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July 6, 2015

Posts in "Mitch McConnell"

June 23, 2015

The Return of ‘Speaker Cruz’

Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters after voting against cloture on the Trade Promotion Authority bill, June 23, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz talks with reporters after voting against cloture on the TPA bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Speaker Cruz” is looking for a comeback.

With House GOP leaders meting out punishment against conservatives, and with the House and Senate moving ahead on a plan that would give President Barack Obama the authority to negotiate a major trade deal, Sen. Ted Cruz changed his mind on Trade Promotion Authority Tuesday and, in a blistering op-ed, decided to take some shots at GOP leaders along the way. Full story

June 16, 2015

How Republicans Could Get Obama Trade Promotion Authority (Video)

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions in his office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions could set up a vote on TPA this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders are mulling their options for forcing a vote on Trade Promotion Authority while saving reconsideration of Trade Adjustment Assistance for another day.

The Rules Committee could meet this week to establish parameters for floor consideration of TPA that, if approved, clears the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal. Full story

May 31, 2015

Sensenbrenner: Patriot Act Needed Oversight, Not Posturing

PATRIOT ACT

Sensenbrenner, left, and Ashcroft discuss the law in 2004. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner can take credit for major legislation during his tenure as House Judiciary chairman, but none carries the weight or consequence of the law that will be his legacy: the USA Patriot Act.

“There’s no way I can avoid being remembered for this,” the Wisconsin Republican told CQ Roll Call. And, he added, the current situation could have been avoided with proper oversight by Congress. Full story

May 19, 2015

House Freedom Caucus Lines Up Opposition to Export-Import Bank

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters after his presentations at the Heritage Action for America's Conservative Policy Summit  in Washington on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jordan thinks Boehner will keep his word on the Ex-Im bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The room where the House Freedom Caucus frequently convenes is really too small for a group of 30-some-odd congressmen. It’s certainly too small for a meeting with more than a dozen speakers and 20 reporters. But, on Tuesday, the oddly shaped room on the fourth floor of the Cannon House Office Building was the site of the conservative group’s first news conference — and the HFC might have finally found an issue they can make a name for themselves on: the Export-Import Bank.

“In the mission statement for the House Freedom Caucus, we have this: ‘The goal of the House Freedom Caucus is to give voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them,'” the chairman of the HFC, Jim Jordan of Ohio, said. “One big reason so many Americans think this town has forgotten them is because they see big corporations cozy up to big government to get special deals with their hard earned tax dollars.”

“And in 40 days,” Jordan said, referring to the expiration of the bank’s charter next month, “we have a chance to start to change that. In 40 days, we have a chance not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.” Full story

March 10, 2015

Boehner Survives, Conservatives Cope: Ongoing Saga of the 114th (Updated)

Updated 11:19 a.m. | It was an unconditional, unmitigated cave. In the battle to defund President Barack Obama’s immigration action, Democrats won. Republicans lost. So why does Speaker John A. Boehner’s job look as secure now as it did a month ago? And why aren’t conservatives more outraged?

“To be honest with you,” Rep. Paul Gosar told CQ Roll Call, “not all of it is his fault.” Full story

February 26, 2015

Some Democrats May Skip It, but Netanyahu Speech Is Still a Hot Ticket

Dozens of House Democrats are planning to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3, and they’re hoping their absence will send a strong signal.

One of those Democrats is Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Full story

Fire Boehner? Mia Love Says Maybe McConnell Needs the Boot

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 26: Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, poses for a selfie with a CPAC attendee following her appearance on stage at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Love poses for a photo Thursday with a CPAC attendee following her appearance on stage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid new speculation that John A. Boehner’s speakership somehow hangs in the balance as Republicans struggle with the Department of Homeland Security funding standoff, freshman Rep. Mia Love said maybe it’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who should be worried. Full story

A Kiss for Luck? DHS Funding Falls Back to Boehner

Things are getting weird in the House.

Despite a GOP Senate that is waving the white flag, Speaker John A. Boehner isn’t ready to admit defeat on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill — at least not yet. Full story

February 24, 2015

House GOP in Holding Pattern on Funding DHS

Republicans are waiting for leadership to finalize a DHS funding strategy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are waiting for leadership to finalize a DHS funding strategy before Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans on Tuesday evening were still digesting the news that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hoped to advance a “clean” bill to float Homeland Security operations before department funding expires at the end of the week.

