Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 30, 2015

January 14, 2015

Abortion Bill Co-Sponsoring Debacle ‘Vexing’ for Democrat

Smith, D-Wash., speaks during the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Adam Smith. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Co-sponsoring a bill in Congress doesn’t really mean all that much. But — maybe — it ought to at least mean a member has agreed to sign on, and will actually sign.

At least, that’s the argument Washington Democrat Adam Smith made on the House floor Wednesday. Full story

26 House Republicans Stand Up to Anti-DACA Contingent (Video) (Updated)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Blackburn’s anti-DACA amendment was one of the five GOP riders attached to the Homeland Security funding bill that passed the House Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:24 p.m. | When House Republicans went to vote on their Department of Homeland Security funding bill Wednesday, they encountered an unusual dynamic.

Instead of the most conservative faction threatening to derail an amendment for not meeting certain ideological purity standards, it was the more moderate contingent rising up against a provision it argued went too far. Full story

Diaz-Balart Describes an Immigration Deal Undone

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Diaz-Balart remains a key figure in the ongoing Republican debate over immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Through most of last year, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart asked dozens of members, aides, advocates and reporters to trust him: He had a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill that could actually pass the House.

The proposed legislation that drove the Florida Republican for months ultimately came up short. But one week into the 114th Congress, with tensions around the immigration debate as high as ever, Diaz-Balart said there are rumblings about reviving the bill — the details of which were never shared publicly — that imploded last summer. Full story

January 13, 2015

Pelosi: GOP Effort to Defund Obama Immigration Moves ‘Frivolous’

 Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference at the House Triangle to call on House Republicans to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, December 4, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi called the attempts to defund the president’s immigration initiatives “frivolous.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats gathered on the steps of the Capitol Tuesday morning with a group of immigration activists to voice their opposition to a Republican tactic to defund the president’s executive actions on immigration.

Republicans plan to attach five amendments to a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security to target the president’s executive actions, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and other practices that loosen enforcement of some immigration laws. The House is expected to vote on the funding bill Wednesday. Full story

Demonstrators Plan to Disrupt Scalise Fundraiser

Progressive groups say they will continue to press the House GOP to remove Scalise from leadership. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Progressive groups say they will continue to press the House GOP to remove Scalise from leadership. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Activists plan to protest a private fundraising event for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Tuesday afternoon, trying to keep pressure on the Louisiana Republican weeks after the revelation that he addressed a meeting of white supremacists in 2002.

“We’re trying to protest racism in the system,” said Pete Haviland-Eduah of Million Hoodies, one of the groups that will organize outside the Capitol Hill Club. “This is a congressman that has known ties to a racist [organization]. We want to make it well known to leaders in both parties that the people are not supporting of this.” Full story

Boehner Refuses to Rule Out ‘Clean’ DHS Funding Bill

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 7: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive to speak to the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner wouldn’t rule out a “clean” Homeland Security funding bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner wouldn’t rule out Tuesday the possibility the House may have to pass a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that does not block President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

That could dampen the enthusiasm of some hard-line conservatives in the House, who were practically ecstatic on Jan. 9 with an emerging GOP strategy to hold votes to defund the president’s executive action and a number of other immigration provisions. But on Tuesday, the speaker was noncommittal. Full story

January 12, 2015

New Republicans Take Aim at Familiar Target: Establishment GOP

Ratcliffe, Republican candidate from Texas' 4th Congressional District, is interviewed by Roll Call. (Photo By Meredith Dake/CQ Rol

Ratcliffe said constituents in Texas’ 4th District are frustrated with both parties. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a clear indication of the divisions facing Republicans in the new Congress, four House GOP freshmen made the pilgrimage to the Massachusetts Avenue headquarters of The Heritage Foundation Monday and offered sharp criticism of a party they don’t seem quite comfortable belonging to.

“I do not blame liberals for the condition of the country,” said newly elected Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., repeating one of his stump speech lines. “I blame us.” Full story

Democrats Shocked by Giffords Aide’s Decision to Join McSally Staff

martha mcsally

Barber, center, and Giffords, right, attend an event in the Capitol Visitor Center to dedicate the Gabe Zimmerman Meeting Room to a staffer of Giffords who was killed in the 2011 Tucson shootings that also injured Giffords and Barber. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

C.J. Karamargin isn’t the first congressional staffer to cross the partisan aisle, but some Democrats are shocked this former staffer to Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is working for the new Republican congresswoman in Arizona’s 2nd District.

