GOP Rivals Bring Different Strategies to Leadership Races

Boehner, right, introduces House GOP leadership in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner announced last week he would resign at the end of October, ostensibly hoping to free the House Republican Conference of crippling infighting and discord.  

It is in this tenuous environment that lawmakers who want seats at the post-Boehner leadership table are making the rounds to shore up support, employing different strategies to navigate the challenging political terrain. Some ambitious members are playing it straight, like the two representatives vying to be majority leader in the likely event the current officeholder, Kevin McCarthy of California, succeeds Boehner as speaker. Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington have yet to make official announcements of their candidacies, but they aren't hiding their ambitions. They used the weekend to make calls to colleagues to get commitments of support, and they solidified their whip teams to help make the rounds and nudge undecideds.  

Texas Congresswoman to Trump: Have You No Decency?

Granger, R-Texas, ripped into Donald Trump for disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kay Granger has a reputation for telling it like she thinks it is , from colleagues who have "no business being in Congress" to fellow Texas Republicans who are "misbehaving" — but she usually does it quietly, preferring behind-the-scenes nudges to soundbite-ready shoves.  

But when it comes to Donald Trump, she's not pulling punches. The 2016 GOP presidential contender's remarks questioning whether Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is a war hero prompted Granger to issue what is — for her — a rare public takedown.  

Planned Parenthood Video Spurs Probe on Fetal Tissue Sales (Video) (Updated)

Boehner is calling for hearings on the Planned Parenthood allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 3:16 p.m. |  Fueled by the emergence of a new undercover video showing a high-ranking Planned Parenthood official discussing logistics for donating organs and tissues of aborted fetuses, House Republicans are preparing to re-enter the fray of the abortion debate.  

Referring to the practices of the nation's leading abortion provider as "gruesome" and "grisly," Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, on Wednesday released a statement calling for hearings on allegations Planned Parenthood seeks to profit financially from terminating pregnancies in such a way as to preserve the fetuses for use in medical research. "Nothing is more precious than life, especially an unborn child," Boehner said. "When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so. When an organization monetizes an unborn child — and with a cavalier attitude portrayed by this horrific video — we all must act."  

Who's Backing Whom? The House GOP Endorsement List (Updated)

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: Aug. 26, 2:21 p.m. |  It's a long time before primary season and the list of GOP presidential candidates is still likely to grow before it gets smaller — but plenty of House Republicans have already decided who they're backing.  

In the weeks and months ahead, 218 will update this running tally of which House Republican lawmakers are backing which 2016 hopefuls. We'll keep the list as current as possible, drawing from press releases, official statements and face-to-face interviews. Let us know in the comments below if we missed, or misidentified, anyone.  

Republicans for the Ex-Im Bank Push for Renewal

Congressional staffers stand below a television monitor during a House committee hearing Wednesday on the Export-Import Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of House Republican lawmakers want to make something clear: Democrats aren't the only ones pushing for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.  

On Wednesday morning, as the House Financial Services Committee convened a hearing on the bank's future, a small group of Republicans joined in a news conference urging their GOP colleagues to take a stronger stand against hardliners in the party who are pushing for the charter's June 30 expiration. "Why are we here?" said Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo. "We have enough problems in this country that we should be dealing with here in Washington, D.C., to come up with this contrived, flavor-of-the-week thing to be against. It's a dreamed-up problem that has spun out of control."  

Four Texas Republicans Endorse Cruz for President

Culberson, left, is endorsing Cruz for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

About a month ago, Sen. Ted Cruz's chief of staff made a request of some House-side colleagues: Would their bosses be willing to say nice things about the Texas Republican's 2016 presidential bid? Or, even better, would they be willing to endorse him?  

Paul Teller, that chief of staff who was once the executive director of the Republican Study Committee, must be feeling pretty good now. On Thursday, four House Republicans in the Texas delegation announced they would support the iconoclastic Cruz in the crowded GOP primary pool that includes other members of Congress.  

McCarthy Uses Bully Pulpit to Spotlight California Drought

McCarthy has made the California drought a priority in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Legislation targeting arcane water rules is not typically the stuff of legacy building for high-profile political figures.  

But for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, shepherding through Congress a bill aimed at easing the water shortage in his home state — while taking down some federal regulations conservatives contend contributed to the crisis — would be a personal triumph years in the making. If he succeeds, it will be thanks in large part to the time, energy and political capital the Californian has expended on the issue, from measures that stalled in previous sessions to this current push to address the debilitating drought.  

Lawmakers Push Longshot Bid to Rewrite Voting Rights Act

Sensenbrenner seeks more Republican support for a revived Voting Rights Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner fell short in his 2014 efforts to convince GOP leadership to take up his Voting Rights Amendment Act, but the Wisconsin Republican is ready to take another stab at passing a rewrite of the historic law.  

But there's little indication this year will be any different.  

Why 3 House Republicans Voted Against Repealing Obamacare (Updated)

Katko and two other Republicans bucked party leadership to vote against the Affordable Care Act repeal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:27 p.m. |  House Republican leaders gave their freshmen members a political gift Tuesday: The chance to vote "yes" on a symbolic bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.  

For three new Republican representatives, however, the repeal vote was an opportunity to vote "no." Republicans Bruce Poliquin of Maine, John Katko of New York and Robert Dold of Illinois were the lone three defections in either party on what's being billed as the chamber's 56th vote since 2011 to undo parts of the 2010 health law.  

The Real Reason Some Members Voted Against Boehner

Some of the 25 Republicans who bucked Boehner on Tuesday feared that a vote for the Ohio Republican could hurt them in their districts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For many of the 25 House Republicans who broke ranks in the speaker election Tuesday, voting against John A. Boehner was a reflection of a long-simmering dissatisfaction with the Ohio Republican.  

But for some other members, it may have just been about political survival. According to one member of the coup attempt against Boehner , organizers were aware they could lose some votes on a second ballot due to certain members voting against the speaker on the first round more for political cover than actual differences with Boehner.