Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 28, 2015

Posts in "Messaging"

April 27, 2015

Trade Fight Galvanizing the Left

Ellison, D-Minn., attends a rally with labor groups, including the American Federation of Government Employees, in Upper Senate Park to support federal workers and the working class, February 10, 2015. Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, appears at right. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ellison, shown here at a February labor rally on the Hill, said there will be blood in the fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With the first round of appropriations bills and a possible budget conference report on the House floor this week, the chamber’s progressive contingent is looking farther down the road at the storm brewing over so-called Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track.”

Legislation allowing President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would ordinarily be divisive within the House Democratic Caucus, but progressives say there’s even more at stake in this most recent fight: 2016. Full story

April 23, 2015

Trade Deal: Boehner, Pelosi Both Put Onus on Other Side (Video)

Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walk through Statuary Hall en route to the Capitol's Rayburn Room for a signing ceremony for a bipartisan bill to "strengthen Medicare and fix its payment formula for doctors," April 16, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Both Boehner, left, and Pelosi said they hope a Pacific trade deal passes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House leaders of both parties said Thursday they’re hopeful Congress could pass legislation giving President Barack Obama authority to negotiate his long-sought Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

They differed on whether Republicans or Democrats are responsible for making sure such a deal takes place. Full story

April 22, 2015

2016’s ‘October Surprise?’ Not Much of a Surprise

Boehner is in a tough spot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Benghazi panel has more work to do, Baehner said Wendesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

October revelations about the Obama administration’s handling of Benghazi weren’t enough to get the Republican presidential candidate over the hump in 2012 — but that doesn’t mean it won’t work in 2016, right?

The ongoing partisan rancor over the GOP-controlled House Select Committee on Benghazi erupted again Wednesday after Bloomberg reported a day earlier that the panel’s final report — originally expected sometime his year — likely won’t be finished until sometime in the presidential election year of 2016. Full story

April 19, 2015

McCarthy Uses Bully Pulpit to Spotlight California Drought

McCarthy said it's up to the Senate. Cornyn suggests it's up to the House.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCarthy has made the California drought a priority in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislation targeting arcane water rules is not typically the stuff of legacy building for high-profile political figures.

But for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, shepherding through Congress a bill aimed at easing the water shortage in his home state — while taking down some federal regulations conservatives contend contributed to the crisis — would be a personal triumph years in the making. Full story

April 16, 2015

Top Cruz Aide to House Colleagues: Please Say Nice Things

Cruz, R-Texas, talks with guests after a convocation at Liberty University's Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va., where he announced his candidacy for President of the United States, March 23, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz talks with guests after a convocation at Liberty University’s Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va., where he announced his candidacy last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz has plenty of friends in the House Republican Conference, and quite a few in his home-state delegation, too.

But most GOP members aren’t quite ready to officially back the Texas senator’s 2016 presidential bid. Full story

All the Budget Conference’s a Stage

Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee, talks with reporters after a news conference with members of the committee in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce the FY2016 budget resolution and discuss ways to balance the budget, March 17, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After wrangling a Republican budget through the House, House Budget Committee Chairman Price now has to find common ground with Republicans — and maybe a few Democrats — in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How do Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate conference a partisan budget that is little more than a messaging document? They don’t — at least, not really.

No one truly expects both sides to come to a consensus agreement on the budget. No one even really expects Democrats to play much of a role in the budget conference. It could be, as one Democratic aide with knowledge of the situation predicted, one public meeting “just for show, just to check that box.”

But there are plenty of House and Senate differences on the budget that will need to be worked out between Republicans and, well, Republicans. Full story

April 14, 2015

Top House Democrats Warming to Senate’s Iran Bill

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer are open to the Senate’s Iran bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top two House Democrats are warming to the Iran legislation that will likely come to their chamber floor if it passes the Senate.

On Tuesday afternoon, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer signaled — to a gaggle of reporters and in a written statement, respectively — they aren’t dead-set against a bill that had just sailed, 19-0, out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Full story

April 13, 2015

At Reinstated Pen-and-Pads, McCarthy Gives Press Plenty (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JULY 23: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., addresses the media after a meeting of House Republicans in the Capitol, July 23, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy held his first pen-and-pad session as majority leader Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:20 p.m. | House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy did something Monday that hasn’t happened in years: a pen-and-pad sit-down with Capitol Hill reporters. And this was a good one.

The no-cameras news conference, which McCarthy held around a Capitol conference table with more than 35 reporters, lasted 29 minutes and represented the first majority leader pen-and-pad since former GOP leader Eric Cantor ended the practice in 2011.

“I guess you guys haven’t had these in a while, huh?” McCarthy said as he welcomed reporters back Monday. Full story

House Democrats Challenge GOP to Condemn LGBT Discrimination

 Carson, D-IN, in his Cannon office. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call).

Carson is pushing for an official House condemnation of his home state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats, sensing a growing political advantage over Republicans on LGBT issues, are pushing a resolution to express congressional condemnation of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The action comes on the heels of, and in direct response to, the national uproar over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say gives businesses permission to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers. Full story

Is Reconciliation a Real Challenge to Obamacare?

Jordan doesn’t think it’s a problem that Obama would veto the reconciliation effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Even if some Republicans don’t really want to go there, even if it’s an exercise in futility, many are convinced the guaranteed-to-be-vetoed process of budget reconciliation promises to put Obamacare at the center of the 2016 debate.

And that, conservatives say, is exactly where they want it. Full story

April 10, 2015

House Democrats Forced to Choose Sides in Iran Debate

The White House wants House members like Israel to get behind the Iran nuclear deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House wants House members like Israel to get behind the Iran nuclear deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats on the fence about the White House’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran will be asked next week to close ranks and get behind the president.

With the House and Senate getting back to work on April 13 after a two-week recess, most of the legislative action is set to be in the Senate, where the Foreign Relations Committee will begin marking up its bill giving Congress power to override President Barack Obama’s emerging deal to disarm Iran.

But Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has made it clear that, short of the White House dramatically changing course, he would support the House acting on similar legislation, perhaps even taking up the Senate’s product (assuming it passes). Full story

April 9, 2015

McCarthy Outlines Busy, Maybe Tense, April Work Period

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After a two-week respite, April is shaping up to be a month of long nights, nods to the GOP base and divisions on both sides of the aisle.

That’s according to a memo sent to members Thursday by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.  Full story

April 8, 2015

Welch Gets Bipartisan Treatment on CODEL to Tunisia and Ukraine

 Welch, D-Vt., conducts a briefing with reporters in Russell office of Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., on the re-introduction of the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act. The legislation would give investors in renewable energy projects the same tax advantages that are enjoyed by investors in fossil fuel-based projects. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The GOP-dominated Ukraine delegation included one Democrat: Welch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Being the only Democrat on a plane full of Republicans last week could have been awkward for Rep. Peter Welch — especially with GOP leaders are doubling down on criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

But Welch, a Vermonter with a reputation for seeking common ground with lawmakers on the other side of the aisle, had nothing but praise for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the other Republicans he accompanied last week to Tunisia and Ukraine. Full story

March 30, 2015

CODELs: Boehner to Israel, McCarthy to Tunisia, Pelosi to Asia

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) Copyright © 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

McCarthy and his delegation were in Tunisia before heading to Ukraine. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not everybody gets to travel overseas during the two-week House recess  just ask Louie Gohmert.

However, many of those lawmakers who are participating in high-profile congressional delegations, or CODELs, will come back to Capitol Hill armed with new insights into some of the biggest policy issues facing Congress this year. 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

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