Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 25, 2015

May 14, 2015

Democrat Tosses ‘Shame’ Card Back at Boehner

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 wouldn’t back down from the shame game. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Shaming the other guy into submission is pretty much impossible on Capitol Hill (this is Congress, after all), but that doesn’t stop Democrats and Republicans from trying.

After John A. Boehner played the card in a Thursday news conference, telling reporters that voting against the upcoming defense spending bill  as some Democrats have threatened to do  would be “shameful,” one Democrat threw the gauntlet right back at the Ohio Republican. Full story

Revolt Brews Over Short-Term Highway Trust Fund Bill (Updated)

Welch, D-Vt., conducts a briefing with reporters in Russell office of Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., on the re-introduction of the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act. The legislation would give investors in renewable energy projects the same tax advantages that are enjoyed by investors in fossil fuel-based projects. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Welch is looking for lawmakers in both parties who are fed up with short-term highway bill extensions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:52 p.m. | A growing number of Democrats and some moderate Republicans in the House are coming out against any short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund.

This week, they’re signing on to a letter pledging they’ll vote against another stopgap extension of the account funding transportation and infrastructure projects around the country. Full story

House Rules Tees Up 135 Defense Authorization Amendments

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brooks wants Gallego’s amendment removed from the bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday night allowed for 135 amendments to be offered to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, including a proposal backed by conservative Republicans that would strip immigration language, and could be crucial to winning floor passage as the typically bipartisan legislation loses some high profile Democratic support.

The panel approved in an 8-3 party-line vote a structured rule (H Res 260) for consideration of amendments to the bill (HR 1735), which will likely be debated Thursday on the House floor. General debate on the annual defense bill took place Wednesday, with no amendments considered.

Among the amendments is a proposal by Alabama Republican Mo Brooks to strip a provision in the bill that encourages the secretary of Defense to consider allowing undocumented immigrants who are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to enlist in the military. Full story

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

May 13, 2015

Latest GOP Immigration Showdown Headed to Floor? (Updated)

Gallego, D-Ariz., attends a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee in Rayburn, January 14, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Gallego’s pro-immigration language in the defense spending bill could imperil the passage of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:14 p.m. | The question of whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military — a thorny debate that has split Republicans in the House — is headed for a risky floor vote.

A vote stripping out pro-immigration language on the issue, which is currently tucked into the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, is welcomed by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who have clamored for a return to “regular order.”

But backers of the defense spending bill, especially GOP leaders, worry a divisive immigration debate could derail passage of the overall defense spending bill. Full story

‘Pain-Capable’ Abortion Bill Passes House (Video)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

McMorris Rodgers helped rally GOP support for the revised 20-week abortion ban bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After months of delays, House Republicans passed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s life.

The bill, which passed 242-184 along mostly party lines, was pulled in late January after a number of Republican women protested a rape-reporting requirement, calling it insensitive to rape survivors who did not immediately report a sexual assault. Originally, the bill required that a rape be reported to law enforcement officials for women to be exempt from the 20-week limit. That provision was removed but, as a compromise, the bill now requires rape victims to receive counseling and face a 48-hour waiting period before getting an abortion after 20 weeks. Full story

May 12, 2015

Hoyer Slams GOP for Lack of Highway Trust Fund Progress

Hoyer says Republicans have had enough time to craft a long-term highway bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hoyer says Republicans have had enough time to craft a long-term highway bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The No. 2 House Democrat ripped Republicans Tuesday for looking for another patch job for the Highway Trust Fund before the current patch expires at the end of May.

Another short-term patch would buy the GOP time to come up with a long-term solution to pay for transportation and infrastructure projects around the country, but House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer says the GOP has taken long enough with no results. Full story

20 Years In, Blue Dogs Not Ready to Roll Over

Schrader, D-Ore. walks down the House steps following votes in the Capitol on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Schrader says his party needs to listen to the base. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In 1994, when Republicans won the House for the first time in four decades, a band of fiscally conservative Democrats had a simple explanation: Their party had moved too far to the left.

