spending-cuts

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.  

Pelosi Supports Omnibus, but Other Democrats Not Sold

Pelosi will support the omnibus, but some of her Democratic colleagues are still on the fence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will vote for the $1.1 trillion spending bill, but it's unclear how many of her more liberal colleagues will follow her lead, a situation fluid enough that members and aides are concerned there might not be enough Democratic votes to offset Republican no votes.  

Members of the Congressional Progressive, Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American caucuses are inclined to vote against the omnibus, citing a variety of flaws in the bill they can't ignore.

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.  

Cynthia Lummis: 'The Only Republican Woman'

Lummis frequently found herslef the only woman in many GOP circles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis was elected to Congress in 2008, she wanted to be a “reformer” and rein in spending and squelch bills that infringed on states’ rights.  

She’ll retire at the end of 2016, having fallen short of accomplishing her objective. “It has not been the Congress that I hoped it would be during my seven years,” she recently conceded in an interview with Roll Call.  

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.  

Obama, Ryan Must Find Common Ground Soon

Ryan will seek the House speakership. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

There could be little President Barack Obama can do to find common ground with Paul D. Ryan, given their deep ideological differences and House conservatives’ inevitable demands for the speaker-in-waiting.  

With Ryan's announcement that he will seek the speakership, all eyes now turn to the Wisconsin Republican's ability to manage his fractious caucus and find just enough common ground with a president many conservatives revile. Ryan will have little time to settle in because of some fast-approaching fiscal deadlines. Congressional leaders must find a way in coming weeks to avoid a potentially catastrophic debt default, then see if they can strike a long-term budget deal.  

Conservative Debt Limit Plan Shelved

Boehner wants to raise the debt limit before he resigns next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner said he hoped to raise the debt limit before he resigns from Congress, but he's running out of time to meet the Nov. 3 deadline in advance of his scheduled Oct. 30 departure.  

The Ohio Republican has five more legislative days to avoid a federal government default before the politically messy task falls to his successor. Earlier this week, Boehner and other GOP leaders were prepared to start the inevitable game of legislative volleyball with the Senate: They would put a bill on the floor as soon as Friday that would raise the debt ceiling through early 2017, plus make sweeping changes to the annual congressional budget process.  

Breaking Down the CR Vote

Price voted "no" on the CR. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just 91 House Republicans voted with every Democrat to keep the government open after midnight Wednesday — that's three out of every eight members of the conference.  

It could have been that the 151 GOP opponents felt free to snub the continuing resolution  — which didn't contain language defunding Planned Parenthood — knowing Democrats were prepared to make up for the shortfall.  

Congress Averts Government Shutdown With Hours To Spare (Video)

Boehner and other GOP leaders avoid government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Though conditions on the ground looked eerily similar to those that caused a two-week government shutdown two years ago, the House on Wednesday passed legislation to keep federal operations afloat through Dec. 11.  

With hours to spare, the chamber voted on the stopgap spending bill, 277-151, with every Democrat, joined by 91 Republicans, voting "yes" and 151 Republicans voting "no." In a move to appease conservatives who wanted to tie defunding Planned Parenthood to the must-pass spending bill, the House also advanced a so-called "correction enrollment" to "correct" the continuing resolution to strip the embattled women's health organization of federal funds.  

Boehner Preps Sales Pitch on Planned Parenthood, CR

Boehner, R-Ohio, has a lot to consider in the days ahead (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner held court in his office for nearly three hours Thursday, inviting groups of lawmakers in for discussions on how best to defund Planned Parenthood without shutting down the federal government.  

As a long day was winding down, the speaker and his lieutenants worked on a multi-pronged plan to present to fellow Republicans when the Republican Conference gathers Friday morning for a closed-door meeting. Republican leadership aides were noncommittal about what sort of continuing resolution to keep the government open will come to the floor — disinclined, perhaps, to admit they will ultimately have to face the wrath of conservatives and vote on a "clean" stopgap spending bill.