Phil Roe

At the Races: Quite a year already

By Stephanie Akin, Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathé 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Flashback Friday: Retiring Rep. Phil Roe sang for Heard on the Hill in 2011
Roe and staff performed “Amazing Grace” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”

Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe prepares to play a bluegrass song with Alex Large, a staff assistant in his office. Roe announced Friday he will retire from Congress at the end of 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee’s Phil Roe won’t run for reelection in 2020
Roe’s retirement will open up a district Trump carried by nearly 60 points in 2016

Rep. Phil Roe is not running for a seventh term in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, the ranking Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, will not run for reelection in 2020, opening up a solidly Republican seat.

“As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career,” Roe said in a statement Friday morning. “After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress.”

Republicans Won’t Probe Influence of Trump Friends at Veterans Department
Dems have questions about trio named in lawsuit

Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a hearing of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert Wilkie in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | Top Republican lawmakers have no plans to examine the alleged influence that a trio of President Donald Trump’s friends have at the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as Democrats call for an investigation.

The controversy peaked in recent weeks after reports that Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and D.C. lawyer Marc Sherman hold undue sway with VA leadership, including senior adviser Peter O’Rourke, who formerly served as acting secretary. Liberal veterans group VoteVets filed a lawsuit against the administration last week, claiming the VA is violating federal protocol related to private influence in matters of federal policy.

Congressmen Aim to Boost Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Workforce
Panelists discuss bill to overhaul federal programs helping veterans make the shift

Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, introduced a bill last month to reform the federal government’s Transition Assistance Program for returning veterans entering the workforce. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress can do more to help veterans manage the transition from military service to civilian work, panelists said Tuesday at a hearing of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

The hearing brought together five business leaders who work with major companies to help integrate veterans into their workforce. All of them brought personal experience of their own — four had seen military service and one was a military spouse.

Republican Golfers Relax on the Links, Beat Out Democrats
GOP prevails in the 17th annual Congressional Challenge golf tournament

Reps. Luke Messer R-Ind., Rick Allen, R-Ga., right, play against Reps. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and Albio Sires, D-N.J., during the First Tee’s Congressional Challenge annual golf tournament at the Columbia Country Club golf course Monday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

In a rare moment in this divisive Congress, a bipartisan group of members spent a peaceful morning just putting around.

They whispered conversations while waiting for a teammate on the green, told each other “nice shot” or laughed at a bad one, and otherwise enjoyed a quiet morning bonding over their love of golf.

With a Taste of Regular Order on FAA Bill, Members Want More
Rank and file not optimistic that rule allowing 116 amendments will be used on future bills

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., left, and ranking member Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., will lead House debate on a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill with 116 amendments. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the modern Congress, it’s almost unheard of for the House to vote on 100-plus amendments to a bill, as the chamber will do Thursday and Friday during debate on a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Rank-and-file members had little explanation for the sudden procedural openness, although some speculated it was related to the bipartisan nature of the FAA measure and the availability of floor time given the slim election-year legislative agenda.

‘She Would Love All This Fuss’ — Louise Slaughter Memorialized in the Capitol
Family, colleagues remember a trailblazing, tough and funny member of Congress

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., speaks during a memorial service for Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y., in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Wednesday. Slaughter, in picture, passed away on March 16 at the age of 88. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Louise Slaughter dreamed that she would die in the Capitol.

That’s at least according to her daughter, Robin Slaughter Minerva, who spoke during a congressional memorial service for her mother on Wednesday in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

House GOP to Whip Goodlatte Immigration Bill Wednesday
If vote count is positive, leadership intends to bring measure to the floor

Virginia Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte’s immigration bill would go to the House floor soon if Wednesday’s whip check is successful. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Do House Republicans have an immigration bill they could pass before the March 5 expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that would get President Donald Trump’s signature?

The answer to that question will become clear Wednesday as the GOP whip team conducts a formal check on the only House measure that has Trump’s backing. If the whip count is favorable, GOP leaders will bring it to the floor, a House leadership aide confirmed. 

Tennessee’s Phil Roe Running for Sixth Term
Veterans Affairs Chairman had been undecided earlier this week

Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe is running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tennessee GOP Rep. Phil Roe announced on Thursday’s he’s running for a sixth term in November. 

The chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee was undecided earlier this week, citing family considerations as a reason he could opt against re-election. Roe could have been the 10th committee chairman to call it quits.