Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

Posts in "John Boehner"

June 26, 2014

Luis Gutiérrez: House GOP Role in Immigration Overhaul Is ‘Over’ (Video)

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., slammed Republicans on the floor Wednesday, renewing calls for the House of Representatives to take action to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws nearly one year after the Senate passed bipartisan immigration legislation.

“Republicans have failed America, and failed themselves,” he said.

Gutiérrez’s comments came after Speaker John A. Boehner’s announcement Tuesday of a GOP task force to address the crisis of illegal immigrant children surging across the southern border.

“I gave you the warning three months ago, and now I have no other choice; you’re done,” Gutiérrez said, addressing House Republicans. “Your chance to play a role in how immigration and deportation policies are carried out this year is over.”

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Boehner: ‘We’ll See’ If Export-Import Bank Authorized Before Deadline (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner again declined to commit to a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank at his weekly news conference Wednesday, telling reporters “we’ll see” when asked if the House would “sort through” the issue prior to the Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize the Bank’s lending authority.

“There’s a big debate going on in our conference, and we’re just going to have to sort our way through this. My job is to help facilitate the sorting through of this so that we can get to an outcome.”

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June 25, 2014

Boehner’s Memo to Members on Obama Lawsuit (Complete Text)

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Boehner made the case for a lawsuit to rein in Obama executive actions in a Wednesday letter to members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Here’s the complete text of the letter Speaker John A. Boehner sent Wednesday to House members, regarding his decision to initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the House against President Barack Obama over the administration’s use of executive actions.

 

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Boehner Confirms He’ll Sue Obama Over Executive Actions (Video) (Updated)

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Boehner says the House will file a lawsuit to rein in Obama executive actions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated, 2:57 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio confirmed Wednesday that he will initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the House against President Barack Obama over the administration’s use of executive actions.

Boehner, saying he believes the president is ignoring laws passed by Congress, cast the move toward a lawsuit, which was first reported by Roll Call, as a continuation of the age-old struggle over the balance of powers among the three branches of government.

“This is about defending the institution in which we serve,” Boehner told reporters. “What we’ve seen clearly over the last five years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch. I believe the president is not faithfully executing the laws of our country, and behalf of the institution and our constitution, standing up and fighting for this is in the best long-term interest of the Congress.”

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June 24, 2014

‘Cruz Caucus’ Talks Leadership Elections in Both Chambers

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Cruz met again Tuesday with House conservatives. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz held another closed-door meeting with House conservatives Tuesday night, sitting down with insurgents over pizza in his office for a free-flowing discussion about immigration, leadership elections, the IRS and recent changes at the Republican Study Committee.

Over the course of about an hour and a half, 14 of the most conservative members of the House piled into Cruz’s Dirksen office for what was described in an email as an off-the-record gathering of “discussion and fellowship.”

The attendees were, in the order in which they arrived: Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Trent Franks of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, John Fleming of Louisiana, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Steve Stockman of Texas, Paul Broun of Georgia, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Ted Yoho of Florida, Steve Pearce of New Mexico and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. (Lamborn was facing a primary back home.)

This isn’t the first time Cruz has met quietly with House conservatives. He met in the basement of Tortilla Coast with 15 to 20 House Republicans during the government shutdown in October. He also met with a similar group of House Republicans in his office in April.

The topics of conversation at these meetings have been the subject of vivid speculation.

But Tuesday night, Cruz looked to downplay the whole affair as he entered the meeting at 7:09 p.m.

“You guys have made a mountain out of a molehill,” the Texas Republican told CQ Roll Call. He noted that he had met with conservatives “periodically,” and he implied such gatherings aren’t a big deal. Full story

Boehner Planning House Lawsuit Against Obama Executive Actions

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, told Republicans Tuesday he could have an announcement within days on whether the House will file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, challenging the executive actions that have become the keystone of the administration.

The lawsuit could set up a significant test of constitutional checks and balances, with the legislative branch suing the executive branch for ignoring its mandates, and the judiciary branch deciding the outcome.

Boehner told the House Republican Conference during a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning that he has been consulting with legal scholars and plans to unveil his next steps this week or next, according to sources in the room.

(Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.)

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said further action is necessary because the Senate has not taken up bills passed by the House targeting executive actions. The House has passed a bill expediting court consideration of House resolutions starting lawsuits targeting executive overreach and another mandating that the attorney general notify Congress when the administration decides to take executive action outside of what has been authorized by Congress.

“The president has a clear record of ignoring the American people’s elected representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority, which has dangerous implications for both our system of government and our economy,” Steel said. “The House has passed legislation to address this, but it has gone nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, so we are examining other options.” Full story

Boehner Convenes GOP Task Force on Border Crisis

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Boehner’s new border crisis panel includes a cross-section of Republicans. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are blaming President Barack Obama for the growing number of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant children seeking illegal passage into the United States over the southern border, and on Tuesday they unveiled a plan that might exert additional pressure on the administration.

