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November 27, 2015

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November 18, 2015

House GOP Steering Proposal Could Deliver Results — Or Not

paul ryan

Ryan speaks Tuesday before signing the NDAA at the Capitol. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

When Speaker Paul D. Ryan facilitates a vote Thursday to reconfigure the Steering Committee, he will win points for delivering on his promise to expand member participation in the House Republican Conference.

But, despite currying favor with conservatives who want Ryan to give them a louder voice in leadership, not everyone is convinced the gesture will yield substantive results. Full story

October 21, 2015

Timeline: Hillary Clinton’s History in the Hot Seat

Hillary Rodham Clinton is obviously an experienced Washington player — but as CQ Roll Call columnist David Hawkings pointed out earlier this week, she’s also an incredibly experienced witness before Congress.

Clinton’s been on the lonely side of the dias 31 times by Hawkings’ count, dating back to her first year as first lady. In 1993, she testified five times in three days about the Clinton administration’s doomed health care overhaul.

Heading into the former secretary of state’s much-hyped appearance in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday, use this timeline to look through her history in the hot seat.


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By Sean McMinn Posted at 5:41 p.m.

October 20, 2015

4 Times Paul Ryan Broke Ranks With GOP

Ryan has earned praise for working across the aisle, but that may hurt him with his own party's most conservative members.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan has earned praise for working across the aisle, but that may hurt him with his own party’s most conservative members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan ran for vice president on Mitt Romney’s ticket in 2012, he was known as an Ayn Rand-inspired conservative policy wonk who advocated turning Medicare into a voucher program.

A year later, in December 2013, he was heralded as a compromiser for crafting a budget deal with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that averted another government shutdown.

If Ryan runs for speaker, as many colleagues have urged, he’ll have to negotiate the legacies of both of those reputations. Full story

Did Paul Ryan Miss His Window?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan had a chance to unite the House Republican Conference. Now it may be gone.

If he’d decided to run for speaker in the immediate aftermath of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision to quit the race to replace John A. Boehner, the conference may have voted him in by acclamation. But the hemming and hawing may have hurt both his potential candidacy and his ability to handle the job if he ultimately wins it. Full story

Boehner vs. the RSC on Debt Limit

debt limit

Flores is considering a speaker bid. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner has signaled an interest in raising the debt ceiling before he resigns, but the Republican Study Committee is drawing its own conservative line in the sand in advance of the Nov. 3 deadline.

The RSC released on Tuesday its “Terms of Credit Act,” a multipart plan that addresses the debt limit by “tackling the root drivers of our growing national debt,” according to the group’s statement. Full story

By Emma Dumain Posted at 1:12 p.m.

October 19, 2015

As GOP Mulls Its Future, All Eyes Fixed on Paul Ryan

UNITED STATES - October 1: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wi., runs through the rain to his car after final votes in the House of Representatives outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan faces one of the most pivotal weeks of his career. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul D. Ryan has a decision to make, and until the Wisconsin Republican makes up his mind, many of the other pressing questions that face House Republicans are on hold.

Ryan and his House GOP colleagues return to the Capitol Tuesday. But with first votes held off until 6:30 p.m., as is customary on the fly-in day, Ryan probably has until Wednesday morning, during the weekly House Republican Conference meeting, to make an announcement on whether he’s willing to run for speaker — and even then, Ryan’s decision could be in flux. Full story

October 16, 2015

Freedom Caucus Requests Get Mainstream Attention

Messer, R-Ind., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Messer’s letter shows House Freedom Caucus’ influence. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer sent a letter to colleagues Thursday proposing a series of conference rules changes, including diversifying leadership ranks and allowing more floor votes on amendments.

Sound familiar?

The second-term Indiana lawmaker’s proposal bears striking similarities to the principles rank-and-file conservatives say they want to see in their next speaker — particularly those in the House Freedom Caucus who are endorsing Florida Republican Daniel Webster for the top job. Full story

October 15, 2015

Amid GOP Criticism, Gowdy Defends Benghazi Investigation

UNITED STATES - October 1: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., walks through the rain to his car after final votes in the House of Representatives outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Gowdy again defended the Benghazi Committee. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy is on the offensive after a series of inartful comments from Republicans has produced a rocky lead-up to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before his special select committee next week.

