Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 26, 2015

Posts in "Leadership Race"

January 12, 2015

New Republicans Take Aim at Familiar Target: Establishment GOP

Ratcliffe, Republican candidate from Texas' 4th Congressional District, is interviewed by Roll Call. (Photo By Meredith Dake/CQ Rol

Ratcliffe said constituents in Texas’ 4th District are frustrated with both parties. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a clear indication of the divisions facing Republicans in the new Congress, four House GOP freshmen made the pilgrimage to the Massachusetts Avenue headquarters of The Heritage Foundation Monday and offered sharp criticism of a party they don’t seem quite comfortable belonging to.

“I do not blame liberals for the condition of the country,” said newly elected Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., repeating one of his stump speech lines. “I blame us.” Full story

January 8, 2015

Boehner Fires Back, Says He’s No ‘Squish’ (Video)

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 4: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during his weekly press conference on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner pushed back Thursday at the notion he’s an “establishment” Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner took to the press conference podium Thursday to set the record straight on a line of attack he seems to be hearing from conservatives: That he has no spine.

“It does pain me to be described as ‘spineless’ or a ‘squish,'” a somewhat-jocular Boehner said. Full story

The Real Reason Some Members Voted Against Boehner

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, leaves the news conference following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some of the 25 Republicans who bucked Boehner on Tuesday feared that a vote for the Ohio Republican could hurt them in their districts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For many of the 25 House Republicans who broke ranks in the speaker election Tuesday, voting against John A. Boehner was a reflection of a long-simmering dissatisfaction with the Ohio Republican.

But for some other members, it may have just been about political survival. Full story

January 7, 2015

Boehner’s Fight: A Pale Imitation of First GOP Speaker’s Raucous Election

Courtesy Library of Congress

Courtesy Library of Congress

Modern elections for speaker tend to be clean-cut affairs. And though the re-election of John A. Boehner of Ohio this week was a bit messier than he might have hoped, the latest Republican speaker had a considerably easier path than the first.

For Speaker Nathaniel Banks of Massachusetts, it took almost two months and 133 ballots to be installed as the chamber’s top office.  Full story

Boehner Weighs Punishments for Speaker Election Dissidents

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 7: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive to speak to the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy arrive to speak to the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The morning after Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent were kicked off the Rules Committee, freshly re-elected Speaker John A. Boehner left the door open to possibly reinstating the two Florida Republicans.

Webster launched a surprise challenge to Boehner in Tuesday’s leadership election, garnering 12 votes — including his own and one from Nugent. Twenty-three other Republicans also defected, voting present or for Webster or other candidates, including Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Ted Yoho of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Full story

Louie Gohmert: Does Leadership Staff Call the Shots?

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speaks during a news conference at the House Triangle announcing the formation of a Caucus on Egypt, July 16, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Gohmert asked whether leadership staff have too much control. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louie Gohmert, the Texas Republican who came up short in his bid to wrest the speaker’s gavel from John A. Boehner a day earlier, asked Wednesday if leadership staff has too much authority in running Congress.

In an appearance on Fox News to talk about the aftermath of Tuesday’s failed revolt against Boehner, Gohmert criticized the removal of Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent, who voted against the speaker, from the Rules Committee in the 114th Congress. Full story

January 6, 2015

GOP Leaders Boot Webster, Nugent Off Rules Committee (Updated)

Reps. Richard Nugent, R-Fla., left, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla., confer before a House Rules Committee hearing in the Capitol, July 16, 2014, on the constitutionality of a House Republican led lawsuit against President Obama for allegedly overstepping his authority with certain provisions in his health care law. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Reps. Rich Nugent, R-Fla., left, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla., confer before a House Rules Committee hearing in the Capitol last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:00 p.m. | After Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent bucked leadership and voted for a speaker whose last name was not “Boehner,” House leaders stripped the two Florida congressmen of their positions on the Rules Committee.

The roster for the Rules Committee, which is often referred to as “the speaker’s committee,” was approved Tuesday evening by unanimous consent after GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers made a motion on the floor. Missing from that roster were Webster and Nugent, both members of the panel in the 113th Congress. Full story

Boehner Elected Speaker Despite 25 Republican Dissidents (Video)

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 4: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during his weekly press conference on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner won re-election as speaker despite a lack of support from 25 Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a dramatic vote in which Republican dissidents staged yet another unsuccessful coup attempt, Speaker John A. Boehner was elected to a third term as speaker of the House Tuesday.

