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March 5, 2015

Posts in "Life After Congress"

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

December 19, 2014

The Friday Before Christmas, a Quieter House

pitol grounds crew workers prepare the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in preparation for the lighting ceremony scheduled for Dec. 2nd. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © 2014 CQ Roll Call, Inc.

It was the week before Christmas, and things were quiet all through the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Incoming Rep. Barry Loudermilk said he was surprised anybody at all was on Capitol Hill on Dec. 19, the last Friday before Christmas.

The Georgia Republican, who had returned to the gift shop in the Longworth House Office Building hoping to retrieve some misplaced paperwork, told CQ Roll Call he was only around to do a bit of housekeeping in advance of the first day of the 114th Congress in January. Full story

December 16, 2014

Dingell’s Condition Improving at Washington Hospital

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Dingell is on the mend at a Washington hospital. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring Rep. John D. Dingell, hospitalized last week after a hip fracture, will likely spend the holidays at George Washington University Hospital recuperating, according to a Facebook update from the congressman’s wife.

The 88-year-old Michigan Democrat, the nation’s longest-serving congressman ever (he took office in 1955), is “making steady progress and is far better than when he was admitted,” Debbie Dingell wrote Tuesday. Full story

November 24, 2014

Paul Ryan Woos Ex-Boehner Aide Back to Capitol Hill

Ryan and other potential GOP House chairmen will have to seek a waiver if they want to keep their gavels while seeking another office. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call Fast File)

Ryan and Brendan Buck worked together on the Wisconsin congressman’s 2012 vice-presidential run. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call Fast File)

Rep. Paul D. Ryan must have made Brendan Buck a pretty strong case to leave his still-new K Street gig to come back to Capitol Hill.

The Wisconsin Republican and incoming chairman of the Ways and Means Committee announced Monday that Buck, a former spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, will be coming on board as the panel’s communications director.

Buck left his job as a congressional aide six months ago to be the vice president of communications at America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance industry’s lobby. When he joins the GOP Ways and Means team at the start of the 114th Congress, he’ll be in a position to help message on Ryan’s ambitious goals, like a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

Full story

November 19, 2014

Major Players From Team Cantor to Open Lobbying Shop

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cantor joined the private sector recently, and some of his former staffers are following suit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Months after Cantorland was turned upside down by their boss’ stunning primary defeat, two key members of the ex-majority leader’s team are returning to the workforce, opening a lobbying firm with another prominent former Hill staffer.

Steve Stombres — a longtime chief of staff to ex-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor — is starting a government affairs shop with Kyle Nevins, Cantor’s former deputy chief of staff, and John O’Neill, a former counsel and policy director for Trent Lott when he was the Senate GOP whip.

The firm, Harbinger Strategies, is still coming together, but the partners say they’ll officially be open for business by Jan. 1. “We’re on the sublet tour of Washington, D.C.,” Stombres said of finding office space.

He’s already hunting for clients, and said Nevin and O’Neill will officially join him at the start of 2015.

Full story

November 3, 2014

New Republicans Will Strengthen Boehner’s Hand in 114th

The anti-Boehner wing in the House plans to try again to unseat the speaker next January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The anti-Boehner contingent will add a few new faces Tuesday, but overall the speaker stands to gain more control. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican gains in the House Tuesday aren’t expected to top what the party was able to accomplish in 2010, but even modest inroads will change the status quo on Capitol Hill.

Here’s a rundown of how the 114th Congress will be different if House Republicans, as expected, expand their majority. Full story

October 22, 2014

Energy and Commerce Rivals Battle to the Wire

Ranking member rivals Eshoo and Pallone chatted recently at a press conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ranking member rivals Eshoo and Pallone. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Since January, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Anna G. Eshoo have been positioning themselves as the obvious choice to be the top Democrat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.

But after 10 months of cutting checks and courting colleagues, they’re still not finished campaigning to replace the panel’s current ranking member, retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California.

Members of the House Democratic Caucus won’t settle the hotly contested race until late-November at the earliest, meaning Pallone of New Jersey and Eshoo of California will have to stay on the offensive, showing they’re both team players and power players who are ready — and able — to help their friends out.

Along the way, they are pulling pages from the same playbook — with a few key exceptions.

Full story

October 16, 2014

The Softer Side of Don Young: A Counterpoint

Young shows off his softer side while working with Cao in 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Young shows off his softer side while working with Cao in 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Adjectives such as “kind,” “caring,” “fatherly” and “honest” wouldn’t prompt most people to conjure up an image of Rep. Don Young.

Indeed, anyone familiar with Capitol Hill lore connects the Alaska Republican with tales of bad behavior — pulling a knife on a colleague, tracking asbestos through the halls of Congress and allegedly violating House rules for 12 years.

But Young has a softer side, according to a former colleague, two ex-aides and even a one-time political adversary who talked with CQ Roll Call as we profiled the ornery congressman.

Ex-Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, a Louisiana Republican ousted after just one term in Congress, spent nearly every vote series seated beside Young on the chamber floor. “I found him to be a very warm-hearted individual, a very straightforward individual and an outspoken individual,” Cao said about Young.

Cao said he never heard one complaint “about Young from any of his colleagues” — except, he conceded, for the story “about how he maybe pulled a knife, something along those lines.”

Full story

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