Fred Upton

Vernon Ehlers, Former Longtime Michigan Congressman, Dies at 83
Ehlers was known as champion of the Great Lakes and science education

As a congressman from Michigan, Vernon Ehlers used his physics background to advance environmental and STEM legislation for nearly two decades. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The first research physicist ever elected to Congress, Vernon J. Ehlers was known for his legislative work to bolster scientific research and education, raise fuel economy standards, and protect clean air and water.

Ehlers, who represented Western Michigan in Congress for nearly two decades, died Tuesday at the age of 83. His death was confirmed by the Zaagman Memorial Chapel in Grand Rapids, which did not immediately indicate the cause of death, The Detroit News reported.

Capitol Rocked by Musicians, Fans in Congress
 

Fred Upton Might Join Bipartisan Climate Caucus

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., might join a bipartisan climate change caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A House caucus that supports legislation to combat climate change may be joined by key Republican energy influencer who would raise its credibility among GOP lawmakers.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the former Energy and Commerce chairman who leads the committee's energy panel, is considering joining the bipartisan 48-member Climate Solutions Caucus, a group equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.

House Not as Antsy About August Recess Delay
GOP leadership position contrasts with Freedom Caucus

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said his Republican conference was discussing the schedule, including whether to alter the recess calendar. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

UPDATED 5:08 p.m. | House Republican leaders appear content sticking to their planned month-long August recess, but some rank-and-file members say they will push to stay in session if they don’t start ticking items off their to-do list.

House leaders remain in discussions about the schedule, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday, a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his chamber would stay in Washington for two extra weeks in August.

Health Care Ads Running This Recess
Outside groups keep up the pressure on air and online

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller will continue to be the target of health care-related ads during recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is launching geo-targeted and candidate-specific Google search and display ads on the Republican health care bill over the July Fourth recess as part of an ongoing six-figure digital ad buy.

The holiday recess isn’t a typical time for expensive TV buys since many families go away or are spending time outdoors. But plenty of groups will be advertising over the congressional recess — mostly online, but some on TV — on the GOP health care proposal ahead of anticipated Senate action when Congress returns July 10. 

Griffith Emerging As House Republican Bridge Builder
Colleagues say Virginia Republican is helping overcome divides within the GOP conference

Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith has drawn praise from his colleagues for his willingness to work toward solutions and compromise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a political world where perfectionism can often earn you a bad reputation as an obstructionist, Rep. Morgan Griffith has managed to do the opposite.

Colleagues say the Virginia Republican, a member of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus, has shown a willingness to compromise and work toward solutions on legislative and procedural problems. But they also describe the four-term lawmaker as a principled perfectionist whose attention to detail has been an asset, not a hindrance.

NIH Probe by House Panel Expands
Energy and Commerce asks for documents related to 2015 scandal

Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is under fire from House Republicans, upset over a scandal at the agency, as well as Collins’ views on research issues. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Institutes of Health is in hot water again with the House Energy and Commerce Committee over a scandal that occurred nearly two years ago at one of the agency’s main research institutions.

On Thursday, the panel broadened its probe into safety and compliance issues at the NIH Clinical Center, a research hospital located on the agency’s campus in Bethesda, Maryland. In a letter sent to Director Francis Collins and obtained by Roll Call, the committee requested a larger swath of documents not yet provided by the agency.

Upton Sees a Place for Energy in Possible Infrastructure Bill
Michigan Republican optimistic about energy provisions

Rep. Fred Upton thinks energy provisions could live in an infrastructure package. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican chairman of a House energy subcommittee says he wants a widely discussed infrastructure package this session to contain a section on energy issues.

That energy title, said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., would “focus on protecting the actual infrastructure of the electric grid” and “get into the weeds a little bit on cybersecurity and some other things.”

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.

House Sends Health Care Hot Potato to Senate
Every Democrat, several Republicans, vote against measure

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his leadership team were able to secure enough votes for passage of their health care plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY LINDSEY MCPHERSON AND ERIN MERSHON

House Republicans breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as they finally advanced their health care overhaul out of the chamber in a narrow 217-213 vote. No Democrats voted for the measure. They were joined by 20 Republicans who voted “no” as well.