Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 28, 2015

July 9, 2015

Pelosi’s Charge: How Democrats Cornered the GOP (Video)

Pelosi and the Democrats forced Republicans to retreat Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pelosi and the Democrats forced Republicans to retreat Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It was a day of extraordinary emotion and theater on the House floor, as Republican leadership pulled a bill Thursday to avoid votes on a Confederate flag amendment and Democrats successfully took procedural maneuvers to force the votes anyway.

Shortly after Speaker John A. Boehner announced Thursday morning that the House would be delaying votes on an Interior-Environment appropriations bill so “adult” members of Congress could discuss how to deal with provisions governing the Confederate flag on federal lands, Nancy Pelosi used her position as minority leader to force an immediate vote on a privileged resolution that would remove all non-member-office displays of the Confederate flag on the House side of the Capitol. Full story

Lawmakers on Both Sides Scramble on Confederate Flag (Video) (Updated)

UNITED STATES - APRIL 07: Chairman Ken Calvert, R-Calif., conducts an Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on proposed fiscal 2015 appropriations. The hearing featured testimony from numerous American Indian leaders. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Calvert said he should have handled the Confederate flag amendment differently. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:01 p.m. | “They pulled the bill!”

This was how Rep. G. K. Butterfield, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, greeted colleagues as he speed-walked through the basement tunnel connecting the Rayburn House Office Building to the Capitol. Full story

House Pulls Spending Bill Amid Confederate Flag Debate (Video)

 A confederate flag is held by an attendee of the 63rd Annual Shad Planking political rally in Wakefield, Va., in 2011. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Confederate flag is held by an attendee of the 63rd Annual Shad Planking political rally in Wakefield, Va., in 2011. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans are pulling the Interior-Environment appropriations bill amid a growing public relations storm over votes on the Confederate battle flag and concerns the bill won’t pass.

Speaker John A. Boehner confirmed to reporters Thursday during his weekly on-camera news conference the appropriations bill was being pulled so that the “adult” members of Congress could sit down and have a conversation about how to deal with the Confederate flag. Full story

Hoyer Makes a New ‘Make It In America’ Agenda

Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during a press conference with House Democrats on the Export-Import Bank in the Capitol on Thursday, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer to fellow Democrats: run on jobs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are looking many places for a message to carry the 2016 election cycle. One place they might find it is in Steny H. Hoyer’s jobs agenda.

The Maryland Democrat and House minority whip has, for the past five years, been touting various iterations of his “Make It In America” economic platform, which packages together bills and legislative initiatives aimed at boosting domestic-employment opportunities. Full story

July 8, 2015

GOP Rewrite of ‘No Child’ Passes on Second Try

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., talks with reporters outside of the RNC after a meeting of House republicans, July 15, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., was a winner Wednesday night when his amendment was adopted. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed an education overhaul bill on Wednesday night — barely.

In a nail-biting and lengthy vote sequence, Republican leaders and their allies succeeded in passing a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law, 218-213.  Full story

House Democratic Leaders’ Mixed Outlook on Guns

Becerra, D-Calif., talks with Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., during a House Ways and Means Committee markup in Longworth Building, July 31, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Becerra is frustrated that gun control isn’t more of a priority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After last month’s shooting at an AME church in Charleston, House Democrats are renewing calls for gun-control legislation — but members of leadership have differing outlooks on prospects of anything happening.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, speaking to reporters at Wednesday’s weekly news conference, expressed frustration with Congress’ slow movement on important issues generally. Full story

Boehner Slams Syrian Rebel Program, Offers No New Strategy

Boehner speaks to reporters the same week the House passed two cybersecurity bills (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner says Syria strategy isn’t working. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner stopped short of calling for U.S. ground troops to combat Islamic State terror group fighters, but the Ohio Republican made it clear Wednesday he doesn’t think President Barack Obama’s strategy in the Middle East is working.

With recent reports that only 60 Syrians have been trained to combat ISIS, Boehner was asked if he was open to the idea of putting American soldiers on the ground. Full story

July 7, 2015

Clinton to Meet With ‘Tri-Caucus’ Members on Capitol Hill

Clinton, center, mourned Mandela while accepting an award for human rights work. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clinton, center, will visit Capitol Hill next week to court Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton will return to her old stomping grounds on Capitol Hill next week for the first time since declaring her candidacy for president.

