Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

Posts in "Howard “Buck” McKeon"

April 4, 2014

ENLIST Act Rebuffed by McKeon, But Denham Wants Immigration Amendment Vote in NDAA

Jeff Denham 22 071411 445x295 ENLIST Act Rebuffed by McKeon, But Denham Wants Immigration Amendment Vote in NDAA

Denham was rebuffed, but will keep trying to attach his immigration plan to other legislation. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon said Friday afternoon there will be no pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who serve in the military attached to this year’s defense spending bill.

The decision poured cold water on a behind-the-scenes bipartisan effort, headed up by another California Republican, Rep. Jeff Denham, to include such a provision in the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.

Denham said he understands the chairman’s decision and predicted there will be opportunities to resurrect his bill, the ENLIST Act.

McKeon, a co-sponsor of the Denham bill, said the timing wasn’t right.

“I have reached this conclusion without regard to my views on the underlying policy, but because I do not believe the chairman’s mark should be the original venue for this debate,” McKeon said. “Over the past several days I have heard from members on and off the committee on both sides of the issues. They have made sound arguments and raised valid concerns.”

Full story

February 11, 2014

Breaking Down the Debt Ceiling Vote

The House voted 221-201 to pass a clean debt ceiling hike for more than a year — and there are a few interesting trends hidden in the breakdown. (The Senate then passed the increase on Wednesday.)

Twenty-eight Republicans voted for the bill, which means this debt ceiling vote was the most extreme example of violating the principle that the speaker does not bring a bill to the floor without a “majority of the majority” — the so-called Hastert Rule, named after former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who broke that principle 12 times himself.

Before Tuesday, the greatest number of majority defections on a bill that passed the House was 41. (Coincidentally, Democrats and Republicans both achieved that same watermark. Democrats in 2007 with the “Protect America Act” and Republicans in 2002 with the “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.”)

But Tuesday’s debt limit vote now stands alone with the fewest number of votes from a majority on a bill that passed the House since at least 1991, when digital records of roll call votes became available. Full story

December 3, 2013

Defense Authorization Conferees Meet in Secret

The Senate has not passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act — yet — but the main players in an NDAA conference aren’t waiting.

The chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees — House Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., House ranking member Adam Smith, D-Wash., Senate Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Senate ranking member James M. Inhofe, R-Okla. — met Monday to discuss how they could conference the defense authorization act in a nearly impossible timeline. Full story

May 23, 2013

Military Sexual Assault a ‘National Disgrace,’ Boehner Says

As pressure mounts on Capitol Hill to address the rising number of cases of sexual assault in the military, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, suggested that he supports the House taking action through legislation.

“I want to applaud Buck McKeon, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who will address this in the defense authorization bill,” Boehner said Thursday of his California Republican colleague. “I also want to applaud the work of Congressman Mike Turner, who has been on the Department of Defense now for over two years to get to the bottom of this.

“It’s outrageous,” Boehner continued, “and, frankly, it’s a national disgrace.”

He did not elaborate, though, on what specific proposal he believes should be included in the DOD bill.

As our CQ Roll Call colleague Megan Scully reported earlier this week, the growing alarm over the increasing number of sexual-assault cases has resulted in a flurry of legislation. There are at least four legislative proposals circulating through the House and four in the Senate.

While the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill may adopt some of those proposals when the full Armed Services Committee meets to mark up the bill on June 5, Scully reported, they are likely to divide members on either side of the aisle and within their own parties.

One of the biggest points of contention could relate to chain of command issues — some lawmakers want military lawyers or an independent panel to rule on sexual assault cases, while currently military commanders decide how to proceed.

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