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March 6, 2015

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March 5, 2015

Lawmakers Urge Obama to Expedite Lethal Aid for Ukraine

Adam Smith, D-Wash., speaks during the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smith is one of three Democrats joining House GOP leaders in calling for immediate lethal aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eight House Republicans and three House Democrats agree on something: President Barack Obama should help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression — and fast.

On Thursday, the bipartisan group of lawmakers sent Obama a letter urging him to “quickly approve additional efforts to support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereign territory, including the transfer of lethal, defense weapons systems to the Ukrainian military.” Full story

March 4, 2015

House Looks to Get Out of Town Before Snow

Forecasters are calling for as much as eight inches of snow in Washington Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Forecasters are calling for as many as eight inches of snow Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a snowstorm expected to hit the nation’s capital Thursday, the House canceled scheduled sessions, giving lawmakers — many headed to Selma, Ala., for a Saturday event to take part in the 50th anniversary of the town’s historic civil rights marches — a chance to fly out ahead of the weather. Full story

March 3, 2015

Deal or No Deal? How Boehner and Pelosi Funded the DHS

Boehner, R-Ohio, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other leadership are introduced before the 114th Congress was sworn in on the House floor, January 6, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It started with a phone call. On Tuesday, Republicans and Democrats in the House came together to pass a measure funding the Department of Homeland Security through the rest of the fiscal year. And despite the repeated insistence from Speaker John A. Boehner’s office that there was “no deal” between the Ohio Republican and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic sources close to negotiations tell a slightly different story.

There may not have been a “deal,” but there was “an understanding.”
Full story

House Agrees to Fund Homeland Security Department (Updated) (Video)

Updated 4:41 p.m. | Three days before Homeland Security department funding was due to expire, the House successfully voted Tuesday to fund the agency through the end of September.

The 257-167 vote puts an end the lurching uncertainty for the department, but time will tell just how easy it will be for House Republican leaders to move past the drama of the past few weeks. Full story

Netanyahu Speech Lives Up to Controversial Expectations (Video)

In January, when Speaker John A. Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, it caused the type of controversy and media attention normally reserved for a declaration of war, not a speech that’s little more than a glorified press release.

But by the time Netanyahu showed up Tuesday, the furor surrounding his address had eased somewhat, overshadowed by a battle — and capitulation — over funding the Department of Homeland Security and blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. Full story

March 2, 2015

Is the Senate Where It’s At for Ambitious House Democrats?

Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., delivers a speech at the Center For American Progress on middle-class wages, January 12, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen is one of several House Democrats who will have to decide whether waiting for a caucus leadership post to open is the right move. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The next generation of House Democratic leaders sees opportunity for advancement — in the Senate, that is.

With Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s retirement announcement Monday, California Sen. Barbara Boxer doing the same in January and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., likely to run for president, ambitious House Democrats could be tempted by open Senate seats in a presidential election year. Full story

Overflow Crowd Expected for Netanyahu Address, Despite Boycotts

ader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Harry, D-Nev., make their way to a news conference in the Capitol's Senate studio to criticize Republican leaders on the hold up of the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, February 26, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Reid are expected to be among the members escorting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the House chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thanks to a partial boycott by Democrats, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t be speaking to every member of Congress when he addresses Tuesday’s joint session.

But despite the controversy — perhaps in some ways because of it — his speech on Iran is expected, after last week’s draining Department of Homeland Security debate, to refocus Washington’s attention on the Middle East.

Full story

February 27, 2015

House Averts Shutdown of DHS for 1 Week (Video)

Just two hours before the Department of Homeland Security was set to run out of funding, the House delivered a bill to float the agency for one more week.

But last-minute maneuvering almost put a snag in that plan.

Shortly after learning that GOP leaders intended to bring the stopgap measure to the floor after Senate passage earlier in the evening, a band of conservatives huddled in the chamber to plot their next move. Full story

House GOP Fails to Advance 3-Week DHS Funding Bill (Updated) (Video)

Updated 6:13 p.m. | House Republicans fell short of votes needed to advance a three-week bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security Friday evening, 203-224.

Just hours before the agency is set to shut down, GOP leaders must now decide whether to risk a revolt in their ranks and put the Senate-passed, six-month spending bill on the floor that does not include language to block President Barack Obama’s immigration executive orders.

Full story

With Conservative Opposition, DHS Funding Vote Looks Tight

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’s House Freedom Caucus is leaning against the DHS funding bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid dissension in the conservative ranks, House GOP leaders are furiously whipping the Department of Homeland Security funding bill in an attempt to get it to the Senate with hardly any help from Democrats.

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus emerged Friday afternoon from their second meeting in fewer than 24 hours with a seemingly unified front: They are going to vote no. Full story

February 26, 2015

A Kiss for Luck? DHS Funding Falls Back to Boehner

Things are getting weird in the House.

Despite a GOP Senate that is waving the white flag, Speaker John A. Boehner isn’t ready to admit defeat on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill — at least not yet. Full story

New Tea Party Caucus Chairman: DHS Fight Could Break the GOP

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The act of listening is one of the safest, most clichéd strategies in Washington. Candidates embark on public relations-friendly “listening tours.” Committee members nod as experts testify. Congressional leaders sit through sessions with frustrated members, rope-a-doping their party’s most spirited lawmakers by responding to tirades with an open ear.

The strategy is exactly what Speaker John A. Boehner gave his conference Wednesday, telling Republicans to wait and see what the Senate delivers on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill before gathering their pitchforks. Full story

February 25, 2015

On DHS Funding, House Republicans Agree to Wait on Senate

House Republicans emerged from their closed-door meeting Wednesday morning in agreement they’ll wait and see what the Senate can pass in regards to legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security.

That is, however, where the strategy ends, at least in terms of what’s being articulated publicly. Full story

February 24, 2015

Hoyer on Short-Term DHS Bill: ‘Cross That Bridge When We Come to It’

Hoyer said he'll attend the Netanyahu address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hoyer . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders still haven’t shared their game plan — if they have one — for funding the Department of Homeland Security past its Friday expiration date.

But House Democrats are playing their hand close to the vest, too. Full story

February 23, 2015

CBC Chairman: ‘Black America Is in a State of Emergency’

The Congressional Black Caucus is still getting up and running for the 114th Congress — it announced its staff Monday — but its new chairman sees an urgency for an organization that has long been known to represent the interests of minorities and the poor.

“We have a traditional role and that is to be the conscience of the Congress,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., told CQ Roll Call on Feb. 20. “We’ve been using ‘conscience of the Congress’ as our brand, if you will, since our founding. But we’ve got to do more than that because black America is in a state of emergency right now.” Full story

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