The former secretary of State, New York senator and first lady has scheduled meetings for July 14 with members of the Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American caucuses, a Clinton campaign official confirmed with CQ Roll Call. Full story

July 6, 2015

Republicans Set to Try Again With Education Overhaul

Kline is among the Republicans who might be forced to hand over a gavel given self-imposed term limits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kline wants to overhaul K-12 education laws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In late February, House conservatives were revolting on two different fronts: They didn’t want to fund the Department of Homeland Security without language blocking President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration, and they didn’t want to replace the No Child Left Behind education law without provisions giving more autonomy to states.

At that time, GOP leaders opted to focus their energies on preventing a DHS shutdown instead of navigating a sticky whip operation on a non-time sensitive education bill, and so, mid-floor debate, they hit the “pause” button. Full story

House Conservatives Emboldened, Despite Crackdown Attempt (Video)


Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "Inspectors General: Independence, Access and Authority" on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chaffetz kicked over a hornet’s nest when he tried to demote Meadows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The tension between GOP leadership and House conservatives might have eased somewhat, now that Rep. Mark Meadows has his subcommittee gavel back. But the distrust, even anger, within the conference after last month’s crackdown on House Freedom Caucus members hasn’t quite been relieved.

Instead, leadership’s effort to subdue the 34 Republicans who defied the speaker on a June 11 trade vote seems to have left conservatives emboldened, not cowed.

Full story

July 2, 2015

Who’s Backing Whom? The House GOP Endorsement List (Updated)

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: Aug. 26, 2:21 p.m. | It’s a long time before primary season and the list of GOP presidential candidates is still likely to grow before it gets smaller — but plenty of House Republicans have already decided who they’re backing.

In the weeks and months ahead, 218 will update this running tally of which House Republican lawmakers are backing which 2016 hopefuls. We’ll keep the list as current as possible, drawing from press releases, official statements and face-to-face interviews. Full story

July 1, 2015

When Nancy Invoked Tip … Fair Comparison?

When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was questioned about any retirement plans by CNBC’s John Harwood, she was having none of it, and invoked Democratic royalty, former Speaker Thomas J. “Tip” O’Neill, as a point of comparison. So is it a fair point to compare the two?

“Did any of you ever ask Tip O’Neill, ‘Don’t you think you’re a little old for the job?’ I don’t think so,” the California Democrat replied to Harwood’s recent question about whether she was feeling pressure to step aside so other Democrats could lead the caucus.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While we can’t speak to what the press corps was asking the Massachusetts Democrat back in the 1980s, we can look at the numbers. Full story

June 30, 2015

Zombie Bank: Why Killing Ex-Im Doesn’t Mean It’s Dead

Congressional staffers stand below a television monitor as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, testifies during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on June 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional staffers stood below a television monitor on June 3, as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank, testified before the House Financial Services Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With only hours to go before the Export-Import Bank’s charter expires for the first time in its 81-year history, lawmakers who support the agency are pointing fingers at the base of opposition — but not sounding the alarm bells of imminent catastrophe.

Starting Wednesday, the bank won’t be able to extend new loans — but it will still be able to serve out existing contracts. Most members are confident the operation will get reauthorized, some way or another, in the weeks before the month-long August recess and before the funding lapse becomes a real problem. Full story

Fight Over Edmund Pettus Bridge Simmers

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, the congresswoman from Selma. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama: It’s complicated.

How else to explain a state where the white Republican governor takes down the Confederacy’s many flags and declares it time to raise taxes while a black Democratic congresswoman argues against changing the name of a bridge named after a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan grand dragon.  Full story

June 26, 2015

For Gay Lawmaker, Court’s Decision Personal, Powerful, Profound

Takano, D-Calif., left, celebrates after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to legalize gay marriage throughout the United States, June 26, 2015. Members of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, Mark Uhen, in glasses, and Bill Cutter, led the National Anthem after the announcement. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Takano, left, celebrates outside the Supreme Court after Friday’s ruling to legalize gay marriage. Members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Mark Uhen, in glasses, and Bill Cutter, led the National Anthem after the announcement. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The crowd in front of the Supreme Court awaiting Friday’s landmark decision on same-sex marriage included one of the country’s most eligible bachelors — openly gay Rep. Mark Takano.

The California Democrat said he wanted to be right at the spot where civil rights history was made. But it was also personal for Takano, who said the ruling “allows me the same degree of freedom any other American has to a marriage partner. That’s pretty profound.” Full story

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