whip-count

Analysis: Chances for Budget Through Regular Order Shaky
Shell budget may be needed to set up reconciliation process for tax overhaul

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has few viable paths to passing a budget resolution needed to set up the reconciliation process for a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans are readying for a possible floor vote on a fiscal 2018 budget resolution as soon as next week, but with support for the plan currently shy of the 218 votes needed, action could be delayed weeks or even months.

After more than a month of negotiations, the House Budget Committee will mark up the fiscal blueprint on Wednesday. Floor action before the August recess appears to be the goal, and with several conservatives and moderates withholding support, that’s a target leaders will likely miss.

How the House Finally Got to ‘Yes’ on Health Care
Frenzied final negotiations helped win over enough holdouts

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, center, and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry lead a group of Republican members to the House floor Thursday to vote on the GOP health care bill after meeting with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The final push on the health care bill started in earnest Monday night.

At 6 p.m., a cadre of Republican lawmakers from the Energy and Commerce Committee met in an unmarked Capitol office to make changes they hoped would bring moderate holdouts on board with the party’s overhaul of the health care system.

Pence Returns to Health Care Whip Mode
But GOP overhaul effort remains on life support

Vice President Mike Pence met Tuesday with Republican House lawmakers, still hesitating on the GOP health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol on Tuesday was full of signs that the latest iteration of the GOP health care overhaul was on life support.

In one major indication that things were not going well, Vice President Mike Pence skipped a planned appearance at a trophy ceremony for the Air Force to dash to the Hill and meet with hesitant members, none of whom emerged ready to change their minds.

GOP Gets a Second Shot at Governance Test
But as shutdown showdown looms, no signs of change in party factionalization

President Donald Trump and Congress soon face a partial government shutdown if they can’t work something out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The tax overhaul can wait, and it’s going to have to.

For the Republican government that so phenomenally flopped its first big attempt at policymaking, a much more basic test of governance looms in the next month — and another failure seems hardly a politically acceptable option.

Eight Is Enough: Trump’s Tough Search for Gorsuch Democrats
‘Deep red five’ and others targeted to vote to break coming SCOTUS filibuster

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump’s first quest for a Hard Eight began long before Neil Gorsuch’s two days as a Senate witness made it as easy as it’s ever going to be for the president to win his first big judicial bet. 

That’s still not going to be that easy.

Nearly Half of Votes for Advancing IRS Impeachment Came From Outside the Freedom Caucus
Some leadership allies supported moving forward on impeachment resolution

Republican Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer of Indiana and several allies voted against a motion to refer a resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen back to the Judiciary Committee. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly half of the 72 Republicans who voted against a motion that effectively blocked a resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen are a not part of the House Freedom Caucus.

The caucus has led the push to remove Koskinen. 

Tim Ryan Vows to Be One-Term Minority Leader if Democrats Lose in 2018
‘We have a lot more support than we thought,’ Ohio Democrat says of Pelosi challenge

Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan is running against California Democrat Nancy Pelosi for House minority leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan said in an interview Tuesday night that if he’s elected House minority leader next week and Democrats don’t take back the majority in 2018, he won’t run again for a second term. 

“This is about winning. If we’re not winning then we shouldn’t keep people in their jobs,” the seven-term congressman told Roll Call, explaining his decision to challenge Nancy Pelosi for her long-held leadership post. “If we don’t win the House back in two years, I won’t run. That just needs to be the standard.”

Terrorism Bill Creates Odd Allies in Obama, Corporate Execs
Dow Chemical, GE bosses urge Republican leaders to cancel override votes

President Obama with GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt, who is joining him in fighting an override of a terrorism-related bill. (GE photo via Flickr)

The White House is finding some unlikely allies in its efforts to discourage Congress from overriding President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill allowing lawsuits against countries with possible ties to terrorist attacks.

Several CEOs of corporations with ties to governments in regions that are breeding grounds for violent extremists are urging House and Senate leaders to scrap plans for override votes as early as this week.

No Budget, No Blame?
Members say they won't fault Ryan if House doesn't pass a budget

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., remains popular despite resistance to his budget plans. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans chose Paul D. Ryan to be speaker last October because they felt he could unify their fractured conference. As divisions over the budget have plagued the party for weeks, Ryan hasn't repaired the rift.  

Yet the members don't blame him.  

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.