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May 28, 2015

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May 21, 2015

Four Texas Republicans Endorse Cruz for President

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About a month ago, Sen. Ted Cruz’s chief of staff made a request of some House-side colleagues: Would their bosses be willing to say nice things about the Texas Republican’s 2016 presidential bid? Or, even better, would they be willing to endorse him?

Paul Teller, that chief of staff who was once the executive director of the Republican Study Committee, must be feeling pretty good now. Full story

May 14, 2015

Pro-Immigration Provision Stripped From Defense Bill

Brooks' amendment prevailed Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brooks’ amendment prevailed Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A bipartisan coalition came close Thursday to protecting immigration-related language in the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act — but not close enough.

A 221-202 vote on an amendment, offered by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., stripped a provision in the underlying bill encouraging the Pentagon to study options for enlisting undocumented immigrants into the military in exchange for a pathway to legal status.

All 182 Democrats voted “no,” joined by 20 Republicans. Full story

May 6, 2015

Conservatives Set for Immigration Fight on Defense Bill

Gallego, D-Ariz., gestures to other freshman members as they arrive early on the House steps for the House Democratic Caucus media event "to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Pr

Gallego’s amendment supporting the rights of undocumented immigrants to serve in the military has been targeted by House conservatives. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee voted 33-30 for an amendment to the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that would encourage the Pentagon to affirm undocumented immigrants should be permitted to serve in the military.

This week, more than two dozen conservative House Republicans are threatening to derail the must-pass legislation unless that language is removed. 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

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

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 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

March 2, 2015

Conservatives Push Effort to Block ‘Clean’ DHS Bill

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

King. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing the prospect of Democrats forcing a vote on a “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding bill, conservatives are calling on House Republicans to adopt a resolution blocking the legislative maneuver.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, released a statement Monday following a Roll Call story laying out how Democrats could use House rules to get a vote on the Senate-passed DHS funding bill  the one that doesn’t block President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration and funds the agency through Sept. 30. 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

February 11, 2015

Lawmakers Push Longshot Bid to Rewrite Voting Rights Act

Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., prepares to testify during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act" on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sensenbrenner seeks more Republican support for a revived Voting Rights Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner fell short in his 2014 efforts to convince GOP leadership to take up his Voting Rights Amendment Act, but the Wisconsin Republican is ready to take another stab at passing a rewrite of the historic law.

But there’s little indication this year will be any different.

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

December 23, 2014

In New Role on Capitol Hill, Duppler Goes From ‘Outsider’ to ‘Insider’

House Republicans hired Duppler away from Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans hired Duppler away from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a town where everyone wants to be heard, a big part of Mattie Duppler’s job is to listen.

Duppler, who made a name for herself as the director of budget and regulatory policy for Americans for Tax Reform, is the new coalitions director for the House Republican Conference. 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

November 20, 2014

New RSC Chairman: Don’t Look for Public Fights With Boehner

UNITED STATES - JUNE 12: Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce border security legislation titled "Support More Assets, Resources and Technology on the Border of 2013." The bill would allow for the employment of additional border officers and a temporary deployment of the National Guard if Congress deems that operational control of the U.S. southern borders is not established. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Flores envisions a less combative RSC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Good news for Speaker John A. Boehner: The next Republican Study Committee chairman wants to work with him — and he doesn’t want any public fights.

In an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” that will air Sunday, newly elected RSC Chairman Bill Flores laid out a vision for a more collaborative, less publicly combative RSC. For a preview of how he intends to run the conservative group, he points to the mission statement: The Republican Study Committee is dedicated to a limited and Constitutional role for the federal government, a strong national defense, the protection of individual and property rights, and the preservation of traditional family values.

Time and again, Flores returned to the mission statement as the guiding document of his chairmanship. The RSC creed has been a hot topic for Flores since he told Breitbart News that, according to the mission statement, it’s not the RSC chairman’s role to hold the greater GOP caucus leadership accountable.

