Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 29, 2015

Posts in "Democrats"

July 27, 2015

House GOP Threatens Contempt Vote for IRS Head

John Koskinen

Chaffetz announces next phase in Congress’s IRS investigation (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen is the latest Obama administration official House Republicans want fired — or, in Koskinen’s case, held in contempt of Congress, or even impeached.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee put out the proverbial call for Koskinen’s head Monday, alleging he lied under oath and oversaw the destruction of key records that might have shone light on the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative nonprofit groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Full story

Why Eric Swalwell Endorsed Martin O’Malley

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks with Roll Call in his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., endorsed former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When it comes to 2016 endorsements, House Democrats were, until just a couple of days ago, divided into two camps : Those who had publicly endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president and those who hadn’t.

Enter Rep. Eric Swalwell. Full story

On Highways and Ex-Im, House Watches Senate

Crowley (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., is not enthusiastic about the Senate’s highway bill (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week, the House is expected to take up legislation to make new major executive branch rules contingent upon congressional approval, consider a bill to streamline “accountability” at the Department of Veterans Affairs and vote on a whole slew of suspensions.

But it’s the legislative business not currently listed on the floor schedule that’s likely to make the most headlines in the last days before the monthlong August recess. Full story

July 24, 2015

Despite White House’s Iran Blitz, Democrats Struggle With Backing Deal

The State Department isn't saying whether Kerry plans to testify May 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kerry is making frequent visits to Capitol Hill to sell lawmakers on the Iran nuclear agreement (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats were briefed on the Iran nuclear deal Thursday afternoon by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Earnest J. Moniz, but many sounded as undecided when they came out as when they went in.

“I’m working through it,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “That’s why we have 60 days.” Full story

July 22, 2015

House GOP Appropriators Prepare for Sequester Showdown

Harold Rogers

Rogers, R-Ky., gathered top House GOP appropriators Wednesday for a meeting to discuss how to avoid a year-long continuing resolution (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders don’t want to be the first to flinch at Democrats’ calls to repeal sequester-level spending caps, but senior GOP appropriators emerged from a closed-door meeting Wednesday in agreement: Congress has to do something.

Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., gathered his 12 subcommittee chairmen together to discuss next steps for the fiscal 2016 appropriations process that has ground to a halt on Capitol Hill with just 15 scheduled legislative days left to avert a government shutdown in September. Full story

July 21, 2015

Panel Eyes Debate Over Confederate Symbols in Capitol

Lawmakers will debate the propriety of displaying Confederate imagery, such as that contained in Mississippi's flag. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers could debate displaying Confederate imagery on the Hill, such as that contained in Mississippi’s flag, seen hanging here in the Senate Subway. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Could the House Administration Committee actually take up a resolution to take down the Mississippi state flag?

The panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., is still noncommittal on whether she’ll hold hearings or markups on a pair of measures that would bar Confederate imagery on House grounds — including the official Mississippi banner, with its Confederate flag inset, that hangs with 49 other state flags in the tunnel of the Rayburn House Office Building.

But Miller on Tuesday suggested she was open to discussion, penning a letter to the committee’s three Democrats asking for suggestions on who might be good to testify on the matter. Full story

GOP Leader Cracks Door, Slightly, on Voting Rights Act

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., makes his way to the House floor through the media pack, who were waiting for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy, R-Calif., thinks it’s time for an “overall review” of the VRA (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last year, House Democrats saw ex-Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a possible (if ultimately disappointing) ally in the fight to rewrite the Voting Rights Act for the 21st century.

On Tuesday, Cantor’s leadership successor, Kevin McCarthy, might have revealed himself as another important potential friend to the effort. Full story

July 19, 2015

Planned Parenthood Video Refuels GOP’s Abortion Agenda

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., leaves the Capitol following a vote on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Franks has consistently backed legislation to ban abortion practices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In undercover film footage of a Planned Parenthood official discussing in graphic detail how to preserve aborted fetal organs for medical research, anti-abortion Republicans hope they’ve finally found an opening to advance their agenda.