GOP lawmakers won’t know how leadership will respond until the regularly scheduled Wednesday morning members’ meeting — and even after that, a path forward could remain elusive. Full story

January 19, 2015

Obama, GOP Clash Ahead of SOTU

President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, attend the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon the Capitol's Rayburn Room. Enda Kenny, Prime Minister (Taoiseach) of Ireland, was in attendance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, attend the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon the Capitol’s Rayburn Room on March 14, 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A revitalized President Barack Obama and newly empowered Republican leaders are heading into Tuesday’s State of the Union address on a collision course.

At their joint retreat in Hershey, Pa., Republicans fresh off triumphant midterm elections said they are looking for the president to become a legislating partner — even as they promise bold, or even quixotic, clashes with Obama. Full story

January 15, 2015

Boehner, McConnell Attempt to Define the Relationship

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio; and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speak to the press in the Capitol after meeting with the President. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and McConnell. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

HERSHEY, Pa. — In their first joint public appearance since Mitch McConnell became Senate majority leader, Speaker John A. Boehner and the Senate’s top Republican came before a Washington press corps — assembled at Lebbie Lebkicher’s Restaurant in the Hershey Lodge Hotel — and described the new relationship between the House and Senate: separate, but together.

Boehner and McConnell were asked how the two chambers would work out the differences on a Department of Homeland Security funding bill, which is the first big test facing Congress. Full story

November 6, 2014

The Boehner-McConnell Relationship: Mutual Respect, Low Drama

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell, celebrating Tuesday’s Republican wave with his wife, has a track record of working with Boehner. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John A. Boehner and Mitch McConnell have never been best friends.

But they aren’t enemies, either. Far from it, say staffers and sources who know both lawmakers. The speaker and the Senate’s presumptive new majority leader have built, over the years, a solid professional relationship based on a sturdy sense of mutual respect.

That relationship is in the spotlight now more than ever, with Republicans emboldened in the wake of Tuesday’s wave election that saw the GOP pick up at least eight seats in the Senate and more than a dozen in the House.

Sources told CQ Roll Call that Boehner and McConnell don’t have to be close personally to get things done.

“While they’ve never played horseshoes on the speaker’s lawn, they spend a lot of time together, speak regularly and have demonstrated an unprecedented working relationship between the leaders of the House and Senate,” Don Stewart, a McConnell spokesman, told CQ Roll Call. Full story

June 24, 2014

‘Cruz Caucus’ Talks Leadership Elections in Both Chambers

UNITED STATES - MAY 21: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, appears at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on oversight of the FBI, May 21, 2014, featuring testimony by FBI Director James Comey. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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

May 16, 2014

Gallup Poll: Congressional Leaders Remain Unpopular

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Americans are still unhappy with John A. Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, according to a Gallup poll that showed all four top leaders garnering net negative scores.

Pelosi, the House minority leader, remains the most polarizing and best-known leader, with the highest unfavorability — 49 percent — and favorability ratings — 33 percent. Only about 1 in 5 respondents said they had never heard of or had no opinion of her.

Boehner has recovered some favorability in the eyes of the electorate from his low during the end of last year, around the time of the partial government shutdown. His unfavorability came in at 45 percent, while 31 percent of respondents said they view him favorably. About 1 in 4 said they had never heard of or had no opinion on the speaker. Full story

March 18, 2014

When the Speaker Calls: How McMorris Rodgers Was Picked for SOTU Response

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers was back in Spokane, Wash., for the holidays, hosting her district staff Christmas party at the local Old Spaghetti Factory, when she heard she’d missed a call from Speaker John A. Boehner.

“It was late enough that I decided to wait until the next day to return his call, the next morning,” the Washington Republican recalled in a recent sit-down interview with CQ Roll Call. “But everything runs through your mind as to why Speaker Boehner would be calling.”

A pitch to deliver the official GOP rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address was certainly “not on the list,” McMorris Rodgers said.

But that was exactly what Boehner was calling to discuss.

“He simply said that he and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell had been talking, and they thought that I was the one that they’d like to see deliver the response to —” McMorris Rodgers stopped herself. “The Republican address. We didn’t call it a response. The Republican address following the State of the Union.”

The work started right away.

Full story

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