2015

You’ve seen the Freedom Caucus in action, now read the book
Author, in his new book, explains how hard-line conservative group changed the legislative game

From left, House Freedom Caucus members Dave Brat, R-Va., Mo Brooks, R-Ala., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., arrive for a news conference in February 2017. In a new book, Matthew Green, argues that the Republicans who conspired against Speaker John A. Boehner in 2015 pioneered something new in American history. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Matthew Green, a professor of politics at the Catholic University of America, argues in his new book, “Legislative Hardball: The House Freedom Caucus and the Power of Threat-Making in Congress,” that the House Republicans who conspired against Speaker John A. Boehner in 2015 pioneered something new in American history.

Here’s an edited transcript of his interview with CQ Roll Call.

Trump-Russia collusion: What the Mueller report says — and doesn’t say
Mueller found ‘evidence of numerous links’ between campaign and Russians but not enough to support conspiracy

Pages of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which was printed out by staff in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III uncovered “evidence of numerous links” between Donald Trump campaign officials and individuals with or claiming ties to the Russian government, according to a redacted version of his final report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.

But Mueller declined to charge any of those campaign officials under conspiracy, coordination, or campaign finance laws for their contacts with Russians, because the evidence didn’t reach a prosecutable threshold.

Trump: GOP will have replacement if Obamacare is struck down, but no plan is in sight
Sen. Alexander can‘t point to one, but signals party would support help for pre-existing conditions

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., could not point to a GOP plan to replace the 2010 health care law when asked about President Trump’s pledge their party would have one ready if an administration effort to take down the Obama-era law succeeds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite failing to propose a plan of his own for four years, President Donald Trump again Wednesday claimed Republicans will have a replacement proposal ready if the Supreme Court strikes down the 2010 health care law.

“If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is out, we’ll have a plan that is far better than Obamacare,” he told reporters during an unrelated Oval Office event.

Beneath the Politics, House GOP Quietly Touts Legitimate Oversight of FBI, DOJ
Judiciary and Oversight Committees’ probe of potential bias at DOJ, FBI has turned into political firestorm

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on the Justice Department’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election on Dec. 13, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The high-profile joint House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform probe into bias at the top echelons of the FBI and Department of Justice during 2016 has been marked by pitched partisanship that has distracted from the substance of lawmakers’ oversight goals — at least publicly.

Some of the quieter GOP voices on the panel believe they can tout legitimate pieces of oversight success despite that partisan cloud.

Rick Nolan Retained Staffer on Campaign Payroll After Harassment Allegations
Three former female employees have alleged former legislative director Jim Swiderski sexually harassed them

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., above, retained former legislative director Jim Swiderski on his campaign payroll in 2015 even after Swiderski resigned from his congressional office amid sexual misconduct allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just months after dismissing his top legislative aide in 2015 for multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Rep. Rick Nolan hired the aide to work on his 2016 re-election campaign.

Three former women employees for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor congressman told MinnPost, which originally reported this story, that Nolan’s legislative director, Jim Swiderski, repeatedly harassed — and in some cases groped — them in the early- and mid-2010s.

Boehner Joins Marijuana Board After Years of Opposition to Legalization
Hopes to reverse opioid epidemic

Former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined the board of a cannabis corporation. (Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to marijuana, former Speaker John A. Boehner has gone from “hell no you can’t” to supporting the board of a cannabis corporation.

Acreage Holdings, which calls itself “one of the nation’s largest, multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations” announced the former speaker joined the company’s board of advisers.

Report: Head of Congressional Ethics Office Sued
Ashmawy accused of verbal abuse and physical assault in civil action

Omar Ashmawy, staff director at the Office of Congressional Ethics. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The staff director and chief counsel for the Office of Congressional Ethics is being sued for verbally abusing and physically assaulting women. 

Omar Ashmawy’s case goes back to his involvement in a late-night brawl in 2015 in Milford, Pennsylvania, according to Foreign Policy.

Schock’s Attorneys Claim FBI Broke the Law
Former staffer helped the feds build corruption case against former congressman

Lawyers for former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., claim that his constitutional rights were violated when a former staffer worked as an informant for the FBI. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock’s legal team claims that a staffer working as an informant for the FBI broke the law.

The staffer provided emails, credit card receipts, and other documents that helped the feds make a case against Schock, Fox News reported,but Schock’s lawyers say this violated his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Trump Said to Want Former Marine General for Homeland Security
John F. Kelly served as commander of the U.S. Southern Command

Retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower last week. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump is turning to another retired Marine Corps general, John F. Kelly, to head the Department of Homeland Security, according to media reports.

Trump has not yet formally offered the job to Kelly, who is traveling outside the country this week, according to a New York Times report that cites a person briefed on the decision.

GOP Readies Cuts to Federal Workforce Under Trump
Reductions part of long-sought civil service overhaul

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is readying a plan that would likely make big changes to federal workers’ generous retirement benefits (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For years, Republicans in Congress have been eyeing an overhaul of the federal workforce — by reducing the number of workers and curtailing benefits and pay while making it easier to fire bad employees.

Now, with a president-elect who has promised to do much the same, 2017 could be the best time in recent memory to make sweeping changes affecting those who work for the bureaucracy.