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October 8, 2015

October 8, 2015

Pelosi: Members’ Choice Whether to Quit Benghazi Committee (Video)

Pelosi said Thursday it's up to the Democrats on the panel to decide whether to continue on the Benghazi Committee.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll)

Pelosi said Thursday it’s up to the Democrats on the panel to decide whether to continue on the Benghazi Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll)

House Republicans are still doing crisis management after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested the Select Committee on Benghazi helped sink Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll numbers and Democrats are still beating the drum about that rhetorical flap.

As GOP lawmakers were about head into a special conference meeting Thursday to nominate Speaker John A. Boehner’s successor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi signaled it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that Democrats on the Benghazi panel might call it quits. Full story

Republicans Eye Rules Changes as Possible Conference Unifier

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 co-hosted a meeting to discuss possible House GOP rules changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina wants leadership candidates to confess to their “misdeeds” before they can be elected by their peers. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky wants to dilute the speaker’s power of the Republican Steering Committee.

Rep. James B. Renacci of Ohio wants leadership to prioritize floor votes on bills that have the support of a majority of members, not just the measures leaders like best. And Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia wants anyone running for elected leadership to give up whatever elected leadership positions they currently hold.

These are just some of the dozens of changes rank-and-file members of the House Republican Conference want to see addressed in the weeks and months ahead.

Full story

October 7, 2015

House GOP Looks Outside for Advice on Planned Parenthood Panel

planned parenthood

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, is questioned by Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans insist their new committee to investigate Planned Parenthood won’t be political.

But lawmakers and aides on both sides of the aisle are raising eyebrows at the optics of GOP leaders soliciting buy-in from outside groups as they make decisions about which members will sit on the special committee. Full story

HFC Looks for Leverage in Speaker’s Race

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 7: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) cuts through a crowd of tourists as he walks back to his office in the U.S. Capitol following the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy cuts through a crowd of tourists as he walks back to his office in the Capitol Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Barring a historic meltdown, Republicans will select Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be their nominee for speaker Thursday. But does that mean McCarthy will get 218 votes in the House floor vote on Oct. 29?

Conservatives spent the better part of an hourlong panel discussion Wednesday suggesting that even if he’s selected during the conference’s noon meeting Thursday, it doesn’t mean McCarthy is guaranteed to take the speakership. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 6:04 p.m.

Dingell to Undergo Second Heart Procedure (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JULY 29: Former Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., wields the gavel he used when he presided over the vote to pass Medicare in 1965 during the House Democrats' event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:51 p.m. | Former Rep. John D. Dingell is in good spirits following a heart procedure, but will remain in the hospital and undergo a second procedure.

The retired lawmaker’s wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, who succeeded him in Congress to representing Michigan’s 12th District, tweeted Tuesday evening that the congressman was resting comfortably following the procedure and was his usual “grouchy self.”

According to the congresswoman’s office, the angiogram at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit confirmed the former Dean of the House did not have a silent heart attack. He will undergo a second procedure Friday to implant a new device.

“Both of us deeply appreciate the prayers and good wishes. They mean a lot,” she said.

The 89-year-old took to his Twitter account Wednesday for some typical levity.

He is expected to remain in the hospital for a few more days.

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

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By Cameron Easley Posted at 3:35 p.m.

Grayson Files Benghazi Ethics Complaint Against McCarthy, Gowdy (Updated)

Updated 9:31 a.m. | Florida Democrat Alan Grayson filed an ethics complaint Wednesday against House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., alleging they violated federal law and House rules by using official funds appropriated to the Benghazi Committee to pay political or campaign-related expenses.

“This represents the new McCarthyism — the misuse of [official] funds for political purposes to vilify a political opponent,” Grayson told CQ Roll Call. He said the House Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Gowdy, is an “effort to embarrass” Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton. Full story

October 6, 2015

McCarthy Courts House Freedom Caucus, but Will It Matter?

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., 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)

McCarthy wooing support for Thursday — and for Oct. 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans will meet behind closed doors Thursday to choose a new speaker — but the day everyone is waiting for is Oct. 29.

