Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

Posts in "Oversight"

September 3, 2015

Attendance Sparse at Planned Parenthood Video Screening

UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at a mid-day rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in support of defunding Planned Parenthood. During the rally, Sen. Paul announced a commitment from Senate leadership for a vote on his legislation to defund Planned Parenthood prior to the August recess.   (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at a rally in favor of de-funding Planned Parenthood (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

Two thousand is the number of Democratic House and Senate staffers invited to a screening of the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissues and organs.

Sixteen is the number of congressional aides who responded to the invitation, sent out by the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. Full story

September 2, 2015

House to Vote Next Week on Iran Disapproval Resolution

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 4: House Majority Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., addresses the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy says the House will vote next week on the Iran nuclear deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House returns next week from a month-long recess, and before it starts to tick off any of the other items on its lengthy September to-do list, it will tackle the pending nuclear deal with Iran.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., made the significant scheduling announcement Wednesday evening, just hours after Senate Democrats secured the votes that will allow the agreement to proceed, regardless of whether both Republican run chambers reject it. Full story

September 1, 2015

Wasserman Schultz in Tough Spot on Iran Deal

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Wasserman Schultz, left, speaks with Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., on the East Front of the Capitol (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in an unenviable position.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee has yet to announce where she stands on President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran — and no matter how she eventually votes, the Florida Democrat is likely to pay a political price.

Full story

August 26, 2015

Scalise, Richmond: Two Takes on Post-Katrina New Orleans

UNITED STATES - MARCH 18:  Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., speaks during an event at 101 Constitution Avenue with the National Bankers Association, Visa, and NFL players, to educate teens about financial responsibility, March 18, 2015. At the event, teens and NFL athletes Heisman Trophy winner and New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram and Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles, played "Financial Football," a free educational video game that incorporates football and questions about money management. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If Katrina happened in 2015, New Orleans could expect less help from Congress than it got a decade ago, Richmond said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Here’s the latest in a CQ Roll Call series of reports on the legacy of Hurricane Katrina, continuing our conversations with New Orleans’ congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric L. Richmond:

Ten years ago, Congress barely blinked before greenlighting billions to rebuild the Hurricane Katrina-battered city of New Orleans. Would Congress do the same today?

“Yeah, I think Congress would, and has,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said. “There were a lot of debates, as there should have been, but ultimately, the decision was made that they weren’t going to let a major national city fade away.” Full story

August 4, 2015

Royce, Boehner Set Stage for House Disapproval of Iran Deal

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Royce has introduced a resolution to disapprove of the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File  Photo)

The gears have been set in motion for the House to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal when the chamber returns from recess in September.

On Tuesday afternoon, Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., announced the introduction of a resolution to reject the agreement, despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to veto any legislation that undermines the negotiated framework. Full story

August 3, 2015

Ethics Committee to Investigate Chaka Fattah (Updated)

Ethics Committee Chaka Fattah

Fattah faces an Ethics Committee probe following his indictment last week. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 8:55 p.m. | The House Ethics Committee did its due diligence Monday evening.

Per its rules, the panel has formally convened an “investigative subcommittee” to probe possible misconduct by Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was slapped last week with a 29-count federal indictment for alleged conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud. Full story

July 30, 2015

CBC Chairman: Charges Against Chaka Fattah ‘Very Serious’

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., speaks to reporters before a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center to receive a briefing on security from Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse and Assistant Chief Dan Nichols in the wake of Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is recovering from surgery after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

CBC Chairman Butterfield called Fattah’s indictment “serious”  (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Within 24 hours of being slapped with a 29-count indictment, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., voluntarily relinquished his ranking member position on an appropriations subcommittee and resigned as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Board of Directors.

Both actions were appropriate, said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield — and, he suggested, necessary. Full story

July 29, 2015

Chaka Fattah Case Could Get Awkward Fast for Democrats (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chaka Fattah has been under federal investigation for years, so for many of his colleagues the question was not whether an indictment would come, but when. But it could get awkward for Democrats in a hurry, as Fattah holds prominent positions within the party’s establishment and next year’s presidential nomination convention is being held in his native Philadelphia.