After adopting a “tune it out” media strategy in response to recent questions on the true intent of the Benghazi investigation, Gowdy pivoted Thursday to directly respond to offhand accusations from Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., that Republicans are out to get Clinton. Full story

Republican: Going After Clinton Was ‘Big Part’ of Benghazi Probe

 Hanna, R-N.Y., attends a Joint Economic Committee hearing in Hart Building titled "The Fed at 100: Can Monetary Policy Close the Growth Gap and Promote a Sound Dollar." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hanna adds fuel to the Benghazi Committee fire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Richard Hanna, a moderate, pro-abortion rights Republican from New York, is already something of an outlier in the House Republican Conference.

He might have just gotten himself a little bit more estranged. Full story

October 14, 2015

Team Boehner: Debt Ceiling Deal ‘Certainly Possible’

UNITED STATES - JULY 23: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives to hold his weekly on-camera media availability in the Capitol on Thursday, July 23, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner wants to “clean the barn” before he resigns. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

John A. Boehner has said he wants to “clean the barn” of some unfinished legislative business before he steps down, and on Wednesday the speaker’s team confirmed that could include a deal to avoid a financial default by the federal government.

“The speaker has made it clear that he wants to solve some outstanding issues before he leaves,” a Boehner aide told CQ Roll Call. “No decisions have been made, but a resolution on the debt ceiling is certainly possible.” Full story

October 9, 2015

Speaker Election Delay Stirs Conservative Anger

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: From left, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Rep. Pete Roskam, R-Ill., and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., leave the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Massie, left, and Amash, right, flank Pete Roskam after a House Republican Conference meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the speaker race Thursday gave Republicans a lot to think about. But some Republicans say their leaders imposed a top-down decision on the process that fundamentally altered the outcome.

Two Republicans, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Tom Rice of South Carolina, spoke out during a special GOP conference meeting Friday to express concern that the rules of the House were not followed when Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, postponed the speaker election. Full story

October 8, 2015

Does ‘No’ Still Mean ‘No’ for Paul Ryan?

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 Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After Kevin McCarthy’s Thursday announcement he won’t seek the speakership, Republicans are asking themselves who will. And the name everyone keeps coming back to is the one person who issued the first statement saying he wouldn’t go for the job: Paul D. Ryan.

Ryan has mastered the art of turning down the speaker’s gavel, so much so that the former vice presidential nominee and current Ways and Means chairman had a statement out within 20 minutes of the majority leader’s unexpected announcement. Full story

Inside the Room: McCarthy Drops a Bomb

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 8: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives in the Longworth House Office Building for the House Republicans' election to nominate the next Speaker of the House on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy arrives in the Longworth House Office Building minutes before shocking House Republicans with his news. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It lasted just nine minutes.

What was supposed to be a lengthy meeting of the House Republican Conference to elect the next speaker was abruptly cut short when Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the favorite to succeed John A. Boehner, announced he was taking himself out of the running for the job. “I’m not the one,” he told the conference.

Full story

By Emma Dumain Posted at 6:38 p.m.

Why Did Kevin McCarthy Step Aside?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy entered the Ways and Means Committee room Thursday, almost everyone expected him to exit as the Republican nominee to be speaker. Instead, McCarthy shocked the conference and dropped out of a race he almost certainly would have won, prompting one obvious question: Why?

In a roughly five minute speech to his colleagues, McCarthy told members he did not want to be someone who divided the country. He said Republicans need someone who could unite them — and he simply wasn’t that person. Full story

House GOP SNAFU Worries Democratic Leaders

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:44 p.m. | With the debt limit deadline and bipartisan budget negotiations approaching, Democratic leaders expressed concern Thursday over the House GOP’s delayed leadership elections.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid spoke of the “utter chaos” of the Republican Party following California Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the race to replace outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner.

Full story

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