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October 13, 2015

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October 13, 2015

What Happened to the Young Guns?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two of the three Young Guns, McCarthy, left, and Ryan, are still around. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and fellow Republican Reps. Paul D. Ryan and Eric Cantor ganged up in 2007 as the new generation of conservative leadership, they did a great job putting the party’s goals down on paper, the man who unseated Cantor said Friday.

“But my question to them is, do they mean it? Did they just do that as a political ploy to run or was that a real pledge to America?” challenged Virginia Rep. Dave Brat.  “Because usually when you do a pledge, you intend to keep your pledge.” Full story

October 9, 2015

Members See No Problems With McCarthy Staying On

McCarthy, D-Calif., is photographed in his Capitol office, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy dropped his speakership bid, but plans to stay in the No. 2 slot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What’s next for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy?

For two weeks the California Republican was the favorite to succeed John A. Boehner as speaker, but just minutes before his colleagues were set to vote on his nomination he pulled back, saying he was “not the one” to lead the deeply fractured GOP conference.

But is he “the one” to stick around as the No. 2 House Republican? Full story

October 8, 2015

After McCarthy’s Stunner, Republicans Who Could Be Speaker (Video)

Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. McCarthy is reinforcing to Republicans that he can keep them united, despite conservatives trying to move their party to the right after Boehner's sudden resignation. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:26 p.m. Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s stunning decision to withdraw his name from the race for the speaker’s gavel has set off chaos in the Republican conference, with all sorts of names being floated of people who could potentially be the next speaker. Full story

Members React to McCarthy’s Decision to Drop Speaker Bid (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:02 p.m. | House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s abrupt decision to drop out of the race to replace outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, at the GOP conference’s leadership election Thursday has members talking.

Here’s a catalog of reaction from the House GOP following the California Republican’s move. Full story

October 1, 2015

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 30, 2015

Rules Could Complicate Leadership Fight (Updated)

UNITED STATES - September 29: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., listens as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a new conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise listens as McCarthy speaks Tuesday during a new conference on Capitol Hill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:26 p.m. | A rules fight could determine who holds power in the House Republican Conference under a new speaker when the elections are held on Oct. 8.

While Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California remains the odds-on favorite to inherit John A. Boehner’s gavel, the race for his position remains fluid and that has caused all kinds of uncertainty down the ballot. Full story

September 20, 2015

With One Exception, Lawmakers Prepare for Pope Francis (Updated)

Gosar is one of several congressmen raising concerns over new EPA rules (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gosar is skipping the pope’s remarks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:33 p.m. | House lawmakers still don’t have a budget deal that would avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1, but so far there’s only one main event on their schedule: the joint session of Congress with Pope Francis.

Anticipation is mounting for the pontiff’s Thursday visit to Capitol Hill, with members scrambling to secure tickets for constituents and special guests. Demand for seating in the chamber and standing room on the West Lawn is so high that former members, who ordinarily have floor privileges for life, are being locked out of the event.

But not everyone is clamoring to hear the Vatican leader. Full story

September 19, 2015

The Congressional Wish List for the Pope’s Speech

(Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

(Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Every lawmaker on Capitol Hill has a cause that could use a boost from a powerful person’s endorsement — and next week there won’t be a more influential seal of approval than one from Pope Francis.

Since taking on the papacy in March 2013, the leader of the world’s largest church has shown a willingness to wade into some of the thorniest political debates around the globe, from economic equality to climate change to immigration.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike want to hear what he has to say, and his scheduled Sept. 24 address to a joint session of Congress will afford him a soapbox from which to deliver a message to, basically, the world. Full story

July 15, 2015

Democrats Back Another Short-Term Highway Bill

Welch, D-Vt., speaks during a news conference to announce efforts to oppose legislation to roll back Defense cuts on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welch, D-Vt., has been one of the strongest opponents of short-term highway bills (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

See if this sounds familiar.

House Democrats back in May said they didn’t want to vote for another short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund, but most of them ultimately relented, preferring to go on record supporting a two-month patch rather than be blamed for causing major disruptions to transportation projects across the country.

But don’t expect their help to pass another stopgap bill in July, House Democrats warned their Republican colleagues. 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

March 27, 2015

Did Van Hollen Miss a Layup Opportunity With Progressives? (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., participates in the National Press Club Newsmaker Program with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on "future federal budget priorities and methods to achieve them" at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen surprised some progressives when he didn’t vote for their budget this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:42 p.m. | Congressional Progressive Caucus members were emboldened this week.

Their fiscal 2016 budget proposal won 96 votes on the floor, which translates into half of all House Democrats endorsing the policy platform of one third of the whole House Democratic Caucus — plus a higher threshold than for any CPC budget ever before.

Full story

March 25, 2015

GOP Defense Hawks Trump Conservatives as House OKs Budget

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wednesday’s budget vote was a win for Scalise and the rest of the GOP leadership team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After months of leadership’s best-laid plans falling apart on the floor and behind the scenes, House GOP leaders eked out a much-needed victory Wednesday, with Republicans endorsing a budget that added even more defense dollars to the blueprint reported out committee.

The House voted 228-199 to adopt the budget resolution, after first endorsing that budget in a closer 219-208 vote. Full story

March 16, 2015

GOP’s Post-Ryan Budget: Price Outlines Spending Plan (Video)

Tom Price, R-Ga., chairs the House Budget Committee hearing on "The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Price outlines the GOP spending plan Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the past four years it’s been all about the “Ryan budget,” the House GOP’s spending blueprint informally named for then-Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan — and synonymous with the Wisconsin Republican’s fiscal austerity.

This year, get ready for the “Price budget.” Full story

February 10, 2015

Jordan Becomes House Freedom Caucus Chairman

Jordan is among the working group of conservatives who met with GOP leaders. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jordan will head the new caucus of House conservatives. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus finally has a chairman, and it is, as expected, Jim Jordan.

Members of the HFC met late Tuesday in an unnumbered Cannon House Office Building conference room to vote on the chairman and bylaws, as well as to discuss issues currently before Congress. Full story

February 4, 2015

House Freedom Caucus Looks to Be a Force — in Leadership and Lawmaking

Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters after his presentations at the Heritage Action for America's Conservative Policy Summit in Washington on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jordan and other members of the new conservative splinter caucus think the group is already had an impact. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Freedom Caucus is only a few weeks old, but some members say the new conservative faction is already pulling the House Republican Conference to the right. Before the HFC convened a single meeting, it so complicated the GOP debate on a proposed border security bill that leadership eventually had to pull the measure from the floor.

But even more than a formalized “hell no” caucus that can thwart GOP leadership’s most moderate plans, the HFC could be a springboard for a new conservative leader — even if that’s not the group’s intention.

Full story

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