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February 7, 2016

Posts in "Rules and procedure"

January 7, 2016

Reconciliation Hasn’t Always Been a Street Fight


Ryan has promised to vote on an override of Obama's expected veto of the reconciliation bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan has promised a vote on an override of Obama’s expected veto of the reconciliation bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The budget reconciliation process sounds complicated and partisan, but it wasn’t always so.

The legislative tactic, which is popular because it averts the Senate filibuster, aims to align taxes and spending with the annual budget resolution that Congress can, but doesn’t always, pass. It’s a way to change high-profile programs, such as entitlements or the tax code, without having to worry about as many procedural roadblocks.

Basically, in partisan times, partisan legislation is easier to pass using reconciliation. Full story

January 5, 2016

The Seinfeld Vote


UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 29 - Congressman arrive for a quorum call in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, October 29, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Congressmen arrive for a quorum call in the House Chamber last year. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If only all votes were this light and easy.

The House engaged in one of its quirkiest rituals on Tuesday, the Call of the House. It’s a roll call vote that establishes a quorum — a signal to the president, the Senate and the public that the chamber is open for legislative business at the start of each session. 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 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 9, 2015

Meet the 11 Republicans Vying for the Steering Committee


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 8: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters with House Republican leaders following the House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of Ryan’s first acts as speaker was to reconfigure the influential Steering Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eleven House Republicans are pitching their colleagues for a seat at the GOP’s influential Steering Committee, which determines who gets what plum, or not so plum, committee assignments.

Elections are scheduled for Thursday to determine the six at-large members who will be installed on the committee, a situation set in motion when new Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., kept a promise to conservatives and changed the makeup of the panel, diluting some of leadership’s influence. Full story

Linda Sánchez Announces Democratic Leadership Bid


UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., speaks as members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus hold a news conference to speak out against the House Republican budget and its impact on the Latino community on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elections for leadership positions are still a year away, but Rep. Linda T. Sánchez is laying the groundwork for her campaign.

The California Democrat and chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus circulated a letter to each of her colleagues Wednesday asking for their support in her bid to be the Democratic Caucus vice chairwoman for the 115th Congress. Full story

December 8, 2015

Democrats Tie Up House Floor to Force Vote on Guns Bill


dem_meeting002_071515

Israel said Democrats wanted to “shame Republicans into giving us a vote on stopping terrorists for buying guns in America.” (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats want Republicans to give them a vote on legislation to ban individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.

On Tuesday, they got to debate the issue — sort of. Full story

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

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

November 16, 2015

House Freedom Caucus Re-Elects Jordan as Chairman


house freedom caucus

Jordan was re-elected chairman of the House Freedom Caucus Monday evening. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus unanimously re-elected Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Monday evening to serve as its chairman for 2016.

Members of the conservative caucus cast their votes in the basement of Tortilla Coast, the Capitol Hill restaurant where the group often gathers. Full story

November 12, 2015

Key Chairmen Could Be Booted From Steering Committee


Ryan holds his first weekly on-camera press conference Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Every committee chairperson could soon have a voice in who gets appointed to his or her panel, according to a proposal to revamp the Steering Committee that’s being mulled by Speaker Paul D. Ryan and a seven-member task force.

But there’s a catch: The six chairmen who already have permanent seats on the Steering Committee would have to step aside. Full story

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