john-boehner

Analysis: Why Recent Tax Overhaul Efforts Failed And This One May, Too
Republicans taking tax message on the road this week without details

Four years ago, former House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus speak with Mrs. G TV and Appliances president Debbie Schaeffer and Marguerite Mount, the store’s accountant, during the Camp-Baucus Tax Reform Tour stop in Lawrence, N.J. It didn’t result in a legislative victory. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The last time Republican tax writers unveiled legislation for overhauling the tax code, it elicited this telling response from the Speaker of the House: “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

It was February 26, 2014, and the House Ways and Means Committee had just unveiled a tax overhaul discussion draft, with full legislative text and both dynamic and static scores from the Congressional Budget Office.

Boehner: Trump a ‘Complete Disaster’ Beyond Foreign Policy
Former speaker of the House says Trump is still learning to be president

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said he doesn't miss his previous job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner told attendees at an energy conference that beyond foreign policy, President Donald Trump has been a “complete disaster” so far.

As the keynote speaker at KPMG’s Global Energy conference, Boehner said he’s known the president for 15 years and Trump would call him regularly when he had a bad day or to commend him.

Survey: Republicans See Harm From Freedom Caucus
GOP staffers also fault Trump’s temperament and approach to governing

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Reps. Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol on March 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Freedom Caucus, the conservative House faction that stymied Republican efforts to repeal the health care law in March and, before that, upended the speakership of John A. Boehner, is deeply unpopular with the bulk of Republican staffers.

That, anyway, was the case among the respondents to the April Capitol Insiders Survey, CQ Roll Call’s email poll of congressional staff. Asked if the caucus was a positive or negative force for the party, 71 percent of GOP respondents said it was negative, while 22 percent said it was positive. The remainder were unsure.

Harry Reid is Done Talking About Donald Trump
Says he regularly gives advice to Nevada delegation

Former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he’s said all he’s going to say about President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid never held his tongue when talking about Donald Trump when he was a candidate.

But in an interview published Monday in the Las Vegas Sun, Reid said he didn’t want to talk about the president anymore. 

Opinion: An Opening for Reform
What do Democrats have to lose?

Democrats have ceded a lot of political turf to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, Jonathan Allen writes.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Since Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the presidency in November, Democrats have had a tendency to bury their heads in the sand.

They want very badly to attribute their defeat to external factors, but the truth is they ceded a lot of basic political turf to Trump and his Republican Party in the last election. Their campaigns, up and down the ballot, had the feel of a party satisfied with communicating only to parts of the electorate that already agreed with them.

Freedom Caucus Member’s Book Slams Money-Obsessed Politicians
In ‘Drain the Swamp,’ Ken Buck also takes aim at NRCC’s ‘pay-to-play’ culture

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck attributes criticism of the House Freedom Caucus to “just plain jealousy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck describes a money-hungry, lobbyist-influenced Republican leadership in his first book “Drain the Swamp” but he told CQ Roll Call that life is better for the hard-line conservative faction under Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

The Colorado Republican, now in his second term, has few kind words in his book released this week for Ryan’s predecessor, Ohio’s John A. Boehner, whom conservative lawmakers worked to oust. Boehner has since set up a practice at the K Street firm Squire Patton Boggs, and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

How Devin Nunes Got Where He Is Today
Networking, not expertise, got him the Intel gavel so many now want to take away

California Rep. Devin Nunes is facing criticism for gridlocking the House Intelligence Committee at a potentially historic point in history. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Any search for a single Republican capable of undermining not only his party’s efforts to project a modicum of independence from President Donald Trump, but also the House’s institutional standing in the world of global affairs oversight, would not normally focus on an alfalfa and dairy farmer turned congressman from California.

But such is the uniquely unsettled nature of Washington this spring that the open casting call for the most newly pilloried person at the Capitol this year is over after just 10 weeks, the role awarded by virtually unanimous consent to Devin Gerald Nunes.

White House Ends 10th Week Like Others: Embroiled in Controversies
Possible campaign collusion with Russia an anchor on Trump administration

The White House was on the defensive from multiple controversies at the end of its 10th month under the presidency of Donald Trump.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump White House on Friday ended the week in a manner that has become routine: embroiled in controversies that staffers struggle to explain and that threaten the president’s legislative agenda.

The beginning of the week mirrored the pattern of most of the nine of Donald Trump’s presidency that came before it — recovering from a setback, this time in the form of the collapse of the GOP-crafted health bill’s failure. 

CQ Roll Call Staff Survey Finds GOP Doubts on Border Wall
Aides confident of GOP’s chances for enacting contentious policy overhauls

President Donald Trump gets a standing ovation after speaking at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Jan. 26. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At their retreat in Philadelphia last week, Republican congressional leaders painted a picture of unity with President Donald Trump. Their aides aren’t sure about that. 

Only 49 percent of the GOP staffers who responded to CQ Roll Call’s January Capitol Insiders Survey thought Congress would enact a law to construct a wall along the Mexican border, while just 44 percent see the $1 trillion infrastructure package Trump has promised becoming law.

How to Watch the Quirky Congressional Opening Day
Look for unusual traditions, cacophony and a few moments of bipartisanship

Congressional opening day collegiality may devolve into partisan posturing almost as soon as the swearing-in Bibles are shelved. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the last fall’s orientation period for the newest lawmakers was the Capitol Hill equivalent of freshman days at college, then the formal convening of the 115th Congress on Tuesday is the first day of school.  

And so it may be useful, for the congressional community as well as the throngs of well-wishers in town just for the festivities, to be reminded of some of the curious ways in which the customs of the day are different from all the others.