Mark Walker

Why Most House Republicans Voted for a Deal They Loathed
Debt haters and defense hawks made up most no votes

Texas Rep. Pete Olson, seen here at a Wednesday press conference, was among the 21 of 25 Texas Republicans to vote for final passage of the Hurricane Harvey relief measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Republicans griped about the fiscal package they were forced to vote on Friday, but ultimately, a relatively small portion of the conference was willing to vote against it.

A little more than one-third of House Republicans voted against a package that would extend government funding and the debt ceiling for three months, while providing $15 billion in disaster relief aid, primarily to Texas and Louisiana to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

Harvey Aid Bill Creates Dilemma for Texas Republicans
Most oppose move to tack debt and CR to disaster relief

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer struck a rare deal with Republican President Donald Trump on Thursday (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A measure that would provide Hurricane Harvey disaster relief to Texas has politically perplexed members of the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation, some of whom plan to vote against it.

That’s because it includes a debt ceiling extension and only three months’ worth of government funding — a deal struck by President Donald Trump with House and Senate Democratic leaders.

Conservatives Lay Down Marker on Debt Ceiling
House GOP groups critical of Trump-Dem deal

Conservatives like Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., right, are signaling what they would need to support an increase in the debt limit. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders from the House’s two main conservative caucuses said Thursday that they would not back the debt ceiling agreement President Donald Trump reached with Democrats this week and offered some tips on how to earn their support when the ceiling will need to be raised again in December.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker of North Carolina wrote a letter Thursday to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., informing him his group, comprised of 153 GOP House members, is opposed to the deal Trump and congressional leaders announced to attach three-month extensions of the debt limit and current government funding levels to a hurricane relief measure.

Trump Backs Democrats’ Debt Limit Proposal Against GOP Urging
Some Republicans shocked by Trump’s decision, few critical

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a news conference Wednesday in which he announced the deal struck by President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders on the debt ceiling. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Oh, boy.”

That was House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodger’s reaction when she heard President Donald Trump backed the Democrats’ request for a three-month debt limit extension, against his own party leadership’s urging.

Congress Set for Horse-Trading Over Must-Pass Bills in September
“Clean” debt limit increase will likely require Democrats’ support

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker said a clean debt ceiling increase appears unlikely to pass without “more more increased spending and must-pass legislation to attract the necessary votes.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress’ September agenda is packed with several must-pass bills that Republicans and Democrats are likely to look to as leverage for extracting concessions on other priorities.

With a short legislative calendar next month — only 12 days when both chambers are scheduled to be in session (the Senate has a few extra days on its timetable) — some measures could be packaged together, creating even more leverage and risk. 

Congress, Industry Hit Reset After Obamacare Repeal Fails

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on July 28, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By LAUREN CLASON and ANDREW SIDDONS

House Republicans appeared divided and frustrated Friday morning about their next steps on health care legislation, hours after their Senate colleagues fell short of passing a scaled-back repeal.

House Republicans Not Ready to Abandon Obamacare Repeal
Hope springs eternal in chamber that Senate GOP can still get something done

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy want the Senate to keep alive the effort to repeal the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By LINDSEY MCPHERSON and REMA RAHMAN

House Republicans on Friday said they’re not planning to abandon their effort to repeal the 2010 health care law, but their current plan for how to achieve that goal is to simply hope the Senate gets its act together.

Chaos Consumes Future of Obamacare Repeal Effort
Senate Republicans have “assurances” the House would go to conference with the chamber

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday he would support a slimmed-down bill to repeal the 2010 health care law in order to get to a conference with the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS, REMA RAHMAN and LINDSEY McPHERSON

Senate Republicans are hinging their support on a “skinny” bill to repeal the 2010 health care law on assurances that the chamber would go to conference with the House on a broader bill with replacement measures.

House GOP Disgruntled Over Path on Spending Bill
Divisions over latest plan to break omnibus into chunks

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., thinks Republicans will end up where they usually do: with a continuing resolution for the appropriations process until they can strike a deal after the start of the fiscal year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Much of the congressional focus lately has been on Senate Republicans’ intraparty divisions on health care, but House Republicans are having struggles of their own on other issues. And the frustration is mounting.

The House GOP Conference faced its latest setback Wednesday after their leadership announced the previous evening that they would move a four-bill, security-related appropriations package on the floor next week instead of a measure combining all 12 appropriations bills.

House GOP to Stick With Partisan Strategy on Taxes
Rep. Mark Walker: ‘I feel like it’s our only option’

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker thinks a partisan approach on a tax overhaul is the only way forward for the GOP. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans’ partisan push to overhaul the health care system failed in the Senate, but House GOP lawmakers say they plan to stick to that approach in rewriting the tax code.

Since the start of the year, Republicans have said the health care and tax overhauls, the top two items on their legislative agenda, would likely be partisan efforts given wide policy gaps with Democrats on both issues.