Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 1, 2015

March 16, 2015

Republicans Open to Potential ‘Doc Fix’ Deal

 Pitts, R-Pa., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pitts was optimistic about a long-term “doc fix” deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress approaches another deadline, lawmakers seemed hopeful Monday evening they could do something increasingly rare: take off their can-kicking shoes and make a deal.

Aides told CQ Roll Call that Speaker John A. Boehner was set to give the Republican Conference an update on the “bipartisan discussions” regarding the Sustainable Growth Rate during the GOP’s weekly meeting Tuesday morning. And the prospect of reaching an elusive long-term deal on the payment formula for doctors and medical professionals accepting Medicare was looking better and better. Full story

GOP’s Post-Ryan Budget: Price Outlines Spending Plan (Video)

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 outlines the GOP spending plan Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For the past four years it’s been all about the “Ryan budget,” the House GOP’s spending blueprint informally named for then-Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan — and synonymous with the Wisconsin Republican’s fiscal austerity.

This year, get ready for the “Price budget.” Full story

‘Doc Fix’ Is Latest Spending Battle for Conservatives

Doc Fix

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Republicans a “doc fix” vote is coming up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

As the House returns Monday for its first legislative week after Republicans caved on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, GOP leaders are gearing up for their next battle: the Sustainable Growth Rate.

SGR, as it’s more commonly known, deals with the payment formula for Medicare doctors. If the current “patch” expires on March 31, Medicare payments to doctors would be reduced by 21 percent. The only problem is the last time Congress extended the so-called “doc fix,” they didn’t exactly have the votes — a conundrum leaders solved by quickly voice voting the measure before members on the floor even realized what had hit them. Full story

Outside the Camera Frame, Granger Makes Her Mark

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, is interviewed by Roll Call in her Longworth Building office. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Granger, in her Longworth Building office, jokes some of her fellow Texans are afraid of her. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kay Granger doesn’t suffer fools.

The Texas Republican has a story about a lawmaker who admitted he hadn’t read a bill he was trying to amend; She told him he had “no business being in Congress.”

Nor does she hesitate to tell any of her more bombastic male colleagues in the Lone Star State delegation when they’re “misbehaving.” Full story

March 13, 2015

Scalise Asks Marijuana Legalization Question in Email Survey

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

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

As more states consider measures to legalize marijuana, one prominent congressional Republican wants to know what his constituents think about the issue.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., posed the question, “Do you support the legalization of marijuana at the federal level?” to constituents Wednesday. The survey was first reported by Marijuana Majority Chairman Tom Angell, who found the poll embedded on the congressman’s website as part of a Google alert that notifies him when a “.gov” page contains the word “marijuana.” Full story

Longtime Leadership Staffer Announces Next Move(s)

Climbers from the office of Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va, from left, Matt Bravo, Jeff Burton, Neil Bradley, John Stipicevic, Chris Vieson, April 9, 2009.

The way they were: This 2009 photo captures, from left, Cantor staffers Matt Bravo, Jeff Burton, Bradley, John Stipicevic and Chris Vieson. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the most respected policy minds in House GOP circles may have left Capitol Hill, but he isn’t going far.

Neil Bradley, the former deputy chief of staff for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — and for Eric Cantor before him — will help run the Young Guns Network as it undergoes an identity transformation from a 501(c)4 dedicated to conservative principles to a similar Republican group with a different name. Full story

March 12, 2015

Steve Cohen: Netanyahu’s Campaign Ad Turns Congress Into ‘Theater’ (Video)

Before Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress last week, many House Democrats expressed concerns that the prime minister intended to use his appearance to advance his own political fortunes ahead of Tuesday’s Israeli elections.

Days later, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said their suspicions were correct. Full story

March 11, 2015

Tim Huelskamp’s Father Dies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Huelskamp’s father died Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Leroy Huelskamp, the father of Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., died Tuesday.

His death was confirmed by the congressman’s office Wednesday. Services will take place Friday in Kansas.

