Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Posts in "Oversight"

February 3, 2016

Watch Live: House Hearing on Flint Water Crisis


President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint, Mich. on Jan. 16 freeing up federal aid to help with lead-contaminated drinking water. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Flint, Mich. on Jan. 16 freeing up federal aid to help with lead-contaminated drinking water. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing on the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Flint are among the witnesses expected to testify.

Coverage begins at 9 a.m.

Full story

December 23, 2015

Steve Scalise Defends Planned Parenthood Strategy


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 15 - House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., heads to a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, December 15, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise, left, says Republican priorities are reflected in the way his office approached the Planned Parenthood defuding effort. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans were skeptical when their No. 3 leader started talking back in September about using the budget reconciliation process to defund Planned Parenthood, knowing full well it would be vetoed by President Barack Obama. Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., though, still counts it as one of the GOP’s biggest victories of the 114th Congress. Full story

December 17, 2015

Ex-Speaker Hastert Recovering From Stroke


Hastert (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is recovering from a stroke as he awaits sentencing for his guilty plea stemming from a hush-money scheme.

Hastert’s attorney, Thomas Green, confirmed the Illinois Republican’s health status in a statement provided to Roll Call. Full story

December 16, 2015

It’s A Deal: Republicans Settle for Notable Omnibus Wins


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 10 - House Speaker Paul Ryan takes a question during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, December 10, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans said Ryan deserved high praise for creating a more inclusive, collaborative environment in the lead-up to the omnibus negotiations. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been offering members the same refrain since taking the gavel from John A. Boehner two months ago.

He’d been dealt a bad hand by the old regime, according to the Wisconsin Republican, and the best thing for everyone was to make it through the end of the year so the Republican House can return to “regular order” and run the government as it should.

Full story

December 10, 2015

Watch Live: House Hearing on U.S. Visa Waiver Program


The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security holds a hearing on terrorism and vulnerabilities in the Visa Waiver Program, which comes in the wake of the Dec. 2 San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the RAND Corporation, MorphoTrak and the Center for American Progress are expected to testify.

Coverage begins at 10 a.m.

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December 4, 2015

Judiciary Chairman Puts Gun Onus on Executive Branch


Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., runs 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)

Goodlatte. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The member of Congress leading oversight over the Justice and Homeland Security departments, as well as terrorism and crime, said Thursday it was up to the Executive Branch, not Congress, to make sure guns didn’t get into the wrong hands.

“The biggest thing that we can do in regards to gun violence is enforce the laws that we currently have on the books,” House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., said during a taping of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” that is set to air Sunday. “We have hundreds of them at the federal level, thousands of them at the state and local level, and the record over the last six years is one of steadily declining enforcement.” Full story

November 30, 2015

Cynthia Lummis: ‘The Only Republican Woman’


Lummis prepares to leave Congress as a proud conservative and frequently the only woman in many GOP circles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lummis frequently found herslef the only woman in many GOP circles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis was elected to Congress in 2008, she wanted to be a “reformer” and rein in spending and squelch bills that infringed on states’ rights.

She’ll retire at the end of 2016, having fallen short of accomplishing her objective. “It has not been the Congress that I hoped it would be during my seven years,” she recently conceded in an interview with Roll Call.

Full story

Congress Has a List of Deadlines, Is Checking It Twice


Ryan speaks to reporters.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan has a long month ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress returns this week for a pivotal work period with multiple deadlines, a busy schedule for an institution that tends to wait until the very last minute to get things done.

House lawmakers will spend the next four legislative days laying the groundwork on crucial pieces of legislation for the rest of the month, negotiating terms and conditions among themselves and with their counterparts across the aisle and Rotunda.

Full story

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.
Oversight

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

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