dave-camp

GOP Went Big With Tax Deal

Ryan's influence was felt on the tax deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Big is the word that can best be used to describe the tax extenders package the House will vote on Thursday: big in policy, big in cost, big compared to past efforts and a big win for Republicans.

Lawmakers have not passed a significant tax bill since the 2012 fiscal cliff deal that staved off massive tax hikes. Since then, Republicans have expressed interest in making moves on taxes, but little happened until retiring Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., released his plan. After it failed to gain traction, Camp brokered a deal last year with then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make 10 expiring tax provisions permanent, but the White House threatened to veto the package before it was finalized. When the tax extenders bill was released late Tuesday, it called for the permanent renewal of 22 tax breaks and several other sweeteners. In doing so, it also provided a down payment on a more ambitious overhaul of the tax code, a priority for Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who started off the year in his dream job by replacing Camp as head of the House tax-writing panel. Ryan Touts GOP Riders in Spending Bill 

GOP Gavel Fights: 11 House Committee Chairmanships In Play

Hensarling may have a challenger for the Financial Services' gavel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Almost every House member is on the stump this month, wrapping up re-election bids, with most cruising to new terms and a handful on both sides of the aisle scrambling to hang on to their jobs. But for a select few GOP lawmakers — those actively seeking committee chairmanships — the final days before Nov. 4 are as much about lining up support among colleagues as they are about connecting with voters.  

Every two years, after the Election Day dust settles, members return to Capitol Hill for a lame-duck session that includes the selection of colleagues to serve as senior lawmakers on the chamber's standing committees during the new Congress.  

GOP Plan to Save Highway Trust Fund May Win By Default

Camp, R-Mich., and Levin, D-Mich., preside over a Ways and Means Committee meeting (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Republican plan to prevent, through the middle of next year, the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund is drawing grumbles from both the left and the right, but there is increasing recognition that Congress has little choice but to enact it, or something like it.  

Resignation that passing a short-term extension is likely the only way to avoid an August shutdown of transportation projects across the country was on full display Wednesday, the eve of a markup of the new proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee.  

Uncertain Future for Next Week's Highway Trust Fund Extension Vote

Camp, R-Mich., will lead a Thursday markup of legislation to extend the Highway Trust Fund (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House GOP leadership is prepared to push ahead on legislation to save the Highway Trust Fund from looming insolvency, with a vote expected on the chamber floor next week.  

It all depends, however, on the reception to the new proposal, already being met with some skepticism from key lawmakers and influential outside groups. The House will also have to reconcile its work with that of the Senate , which is taking a different track.  

Cantor Quake Sets Off GOP Leadership Fights

House Republicans quickly sloughed off the shock of Majority Leader Eric Cantor's defeat and were immediately thrust into a weeklong, all-out sprint for power.  

Next Thursday's vote for new leadership will have ripple effects that touch every aspect of House policymaking, messaging and scheduling.  

House Marijuana Votes Earn Backing of Rare Bipartisan Coalition (Video)

Rohrabacher helped steer the medical marijuana amendment through the House. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a series of late-night votes that marijuana-rights advocates say reflect a nation's changing attitudes, the Republican-controlled House moved early Friday  to block the federal government from interfering with state laws on pot and hemp.  

The most far-reaching of the votes — a measure to cut funds for Drug Enforcement Agency raids on medical marijuana operations —  passed 219-189 on the strength of an unusual coalition that cut across traditional partisan lines. The medical marijuana measure was offered by conservative Republican Dana Rohrabacher of California as an amendment to the fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill. 

Boehner Leads Delegation to Afghanistan to Observe Presidential Elections

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:15 p.m. |  Speaker John A. Boehner kicked off the two-week congressional recess with a visit to Afghanistan to observe the historic presidential election there.  

According to a statement and press release from the Ohio Republican’s office Monday morning, datelined from Kabul, Boehner was accompanied by Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline, R-Minn.; Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash.; Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich.; and National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore.  

Boehner Hammers Obama Administration Over Benghazi, IRS (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner had a few things to say Thursday morning.  

During his weekly press conference, which lasted just over 6 minutes, Boehner criticized former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, Lois G. Lerner, and knocked Democrats for playing politics rather than working with Republicans to create jobs. But Boehner most notably and vociferously went after the Obama administration for putting up roadblocks to answers on Benghazi, Fast and Furious and the IRS scandal.

House Republicans Ask Holder to Pursue Criminal Charges for Ex-IRS Official (Updated)

Lerner (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:30 p.m. | The House Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday in support of launching a criminal investigation into the woman at the center of the IRS scandal — just one day before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is set to vote on holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.  

In a 23-14 party line vote, the Ways and Means panel approved submission of a formal letter to Eric H. Holder Jr., asking that the attorney general pursue charges against the former IRS official using evidence uncovered during the committee’s year-long investigation.  

Tax Reform to Start With Baby Steps in the House

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp is pushing ahead with an incremental approach on tax reform for now.  

In a memo to committee colleagues on Monday, the Michigan Republican said he planned to take several steps over the next several months, "pav[ing] the way for tax reform by making incremental progress towards full reform."