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August 4, 2015

Posts in "Democrats"

August 3, 2015

Ethics Committee to Investigate Chaka Fattah (Updated)

Ethics Committee Chaka Fattah

Fattah faces an Ethics Committee probe following his indictment last week. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 8:55 p.m. | The House Ethics Committee did its due diligence Monday evening.

Per its rules, the panel has formally convened an “investigative subcommittee” to probe possible misconduct by Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was slapped last week with a 29-count federal indictment for alleged conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud. Full story

July 30, 2015

CBC Chairman: Charges Against Chaka Fattah ‘Very Serious’

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., speaks to reporters before a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center to receive a briefing on security from Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse and Assistant Chief Dan Nichols in the wake of Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is recovering from surgery after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

CBC Chairman Butterfield called Fattah’s indictment “serious”  (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Within 24 hours of being slapped with a 29-count indictment, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., voluntarily relinquished his ranking member position on an appropriations subcommittee and resigned as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Board of Directors.

Both actions were appropriate, said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield — and, he suggested, necessary. Full story

Democrats’ August Messaging Plan: ‘Call a Fork a Fork’

 Israel, D-N.Y., talks with press after a meeting with House Democrats in the Capitol Visitor Center that featured a visit by Vice President Joe Biden, July 15, 2015. Biden was on the Hill to brief members on the nuclear deal with Iran. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Israel’s DPCC says Democrats too often over-explain. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As House Democrats head back to their districts for the August break, the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee’s 12-page “August Playbook” gives a key messaging strategy: Communicate more like Republicans.

Remember the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee?  Full story

Fattah Steps Aside at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

New Fork Headline: UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 14: Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., speaks during the news conference to announce the design for the Space Launch System, NASA's next-generation rocket,  on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Fattah, D-Pa., steps down from leadership role at CBC Foundation after indictment. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Rep. Chaka Fattah has stepped aside from his chairmanship of the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

The Pennsylvania Democrat’s exit from the prominent spot with the education and policy nonprofit closely linked to the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill comes less than 24 hours after Fattah was charged in a 29-count indictment. Full story

July 29, 2015

Chaka Fattah Case Could Get Awkward Fast for Democrats (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chaka Fattah has been under federal investigation for years, so for many of his colleagues the question was not whether an indictment would come, but when. But it could get awkward for Democrats in a hurry, as Fattah holds prominent positions within the party’s establishment and next year’s presidential nomination convention is being held in his native Philadelphia.

Within hours of being slapped with 29 counts — for racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud — the Pennsylvania Democrat had agreed to relinquish his post as ranking member on the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, per rules and precedent. Full story

Fattah Says He’s Innocent, Will Run Despite Indictment (Video)

Fattah, D-Pa., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chaka Fattah, indicted Wednesday on 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of an FBI and IRS probe, told reporters at the Capitol he’s innocent and will seek re-election to his Philadelphia seat.

“First of all, it’s a great way to start the August break, and it will keep you all busy, I’m sure. You’ll get to write one more story,” the Pennsylvania Democrat said. “But it’s been an eight year matter, and we’ve moved from an investigation to an actual allegation and I think I’ll stand by my original position which was as an elected official, I’ve never been involved in any illegal activity or misappropriation of funds.”

Full story

Pelosi Cites Fattah’s Service, Calls Charges ‘Saddening’ (Updated) (Video)

UNITED STATES - JULY 16: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds up a copy of the Iran nuclear deal as she speaks during her weekly on camera media availability on Thursday, July 16, 2015.  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., released the following statement Wednesday after news that Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has been indicted on 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of an FBI and IRS probe.

Full story

Pelosi Spokesman: Anti-Boehner Move Signifies GOP Dysfunction (Video)

Pelosi and the Democrats forced Republicans to retreat Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pelosi could be key to Boehner’s fate if the House votes to “vacate the chair” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Would House Democrats vote to remove John A. Boehner’s speaker gavel?

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., isn’t tipping her hand on which way she would urge her members to vote, should Rep. Mark Meadows’s motion to “vacate the chair” receive consideration on the House floor. Full story

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

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