So far, they have a few things working in their favor. Full story

July 17, 2015

Lovenheim Joins Xavier Becerra as Communications Director

ocratic Caucus chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference on poverty and the House Republicans' budget on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © Roll Call Group

Becerra. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Democratic Caucus has a new communications director.

Sarah Lovenheim will start working for Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., on July 22, she told colleagues in a farewell email Friday. Full story

July 16, 2015

Return to Normal: Pelosi’s Got Obama’s Back on Iran (Video)

Pelosi stopped short of saying she wouldn't support a continuing resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi enthusiastically endorsed the Iran nuclear deal Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House’s top Republican and Democrat switched normal roles during the “fast-track” debate, with President Barack Obama relying on the GOP, rather than his own party, to carry his trade package across the finish line.

But when it comes to the president’s nuclear agreement with Iran, it’s back to normal for Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: She’s backing Obama, he isn’t.

Full story

July 15, 2015

Democrats Back Another Short-Term Highway Bill

Welch, D-Vt., speaks during a news conference to announce efforts to oppose legislation to roll back Defense cuts on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welch, D-Vt., has been one of the strongest opponents of short-term highway bills (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

See if this sounds familiar.

House Democrats back in May said they didn’t want to vote for another short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund, but most of them ultimately relented, preferring to go on record supporting a two-month patch rather than be blamed for causing major disruptions to transportation projects across the country.

But don’t expect their help to pass another stopgap bill in July, House Democrats warned their Republican colleagues. Full story

Breast Cancer Coin Bill Back on Floor Schedule

Raul Hernandez unfurls a banner in preparation for the Susan B. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure that will take place Saturday on the Mall.

House Republicans dropped the Komen organization from a breast cancer-support funding bill Wednesday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans are slated to vote on a revised version of the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act Wednesday afternoon, after leaders temporarily pulled the bill from the floor amid concerns about money going to Planned Parenthood.

The new version of the bill would not give any money to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization and would instead send proceeds from the selling of commemorative coins to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. That organization was already set to receive some funds from the original bill, but will now also get the Komen funds as well. Full story

The One Republican Who Met With Hillary Clinton

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is the only Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Love is the only Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, had to settle for throwing rhetorical shots at Hillary Rodham Clinton from across the Capitol Tuesday — quipping, “I wonder if she brought her emails,” — Rep. Mia Love talked with Clinton directly, in the very same room.

The Utah freshman was the only Republican who got to enjoy a personal audience with the 2016 presidential candidate during her visit to Capitol Hill. Clinton, a former senator herself, was there to meet with House and Senate Democrats. She also chatted with various breakout groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus, a group made up entirely of Democrats save one.

Full story

July 14, 2015

Hillary Clinton Courts Congressional Democrats

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton On Capitol Hill

Clinton greets media and staffers as she leaves the Democratic Senate policy luncheon. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats got to hear from Hillary Rodham Clinton Tuesday — but perhaps most importantly, she got to hear from them.

The presidential candidate’s visit to Capitol Hill was never really about making her case. The former first lady, New York senator and secretary of State already has overwhelming support among House and Senate Democrats, with many members either already supporting her or clearly leaning her way. Full story

On Capitol Hill, Hillary Clinton Enthusiastic About Iran Deal (Video)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the media in between meetings on Capitol Hill with House and Senate Democrats in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the media in between meetings on Capitol Hill with House and Senate Democrats Tuesday (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Former secretary of State and presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton had already planned to spend Tuesday on Capitol Hill courting fellow Democrats, but the timing worked out so she had a platform to share her stance on the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, too.

Speaking before the microphones mid-morning, following a meeting with the full House Democratic Caucus, Clinton told reporters President Barack Obama had called her late the night before to give her advance word an agreement had been reached. Full story

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