Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 3, 2015

Posts in "Oversight"

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

House Conservatives Emboldened, Despite Crackdown Attempt (Video)

 

Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority" on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz kicked over a hornet’s nest when he tried to demote Meadows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The tension between GOP leadership and House conservatives might have eased somewhat, now that Rep. Mark Meadows has his subcommittee gavel back. But the distrust, even anger, within the conference after last month’s crackdown on House Freedom Caucus members hasn’t quite been relieved.

Instead, leadership’s effort to subdue the 34 Republicans who defied the speaker on a June 11 trade vote seems to have left conservatives emboldened, not cowed.

Full story

June 17, 2015

War on Islamic State Finally Gets House Floor Debate

Farm Bill's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

McGovern spearheaded the push to force a floor debate on U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three House lawmakers wanted a robust debate on whether there should be boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

On Wednesday, they got their wish. Full story

June 14, 2015

Chaffetz Threatens Subpoenas Over OPM Hack

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, left, wants answers on the government employee data breach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Subpoenas could be headed out to officials at the Office of Personnel Management after a massive data breach gave hackers sensitive information for millions of government workers, Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz said during a taping of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program.

Chaffetz’s committee is holding a hearing on the data breach Tuesday, and the Utah Republican doesn’t seem to have much sympathy for government cyber security workers. “It’s clear we should have seen this coming a long time ago,” Chaffetz said, adding that OPM officials have been “very resistant” to coming to testify before the congressional panel. Full story

June 5, 2015

White House, Team Boehner Trade Barbs on Cybersecurity (Video)

Boehner speaks to reporters the same week the House passed two cybersecurity bills (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner speaks to reporters the same week the House passed two cybersecurity bills (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House says Congress hasn’t “done a single thing” to stop cyberattacks; House GOP leadership begs to differ.

On Friday, in the wake of revelations that a major cybersecurity breach of records at the Office of Personnel Management compromised personal information of millions of current and former federal employees, White House press secretary Josh Earnest put the onus on Capitol Hill to pass legislation to prevent future episodes. Full story

June 4, 2015

Former Sheriff Poised to Be GOP Point Person on Policing

Rep. Dave Reichert

Reichert, a former sheriff, is taking the lead as House Republicans shape the party’s message on policing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Who do House Republican leaders call when the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill is on thin ice and the party’s susceptible to critiques it doesn’t care about police-civilian clashes occurring nationwide?

They call the sheriff. Full story

June 1, 2015

McCarthy to Senate: Pass USA Freedom Act ‘as Soon as Possible’

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)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With key provisions of the Patriot Act now expired and the Senate’s plans to reboot them unclear, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted Monday morning he has “a real concern in the safety of the country right now.”

But the California Republican, in a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters, suggested he only saw one good path forward for the Senate to take in the days ahead: pass the House-passed USA Freedom Act. Full story

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