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May 24, 2015

Posts in "Life After Congress"

May 22, 2015

Moderate Democrats Get Leadership’s Ear on 2016 Messaging

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Israel has a tough road ahead in crafting a party message everyone can get behind (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s some good news for the moderate House Democrats who believe they’ve been marginalized in discussions on party messaging: Leadership might be starting to listen.

On Thursday morning, New Democrat Coalition Chairman Ron Kind of Wisconsin met privately with Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York, both lawmakers confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
Full story

May 14, 2015

Steel Exit: Boehner Has ‘Awfully Big Loafers to Fill’

UNITED STATES - JULY 15 2014: Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is pictured at the RNC, July 15, 2014 (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Steel, center, is leaving Boehner’s office to work for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The departure of Speaker John A. Boehner’s longtime press secretary Michael Steel raises plenty of questions. Is this another sign Boehner is done at the end of this term? What does it mean for Boehnerland? What skills does Steel bring to the team that will work to elect Jeb Bush as the next president?

Perhaps the most pressing question is simply this: Who will replace him?

Full story

May 6, 2015

Former Speaker Jim Wright Dead at 92

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jim Wright, the 56th speaker of the House and the only one ever forced out of office by scandal, died Wednesday. He was 92 and died in his native Fort Worth, Texas, which he represented for more than 34 years until his resignation in 1989.

Wright was widely perceived as one of the strongest leaders of the post-war period during much of his single full term as speaker, during the 100th Congress. But the Texas Democrat was gone after just 29 months on the job, succumbing to a rapidly mounting series of allegations he’d violated House rules limiting gifts to lawmakers, as well as members’ outside income and business interests. Full story

March 27, 2015

Did Van Hollen Miss a Layup Opportunity With Progressives? (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., participates in the National Press Club Newsmaker Program with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on "future federal budget priorities and methods to achieve them" at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen surprised some progressives when he didn’t vote for their budget this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:42 p.m. | Congressional Progressive Caucus members were emboldened this week.

Their fiscal 2016 budget proposal won 96 votes on the floor, which translates into half of all House Democrats endorsing the policy platform of one third of the whole House Democratic Caucus — plus a higher threshold than for any CPC budget ever before.

Full story

March 19, 2015

Boehner, Pelosi Downplay Schock, Weigh In on Clinton

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House’s top Republican and Democrat addressed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email scandal and Aaron Schock’s surprise resignation during their weekly news conferences Thursday.

Both seemed more concerned about the former Cabinet secretary’s struggle to justify her home-brew approach to handling official email during and after her tenure at the State Department than with the ethical lapses that led to Schock’s decision earlier this week to announce his resignation. Full story

March 16, 2015

Outside the Camera Frame, Granger Makes Her Mark

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, is interviewed by Roll Call in her Longworth Building office. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Granger, in her Longworth Building office, jokes some of her fellow Texans are afraid of her. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kay Granger doesn’t suffer fools.

The Texas Republican has a story about a lawmaker who admitted he hadn’t read a bill he was trying to amend; She told him he had “no business being in Congress.”

Nor does she hesitate to tell any of her more bombastic male colleagues in the Lone Star State delegation when they’re “misbehaving.” Full story

March 6, 2015

Van Hollen’s Exit Changes House Democratic Leadership Landscape

UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., participates in the National Press Club Newsmaker Program with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on "future federal budget priorities and methods to achieve them" at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen’s Senate bid will have serious ramifications for House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:20 a.m. Monday | Ambitious House Democrats looking to position themselves as future caucus leaders thought they’d face stiff competition from Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

But with the Maryland Democrat, Budget Committee ranking member and former two-term Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman now saying he’ll run for Senate, the field has changed. Full story

March 3, 2015

Centrist New Democrats Want Bigger Role in Party’s Message

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the bipartisan news conference outside of the Capitol to unveil "a major proposal aimed at modernizing America's regulatory system to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, and improve national competitiveness" on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind said the centrist group wants a bigger role in helping to shape Democrats’ message. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the New Democrat Coalition have struggled for years to make their centrist message heard in the larger, and distinctly more left-leaning, House Democratic Caucus.

The 46 self-described “moderate” and “pro-growth” House members in the coalition say they agree with the rest of their caucus on “90 percent of the issues” — it’s the remaining 10 percent that’s harder to summarize. Full story

February 24, 2015

Native Son Bidding for a Sweet Return to Montgomery | Life After Congress

Davis spoke at CPAC in 2013. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Davis spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Perhaps it’s fitting that an African-American man who addressed the 2008 Democratic National Convention in support of Barack Obama and the 2012 Republican National Convention against Barack Obama is running in a nonpartisan race here against a man named “Strange.”

Former Rep. Artur Davis, a native of this city who once represented Alabama’s 7th District as a Democrat, is about to test the life lessons espoused by his successor, Democratic Rep. Terri A. Sewell. Davis’ one-time ally likes to tell public school kids not to take short cuts, to be proud of who they are and where they’re from and that they can always go home. Full story

February 18, 2015

In Richmond’s Defense of Scalise, a History of Camaraderie

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., right, and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., talk in the Capitol's House chamber before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, January 20, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Richmond, left, and Scalise speak in the House chamber before President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrat Cedric L. Richmond’s defense of Steve Scalise after revelations the Republican majority whip spoke to a white supremacist group in 2002 raised eyebrows in Washington — especially among other members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

But the two Louisiana congressmen — one a black progressive, the other a white conservative — have a relationship that goes back 14 years, to their early days as friendly adversaries in the state Legislature. Full story

February 11, 2015

Former Congressman Michael Grimm Spotted on House Floor (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JULY 11: Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., walks to the Capitol for a vote on Friday, July 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Grimm was visiting former colleagues Wednesday in the Capitol (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. | Former Rep. Michael G. Grimm was spotted visiting old colleagues Wednesday.

Reporters saw Grimm, who resigned on Jan. 5 after pleading guilty in December to a charge of felony tax evasion, walking the Capitol hallways before sheepishly stepping onto the floor. Full story

February 3, 2015

Why 3 House Republicans Voted Against Repealing Obamacare (Updated)

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Rep.-elect John

Katko and two other Republicans bucked party leadership to vote against the Affordable Care Act repeal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:27 p.m. | House Republican leaders gave their freshmen members a political gift Tuesday: The chance to vote “yes” on a symbolic bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

For three new Republican representatives, however, the repeal vote was an opportunity to vote “no.” Full story

January 19, 2015

Former Rep. Frank Wolf Will Lead Baylor University’s Efforts on Capitol Hill

Wolf will be working on religious freedom issues on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wolf will be focused on religious freedom on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After nearly 35 years representing Northern Virginia in Congress, former Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf plans to lead Baylor University’s efforts on Capitol Hill.

Wolf, who was an outspoken defender of religious minorities during his congressional career, particularly Christians in Iraq and Egypt, has been appointed the first Jerry and Susie Wilson Chair in Religious Freedom. The Texas-based university announced the move Monday, following the 75-year-old’s announcement in December 2013 that he planned to retire and pursue humanitarian work. 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 22, 2014

Reports: Indicted Congressman Expected to Plead Guilty to Tax Evasion

Grimm said he'd step down if found guilty, but does that campaign promise cover a plea deal? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Grimm said he’d step down if found guilty, but would that earlier promise cover a plea deal? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., is expected to plead guilty in court to at least one of the 20 felony counts lodged against him, local news outlets reported Monday.

CQ Roll Call did not immediately hear back from Grimm spokesmen or attorneys for confirmation, with one of his lawyers, Miami-based Daniel Rashbaum, saying, “We have no comment at this time.” Full story

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