Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 2, 2015

March 24, 2015

House GOP Leaders Prepare For Budget Battle (Updated)

Scalise posed a question about marijuana legalization in a recent email survey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scalise denied he had a whipping problem. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:54 p.m. | At their weekly news conference Tuesday morning, House Republican leaders went on the offensive to sell their budget resolution.

One aspect of the pitch — along with the fact that their budget balances and doesn’t raise taxes — focuses on the spending plan’s proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In the event the House and Senate go to conference on their two fiscal blueprints, a procedural gambit known as “reconciliation” could, they argue, accomplish that goal. Full story

March 23, 2015

Quirky ‘Queen of the Hill’ Rule Could Solve GOP Budget Impasse

Flores, R-Texas, attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce border security legislation titled "Support More Assets, Resources and Technology on the Border of 2013." The bill would allow for the employment of additional border officers and a temporary deployment of the National Guard if Congress deems that operational control of the U.S. southern borders is not established. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Flores, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said his group’s proposed budget sets out markers for the GOP. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are breaking out their procedural rulebooks for the House budget resolution, with leadership getting creative to appease defense hawks who want additional spending and conservatives who are apt to reject more military dollars that aren’t offset.

The House Rules Committee Monday set up a series of votes this week on six budget proposals: The one reported out of committee, the version reported out of committee with an additional $2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, a leaner Republican Study Committee budget, a House Democratic Caucus budget, a proposal from the Progressive Caucus, and one from the Congressional Black Caucus. Full story

Former Rep. Robert Kastenmeier Dies at Age 91

Former Rep. Robert Kastenmeier, a Wisconsin Democrat who represented the Badger State’s 2nd District for 32 years, died March 20 in Arlington, Va. He was 91.

Kastenmeier, a World War II Army veteran, served as a War Department claims service officer in the Philippines after the war and as a justice of the peace in Wisconsin before being elected to the House in 1958.  He served in the House from 1959-1991, tumultuous years that ranged from the end of legalized segregation to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon and the Vietnam War, for which he was an early and vocal opponent. Full story

Make-or-Break Week for Republicans on ‘Doc Fix,’ Budget

Boehner, R-Ohio, conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, March 19, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) boehner008_031915.JPG

Boehner and the leadership team face two big tests this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the House returns Monday, Speaker John A. Boehner faces two big tests of his hold on the ever-unruly Republican Conference: pushing through the GOP budget and putting the final touches on a speaker-approved Medicare “doc fix.”

After days of closed-door whip checks and haggling on amendments, the House Budget Committee advanced its fiscal 2016 budget on March 19 by a 22-13 vote. Every Republican supported the measure in committee, but GOP leaders are unlikely to be so lucky if the bill comes to the floor next week, as leaders said it would.

Full story

March 22, 2015

Conservatives: Cruz Candidacy Puts Key Issues on Table

Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015. The day featured addresses by potential presidential candidates. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:55 p.m. | What seemed inevitable is now, almost, official: Ted Cruz is running for president. Because of course he is.

The Texas senator’s expected announcement Monday is being greeted enthusiastically by a specific brand of GOP conservative — a group that includes many of the House lawmakers who’ve made a habit recently of semi-secret meetings with Cruz.

For those members, a Cruz candidacy likely means a higher profile for the values and legislative solutions they hold dear.

Full story

McCarthy: Clinton Should Turn Over the Email Server

McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during the press conference at the Republican National Committee following the House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy called on Clinton to turn over the email server. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., added his voice Sunday to a growing number of Republicans calling for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to turn over her personal email server to an independent third-party arbiter.

McCarthy, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said an arbiter should determine which emails might be related to the House’s investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador. Full story

March 20, 2015

Boehner, House Delegation to Meet Netanyahu in Israel (Updated)

Boehner, left, will take a House delegation to Israel to meet with Netanyahu, center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner, left, will take a House delegation to Israel to meet with Netanyahu, center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:53 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner will lead a House delegation to Israel later this month to meet with newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith confirmed Friday morning that Boehner, who invited Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress on March 3, would make the trip. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:53 a.m.
Uncategorized

March 19, 2015

Boehner, Pelosi Downplay Schock, Weigh In on Clinton

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House’s top Republican and Democrat addressed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email scandal and Aaron Schock’s surprise resignation during their weekly news conferences Thursday.

