Emma Dumain

Grijalva Wants to Diversify Environmental Movement

It’s not easy being a ranking member on a congressional committee, where any major legislative and policy decision is made primarily at the discretion of the chairman.  

That struggle is particularly potent for Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. The Arizona lawmaker, who is also the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wants to pass bills that address climate change. He wants to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses federal oil and gas leases to pay for public parks and historic sites and is operating on a three-year extension secured in the 2015 year-end omnibus bill. He wants to shield Native American tribes from congressional interference.  

Steve Scalise Defends Planned Parenthood Strategy

House Republicans were skeptical when their No. 3 leader started talking back in September about using the budget reconciliation process to defund Planned Parenthood, knowing full well it would be vetoed by President Barack Obama. Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., though, still counts it as one of the GOP's biggest victories of the 114th Congress. Ever since the GOP captured the majority in the Senate, Republican lawmakers had been holding out on using the Senate filibuster-proof process until there was a solid plan of attack to dismantle elements of the Affordable Care Act.  

The Planned Parenthood elements muddled that strategy a bit; many Republicans wanted to use the appropriations process to address Planned Parenthood, even though that raised the specter of a government shutdown.  

Senate Passes Omnibus
 

The Senate passed a year-end omnibus package, 65-33, that combined a $1.1 trillion spending bill with a tax extenders measure, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature and wrapping up Congress’ 2015 legislative session.

Earlier in the day, the House passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill, leaving the Senate to clear the omnibus for the president’s signature.

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Pelosi's Victory Lap

As the House on Friday overwhelmingly passed the $1.1 trillion government spending bill, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shook hands on the chamber floor.  

There's an obvious reason for Ryan, just several weeks into the job, to be celebrating his legislative victory. But Pelosi, too, has reason to claim a win. The California Democrat has fewer ways to show strength than when she was speaker, of course. But catch-all government funding measures like the one passed Friday are one way, since conservative opposition to such measures make Democratic support a must.  

House Passes Omnibus
 

The House passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill Friday morning, leaving the Senate to clear the omnibus for the president’s signature a little later in the day.

Legislation to fund government operations through the remainder of fiscal 2016 passed, 316-113, with Democrats shoring up the majority of support but Republicans boasting a significantly larger number than they’ve had on previous catch-all appropriations packages....
Congress Sends Omnibus to Obama

The Senate passed a year-end omnibus package that combined a $1.1 trillion spending bill with a tax extenders measure, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature and wrapping up Congress' 2015 legislative session.  

The Senate voted 65-33 to pass the package, after a series of procedural votes Friday morning. Twenty six Republicans, including GOP presidential hopefuls Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, voted against the package, along with seven members across the aisle, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.  

Congress Sends Omnibus to Obama

The Senate passed a year-end omnibus package that combined a $1.1 trillion spending bill with a tax extenders measure, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature and wrapping up Congress’ 2015 legislative session.

The Senate voted 65-33 to pass the package, after a series of procedural votes Friday morning. Twenty six Republicans, including GOP presidential hopefuls Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, voted against the package, along with seven members across the aisle, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.

Ex-Speaker Hastert Recovering From Stroke

Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is recovering from a stroke as he awaits sentencing for his guilty plea stemming from a hush-money scheme.  

Hastert's attorney, Thomas Green, confirmed the Illinois Republican's health status in a statement provided to Roll Call. “In light of inquiries from the press I am confirming that during the first week of November our client Dennis Hastert was admitted to the hospital," said Green, a senior counsel in the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley Austin. "Mr. Hastert has suffered a stroke and has been treated for Sepsis. While in the hospital two surgeries on his back were performed. We are hopeful that Mr. Hastert will be released from the hospital in the early part of the new year.  

Pelosi Won’t Guarantee Democrat Votes on Omnibus
 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will vote for the $1.1 trillion spending bill, but it’s unclear how many of her more liberal colleagues will follow her lead, a situation fluid enough that members and aides are concerned there might not be enough Democratic votes to offset Republican no votes.

