government-shutdown

Steve Scalise Defends Planned Parenthood Strategy

Scalise, left, says Republican priorities are reflected in the way his office approached the Planned Parenthood defuding effort. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

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.  

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

Republicans said Ryan deserved high praise for creating a more inclusive, collaborative environment in the lead-up to the omnibus negotiations. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

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.  

McCarthy Shuts Down Shutdown Talk

McCarthy said the government would not shut down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heading into a tense negotiation period, the GOP's floor leader is taking away one of the party's most frequently used weapons, the threat of a government shutdown.  

Congress faces a Dec. 11 deadline to pass an omnibus government spending package to avert a shutdown. In a Monday pen-and-pad briefing, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., not only dismissed the possibility of a shutdown — he gave his troops some extra time if lawmakers can't meet their deadline.  

Congress Has a List of Deadlines, Is Checking It Twice

Ryan has a long month ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress returns this week for a pivotal work period with multiple deadlines, a busy schedule for an institution that tends to wait until the very last minute to get things done.  

House lawmakers will spend the next four legislative days laying the groundwork on crucial pieces of legislation for the rest of the month, negotiating terms and conditions among themselves and with their counterparts across the aisle and Rotunda.  

Congress Largely Cut Out of Refugee Certification

Babin wants Republican leaders to address the refugee situation through the appropriations process, but the tools for doing so are limited. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican lawmakers who see the year-end omnibus spending bill as a vehicle to slow the flow of Syrian refugees to the United States might need to get creative. Why? The certification process for refugees critics are concerned about is funded by fees, not appropriated by Congress.  

In the week following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Republicans called for a pause in the program that allows Syrians to flee their civil war and see refuge in the United States, arguing there are gaps in the process used to verify and certify refugees. The House passed legislation on Nov. 19 that would require U.S. security and intelligence agencies to increase take a closer look at refugees from Iraq and Syria. The White House threatened to veto the bill, arguing refugees already undergo an extensive series of checks and the bill would not make the nation safer.  

Ryan Calls for Classified Briefings After Paris Attacks

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is laying the groundwork for the House's active engagement in the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks in Paris.  

The Wisconsin Republican asked the Obama administration to provide lawmakers with classified briefings in the aftermath of the Nov. 13 shootings and bombings carried out by Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, he said Monday morning in an interview on Bill Bennett's radio program. Ryan said he also instructed the House committees of jurisdiction to make policy recommendations for how the U.S. might continue letting Syrian refugees into the country without risking a deadly attack.  

Ryan Leaves Door Open to Policy Riders in Spending Bill

Ryan addresses the crowd after being sworn in on the House floor as the 54th speaker of the House on Oct. 29. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:35 p.m. | Speaker Paul D. Ryan won't rule out policy riders in the omnibus appropriations bill the House will consider in the weeks ahead.  

“This is the legislative branch, and the power of the purse rests within the legislative branch," the Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday at his first news conference as speaker, "and we fully expect that we're going to exercise that power."  

4 Times Paul Ryan Broke Ranks With GOP

Ryan has earned praise for working across the aisle, but that may hurt him with his own party's most conservative members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan ran for vice president on Mitt Romney’s ticket in 2012, he was known as an Ayn Rand-inspired conservative policy wonk who advocated turning Medicare into a voucher program. A year later, in December 2013, he was heralded as a compromiser for crafting a budget deal with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that averted another government shutdown.  

If Ryan runs for speaker , as many colleagues have urged, he’ll have to negotiate the legacies of both of those reputations. Ryan was elected to Congress in 1998, and since President Barack Obama has been in office, the Wisconsin Republican has supported him 17 percent of the time — slightly less often than the average House Republican, according to CQ's Vote Watch .  

Lew to Boehner: U.S. Runs Out of Cash in 19 Days

Boehner (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Second Republican Resigns From House Freedom Caucus

Ribble has left the Freedom Caucus (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus has lost its second member since its founding.  

Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., announced Thursday he was leaving the exclusive contingent of conservative hard-liners over the group's role in derailing Thursday's anticipated vote inside the House Republican Conference to nominate Speaker John A. Boehner's successor. "I was a member of the Freedom Caucus in the very beginning because we were focused on making process reforms to get every Member’s voice heard and advance conservative policy," Ribble said in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call. "When the Speaker resigned and they pivoted to focusing on the leadership race, I withdrew."