Leroy and his wife, Estelle or “Stellie,” kept a farm in Fowler, Kan. According to the lawmaker’s website, they raised “corn, cattle, wheat, milo, soybeans and kids.”

The congressman credits his upbringing on the family farm with his strong values of “hard work and personal responsibility, a strong family life, and the essentials of his Catholic Christian faith.”

This news comes during a particularly difficult time for Huelskamp. One of his constituent services staffers, Matthew Pennell, was arrested last week on 17 counts of child sex crimes. Pennell has since been fired, the Kansas City Star reported.

Related:

Congressional Staffer Arrested on Charges of Sex Crimes

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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March 10, 2015

Gowdy: Benghazi Panel Will Ask Clinton to Appear — Twice

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 17: Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi hearing on "Implementation of the Accountability Review Board Recommendations" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gowdy said he will call for Clinton to appear before the House Benghazi panel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Saying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Tuesday afternoon news conference raised more questions than it answered, the Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi announced plans to call the former secretary of State to appear — at least twice — before his investigative panel.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in a statement issued after Clinton spoke for the first time publicly about her extensive use of a private email address and server during her four years at State, said the email server should be turned over to a neutral third party. Full story

Boehner Survives, Conservatives Cope: Ongoing Saga of the 114th (Updated)

Updated 11:19 a.m. | It was an unconditional, unmitigated cave. In the battle to defund President Barack Obama’s immigration action, Democrats won. Republicans lost. So why does Speaker John A. Boehner’s job look as secure now as it did a month ago? And why aren’t conservatives more outraged?

“To be honest with you,” Rep. Paul Gosar told CQ Roll Call, “not all of it is his fault.” Full story

March 9, 2015

Retribution: King Says Boehner Canceled Trip After Immigration Fight

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner canceled a foreign trip by Rep. Steve King in retribution for his opposition to Boehner’s cave on “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding, according to the Iowa Republican.

Full story

March 6, 2015

Van Hollen’s Exit Changes House Democratic Leadership Landscape

UNITED STATES - JUNE 17: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., participates in the National Press Club Newsmaker Program with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on "future federal budget priorities and methods to achieve them" at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen’s Senate bid will have serious ramifications for House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:20 a.m. Monday | Ambitious House Democrats looking to position themselves as future caucus leaders thought they’d face stiff competition from Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

But with the Maryland Democrat, Budget Committee ranking member and former two-term Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman now saying he’ll run for Senate, the field has changed. Full story

March 5, 2015

Lawmakers Urge Obama to Expedite Lethal Aid for Ukraine

Adam 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)

Smith is one of three Democrats joining House GOP leaders in calling for immediate lethal aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eight House Republicans and three House Democrats agree on something: President Barack Obama should help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression — and fast.

On Thursday, the bipartisan group of lawmakers sent Obama a letter urging him to “quickly approve additional efforts to support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereign territory, including the transfer of lethal, defense weapons systems to the Ukrainian military.” Full story

March 4, 2015

House Looks to Get Out of Town Before Snow

Forecasters are calling for as much as eight inches of snow in Washington Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Forecasters are calling for as many as eight inches of snow Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a snowstorm expected to hit the nation’s capital Thursday, the House canceled scheduled sessions, giving lawmakers — many headed to Selma, Ala., for a Saturday event to take part in the 50th anniversary of the town’s historic civil rights marches — a chance to fly out ahead of the weather. Full story

Winter Storm Bibi Arrives as DHS Funding Fight Fizzles

Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Yellow police tape blocked access to the Capitol, a sign of enhanced security for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a colorful accent to the fight over funding the Homeland Security Department.

Why was this Tuesday different from any other? An ice storm. Black-hatted Orthodox Jews. Protesters. A Capitol Police armored car. Elie Wiesel. Robert Kraft and the Lombardi Trophy. Three floor managers at one time on the House floor. Senate President Pro Tem Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, sitting in the presiding officer chair most often occupied by the absent Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Netanyahu’s staff live-tweeting, in violation of House rules. Full story

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