Pelosi Supports Omnibus, but Other Democrats Not Sold

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will vote for the $1.1 trillion spending bill, but it's unclear how many of her more liberal colleagues will follow her lead, a situation fluid enough that members and aides are concerned there might not be enough Democratic votes to offset Republican no votes.  

Members of the Congressional Progressive, Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American caucuses are inclined to vote against the omnibus, citing a variety of flaws in the bill they can't ignore.

Ryan Gets High Marks for First Big Showdown

John A. Boehner's last days as speaker in October were spent, as he said, cleaning out the barn, or cutting legislative deals to help his successor, Paul D. Ryan, get off to a good start.  

Now that Ryan is close to passing his first real test as speaker by finishing up 2015's legislative business, the Wisconsin Republican is laying the groundwork to keep things tidy in 2016.  

Ryan Touts GOP Riders in Spending Bill
 

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been offering members the same refrain since taking the gavel from John A. Boehner two months ago.

He’d been dealt a bad hand by the old regime, according to the Wisconsin Republican, and the best thing for everyone was to make it through the end of the year so the Republican House can return to “regular order” and run the government as it should....
Pelosi Slams 'Immoral' Tax Breaks
 

The top two House Democrats came to the microphone after a caucus meeting Wednesday to reiterate opposition to the tax extenders package, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling it "practically an immorality." Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Democrats would seek to force a House floor vote on a two-year tax extenders extension through the "previous question" procedural gambit.

Ryan Gets High Marks for First Big Showdown

John A. Boehner’s last days as speaker in October were spent, as he said, cleaning out the barn, or cutting legislative deals to help his successor, Paul D. Ryan, get off to a good start.

Now that Ryan is close to passing his first real test as speaker by finishing up 2015’s legislative business, the Wisconsin Republican is laying the groundwork to keep things tidy in 2016.

It's A Deal: Republicans Settle for Notable Omnibus Wins

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been offering members the same refrain since taking the gavel from John A. Boehner two months ago.  

He'd been dealt a bad hand by the old regime, according to the Wisconsin Republican, and the best thing for everyone was to make it through the end of the year so the Republican House can return to "regular order" and run the government as it should.  

It's A Deal: Republicans Settle for Notable Omnibus Wins

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been offering members the same refrain since taking the gavel from John A. Boehner two months ago.

He’d been dealt a bad hand by the old regime, according to the Wisconsin Republican, and the best thing for everyone was to make it through the end of the year so the Republican House can return to “regular order” and run the government as it should.

Every December, Why All the Drama?

Every December brings anxieties about Congress finishing its work in time to avert a government shutdown. Christmas cheer is overshadowed by partisan finger pointing; lawmakers have months to come to an agreement on spending priorities and policy riders, but don't.  

Before they headed home this past weekend, many rank-and-file lawmakers paused to consider why they find themselves in a deadline rush every December and whether it will ever be different. Speaker Paul D. Ryan caught people by surprise when he said the day before the government's funding expired that Dec. 11 was an "arbitrary" goalpost.  

Every December, Why All the Drama?

Every December brings anxieties about Congress finishing its work in time to avert a government shutdown. Christmas cheer is overshadowed by partisan finger pointing; lawmakers have months to come to an agreement on spending priorities and policy riders, but don’t.

Before they headed home this past weekend, many rank-and-file lawmakers paused to consider why they find themselves in a deadline rush every December and whether it will ever be different.

Majority Whip Gets New Chief of Staff in the New Year

In the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the year-end scramble will involve a personnel transition in the very senior ranks.  

Lynnel Ruckert, who has served as the Louisiana Republican's chief of staff since he won a special election to the House in 2008, is leaving Capitol Hill after 14 years total as a GOP aide.  

Ryan: GOP Will Build 2016 Agenda Together
 

Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced his big 2016 priority would be advancing a “pro-growth agenda.”
And although he doesn’t yet know what that agenda will look like, he wants all Republicans to have a say in its shaping.