Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2015

Posts in "Congressional Black Caucus"

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

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

July 21, 2015

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 15, 2015

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 10, 2015

Confederate Flag Fiasco: Who Signed Off on the Calvert Amendment? (Updated)

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

Simpson, left, and Calvert at an Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 10:45 a.m. | They may be referring to it as the “Calvert amendment,” but House Democrats and Republicans agree: Whatever prompted Rep. Ken Calvert to come to the floor late Wednesday night to offer an amendment to reverse an earlier vote to ban Confederate flags at federal cemeteries, it wasn’t the California Republican’s idea.

In the hours that followed, culminating in GOP leadership pulling its first appropriations bill of the season, lawmakers said it was unfortunate that Calvert, chairman of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, was getting much of blame for the events that transpired. Full story

House Confederate Flag Battle Not Over

Vargas (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Bill Clark)

Vargas and other House Administration Democrats want action on the resolution referred to their panel. (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Bill Clark)

After a long day fighting over the Confederate battle flag, it is unclear where the issue might flare up next for the House of Representatives.

For the second time in less than a month, House Democrats on Thursday sought a floor vote for a resolution to ban Confederate flag imagery on House grounds. Like before, Republicans made sure it was sent to the House Administration Committee to go through “regular order,” rather than an up-or-down vote right then and there.

It might stay there, but not if the committee’s Democrats have anything to say about it. Full story

July 9, 2015

Pelosi’s Charge: How Democrats Cornered the GOP (Video)

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

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

It was a day of extraordinary emotion and theater on the House floor, as Republican leadership pulled a bill Thursday to avoid votes on a Confederate flag amendment and Democrats successfully took procedural maneuvers to force the votes anyway.

Shortly after Speaker John A. Boehner announced Thursday morning that the House would be delaying votes on an Interior-Environment appropriations bill so “adult” members of Congress could discuss how to deal with provisions governing the Confederate flag on federal lands, Nancy Pelosi used her position as minority leader to force an immediate vote on a privileged resolution that would remove all non-member-office displays of the Confederate flag on the House side of the Capitol. Full story

Lawmakers on Both Sides Scramble on Confederate Flag (Video) (Updated)

UNITED STATES - APRIL 07: Chairman Ken Calvert, R-Calif., conducts an Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on proposed fiscal 2015 appropriations. The hearing featured testimony from numerous American Indian leaders. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Calvert said he should have handled the Confederate flag amendment differently. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:01 p.m. | “They pulled the bill!”

This was how Rep. G. K. Butterfield, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, greeted colleagues as he speed-walked through the basement tunnel connecting the Rayburn House Office Building to the Capitol. Full story

June 30, 2015

Fight Over Edmund Pettus Bridge Simmers

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama: It’s complicated.

How else to explain a state where the white Republican governor takes down the Confederacy’s many flags and declares it time to raise taxes while a black Democratic congresswoman argues against changing the name of a bridge named after a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan grand dragon.  Full story

June 24, 2015

Obama Gets Trade Win: Democrats Give In on TAA

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer will vote for TAA when it comes back to the House floor Thursday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s over.”

That’s how several House Democrats and senior aides described the current feeling in the caucus regarding their efforts to stop “fast-track” trade authority for the White House.

Over the past two weeks, most members of the House Democratic Caucus have gone from opposing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation — packaged with the related Trade Promotion Authority, a Republican and Obama administration priority — to acknowledging there’s little point in voting “no.” Full story

Democrat Wants Vote to Nix Mississippi State Flag at U.S. Capitol (Updated)

The Mississippi state flag hangs in the hallway along the Senate subway on the U.S. Capitol grounds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Mississippi state flag hangs along the Senate subway at the U.S. Capitol. Thompson wants the flag removed from a similar display in the tunnel to the Rayburn House Office Building. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:44 p.m. | After last week’s shooting at a black church in Charleston prompted South Carolina’s public officials at the highest levels to demand the Confederate flag at the state capitol be taken down, Rep. Bennie Thompson hopes such calls will lead to a meaningful re-evaluation of his state’s flag, too.

As the only black Democratic member of the Mississippi delegation, Thompson is getting ready to force a House floor vote on the issue as early as this week. The question: Should Congress remove the Mississippi flag from its place among the 49 other state flags that line the walls of the tunnel connecting the Capitol to the Rayburn House Office Building?

Full story

June 17, 2015

CBC Chairman Concerned Trade Maneuvers Imperil Africa Pact

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)

Butterfield is concerned about what would happen if the AGOA reauthorization bill is amended to include TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation could be a casualty of efforts to stymie Trade Promotion Authority; now, some members fear the long-heralded African Growth and Opportunity Act could fall to the wayside, too.

As pro-trade lawmakers from both parties in the House and Senate move ahead with an effort to pass “fast-track” negotiating authority Thursday using a complex procedural maneuver, some skeptical Democrats are raising concerns the TPA maneuvering endangers the renewal of AGOA, a multi-nation pact that has long enjoyed bipartisan support.       Full story

June 4, 2015

Selma Congresswoman Opposed to Renaming Edmund Pettus Bridge

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., who represents Selma and grew up there, has come out strong against renaming the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge, site of the Bloody Sunday clash between civil rights marchers and Alabama law enforcement.

On June 3, the Alabama Senate voted to rename the bridge, named after a Confederate general and grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, to the Journey to Freedom Bridge. Sewell, who is African-American, said it is important to recognize the history, all of it, behind the bridge. Full story

Former Sheriff Poised to Be GOP Point Person on Policing

Rep. Dave Reichert

Reichert, a former sheriff, is taking the lead as House Republicans shape the party’s message on policing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Who do House Republican leaders call when the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill is on thin ice and the party’s susceptible to critiques it doesn’t care about police-civilian clashes occurring nationwide?

They call the sheriff. Full story

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