Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 26, 2015

Posts in "Oversight"

November 19, 2015

White House Loses Votes to GOP on Syrian Refugee Bill

syrian refugees

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democratic leadership braced Thursday for at least 60 defections on the Republican bill to strengthen the vetting of Syrian refugees seeking resettlement in the United States.

It wasn’t quite that high, but 47 Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with nearly every Republican for Congress’ first legislative response to the terrorist attacks in Paris — despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama. The coalition of Democrats supporting the measure, which passed 289-137, wasn’t atypical of previous votes for which leadership could not justify opposition. Full story

November 18, 2015

House Democrats Plan Alternative to Syrian Refugee Bill

3: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lofgren tried to get changes made to the GOP refugee bill due on the floor Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:15 p.m. | House Democrats will use procedural gambits to get a vote on their proposal aimed at easing concerns about Syrian refugees coming to the United States but without completely blocking their resettlement.

The partisan maneuvering has the potential to weaken support for a Republican-backed bill set to come to the floor Thursday. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure, but the bill is expected to pass with GOP votes and some from fiscally conservative Democrats.

Full story

November 17, 2015

Lawmakers Hit Secret Service on ‘Disturbing’ Culture

When the Secret Service circulated Chaffetz's file, it set off alarms with his fellow lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the Secret Service circulated Chaffetz’s file, it set off alarms with his fellow lawmakers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The U.S. Secret Service came under the congressional microscope once again Tuesday, with lawmakers seeking answers about agents who wrongly accessed a fellow congressman’s personnel file.

On Sept. 30, the agency’s inspector general released a report confirming that Secret Service employees accessed and circulated House Oversight and Government Affairs Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s 2003 application for a job at the agency, after Chaffetz’s probe of mishaps at the Secret Service. The incident prompted Homeland Security subcommittees of jurisdiction from the House and Senate to hold a joint hearing.

“The American people deserve answers,” said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency. “As disturbing as this incident is, it is only one example of other instances where Secret Service employees showed very poor judgment and leadership failed to act.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:26 p.m.

GOP Moves Forward With Sweeping Steering Panel Changes

steering committee

Ryan is ready to see his own influence diluted on the Steering Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are moving forward with an ambitious and far-reaching plan to overhaul the membership and operation of the Steering Committee, with a vote expected Thursday.

It’s only the first in a series of changes to GOP operations that Paul D. Ryan promised upon his election as speaker. Full story

House’s Muslim Members Brace for Charged Terror Debate

UNITED STATES - MARCH 10: Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., arrives to testify during the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" on Thursday, March 10, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Ellison, in 2011, arrives to testify at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response” (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Updated 5:30 p.m. | The two Muslim members of the House share the sentiments of their fellow Democrats: Under no circumstances should the United States block Syrian refugees from this country in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris..

But for Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and André Carson of Indiana, there’s a greater sense of urgency in how Congress responds to the violence at the hands of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, that has a stranglehold in Syria. Full story

October 19, 2015

Answers to Come in a Week of GOP Leadership Questions

house speaker

Ryan may finally answer the question: Will he run for speaker? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans return to the Capitol Tuesday with a set of questions and challenges. The most glaring among them remains: Who will lead them?

Speaker John A. Boehner has made it clear he will stay, if needed, beyond his scheduled resignation date at the end of the month. Whether that is necessary should become clear this week. Full story

October 9, 2015

House GOP Regroups, Still With No Endgame in Sight

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 07: Rep. Tim Ryan, R-Wisc., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, October 7, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans described the mood as “good” inside the closed-door members’ meeting Friday morning — despite the fact that less than 24 hours earlier, lawmakers were reportedly in tears over the news that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was withdrawing from the race for speaker.

“Heh heh!” Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, trilled when asked whether he thought the uncertainty over the leadership vacuum in conference would be resolved by close of business Friday, when the House adjourns for a weeklong recess. Full story

October 8, 2015

Republicans Eye Rules Changes as Possible Conference Unifier

Messer, R-Ind., 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)

Messer co-hosted a meeting to discuss possible House GOP rules changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina wants leadership candidates to confess to their “misdeeds” before they can be elected by their peers. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky wants to dilute the speaker’s power of the Republican Steering Committee.

