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July 4, 2015

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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 24, 2015

Obama Gets Trade Win: Democrats Give In on TAA

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer will vote for TAA when it comes back to the House floor Thursday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s over.”

That’s how several House Democrats and senior aides described the current feeling in the caucus regarding their efforts to stop “fast-track” trade authority for the White House.

Over the past two weeks, most members of the House Democratic Caucus have gone from opposing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation — packaged with the related Trade Promotion Authority, a Republican and Obama administration priority — to acknowledging there’s little point in voting “no.” Full story

June 18, 2015

Boehner Poaches New Press Secretary From the Senate

Schillinger, right, is departing Barrasso's office to work for the Speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Schillinger, right, is leaving Barrasso’s Senate office to work for Boehner, replacing Steel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A longtime Senate spokeswoman is going back across the Rotunda to serve as press secretary for Speaker John A. Boehner.

Emily Schillinger, who has led the press operation for the Senate Republican Policy Committee as its communications director, will take the position vacated when Michael Steel left the Ohio Republican to work for now-presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s political action committee. Schillinger also has been serving as communications director to the RPC chairman, John Barrasso of Wyoming.

Full story

June 12, 2015

President Gets Weekend to Swing Democrats on Trade Deal (Video)

he top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will take a second crack at passing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation early next week, after giving President Barack Obama and pro-trade Democrats the weekend to flip some of the party’s 144 “no’s.”

Republicans say this is Democrats’ last chance to pass TAA, which provides resources for retraining programs for U.S. workers displaced by international trade agreements, and which Democrats have typically supported. Full story

June 11, 2015

Trade Rule Passes Despite Conservative Mutiny

UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. speaks during a news conference in the Capitol as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., looks on, after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise needed eight Democrats to help Republicans pass the rule for TPA and TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Plans to vote Friday on Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance could still fall through, but the House is moving ahead on a multi-pronged strategy to send the measures to the president’s desk by the week’s end.

The House on Thursday voted 217-212 on the rule that sets up votes on a bill to give President Barack Obama latitude to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal and to fund programs to retrain U.S. workers displaced by trade agreements. Full story

House GOP Ready to Move on Trade; Democratic Concerns Linger (Video)

Boehner and Pelosi got the 'doc fix' deal done in a big fashion. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner and Pelosi worked all week to get a deal to bring up a package of trade bills — but it might still not be enough. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 11:50 a.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appeared late Wednesday night to have cleared an impasse preventing the House from moving forward on a package of trade bills and giving President Barack Obama long-sought Trade Promotion Authority.

But on Thursday morning, it was far from certain whether the deal will work, and not immediately clear to what extent Pelosi gave the green light to proceed. Full story

June 10, 2015

Trade Bills Filed With Rules; Possible Votes Friday (Updated)

Ryan and other potential GOP House chairmen will have to seek a waiver if they want to keep their gavels while seeking another office. 014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan and House Republican leaders sound like they’ve got the votes for Trade Promotion Authority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 1:49 p.m. | House Republican leaders early Wednesday filed a package of trade bills with the Rules Committee, putting the gears in motion for the most anticipated floor showdowns of the legislative session so far.

Though nothing is set in stone, lawmakers who support Trade Promotion Authority are growing increasingly confident they have the votes to bring the measure to the floor on Friday.

The Rules Committee is set to meet Wednesday afternoon to establish parameters for floor debate on a TPA, along with two related bills which would clear the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a controversial, 12-nation Pacific trade deal.

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

May 22, 2015

Moderate Democrats Get Leadership’s Ear on 2016 Messaging

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Israel has a tough road ahead in crafting a party message everyone can get behind (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s some good news for the moderate House Democrats who believe they’ve been marginalized in discussions on party messaging: Leadership might be starting to listen.

On Thursday morning, New Democrat Coalition Chairman Ron Kind of Wisconsin met privately with Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York, both lawmakers confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
Full story

May 21, 2015

Four Texas Republicans Endorse Cruz for President

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About a month ago, Sen. Ted Cruz’s chief of staff made a request of some House-side colleagues: Would their bosses be willing to say nice things about the Texas Republican’s 2016 presidential bid? Or, even better, would they be willing to endorse him?

Paul Teller, that chief of staff who was once the executive director of the Republican Study Committee, must be feeling pretty good now. Full story

May 14, 2015

Steel Exit: Boehner Has ‘Awfully Big Loafers to Fill’

UNITED STATES - JULY 15 2014: Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is pictured at the RNC, July 15, 2014 (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Steel, center, is leaving Boehner’s office to work for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The departure of Speaker John A. Boehner’s longtime press secretary Michael Steel raises plenty of questions. Is this another sign Boehner is done at the end of this term? What does it mean for Boehnerland? What skills does Steel bring to the team that will work to elect Jeb Bush as the next president?

Perhaps the most pressing question is simply this: Who will replace him?

Full story

April 27, 2015

Trade Fight Galvanizing the Left

Ellison, D-Minn., attends a rally with labor groups, including the American Federation of Government Employees, in Upper Senate Park to support federal workers and the working class, February 10, 2015. Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, appears at right. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ellison, shown here at a February labor rally on the Hill, said there will be blood in the fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With the first round of appropriations bills and a possible budget conference report on the House floor this week, the chamber’s progressive contingent is looking farther down the road at the storm brewing over so-called Trade Promotion Authority, or “fast track.”

Legislation allowing President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would ordinarily be divisive within the House Democratic Caucus, but progressives say there’s even more at stake in this most recent fight: 2016. 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

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