On Jan. 9, in a hiring coup, freshman GOP Rep. Martha E. McSally announced Karamargin as her new district director. Karamargin was communications director for Giffords at the time of the Tucson shootings before handling media relations for Pima Community College. The timing of the hiring — just one day after the four-year anniversary of the Tucson tragedy — also gnawed at still-raw wounds among Giffords’ allies. Full story

January 9, 2015

House Conservatives Expect ‘Solid Votes’ for New Immigration Strategy (Updated)

Fleming, R-La., speaks with the media before a meeting of the House Republican caucus in the Capitol to discuss an immigration bill, August 1, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Fleming and other conservatives who oppose Obama’s immigration plan are optimistic about a new GOP strategy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | House Republicans emerged from a special conference meeting Friday with a new plan and a new tone pleasing to conservatives who have long been intent on defunding President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

GOP leadership laid out a strategy in which Republicans would have the opportunity to vote on a number of amendments aimed at defunding certain immigration activities: the president’s executive action, his Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program and the so-called Morton Memos, which are formal measures from former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton that relax enforcement of certain immigration laws.

Full story

28 House Democrats Defy Obama, Join GOP to Pass Keystone

 

Cooper, D-Tenn., leaves the Capitol following the last vote of the week on Friday, April 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Cooper and 27 other Democrats joined the GOP on Keystone. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Defying President Barack Obama, 28 House Democrats joined Republicans Friday to help pass legislation to jump-start the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline project.

The defections are another indication that moderate Democrats, frustrated with midterm losses and weary of defending an unpopular president, may be more willing to break ranks with party leaders in 2015. Full story

TPP Trade Deal Could Divide Obama, House Democrats

DeFazio, D-Ore., along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., not pictured, conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce legislation that will strengthen social security by making wealthy Americans pay the same payroll tax as most citizens. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans will go after “weak-kneed” Democrats to back the trade deal, DeFazio said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass legislation that would give him the authority to negotiate a long-sought trade agreement with nearly a dozen countries in the Pacific region.

The problem is, a growing number of House Democrats don’t want to let him have it. Full story

January 8, 2015

Boehner Leaves Door Open on Gas Tax Proposal (Video)

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)

Boehner stopped short of ruling out a gas tax hike. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A renewed push by some Democrats for an increase in the federal gas tax to replenish the Highway Trust Fund drew a frosty reception Thursday from Speaker John A. Boehner — though the Ohio Republican stopped short of ruling the idea out.

Both Boehner and the top-ranking Democrat in the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, were asked Thursday about an increase in the 18.4 cent-per-gallon federal gas tax after the National Republican Campaign Committee sought to make a gas tax increase a political liability for Democrats.

Full story

By Clark Mindock Posted at 4:32 p.m.
Uncategorized

Schiff Named Top Democrat on Intelligence Panel

Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Schiff named ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that California Democrat Adam B. Schiff will be the next ranking member on the Intelligence Committee.

“As a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, Congressman Schiff has been a vital voice on the most pressing national security challenges of our time, including counter terrorism efforts and challenges in the Middle East,” Pelosi said in a statement. “He has proven himself to be a capable leader and a proponent of surveillance reforms.” Full story

Boehner Fires Back, Says He’s No ‘Squish’ (Video)

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 4: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during his weekly press conference on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner pushed back Thursday at the notion he’s an “establishment” Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner took to the press conference podium Thursday to set the record straight on a line of attack he seems to be hearing from conservatives: That he has no spine.

“It does pain me to be described as ‘spineless’ or a ‘squish,'” a somewhat-jocular Boehner said. Full story

‘Main Street’ Republicans Detail Policy Agenda

Upton's first challenge will be approving the Keystone XL pipeline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Upton laid out his policy agenda Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While some conservative members of the Republican Party caused a stir during the speaker election this week, other members of the party appeared eager to move on and start governing, laying out their policy priorities Thursday.

Four members of the GOP spoke at a Capitol Hill Club event hosted by the Republican Main Street Partnership Thursday morning, explaining their agenda for energy, trade and education policies, and their goal of broadening the Republican base to attract more women. Full story

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