leadership-race

Ryan Gets High Marks for First Big Showdown

Ryan is planning ahead for 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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

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.  

After the Revolution, a Single New Spot of Influence for the Freedom Caucus

Huelskamp was the second-highest vote-getter in the Steering Committee election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If you’re a member of the House Freedom Caucus, are you better off now than you were a dozen weeks ago?  

That question is worth asking in light of last week’s down-ballot House Republican leadership election. It was a sort of insiders-only coda to all those months of turmoil in the ranks that climaxed with Speaker John A. Boehner’s resignation announcement at the end of September. On the one hand, the most avowedly combative conservatives were granted one of their most prominent demands before quieting their uprising. As he’d promised them, new Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., arranged an opening for the Freedom Caucus to secure a significant voice at his top table.  

Meet the 11 Republicans Vying for the Steering Committee

One of Ryan's first acts as speaker was to reconfigure the influential Steering Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eleven House Republicans are pitching their colleagues for a seat at the GOP's influential Steering Committee, which determines who gets what plum, or not so plum, committee assignments.  

Elections are scheduled for Thursday to determine the six at-large members who will be installed on the committee, a situation set in motion when new Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., kept a promise to conservatives and changed the makeup of the panel, diluting some of leadership's influence. The six lawmakers will only serve on the Steering Committee for the remainder of the 114th Congress, "placeholders" until leadership can reconsider the allocation of regional representatives on the board. The stated goal in reconfiguring the committee is to diversify the ranks for the 115th Congress, starting in 2017.  

Linda Sánchez Announces Democratic Leadership Bid

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elections for leadership positions are still a year away, but Rep. Linda T. Sánchez is laying the groundwork for her campaign.  

The California Democrat and chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus circulated a letter to each of her colleagues Wednesday asking for their support in her bid to be the Democratic Caucus vice chairwoman for the 115th Congress. "Over the next several months I will work to earn your support to be the next Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus,"Sánchez wrote in her letter, obtained by Roll Call. "I look forward to continuing our discussions about your priorities and share with you my vision of how we can lead our caucus, and our country, forward."  

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.  

GOP Moves Forward With Sweeping Steering Panel Changes

Ryan is ready to see his own influence diluted on the Steering Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are moving forward with an ambitious and far-reaching plan to overhaul the membership and operation of the Steering Committee, with a vote expected Thursday.  

It's only the first in a series of changes to GOP operations that Paul D. Ryan promised upon his election as speaker. Under a proposal formally unveiled to members at their weekly meeting Tuesday morning, some adjustments would be made this year to the Steering Committee, which assigns lawmakers to the standing panels of the House.  

Ryan Faces Political Test on Steering Panel Overhaul

Ryan at his first solo news conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan passed his legislative test on the highway bill, but now he faces a more complicated political trial: making good on his promise to change internal GOP rules in a way that can unite the conference.  

Before heading home for the Thanksgiving recess, the Wisconsin Republican and a seven-member task force will present their plan for restructuring the panel that recommends committee appointments to the GOP conference for its approval. House floor time could be taken up by highways and financial services legislation.  

Key Chairmen Could Be Booted From Steering Committee

Ryan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Every committee chairperson could soon have a voice in who gets appointed to his or her panel, according to a proposal to revamp the Steering Committee that's being mulled by Speaker Paul D. Ryan and a seven-member task force.  

But there's a catch: The six chairmen who already have permanent seats on the Steering Committee would have to step aside. The goal is to create a more inclusive culture in the House Republican Conference that Ryan, R-Wis., has promised to promote.  

Ryan Takes Crowdsourcing Approach to Spending Bills

Ryan holds his first weekly on-camera press conference Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In pursuing a departure from "business as usual," Speaker Paul D. Ryan is crowdsourcing his members for ideas on how to craft a spending deal for the remainder of fiscal 2016.  

"So things are gonna be done a little differently around here," Ryan said Thursday, at his first solo news conference. "I laid before our conference today a choice of options," he said. "Instead of having leadership pre-determine, pre-negotiate and pre-decide how things are gonna go, I wanted to invite our members to discuss how we move forward."