Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 26, 2015

April 15, 2015

Funeral Services Held in Ohio for Boehner’s Brother

Funeral services were held Wednesday in Ohio for House Speaker John A. Boehner’s younger brother, Richard “Rick” A. Boehner, who died Saturday of natural causes. He was 60.

Boehner’s office confirmed to CQ Roll Call Wednesday that the speaker attended the funeral services in Liberty Township, outside Cincinnati.

According to the Dayton Daily News, the speaker’s brother was a “blue-collar mechanic” survived by his wife Sharon Boehner, two stepchildren, six grandchildren, three sisters and eight brothers, including the speaker.

Olivia Hnat, a spokesperson for John Boehner told the paper: “The Speaker is saddened by the death of his brother, who was cherished and loved by so many. He appreciates the prayers for the Boehner family at this time.”

Correction 8:17 p.m.

An earlier version of this post misstated the name of the Dayton newspaper.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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By David Eldridge Posted at 7:42 p.m.
John Boehner

April 14, 2015

Top House Democrats Warming to Senate’s Iran Bill

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 are open to the Senate’s Iran bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top two House Democrats are warming to the Iran legislation that will likely come to their chamber floor if it passes the Senate.

On Tuesday afternoon, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer signaled — to a gaggle of reporters and in a written statement, respectively — they aren’t dead-set against a bill that had just sailed, 19-0, out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Full story

Boehner Adds 2 Rules Republicans — Not the Ones He Booted

Byrne, R-Ala., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Byrne, R-Ala., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., are the newest members of Rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Remember when two Florida Republican representatives voted against John A. Boehner for speaker and got themselves removed from the House Rules Committee?

They haven’t been reinstated — but they have been replaced. Full story

Boehner: Corker Bill to Move Before Iran Deal Finalized (Video)

Boehner wouldn't rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner wouldn’t rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate prepares to take up legislation that would let Congress reject a nuclear agreement with Iran, Speaker John A. Boehner reaffirmed Tuesday he’s waiting for that bill with open arms.

“Congress absolutely should have the opportunity to review this deal,” Boehner said Tuesday. “We shouldn’t count on the administration, who appears to want a deal at any cost.” Full story

April 13, 2015

At Reinstated Pen-and-Pads, McCarthy Gives Press Plenty (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JULY 23: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., addresses the media after a meeting of House Republicans in the Capitol, July 23, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy held his first pen-and-pad session as majority leader Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:20 p.m. | House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy did something Monday that hasn’t happened in years: a pen-and-pad sit-down with Capitol Hill reporters. And this was a good one.

The no-cameras news conference, which McCarthy held around a Capitol conference table with more than 35 reporters, lasted 29 minutes and represented the first majority leader pen-and-pad since former GOP leader Eric Cantor ended the practice in 2011.

“I guess you guys haven’t had these in a while, huh?” McCarthy said as he welcomed reporters back Monday. Full story

House Democrats Challenge GOP to Condemn LGBT Discrimination

 Carson, D-IN, in his Cannon office. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call).

Carson is pushing for an official House condemnation of his home state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats, sensing a growing political advantage over Republicans on LGBT issues, are pushing a resolution to express congressional condemnation of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The action comes on the heels of, and in direct response to, the national uproar over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics say gives businesses permission to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers. Full story

Is Reconciliation a Real Challenge to Obamacare?

Jordan doesn’t think it’s a problem that Obama would veto the reconciliation effort. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Even if some Republicans don’t really want to go there, even if it’s an exercise in futility, many are convinced the guaranteed-to-be-vetoed process of budget reconciliation promises to put Obamacare at the center of the 2016 debate.

And that, conservatives say, is exactly where they want it. Full story

April 10, 2015

House Democrats Forced to Choose Sides in Iran Debate

The White House wants House members like Israel to get behind the Iran nuclear deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House wants House members like Israel to get behind the Iran nuclear deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats on the fence about the White House’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran will be asked next week to close ranks and get behind the president.

With the House and Senate getting back to work on April 13 after a two-week recess, most of the legislative action is set to be in the Senate, where the Foreign Relations Committee will begin marking up its bill giving Congress power to override President Barack Obama’s emerging deal to disarm Iran.

But Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has made it clear that, short of the White House dramatically changing course, he would support the House acting on similar legislation, perhaps even taking up the Senate’s product (assuming it passes). Full story

April 9, 2015

McCarthy Outlines Busy, Maybe Tense, April Work Period

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After a two-week respite, April is shaping up to be a month of long nights, nods to the GOP base and divisions on both sides of the aisle.

That’s according to a memo sent to members Thursday by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.  Full story

Farr, Rohrabacher Tell Holder: Cool It on Pot Prosecutions

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled "Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two California lawmakers want Holder’s Justice Department to back off federal prosecutions in medical marijuana cases. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has one foot out the door, but it’s not stopping House lawmakers from making demands on the head of the Justice Department.

In a letter Wednesday, California Reps. Sam Farr, a Democrat, and Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican, called on Holder to halt federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients and providers in states where use of the drug has been at least partially legalized. Full story

Conservatives Find Political Red Meat in USDA Diet Guidelines

From the IRS to the Environmental Protection Agency to the Federal Communications Commission, federal agencies are under more scrutiny from congressional Republicans concerned about regulatory overreach than at any time in Barack Obama’s presidency.

Add the Department of Agriculture to the list. Full story

April 8, 2015

Welch Gets Bipartisan Treatment on CODEL to Tunisia and Ukraine

 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)

The GOP-dominated Ukraine delegation included one Democrat: Welch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Being the only Democrat on a plane full of Republicans last week could have been awkward for Rep. Peter Welch — especially with GOP leaders are doubling down on criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

But Welch, a Vermonter with a reputation for seeking common ground with lawmakers on the other side of the aisle, had nothing but praise for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the other Republicans he accompanied last week to Tunisia and Ukraine. Full story

April 7, 2015

Boehner: Obama Knows Deal Leads to Nuclear Iran

Iran Deal

Boehner released a statement Tuesday condemning the “deal” with Iran. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s no surprise that Speaker John A. Boehner isn’t happy with the Obama administration’s Iranian nuclear deal, but his level of discontent seems to be mounting.

While Boehner refrained from saying much of anything about the nuclear negotiations during his trip to Israel last week, the Ohio Republican is stepping up his criticism after President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday that, under the framework, Iran would be about a year away from a nuclear bomb for the first 13 years of the agreement — and would be able to produce a weapon almost immediately after that. Full story

April 6, 2015

Best Bracket in Congress? Maybe, but It’s Tough to Top Romney

Deutch, D-Fla., speaks with Roll Call in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deutch’s bracket is in the top 2 percent in the ESPN contest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After correctly calling each of the teams in the Final Four, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., was bragging on April 4 — deservedly so — about his NCAA bracket.

“Best bracket in Congress?” the Florida congressman asked on Twitter, noting his ESPN Tournament Challenge entry was ranked in the top 2 percent of the contest’s almost 12 million entries worldwide.

Unfortunately for Deutch, that’s probably as good as it’s going to get: He correctly picked Duke over Michigan State, but he also incorrectly picked Kentucky over Wisconsin — and had Kentucky winning the championship, which obviously isn’t going to happen.

Still, the Florida lawmaker had a much better year than the master of “Barack-etology,” the president himself (who is down around the 40th percentile this year).

But the gold standard for political hoops prognosticators in 2015 is undoubtedly Mitt Romney — the 2012 GOP presidential contender’s bracket is, amazingly, in the 99.98th percentile in the ESPN contest.

“He’s got more time to scout these teams out,” Deutch told CQ Roll Call Monday with a chuckle.

The Big Ten alum (he’s a graduate of Michigan) said he’d be rooting for Wisconsin over Duke in the title game.

And he’s not letting the success in the ESPN contest go to his head — in the office pool, he said, his bracket’s in last place.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

April 3, 2015

Boehner’s Travels: Speaker Shares Details on Trip

Boehner's Medium

Boehner, visiting the Gaza-Israel border, in a photo from his posts on the Middle East trip. (Courtesy John A. Boehner’s Office)

John A. Boehner’s trip to the Middle East this week was covered extensively by the press both here and overseas, but few news organizations offered the behind-the-scenes details the House speaker himself shared on a new blog.

Boehner, or someone on the speaker’s team writing under his name, posted four journal-style entries this week on the congressional delegation’s stops in England, Jordan, Israel and Iraq. Full story

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