Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 5, 2015

July 29, 2015

Chaka Fattah Case Could Get Awkward Fast for Democrats (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chaka Fattah has been under federal investigation for years, so for many of his colleagues the question was not whether an indictment would come, but when. But it could get awkward for Democrats in a hurry, as Fattah holds prominent positions within the party’s establishment and next year’s presidential nomination convention is being held in his native Philadelphia.

Within hours of being slapped with 29 counts — for racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud — the Pennsylvania Democrat had agreed to relinquish his post as ranking member on the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, per rules and precedent. Full story

Anti-Boehner Motion Muddies GOP’s Recess Messaging (Video)

UNITED STATES - JULY 29: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his weekly on camera media availability in the Capitol on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:53 p.m. | House Republicans may have left Washington for the next five weeks, but the divided conference’s problems will be tagging along with them.

The GOP conference reached a new point of division this week, when North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows offered a resolution to remove John A. Boehner as speaker. Full story

Fattah Says He’s Innocent, Will Run Despite Indictment (Video)

Fattah, D-Pa., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Chaka Fattah, indicted Wednesday on 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of an FBI and IRS probe, told reporters at the Capitol he’s innocent and will seek re-election to his Philadelphia seat.

“First of all, it’s a great way to start the August break, and it will keep you all busy, I’m sure. You’ll get to write one more story,” the Pennsylvania Democrat said. “But it’s been an eight year matter, and we’ve moved from an investigation to an actual allegation and I think I’ll stand by my original position which was as an elected official, I’ve never been involved in any illegal activity or misappropriation of funds.”

Full story

Pelosi Cites Fattah’s Service, Calls Charges ‘Saddening’ (Updated) (Video)

UNITED STATES - JULY 16: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds up a copy of the Iran nuclear deal as she speaks during her weekly on camera media availability on Thursday, July 16, 2015.  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., released the following statement Wednesday after news that Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has been indicted on 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of an FBI and IRS probe.

Full story

Pelosi Spokesman: Anti-Boehner Move Signifies GOP Dysfunction (Video)

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

Pelosi could be key to Boehner’s fate if the House votes to “vacate the chair” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Would House Democrats vote to remove John A. Boehner’s speaker gavel?

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., isn’t tipping her hand on which way she would urge her members to vote, should Rep. Mark Meadows’s motion to “vacate the chair” receive consideration on the House floor. Full story

Hill Climbers: From Hacks to Flacks

hill climbers

Piatt was a broadcast journalist for 27 years before switching jobs. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I’ll just sort of talk. I know what it’s like. I’m not going to make you pull teeth, because I’m not a politician,” Richard Piatt, communications director for Utah Rep. Mia Love, said jokingly.

Piatt is used to interviews, but he’s spent most of his career on the other side of the table: He worked as a broadcast journalist for 27 years before arriving on Capitol Hill in January. Sixteen of those years were spent working for a Utah TV station, which is where he met Love. Full story

Republicans Enter Policing Debate With New Task Force

UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., left, and Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., speak during an interview in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Reichert is the previous Sheriff of King County, Wash. and is working to improve community policing. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Reichert and Messer. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans have, for the most part, avoided one of the thorniest debates roiling the country in recent months: How does the United States begin to address the crisis of people, often minorities, being killed in violent encounters with police?

Now, 11 House GOP lawmakers think it’s time Republicans enter the fray. Full story

July 28, 2015

Meadows Explains Effort to Overthrow Boehner

Meadows, R-N.C., is taking his dissatisfaction with GOP leadership to the next level (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meadows,is taking his dissatisfaction with leadership to the next level. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

So why exactly did Rep. Mark Meadows offer a resolution to strip Speaker John A. Boehner of his gavel?

Holding court with reporters Tuesday night, nearly an hour after stunning colleagues by filing a motion to “vacate the chair,” the North Carolina Republican’s message was simple: He was left with no choice. Full story

Mark Meadows: A Brief Biography

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A member of the staunchly conservative House Freedom Caucus, Meadows has fought his battles with House Republican leaders, but he remains unbowed. After Meadows voted against the rule setting up debate on the fast-track Trade Promotion Authority bill, Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz took away his gavel as chairman of the Government Operations Subcommittee.

A few days later, Chaffetz reversed that decision, explaining that he’d spoken with Meadows several times after his removal and “we both better understand each other.”

Like other House Freedom Caucus members, Meadows voted against the trade bill when the House finally passed it in June 2015 on a 218-208 vote. Full story

Meadows Maneuvers to Remove Boehner as Speaker (Updated)

 

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meadows wants Boehner removed as speaker.(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:00 p.m. | Rep. Mark Meadows spent his 56th birthday Tuesday taking steps to dethrone Speaker John A. Boehner.

The North Carolina Republican, who had a subcommittee gavel taken away and then given back to him last month, might have hurt his own effort, however, by filing a non-privileged form of the motion to vacate the chair, which would remove Boehner as speaker. The non-privileged form of the motion is referred to a committee and does not need to receive an immediate vote. A GOP leadership aide told CQ Roll Call Tuesday evening the motion would be referred to the Rules Committee, where it’s unlikely to be considered. Full story

House Preps 3-Month Highway Bill, Sans Ex-Im Bank

Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters after the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner speaks to reporters after the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With House Republicans — for now — unwilling to take up the Senate’s six-year highway bill, and with the Senate unwilling to act on the House’s five-month bill, House GOP leadership has a legislative offer it’s hoping can get them to the August recess a day early.

Just minutes before midnight Monday, Republicans posted the text of a three-month bill that would extend the Highway Trust Fund until Oct. 29. It would not include a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, but would also take care of a Veterans Affairs hospitals shortfall. (The bill would allow the Veterans Choice program to transfer $3.3 billion to other VA health programs.) Full story

Watch Live: House Hearing on Iran Nuclear Deal

The House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a Tuesday hearing on the Iran nuclear deal announced earlier this month. Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew are expected to testify.

Coverage begins at 10 a.m. Full story

July 27, 2015

House GOP Threatens Contempt Vote for IRS Head

John Koskinen

Chaffetz announces next phase in Congress’s IRS investigation (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen is the latest Obama administration official House Republicans want fired — or, in Koskinen’s case, held in contempt of Congress, or even impeached.

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee put out the proverbial call for Koskinen’s head Monday, alleging he lied under oath and oversaw the destruction of key records that might have shone light on the IRS’s improper scrutiny of conservative nonprofit groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Full story

Why Eric Swalwell Endorsed Martin O’Malley

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks with Roll Call in his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., endorsed former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When it comes to 2016 endorsements, House Democrats were, until just a couple of days ago, divided into two camps : Those who had publicly endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president and those who hadn’t.

Enter Rep. Eric Swalwell. Full story

McCarthy: House Won’t Take Up Senate Highway Bill Before Recess

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a message for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday: The House is not taking up the Senate highway bill before the August recess.

While the Senate rushes to passage on its more than 1,000-page, six-year highway bill, McCarthy was emphatic that the House would not consider the legislation before hitting the exits on Thursday for a five-week break. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 2:31 p.m.
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