Rep. James B. Renacci of Ohio wants leadership to prioritize floor votes on bills that have the support of a majority of members, not just the measures leaders like best. And Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia wants anyone running for elected leadership to give up whatever elected leadership positions they currently hold.

These are just some of the dozens of changes rank-and-file members of the House Republican Conference want to see addressed in the weeks and months ahead.

Full story

October 6, 2015

House Democrats Brace for Round Two of Trade Fight

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 helped the president whip House votes on TPA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats who fought unsuccessfully earlier this year to withhold Trade Promotion Authority from the White House are gearing up for round two: an effort to undo the sweeping 12-nation Pacific trade deal announced Monday that TPA authorized the administration to negotiate.

“The deal … is the result of negotiations between corporate interests and trade representatives, which ignored the voices of working families in all twelve countries,” Progressive Caucus Co-Chairmen Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota declared in a statement. Full story

October 2, 2015

Sources: Chaffetz Readies Run for Speaker

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, places his name plate at his seat as he arrives for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "White House Perimeter Breach: New Concerns about the Secret Service" on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz is reportedly making the rounds to run for speaker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Earlier this week, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, was busy trying to push his colleague Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to run for majority leader.

On Friday, news broke that Chaffetz was laying the groundwork for a leadership run of his own. Full story

October 1, 2015

Chaffetz Told McCarthy to Apologize for Benghazi Remarks

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, arrives for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the United States Department of Homeland Security" on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz personally told Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy he should apologize for jarring comments he made about the Republican-led House Benghazi panel’s impact on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I told [McCarthy] I’m supportive of him, but I have to distance myself from his comments. I just felt they were inaccurate and wrong,” the Oversight and Government Reform chairman said.

“I have a good working relationship with Kevin McCarthy and that was for him to digest. What he does with it is his business,” the Utah Republican told CQ Roll Call and The Associated Press Thursday in a brief hallway interview.

Full story

McCarthy Gets Earful From Both Sides for Benghazi Remarks

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

McCarthy takes heat for Benghazi remarks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News Tuesday night the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s major accomplishment so far was discrediting 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, he might have expected moans and groans from Democrats.

What the California Republican and expected heir to John A. Boehner’s speakership might not have anticipated was the criticism from colleagues on his side of the aisle.

Full story

September 29, 2015

Trey Gowdy Leadership Candidacy Still a Big Question Mark

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 17: Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi hearing on "Implementation of the Accountability Review Board Recommendations" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz, R-Utah, left, speaks to Gowdy, R-S.C., in Sept. 2014 (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Would Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., serve as House majority leader?

It’s not entirely clear.

Full story

Leadership Roundup: Scalise Is in, Gowdy Isn’t (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 2: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks to the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise made it official, he’s running for majority leader. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:46 p.m. | Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., will play coy no longer with the public and the press: On Tuesday morning, he announced he was running for majority leader.

“I understand from experience that unity is easy to call for, but it takes the right kind of leadership to achieve. As both Republican Study Committee Chairman and Majority Whip, I’ve made it a top priority to bring openness and inclusiveness into the legislative process so we can bring our dynamic conference together as we advance our agenda,” Scalise wrote in a letter hand-delivered to colleagues.

He continued, “As your Majority Leader, we’ll build upon this inclusive approach to deliver results you can be proud of.” Full story

September 24, 2015

Boehner Preps Sales Pitch on Planned Parenthood, CR

For Boehner and other GOP leaders, the clock is ticking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner, R-Ohio, has a lot to consider in the days ahead (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner held court in his office for nearly three hours Thursday, inviting groups of lawmakers in for discussions on how best to defund Planned Parenthood without shutting down the federal government.

As a long day was winding down, the speaker and his lieutenants worked on a multi-pronged plan to present to fellow Republicans when the Republican Conference gathers Friday morning for a closed-door meeting. Full story

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