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August 3, 2015

Posts in "GOP Brand"

July 28, 2015

Meadows Explains Effort to Overthrow Boehner

Meadows, R-N.C., is taking his dissatisfaction with GOP leadership to the next level (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meadows,is taking his dissatisfaction with leadership to the next level. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

So why exactly did Rep. Mark Meadows offer a resolution to strip Speaker John A. Boehner of his gavel?

Holding court with reporters Tuesday night, nearly an hour after stunning colleagues by filing a motion to “vacate the chair,” the North Carolina Republican’s message was simple: He was left with no choice. 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

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 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

Freedom Caucus Forms ‘Fight Club’ in House

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jordan, second from left, and Labrador, center, are two of the group’s founding members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Six months after the House Freedom Caucus was founded, it’s still unclear what exactly it is — or will be — beyond two key characteristics: its commitment to secrecy and to being a thorn in the side of House Speaker John A. Boehner.

There is no official roster. Leaders of the hard-line conservative group won’t say exactly how many members are in the caucus, which has already made its mark. The last count, based on conversations with members who are trying to keep track, was 42, but members are being added almost every week; CQ Roll Call has observed 38 attend at least one caucus meeting.

“It’s like ‘Fight Club,’” says Rep. Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma Republican and caucus member, referring to a film dialogue in which the first rule is that you don’t talk about it, and the second rule is that you don’t talk about it.

But why all the secrecy? Full story

July 21, 2015

Texas Congresswoman to Trump: Have You No Decency?

Granger is leading a GOP task force to make recommendations on the child migrant border surge (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Granger, R-Texas, ripped into Donald Trump for disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kay Granger has a reputation for telling it like she thinks it is, from colleagues who have “no business being in Congress” to fellow Texas Republicans who are “misbehaving” — but she usually does it quietly, preferring behind-the-scenes nudges to soundbite-ready shoves.

But when it comes to Donald Trump, she’s not pulling punches. 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 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

Planned Parenthood Video Spurs Probe on Fetal Tissue Sales (Video) (Updated)

Boehner is calling for hearings on the Planned Parenthood allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 3:16 p.m. | Fueled by the emergence of a new undercover video showing a high-ranking Planned Parenthood official discussing logistics for donating organs and tissues of aborted fetuses, House Republicans are preparing to re-enter the fray of the abortion debate.

Referring to the practices of the nation’s leading abortion provider as “gruesome” and “grisly,” Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, on Wednesday released a statement calling for hearings on allegations Planned Parenthood seeks to profit financially from terminating pregnancies in such a way as to preserve the fetuses for use in medical research. 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

Breast Cancer Bill Pulled Amid Abortion-Funding Concerns (Updated)

Maloney, D-N.Y., attends a news conference, May 20, 2014, at the House Triangle to support the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, and the Human Trafficking Fraud Enforcement Act. The legislation would give greater reach to the IRS to go after human traffickers and help support victims. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans abandoned Maloney’s bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated July 15, 2:34 p.m. | Republican leaders pulled yet another bill from the House floor Tuesday after conservatives expressed concern that a seemingly harmless piece of legislation supporting breast cancer research might actually fund Planned Parenthood.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act would have directed the Treasury to sell commemorative coins and give the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization. Full story

July 13, 2015

Scott Perry Sets New Standard for Answering Questions (Audio)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lots of members of the House Freedom Caucus, which has no official roster, can be coy about their involvement in the conservative group. Then there’s Scott Perry.

Despite the fact CQ Roll Call has seen him attend several HFC meetings, the Pennsylvania Republican would not confirm to CQ Roll Call Monday night that he’s part of the conservative caucus  because the reporter asking the question was not a constituent from the lawmaker’s 4th District in south-central Pennsylvania. Full story

Confederate Flap Imperils GOP Goal to Finish Spending Bills by August

ogers, R-Ky., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rogers is not optimistic about getting the spending bills done by August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week’s messy fight over Confederate flag amendments to the Interior-Environment spending measure — which culminated in pulling the bill from the House floor — has thrown the legislative calendar into flux.

Republican leaders, unable to pass the seventh of the 12 annual spending bills, are now no longer planning to bring up the eighth fiscal 2016 Financial Services-General Government this week. 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

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