Boehner won re-election with 216 of the 408 votes cast, as 25 Republicans voted for someone else or voted present in an act of protest. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received 164 Democratic votes, with four members of her party voting for someone other than the California Democrat. Full story

Third Candidate to Challenge Boehner for Speakership

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Webster may run for speaker. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A little more than an hour before the House is due to hold an in-person, roll call vote to elect the speaker, a third candidate emerged as an alternative candidate to John A. Boehner of Ohio.

A group of Republicans who want a more conservative lawmaker to lead their party in the chamber has recruited Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida to throw his name into the ring. Full story

January 5, 2015

GOP Ready to Move On From Scalise Scandal

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress  on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans are sticking with Scalise. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders are hopeful there will be enough distractions at the start of the 114th Congress to deflect attention from Majority Whip Steve Scalise and his 2002 meeting with a white supremacist group.

But just how quickly the embarrassment goes away depends on how much members in both parties insist on talking about it — and whether there are any details of the incident that have yet to be uncovered. Full story

5 Legislative Hurdles for New House GOP

use John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes his way to his news conference following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 20

Boehner has more Republicans in the 114th, but still may need help from Democrats on some of the stickier votes coming this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

John A. Boehner’s first test in the 114th Congress comes Tuesday, when he could face as many as 20 defections to his speakership.

He’s ultimately expected to win a third term as the House’s top Republican, but the level of opposition could be an early indicator of how difficult a time he’ll have corralling the necessary number of votes for a whole host of sticky legislative items — from extending the debt limit sometime midyear to giving President Barack Obama ground rules for negotiating a new trade agreement. Full story

December 30, 2014

Kevin McCarthy, Ben Ray Luján Among Capitol Hill’s Big Winners in 2014

 House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy was one of 2014’s big winners. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not every member of Congress had an A+ year.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., became the first majority leader in decades to go down in a primary; Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., only barely avoided being explicitly implicated for campaign finance fraud.

Full story

December 16, 2014

Chaffetz Lays Out Different Direction for Oversight

p. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, participates in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security" with Homeland Secretary Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday, July 19, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz offered a preview of what’s in store for Oversight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If incoming Chairman Jason Chaffetz made just one thing clear Tuesday, it’s this: The Oversight and Government Reform Committee is not Darrell Issa’s anymore — in fact, Issa won’t even be on the committee next year.

Chaffetz gathered roughly a dozen reporters in his new Rayburn office Tuesday to discuss the 114th Congress and his vision for the Oversight panel, one that focuses less on political scandals and more on the “government reform” part. And it was evident to everyone present the Utah Republican has a dramatically different vision for the panel than that of his predecessor. Full story

November 18, 2014

Chaffetz Wins Four-Way Showdown for Oversight Gavel

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, arrives for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the United States Department of Homeland Security" on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz will take over Oversight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There were hardly any surprises among the Republican Steering Committee’s picks for chairmen in the 114th Congress, but the one major question decided on Tuesday was who would lead the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. And the answer is Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

The GOP Steering Committee announced their picks Tuesday night as Republicans gear up for a Congress in which they’ll hold their largest majority since Herbert Hoover was president.

There were few real decisions for the committee to make, but the biggest was who — Chaffetz, Michael R. Turner of Ohio, Jim Jordan of Ohio or John L. Mica of Florida — would pick up the gavel at the Oversight with Darrell Issa, R-Calif., stepping down.

Chaffetz emerged earlier this fall as the slight favorite in the gavel fight after strong performances on oversight issues at the Secret Service. His argument for being the next chairman of the committee centered on his undivided attention on the committee. Full story

New RSC Chairman Flores: ‘I’m No Shill for Leadership’

UNITED STATES - JUNE 27:  Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, speaks at news conference after a meeting in the Capitol of the House Republican Conference.  Flores and GOP leaders addressed the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the health care law, and the possible contempt of Congress vote on Attorney General Eric Holder.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Flores edged two more conservative rivals for the RSC chairmanship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a hotly contested battle over the direction of the Republican Study Committee, Texas Republican Bill Flores beat out his more conservative rivals, South Carolina Republican Mick Mulvaney and Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, to become the new RSC chairman.

While Mulvaney ran on reasserting a conservative direction at the RSC and Gohmert ran on asserting an entirely new, dramatically more conservative vision, Flores ran as someone who could work with leadership.

“I campaigned on being a collaborative leader,” Flores told reporters after he won.

“By trying to advance the perfect conservative solution, nobody wins,” he said. Full story

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