures — seem undeterred. Full story

April 29, 2015

Abe Speech Checks All but 1 Conspicuous Box

The Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues Inc. holds a rally on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, calling for "Japan's Official Apology" for the "comfort women" who were imprisoned and forced into sexual slavery during World War II. The rally was timed to coincide with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's address to the U.S. Congress. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues, Inc. rallies Wednesday outside the Capitol during Abe’s address to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was a perfectly acceptable address: reverent, touching, even a little funny. But Shinzō Abe’s speech to Congress Wednesday will be remembered less for any applause line and more for what was left unsaid.

The Japanese prime minister avoided the most contentious issue surrounding the speech, namely: demands for an overt apology for Japan’s sexual enslavement of “comfort women” during World War II.

Abe acknowledged the controversy with only a passing reference.

Full story

April 16, 2015

All the Budget Conference’s a Stage

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)

After wrangling a Republican budget through the House, House Budget Committee Chairman Price now has to find common ground with Republicans — and maybe a few Democrats — in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How do Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate conference a partisan budget that is little more than a messaging document? They don’t — at least, not really.

No one truly expects both sides to come to a consensus agreement on the budget. No one even really expects Democrats to play much of a role in the budget conference. It could be, as one Democratic aide with knowledge of the situation predicted, one public meeting “just for show, just to check that box.”

But there are plenty of House and Senate differences on the budget that will need to be worked out between Republicans and, well, Republicans. Full story

January 5, 2015

5 Legislative Hurdles for New House GOP

use John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes his way to his news conference following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 20

Boehner has more Republicans in the 114th, but still may need help from Democrats on some of the stickier votes coming this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

John A. Boehner’s first test in the 114th Congress comes Tuesday, when he could face as many as 20 defections to his speakership.

He’s ultimately expected to win a third term as the House’s top Republican, but the level of opposition could be an early indicator of how difficult a time he’ll have corralling the necessary number of votes for a whole host of sticky legislative items — from extending the debt limit sometime midyear to giving President Barack Obama ground rules for negotiating a new trade agreement. Full story

January 2, 2015

GOP’s New Freshman President Ready for Collaboration — or Confrontation

Ken Buck, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Colorado, speaks with editors at Roll Call newspaper on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2010. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images)

Rep.-elect Ken Buck hasn’t been sworn in yet, but he’s already a leader in the House, having been named GOP freshmen class president. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Corrected, Jan. 10, 11:48 p.m.: Colorado Republican Ken Buck turned in his district attorney’s badge on Friday morning.

“That’s an emotional thing,” said the nearly 30-year local law enforcement veteran.

But Buck added that his tenure as D.A. has prepared him for the new job he starts on Tuesday: Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I’m not gonna look at a party label when I sit down and talk to somebody about the need to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no,'” Buck pledged in an interview with CQ Roll Call and the Washington Examiner for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program, set to air Sunday. “I just think it’s so important that we approach this job as problem solvers, not as partisans.” Full story

December 5, 2014

Pelosi Warns GOP: Tread Carefully With ‘Cromnibus’ (Video)

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 04: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes her way to a news conference at the House Triangle to call on House Republicans to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, December 4, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi warns GOP on spending bill riders. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is still keeping her powder dry when it comes to staking out a position on the House GOP’s fiscal 2015 spending bill, due to be revealed on Monday.

The California Democrat said no policy riders currently on the negotiating table were “deal breakers” on their own.

“Let’s look at the full package,” she said.

But the riders currently being discussed, she said, were cause for concern among members of her caucus.

If she made one thing clear at her weekly press conference on Friday, it was this: If Republicans want and need Democrats’ help in shoring up the votes on the so-called “cromnibus” to avert a government shutdown on Dec. 11, the GOP is going to have to make some compromises.

“We have extended the hand of friendship once again to say, ‘Let us help,'” Pelosi said of Democrats’ outreach to Republican leaders. “We haven’t heard back. We haven’t seen the bill. But there are some very destructive riders in it that would be unacceptable to us and unacceptable to the American people.” Full story

December 1, 2014

House GOP Races Against Clock to Unveil Spending Bill Gambit

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his first press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, following the Republican wave midterm elections. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner faces another shutdown scenario. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The internal struggle in the GOP over whether to flirt with another government shutdown could come down to the Tuesday morning House Republican Conference meeting.

Only 10 days before the current continuing resolution expires, House Republican leaders are trying to strike a balance between the conservatives determined to stop President Barack Obama’s immigration order and other lawmakers just as determined to avoid another politically damaging shutdown.

GOP aides said leadership will solicit feedback on the subject at the conference’s regularly scheduled closed-door meeting Tuesday. The gathering will be pivotal in determining how to proceed, but regardless of the strategy they land on, timing will play an important role.

Should Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and his top lieutenants not lay out a concrete proposal Tuesday — or if he fails to get members to coalesce around a strategy — Republicans could be inching toward being jammed by Democrats with a full, “clean” omnibus.

Sources say Republican leaders could float a proposal to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, but sunset spending for immigration-related activities by a date in the near future.

Ultimately, that could mean short-term funding for the whole Department of Homeland Security. That plan is being called a “cromnibus,” a combination of a continuing resolution, or a CR, and an omnibus, which refers to a legislative package that includes all or most parts of the 12 annual appropriations bills.

It would buy the GOP more time to figure out a long-term strategy to hold Obama’s feet to the fire, take the fight outside the confines of must-pass legislation and avoid a lapse in spending when current funding expires on Dec. 11. Full story

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