In 2014, when Republicans shrunk Democratic numbers to their lowest since the end of World War II, a similar faction of fiscally conservative House Democrats came to a similar conclusion: The party’s progressives weren’t speaking to moderate voters. Full story

May 11, 2015

Michael Steel Trades Boehnerland for Bushworld

teel talks with reporters after the republican leadership weekly press conference in the U.S. Capitol on November 19, 2013. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Steel, right, pictured here in 2013 wrangling reporters after a Republican news conference, will work for a political action committee supporting Jeb Bush. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michael Steel, one of John A. Boehner’s top aides, is leaving the speaker’s office for a job in Miami as an adviser to a Jeb Bush political action committee.

The speaker, in an emailed statement, called his longtime spokesman a “pro’s pro.” Full story

May 10, 2015

House to Consider 20-Week Abortion Ban This Week

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 9: Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new version of Rep. Trent Franks’ abortion bill returns this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are aiming to reconsider this week the so-called “pain capable” abortion bill, which would prohibit abortions, in most cases, after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill was pulled in late January after a number of Republican women pushed back against the legislation, particularly the provisions requiring women to have reported rape to law enforcement to be eligible for an abortion after 20 weeks. Leaders haven’t released the final language of the bill, but they seemingly have worked out the issues — though it wouldn’t exactly be the first time they’ve miscalculated where the conference is on the issue.

Full story

May 8, 2015

Gowdy’s Benghazi Panel Wants Clinton’s Top Aides

 

Rep. Gowdy will head the new House probe into the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.  (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gowdy issued an “interim update” on Benghazi Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Friday defended the pace of his panel’s year-old investigation into the 2012 terror attack and announced plans to interview three top aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in a 15-page “Interim Progress Update” released on the one-year-anniversary of the committee’s creation, blamed the Obama administration for delays in the panel’s probe.

Full story

By David Eldridge Posted at 7:11 p.m.
Benghazi

Partnership-Minded Ryan Pushing, Promoting Pacific-Trade Deal

House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Roll Call in the House Ways and Means Committee room in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll

Ryan isn’t afraid to forge political partnerships. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I find it a little sad that you feel like this is even a story,” Rep. Paul D. Ryan said recently, mid-conversation with CQ Roll Call. “Because it shouldn’t have to be.”

The Wisconsin Republican had just been asked about the sometimes surprising political alliances he’s forged, both inside his own party and across the aisle.

Ryan, who at 45 still radiates the boy-next-door quality that helped land him on the 2012 national GOP ticket alongside Mitt Romney, credits his Midwestern roots for his genial approach to coalition-building — whether it’s working with Democrats on a budget or enlisting a tea party warrior such as Sen. Ted Cruz to talk up a trade deal. Full story

May 7, 2015

150 Democrats Sign Letter Supporting Iran Deal

Tax Inversion Legislation

Doggett was one of three Democrats to write the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a major signal of public support, 150 House Democrats signed a letter Thursday supporting President Barack Obama’s framework for a nuclear deal with Iran.

“As negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continue, we urge you to stay on course, building on the recently announced political framework and continuing to work toward a strong and verifiable agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran that will prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon,” the letter begins. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 3:17 p.m.
Uncategorized

May 6, 2015

Conservatives Set for Immigration Fight on Defense Bill

Gallego, D-Ariz., gestures to other freshman members as they arrive early on the House steps for the House Democratic Caucus media event "to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Pr

Gallego’s amendment supporting the rights of undocumented immigrants to serve in the military has been targeted by House conservatives. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee voted 33-30 for an amendment to the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that would encourage the Pentagon to affirm undocumented immigrants should be permitted to serve in the military.

This week, more than two dozen conservative House Republicans are threatening to derail the must-pass legislation unless that language is removed. Full story

Former Speaker Jim Wright Dead at 92

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jim Wright, the 56th speaker of the House and the only one ever forced out of office by scandal, died Wednesday. He was 92 and died in his native Fort Worth, Texas, which he represented for more than 34 years until his resignation in 1989.

Wright was widely perceived as one of the strongest leaders of the post-war period during much of his single full term as speaker, during the 100th Congress. But the Texas Democrat was gone after just 29 months on the job, succumbing to a rapidly mounting series of allegations he’d violated House rules limiting gifts to lawmakers, as well as members’ outside income and business interests. Full story

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