Tom Cole

House GOP to Senate: You Can’t Bind Us
House conservatives unlikely to sign on to any Senate immigration deal

A tourist stops to read a sign posted outside the Library of Congress in Washington on Sunday, notifying visitors that all LOC buildings will be closed to the public in the event of a temporary government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If a bipartisan group of some 20 senators trying to negotiate a deal on immigration to end the government shutdown are looking for a commitment from House Republicans, they’re unlikely to get one.

Rank-and-file GOP members said the House will not be bound by any agreement reached across the Capitol on immigration, something Senate Democrats say is key to ending their filibuster of a three-week stopgap bill the chamber is planning to vote on around 1 a.m. Monday.

Republicans’ Schumer Poster Rankles Dems, Prompts Decorum Vote
GOP lawmakers used it as a prop to blame minority leader for shutdown

This poster depicting Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer contributed to partisan tensions  Saturday — and a vote on whether it violated House decorum rules.

Partisan tensions were so high on the first day of the government shutdown that a House Democrat forced the chamber to vote on the question of whether a GOP poster depicting Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer violated House decorum rules.

The poster pictured Schumer with a comment he made in 2013 saying that a government shutdown “is the politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis.” Republicans were using it as a prop as they gave floor speeches seeking to cast blame on Senate Democrats for the “Schumer shutdown.”

Capitol a Land of Confusion as Shutdown Approaches
House members not even sure if they are free to go home

A worker pushes a Senate subway car Friday morning as the Senate considers the House passed continuing resolution to fund the government on January 19, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A sense of general confusion gripped the Capitol on Friday as the Senate argued over the way forward on avoiding a government shutdown and House members were unclear about whether they were supposed to go home or not. 

“I just don’t think they are in a position to tell us anything right now,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said, adding that there haven’t been any instructions from GOP leaders about whether members can leave following votes. 

Analysis: Tough Road Ahead for Ryan in 2018
Will he want to stay in Congress after navigating immigration, budget and midterm challenges?

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., pictured arriving at the Capitol for a meeting to kick off 2018 spending negotiations, has a tough road ahead this year that could make him question his future in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan insists he’s not going anywhere anytime soon, but he has a tough road ahead in 2018 that could test his patience with his conference, their Senate counterparts, the president and Washington. 

The Wisconsin Republican is known for keeping his cool under pressure. Thus far in his still young speakership, he’s managed to diffuse disagreements within the House Republican Conference before they’ve reached a boiling point. He also claimed a significant victory last year with passage of the landmark tax overhaul bill, a long-held priority for the former Budget and tax-writing chairman.   

House Votes to Fund Government Through Mid-January
‘I think the Democrats not being willing ... helped us bring everybody together’

The U.S. Capitol building shown from the east plaza on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans took the first step Thursday toward avoiding a partial shutdown when they passed a stopgap measure to fund the government through Jan. 19.

The chamber voted in favor of a continuing resolution, 231-188, sending the measure to the Senate where it’s expected to pass later Thursday or early Friday. Without the stopgap — the third such measure deployed for fiscal 2018 — funding would expire at midnight Friday.

Paul Ryan Says He's Sticking Around, Vague With Timeline

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says he isn't going anywhere, but hasn't been specific about the timeline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday sought to tamp down rumors that he’s planning to resign soon or retire at the end of 2018, separately telling the House Republican Conference and the press that he’s not going anywhere.

However, the Wisconsin Republican did not qualify either statement with a timeline, leaving open to the possibility that he may not seek another term in Congress.

With Tax Deal in the Works, Questions Turn to Timing
Deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, with votes next week

Capitol Hill was relatively calm Tuesday morning, as Washington braced for the results of the Alabama Senate election and timing on a vote on tax overhaul and spending is in flux. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Hill was relatively calm Tuesday morning, even as the timing on two big-ticket items — voting on a tax overhaul package and what to do about year-end spending questions — hung in the air unresolved and the nation remained fixated on Alabama’s special Senate election, where voting is underway.

House Republicans meeting as a conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters said there was no specific timeline for voting on the tax package, as the formal conference committee is set to meet, perhaps for the only time, Wednesday.

Limiting Sexual Harassment Payouts ‘Complicated,’ Lawmakers Say
Funding limitation could be one response to sexual misconduct scandals roiling Capitol Hill

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said using the appropriations process to restrict settlement payouts was complex. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated, 4:05 p.m. | Lawmakers have been quick to express their disgust with sexual harassment payments that come out of federal coffers to cover the cost of elected officials’ behavior. But members are more guarded when asked whether they would take action by attaching a funding limitation to a spending bill — a common instrument used by lawmakers in appropriations.

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a top Republican appropriator, sounded cautious after last week’s revelation that the Office of Compliance has doled out tens of thousands of dollars since 2013.

Some in Congress Still Have a Taste for Pork
For a Republican majority searching for wins, there may be no better time to bring back earmarks

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole says “there is plenty of sentiment” in the House for reviving earmarks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the year since Speaker Paul D. Ryan blocked his party’s effort to revive earmarks, a lot hasn’t happened.

There’s been no repeal of Obamacare and no border wall approval. Plans to fund the government are struggling to lift off.

Trump Executive Actions a ‘Disruptive’ Lot
Full effects of president’s unilateral moves still years away, experts say

President Donald Trump after signing an executive order Oct. 12 targeting the 2010 health care law. Experts and lawmakers say his executive actions are among the most “disruptive” of any president. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The executive actions President Donald Trump has signed have the potential to be among the most “aggressive” and “disruptive” ever issued by a chief executive, according to lawmakers and experts.

Trump and his top aides often describe his use of executive orders, actions and memoranda as the president using his constitutional authorities to “put America first” and plot a policy course to benefit the country’s forgotten men and women. Both were major themes of his 2016 campaign.