That’s when the presumed next speaker, likely Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, will go to the floor and find out whether he really has the votes, or whether conservatives actually possess veto power over the conference. Full story

Murky Ethics Rules on McCarthy’s Benghazi Comments

McCarthy, R-Calif., listens as other House GOP leaders speak to reporters following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy may face an ethics complaint. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Filing an ethics complaint against Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy over the House Benghazi committee — an idea making the rounds among Capitol Hill Democrats — could ease some pressure on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But proving McCarthy ran afoul of House rules will likely take a lot more than his Sept. 29 comments on Fox News — including witnesses or documents that back up Democrats’ repeated assertions that the 17-month Benghazi probe is little more than a GOP attempt to smear the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner. Full story

John Dingell in Hospital: ‘Being Old Sucks’

John Dingell and Debbie Dingell (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John and Debbie Dingell. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John D. Dingell is back in the hospital and will undergo a heart procedure. Full story

House Democrats Brace for Round Two of Trade Fight

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the bipartisan news conference outside of the Capitol to unveil "a major proposal aimed at modernizing America's regulatory system to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, and improve national competitiveness" on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind helped the president whip House votes on TPA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats who fought unsuccessfully earlier this year to withhold Trade Promotion Authority from the White House are gearing up for round two: an effort to undo the sweeping 12-nation Pacific trade deal announced Monday that TPA authorized the administration to negotiate.

“The deal … is the result of negotiations between corporate interests and trade representatives, which ignored the voices of working families in all twelve countries,” Progressive Caucus Co-Chairmen Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota declared in a statement. Full story

October 5, 2015

Boehner Throws Leadership Races a Curveball

McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks beside House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. McCarthy is reinforcing to Republicans that he can keep them united, despite conservatives trying to move their party to the right after Boehner's sudden resignation. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner, right, said the decision on down-ballot leadership races will be up to his successor. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In the latest plot twist to House Republicans’ leadership drama, Speaker John A. Boehner announced Monday that potential majority leader and majority whip contests would only take place if Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is confirmed as speaker on the floor at the end of October.

Boehner set Oct. 29 as the date for a floor vote for speaker, after which the person holding that title could set the date — if necessary — for a majority leader race, which could then set off a majority whip race. And while the domino-effect timetable might not change the outcome, the extra weeks of uncertainty about GOP leadership has some happy and others worried. Full story

Boehner Postpones Elections for Majority Leader, Whip

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, R-Ohio (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner said he wanted to “clean the barn” before his resignation at the end of October, but he’s leaving his successor with at least one key bit of housekeeping business: Setting the date and parameters for down-ballot leadership elections, should they occur.

On Monday, the Ohio Republican confirmed the House Republican Conference’s nominee for speaker would be picked on Thursday, as originally planned. Three weeks later, on Oct. 29, the House will vote to confirm that nominee on the floor, he said. Full story

Chaffetz: McCarthy Support ‘Dwindling, Not Growing’

Chaffetz, R-Utah, speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz speaks with reporters last month as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s not that Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz thinks he’s going to be elected speaker on Thursday — though he said he’s not giving up on that idea — it’s just that the Utah Republican doesn’t think Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy can be elected on the floor.

“Clearly Kevin McCarthy has the majority of the conference. I have no doubt about that,” Chaffetz told reporters Monday morning. “The math problem is on the floor.”

Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 12:58 p.m.

Republicans Scurry to Advance Agendas Before Recess

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, chairman of the House Budget Committee, will oversee a markup of reconciliation legislation on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans will go home for recess at the end of this week with plenty to tell their constituents — namely that they picked a new slate of leadership (if all goes according to plan) and avoided a government shutdown (with hours to spare).

Over the next four days, they’ll also lay the groundwork on some other legislative items that could play well back in their districts. Full story

October 4, 2015

GOP Split Over Whether to Fast-Track Elections or Take More Time

UNITED STATES - JULY 9: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with House Majority Leader elect Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Majority Whip elect Steve Scalise, R-La., looking on, speaks during the House GOP leadership media availability after the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy, center, and Scalise, right, are still expected to move up in the wake of Boehner’s resignation. But both face complications. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans were already divided over the candidates for speaker, majority leader and whip. Now they’re finding themselves split over when to hold elections.

Over the weekend, the expectation that members would vote on Thursday for a new leadership slate was turned upside down, as some lawmakers amped up lobbying efforts to postpone votes for majority leader and whip.

Members were also whispering about the ramifications of letting almost a month go by between nominating a new speaker candidate and holding the decisive roll call vote on the House floor.

Full story

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