The 170-member caucus of conservative Republicans in the House has been a springboard in recent years for former chairmen — such as Louisian’s Steve Scalise, who is now House GOP whip, and Texas’ Jeb Hensarling, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Flores, a 60-year-old Texas Republican, ran for RSC chairman on a platform of working with leadership. And now that he’s been elected to the position over his more conservative competition — Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Louie Gohmert of Texas — he is further emphasizing his less confrontational approach.

“To the extent that we have differences with our leadership, rather than airing those differences in public, we will keep those private,” Flores said.

The incoming chairman said there was “pretty good alignment” between what GOP leadership wants to do and what the RSC wants to do. “And so our goal is to put forth the most positive, achievable solutions and ask our leadership to do that,” Flores said. “And we’ll be pushy. I just don’t intend to do it in a public forum, unless our membership desires that we do that publicly.”

Asked about the members of the RSC who might want to see their chairman publicly prodding leadership toward more conservative proposals, Flores returned to the mission statement.

“If the membership of the Republican Study Committee wants to change the mission statement to say that part of our mission is to be publicly pushy with our leadership, I’m willing to fulfill the mission statement,” he said. “I signed on as chair to fulfill the mission statement, whatever it is.”

He reiterated that the 34-word proclamation, as it is currently written, is not to be “pushy” with leadership, “or to be banging on our leadership,” and he returned to the document of intent when asked about outside conservative groups that have sometimes been a thorn in Boehner’s side.

“The mission statement doesn’t say anything about working with the outside groups,” Flores said.

He said some of these groups were doing “great work” for the country and had missions to advance a conservative vision.

“But, in some ways, I think that they are — some of them, I believe, have other missions,” he said. “And that is to raise money. They have missions to primary Republicans.”

Flores noted that he’d like to work with them as much as he can, but said his “primary responsibility” was to work with our RSC membership, “not to work with the outside groups.”

Pressed on whether groups such as Heritage Action and Club for Growth had been forces for good for Republicans in Congress, Flores gave a mixed message: “Sometimes they have and sometimes they’ve been less helpful.”

Overall, Flores emphasized advocating for achievable solutions, and he said the RSC would put forward proposals that would appeal to more than just conservatives.

He argued that Republicans needed to address sequestration to protect the Defense Department from the automatic spending cuts, and he said that he, personally, would like to see some sort of border security bill.

“The challenge as the chair is to be able to get as many of what I think will be 185 members on our roster, to come to a common set of ideals as we move forward in the next Congress,” he said.

 

Related:

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Messy Fight for Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Slot

Eshoo Wins Backing of Steering and Policy Committee Over Pallone

Democrats Re-Elect Pelosi, Leadership Team for 114th Congress

Democrats Fume in Caucus as Duckworth Denied Vote

With New House Democratic Leadership Team, Pelosi Looks Out for Her Own

Chaffetz Wins Four-Way Showdown for Oversight Gavel

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

Power Plays: House Gavel and Ranking Member Battles (Updated)

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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November 19, 2014

Messy Fight for Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Slot (Updated)

Brown, left, and Walz, center, are vying for the ranking member position on the Veterans' Affairs Committee. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brown, left, and Walz, center, each are vying for the ranking member position on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:28 a.m. | Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota thought there would be a vote after Thanksgiving on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee ranking member race. As it turns out, his face-off against Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida will happen on Wednesday.

It gives Walz less time than he and his allies said they anticipated to build support around his uphill challenge of Brown, who benefits from seniority and the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus, of which she is a member.

Before the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee can meet to vote on a recommendation to the full House Democratic Caucus, Walz will have to clear an additional hurdle: A vote on whether he is even eligible to hold the post.

Walz is the highest-ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress and has had a seat at the Veterans’ Affairs Committee table since 2007. He is, however, on the committee via waiver, and his opponents say it doesn’t qualify him to run against Brown, who after nearly two decades on the committee is next in line to succeed the current retiring ranking member, Michael H. Michaud of Maine. Full story

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