Within hours of being slapped with 29 counts — for racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud — the Pennsylvania Democrat had agreed to relinquish his post as ranking member on the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, per rules and precedent. Full story

July 27, 2015

House GOP Threatens Contempt Vote for IRS Head

John Koskinen

Chaffetz announces next phase in Congress’s IRS investigation (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen is the latest Obama administration official House Republicans want fired — or, in Koskinen’s case, held in contempt of Congress, or even impeached.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee put out the proverbial call for Koskinen’s head Monday, alleging he lied under oath and oversaw the destruction of key records that might have shone light on the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative nonprofit groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Full story

July 24, 2015

Despite White House’s Iran Blitz, Democrats Struggle With Backing Deal

The State Department isn't saying whether Kerry plans to testify May 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kerry is making frequent visits to Capitol Hill to sell lawmakers on the Iran nuclear agreement (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats were briefed on the Iran nuclear deal Thursday afternoon by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Earnest J. Moniz, but many sounded as undecided when they came out as when they went in.

“I’m working through it,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “That’s why we have 60 days.” Full story

July 21, 2015

Texas Congresswoman to Trump: Have You No Decency?

Granger is leading a GOP task force to make recommendations on the child migrant border surge (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Granger, R-Texas, ripped into Donald Trump for disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kay Granger has a reputation for telling it like she thinks it is, from colleagues who have “no business being in Congress” to fellow Texas Republicans who are “misbehaving” — but she usually does it quietly, preferring behind-the-scenes nudges to soundbite-ready shoves.

But when it comes to Donald Trump, she’s not pulling punches. Full story

July 16, 2015

Return to Normal: Pelosi’s Got Obama’s Back on Iran (Video)

Pelosi stopped short of saying she wouldn't support a continuing resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi enthusiastically endorsed the Iran nuclear deal Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House’s top Republican and Democrat switched normal roles during the “fast-track” debate, with President Barack Obama relying on the GOP, rather than his own party, to carry his trade package across the finish line.

But when it comes to the president’s nuclear agreement with Iran, it’s back to normal for Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: She’s backing Obama, he isn’t.

Full story

July 15, 2015

Planned Parenthood Video Spurs Probe on Fetal Tissue Sales (Video) (Updated)

Boehner is calling for hearings on the Planned Parenthood allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 3:16 p.m. | Fueled by the emergence of a new undercover video showing a high-ranking Planned Parenthood official discussing logistics for donating organs and tissues of aborted fetuses, House Republicans are preparing to re-enter the fray of the abortion debate.

Referring to the practices of the nation’s leading abortion provider as “gruesome” and “grisly,” Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, on Wednesday released a statement calling for hearings on allegations Planned Parenthood seeks to profit financially from terminating pregnancies in such a way as to preserve the fetuses for use in medical research. Full story

July 8, 2015

GOP Rewrite of ‘No Child’ Passes on Second Try

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., talks with reporters outside of the RNC after a meeting of House republicans, July 15, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., was a winner Wednesday night when his amendment was adopted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed an education overhaul bill on Wednesday night — barely.

In a nail-biting and lengthy vote sequence, Republican leaders and their allies succeeded in passing a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law, 218-213.  Full story

July 6, 2015

Republicans Set to Try Again With Education Overhaul

Kline is among the Republicans who might be forced to hand over a gavel given self-imposed term limits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kline wants to overhaul K-12 education laws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In late February, House conservatives were revolting on two different fronts: They didn’t want to fund the Department of Homeland Security without language blocking President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration, and they didn’t want to replace the No Child Left Behind education law without provisions giving more autonomy to states.

At that time, GOP leaders opted to focus their energies on preventing a DHS shutdown instead of navigating a sticky whip operation on a non-time sensitive education bill, and so, mid-floor debate, they hit the “pause” button. Full story

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