Both seemed more concerned about the former Cabinet secretary’s struggle to justify her home-brew approach to handling official email during and after her tenure at the State Department than with the ethical lapses that led to Schock’s decision earlier this week to announce his resignation. Full story

Fiscal Conservatives Buck Leadership, Send Tighter Budget to Floor (Updated)

Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee, talks with reporters after a news conference with members of the committee in the Capitol Visitor Center to introduce the FY2016 budget resolution and discuss ways to balance the budget, March 17, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Price’s budget goes to the House floor without the additional defense spending national security hawks had insisted upon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:02 p.m. | House fiscal conservatives took the upper hand — for the moment — Thursday in their struggle with Republican defense hawks for control of the GOP’s 2016 federal budget proposal.

After 24 hours of uncertainty and stops and starts, the House Budget Committee voted along party lines, 22-13, to send a leaner spending plan to the House floor for a vote. Full story

House Republicans Stymied Over Own Budget

Tom Price, R-Ga., chairs the House Budget Committee hearing on "The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Price said the votes weren’t there. So far, he’s right. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A marathon markup of House Republicans’ proposed 2016 federal budget ended after midnight Wednesday with no resolution between the two GOP factions — defense hawks on one side, fiscal conservatives on the other — determined to put their own, seemingly incompatible stamps on the largely symbolic spending plan.

Members and aides weren’t immediately sure early Thursday if or when the House Budget panel would reconvene to try again to move the budget out of committee and onto the floor. Full story

March 18, 2015

After GOP Hawks Threaten Mutiny, Budget Committee Set to Add Defense Dollars

Rokita, R-Ind., attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center with members of the House Budget Committee to introduce the FY2016 budget resolution and discuss ways to balance the budget, March 17, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rokita’s amendment adds to defense spending in the GOP budget. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a win for defense hawks, the House Budget Committee is set to vote Wednesday night on an amendment that would add $2 billion to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund and strike provisions requiring that the money be offset.

After more than a day of uncertainty — Would they add money in the Budget Committee? Would they not? Do it on the floor? In the Rules Committee? — Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee may finally be getting the extra dollars they pushed for.

The Budget Committee is slated to vote during the marathon markup session on Indiana Republican Todd Rokita’s amendment that would bring OCO funding up to $96 billion from $94 billion. Full story

Quiet Win for Boehner? Bending the Entitlement Curve

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, walks back to his office after leaving the House floor on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner is close to an elusive deal on a small piece of what allies are calling entitlement reform. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If the phrase “sustainable growth rate” sounds like it might be useful in putting you to sleep, you might have missed it.

Speaker John A. Boehner is quietly putting the finishing touches on a legacy item that generations of high school civics teachers insist is the third rail of politics: “entitlement reform.” Full story

For House Budget Negotiators, the Stakes Are High

Tom Price, R-Ga., chairs the House Budget Committee hearing on "The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Price (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dead on arrival at the White House and with little chance in the Senate, the House Republican budget presented Tuesday doesn’t mean a lot in terms of actual legislation. But don’t try telling that to Rep. Tom Price, the document’s chief GOP architect or Rep. Chris Van Hollen, his foil on the Democratic side.

The rollout of the House Republicans’ spending plan comes with enormous stakes for the two Budget Committee lawmakers: Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat, is looking to raise his profile ahead of a Senate run in Maryland, while Chairman Price has the unenviable task of following the gavel-holder whose name is synonymous with GOP budgets of the past four years: Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. Full story

March 17, 2015

Threatening Revolt, Defense Hawks Win Budget Concession

UNITED STATES - JULY 10: Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, is interviewed by Roll Call in his Rayburn office, July 10, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Defense hawk Turner led efforts to add more Pentagon spending to the GOP budget. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing the prospect of an open revolt from defense hawks, the House Budget Committee is poised this week to add even more defense dollars to a budget proposal that already goes beyond President’s Barack Obama’s Pentagon spending request.

House Armed Services Committee members met early Tuesday, before the budget’s release, to sort out a strategy to get more military money into a spending plan the GOP leadership was moving ahead with despite HASC concerns. Full story

Watch Live: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Testifies Before House Committee

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will give his annual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on the “State of the International Financial System.” Coverage begins at 10 a.m. Full story

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