Speaker John A. Boehner, who just sent a letter to Obama on the subject at the end of last week, announced that he had convened a “working group” to probe “the national security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border.” Full story

Boehner Defers to Hensarling on Export-Import Bank (Updated)

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On the Export-Import Bank reauthorization, Boehner is looking to Hensarling. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:36 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio declined to commit to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, saying instead Tuesday morning that he is trying find common ground between his members who want to end the bank and those who want to continue funding it.

Boehner said he is looking to tomorrow’s Financial Services Committee hearing on the subject, and will rely on Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who has said he wants to let the program expire to lay out the way ahead. Boehner’s comments come amid revelations that some Ex-Im Bank employees were fired for allegedly accepting bribes.

“I’m looking forward to the chairman outlining how we’re going to deal with this rather controversial subject, especially in light of some of the employees who were let go, who are accused of kickbacks and other schemes to pad their own pockets,” Boehner said. Full story

June 23, 2014

Trey Gowdy’s ‘Boehner Goes to Heaven’ Joke

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Gowdy’s joke cracked up a Maryland audience. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Currently catching fire on the Internet: a YouTube video of Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., cracking up an audience of Maryland Republicans last week with a joke about Speaker John A. Boehner, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Maryland Rep. Andy Harris dying and going to heaven.

McCarthy Will Have to Prove Himself on Policy, Fundraising

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In replacing Cantor, McCarthy has big shoes to fill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy took the stage on June 20 at his first public address since being elected majority leader looking to reintroduce himself to the public.

Focusing on his Everyman roots in Bakersfield, Calif., he told a gathering of social conservatives that he paid his way though college with a mixture of lottery luck and entrepreneurship, eventually being elected to the very congressional office from which he was once turned down for an internship.

“You’ve got to understand where I come from. I’m the grandson of a cattle rancher, the son of a firefighter, and I had the opportunity to run for majority leader. Only in America do we have this,” he told the audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, to applause. “I’m not an attorney. I don’t have poli-sci degree.” Full story

June 20, 2014

Labrador Says Boehner Now Less Likely to Retire in Fall

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Labrador says Boehner is the big winner this week. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 6:35 p.m. | While many lawmakers have said they don’t think Speaker John A. Boehner will stay for another term, the surprise defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the recent leadership elections now has at least one conservative lawmaker thinking Boehner’s position has been strengthened.

Raúl R. Labrador has repeatedly predicted that Boehner would step down as speaker at the end of this term. In fact, the Idaho Republican did it as recently as last Tuesday, on the morning of the day that Cantor lost his primary to Dave Brat.

But after waging his own unsuccessful bid for majority leader, and after Kevin McCarthy was elected to the position, Labrador thinks Boehner is now better positioned to stick around. Full story

June 19, 2014

Steve Scalise Wins Whip, Takes No. 3 Post in House (Updated) (Video)

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:45 p.m. | After a fiercely fought campaign against two competitors, Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise of Louisiana emerged Thursday afternoon as the GOP conference’s pick to be the next House majority whip.

The whip position became open after the current whip, Kevin McCarthy of California, won his election against Idaho’s Raúl R. Labrador to succeed Virginia’s Eric Cantor as majority leader.

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As Iraq Unravels, Boehner Calls for Obama’s Middle East Strategy (Video)

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Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday the White House needs a strategy to stop the violence in Iraq. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said he is looking to the White House to craft an overall strategy to quell the spread of terrorism in Iraq and the Middle East, which he said has been “exponentially” on the rise during President Barack Obama’s presidency.

His comments come a day after he met with the president at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., along with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and the top two Senate leaders, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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Pelosi Downplays Missing IRS Emails While Boehner Calls for Answers (Video)

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Pelosi, D-Calif., says revelations that the IRS lost emails sought by Congress likely means the tax agency needs better computer equipment. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn’t appear to think that there was foul play in the Internal Revenue Service’s misplacement of key emails from Lois Lerner, the ex-agency official at the center of the ongoing IRS scandal.

At her weekly press conference Thursday morning, the California Democrat said her takeaway from reports that Lerner’s emails have been lost forever was simply that the IRS needs to upgrade its technology infrastructure.

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June 18, 2014

Amendments Opposing Iraq War Could Put House Democrats in Tough Spot

 

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Rep. Barbara Lee, among the most staunchly antiwar lawmakers on Capitol Hill, wants Congress to repeal the 2002 vote giving the White House authority to take military action in Iraq.  (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats are still grappling with how to confront the escalating violence in Iraq, but in the next 24 hours they could be forced to vote on the issue.

Staunch antiwar Democrat Barbara Lee, D-Calif., told CQ Roll Call on Wednesday afternoon that she planned to offer three amendments to the fiscal 2015 defense appropriations bill, which is on the House floor this week.

“One, no funds will be used for combat operations in Iraq,” she said. “Two, I want to repeal the 2002 authorization to use force. You know, in the farm bill, transportation bill, it sunsets. This is far too long to have that authorization in effect, so I want to repeal that.

“And,” Lee continued, “I want to repeal the 2001 authorization to use force, which has been used as the legal justification for wire tapping and other kinds of those activities.”

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