Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2015

Posts in "Rules and procedure"

July 27, 2015

On Highways and Ex-Im, House Watches Senate

Crowley (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., is not enthusiastic about the Senate’s highway bill (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week, the House is expected to take up legislation to make new major executive branch rules contingent upon congressional approval, consider a bill to streamline “accountability” at the Department of Veterans Affairs and vote on a whole slew of suspensions.

But it’s the legislative business not currently listed on the floor schedule that’s likely to make the most headlines in the last days before the monthlong August recess. 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 22, 2015

House GOP Appropriators Prepare for Sequester Showdown

Harold Rogers

Rogers, R-Ky., gathered top House GOP appropriators Wednesday for a meeting to discuss how to avoid a year-long continuing resolution (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders don’t want to be the first to flinch at Democrats’ calls to repeal sequester-level spending caps, but senior GOP appropriators emerged from a closed-door meeting Wednesday in agreement: Congress has to do something.

Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., gathered his 12 subcommittee chairmen together to discuss next steps for the fiscal 2016 appropriations process that has ground to a halt on Capitol Hill with just 15 scheduled legislative days left to avert a government shutdown in September. Full story

July 21, 2015

Panel Eyes Debate Over Confederate Symbols in Capitol

Lawmakers will debate the propriety of displaying Confederate imagery, such as that contained in Mississippi's flag. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers could debate displaying Confederate imagery on the Hill, such as that contained in Mississippi’s flag, seen hanging here in the Senate Subway. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Could the House Administration Committee actually take up a resolution to take down the Mississippi state flag?

The panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., is still noncommittal on whether she’ll hold hearings or markups on a pair of measures that would bar Confederate imagery on House grounds — including the official Mississippi banner, with its Confederate flag inset, that hangs with 49 other state flags in the tunnel of the Rayburn House Office Building.

But Miller on Tuesday suggested she was open to discussion, penning a letter to the committee’s three Democrats asking for suggestions on who might be good to testify on the matter. Full story

GOP Leader Cracks Door, Slightly, on Voting Rights Act

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., makes his way to the House floor through the media pack, who were waiting for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy, R-Calif., thinks it’s time for an “overall review” of the VRA (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last year, House Democrats saw ex-Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a possible (if ultimately disappointing) ally in the fight to rewrite the Voting Rights Act for the 21st century.

On Tuesday, Cantor’s leadership successor, Kevin McCarthy, might have revealed himself as another important potential friend to the effort. Full story

July 19, 2015

Planned Parenthood Video Refuels GOP’s Abortion Agenda

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., leaves the Capitol following a vote on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Franks has consistently backed legislation to ban abortion practices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In undercover film footage of a Planned Parenthood official discussing in graphic detail how to preserve aborted fetal organs for medical research, anti-abortion Republicans hope they’ve finally found an opening to advance their agenda.

So far, they have a few things working in their favor. 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

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

July 13, 2015

Confederate Flap Imperils GOP Goal to Finish Spending Bills by August

ogers, R-Ky., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rogers is not optimistic about getting the spending bills done by August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week’s messy fight over Confederate flag amendments to the Interior-Environment spending measure — which culminated in pulling the bill from the House floor — has thrown the legislative calendar into flux.

Republican leaders, unable to pass the seventh of the 12 annual spending bills, are now no longer planning to bring up the eighth fiscal 2016 Financial Services-General Government this week. 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

June 30, 2015

Zombie Bank: Why Killing Ex-Im Doesn’t Mean It’s Dead

Congressional staffers stand below a television monitor as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, testifies during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional staffers stood below a television monitor on June 3, as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank, testified before the House Financial Services Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With only hours to go before the Export-Import Bank’s charter expires for the first time in its 81-year history, lawmakers who support the agency are pointing fingers at the base of opposition — but not sounding the alarm bells of imminent catastrophe.

Starting Wednesday, the bank won’t be able to extend new loans — but it will still be able to serve out existing contracts. Most members are confident the operation will get reauthorized, some way or another, in the weeks before the month-long August recess and before the funding lapse becomes a real problem. Full story

June 26, 2015

How One House Democrat Helped Save Trade for Obama

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the House New Democrat Coalition news conference to unveil a policy agenda "aimed at creating a new era of American prosperity" on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind, D-Wis., helped get 28 Democrats to vote for TPA (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At midday Thursday, there was a gathering in Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s members’ lounge off Statuary Hall to toast House passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance, the last piece of a legislative package giving Trade Promotion Authority to President Barack Obama.

But among the select group of lawmakers and aides from both parties, there was one notable absence: The House Democrat who helped win for Obama the ability to negotiate a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Full story

June 25, 2015

One Lawmaker’s Supreme Court Gloom Is Another’s ACA Joy

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, received the gavel from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the first day of the 113th Congress. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Boehner didn’t make news at news conferences post-Supreme Court ruling upholding Affordable Care Act subsidies. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday’s weekly leadership news conferences, coming in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling to uphold subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, were studies in contrast: One one side was a somber John A. Boehner, vowing to keep fighting, on the other, an ecstatic Nancy Pelosi, celebrating the affirmation of her signature legislative achievement.

Full story

Buck Fundraises Off Attempts to Oust Him as Class President

Buck, R-Colo., takes his seat for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Examining the Adequacy and Enforcement of Our Nation's Immigration Laws" on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Buck wasn’t ousted, but he’s fundraising off of it nonetheless. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ken Buck learned Thursday morning he could keep his slot as freshman class president, but the Colorado Republican is still calling in the reinforcements.

A few hours after his fellow classmates decided not to punish him for voting against GOP leadership on the rule for Trade Promotion Authority, Buck sent out a fundraising email asking for financial support. Full story

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