john-boehner

John Boehner Wants Everyone to Know He Had a Great Summer
Former House speaker has traveled cross-country fundraising for congressional Republicans

Former House Speaker John Boehner has spent the summer driving his RV across the “asphalt prairie.” (@SpeakerBoehner via Twitter)

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner is traveling cross country to support Republican incumbents this election.

On Sunday, Boehner tweeted a video of himself driving his RV called “Freedom One,” while singing his signature “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

How Joe Barton Struck Out
Retiring Texas Republican was thwarted by his own political instincts

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, faces retirement after a sex scandal. His career in Washington had already reached its peak. (CQ Roll Call)

Leadership be damned, Rep. Joe L. Barton thought. He knew he was right, and as soon as he was convinced of that, hardly anything in the world could move him.

Just a few months into his first term, the Texas Republican was angling for something between protest and revolution. House Democrats had voted to declare themselves the winner of a contested Indiana House race — in Republicans’ eyes, a theft. While his own party’s leadership urged restraint, Barton fumed.

Rep. Jim Himes: Top 3 Democratic Leaders in Late 70s Is ‘A Problem’
New Democrat Coalition chairman won‘t say whether he‘ll back Pelosi for speaker

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., says it’s “a problem” that the top three House Democratic leaders are in their late 70s. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the centrist New Democrat Coalition wouldn’t say Friday whether he would back Nancy Pelosi for House Democratic leader but he did vocalize an issue with the current leadership team.

“The fact that our top three leaders are in their late 70s — I don’t care who those leaders are — that is in fact a problem,” Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes told CNN.

Speaker Ryan Strips Chris Collins of Committee Membership
Leadership move is not uncommon against scandal-plagued members

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who was indicted Monday on securities fraud charges, attends a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building on June 28, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has removed Rep. Chris Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, following Collins indictment Wednesday on charges of insider trading and lying to authorities.

“Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Ryan said in a statement.

Speaker Race Could Hinge on Who Agrees to Change the Rules
House members have an ultimatum for those who covet the top spot: No changes, no gavel

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., is among the members demanding wholesale rules changes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whichever party controls the House in 2019, the next speaker won’t secure the job easily and will likely have to promise major changes to how the institution operates, with members demanding that as a condition for support.

Frustration has grown among rank-and-file members for years as leadership usurped decision-making power from committees. Lawmakers have pushed to change House and caucus rules to return influence to individuals and committees, but with limited success.

Sometimes, the Dissidents Do Leadership a Solid
As immigration debate shows, rare House discharge petitions can force the majority out of a self-made jam

A discharge petition filed by GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo has put pressure on his own party’s leaders to strike a deal on immigration — but they may not hold it against him, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It sounds like something that might be overheard at the congressional appliance dealership: Power abhors a vacuum, especially when there’s a political mess overdue for cleanup, and a great tool for fixing all that is a discharge petition.

It’s also an apt summation of what’s going on now with the Republican catharsis over immigration — which is notably similar to what went down three years ago, during the last House majority leadership interregnum, and also to another fabled GOP rift back in 2002.

Trump Nominee Has Blasted Lawmakers, Mormons, Immigrants
Mortensen wrote for ‘nativist hate group,’ Southern Poverty Law Center says

President Trump’s expected nominee for a State Department post has been harshly critical of Arizona’s two GOP senators, John McCain (left) and Jeff Flake. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Civil rights groups are calling on senators to reject President Donald Trump’s intention to put a former foreign service officer who has harshly criticized immigrants — along with U.S. religious leaders and key GOP lawmakers — into a State Department role overseeing refugees and migrants.

The White House announced its intention to nominate Ronald Mortensen to be assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration on Friday afternoon, as much of Washington and the country was starting a holiday weekend. But several influential immigration advocacy groups noticed — and quickly urged the Senate to block the nomination.

Trump Call to Curb August Recess Picks Up Steam
Republican senators seem eager to keep Democrats off campaign trail

President Donald Trump leaves the Senate Republican policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump did most of the talking Tuesday during a lunch-hour meeting with Senate Republicans, but lawmakers said he did not prod them to cancel their August recess. He did not have to. 

That’s because the idea appears to be gaining steam for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the large number of Democratic incumbents running for re-election could find themselves off the campaign trail and in Washington at a prime time for campaigning.

How Ryan and Pelosi Are Kicking Themselves to the Curb (Sort Of)
Removing modest perks for ex-speakers is good politics but enfeebles the speakership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker Paul D. Ryan are of one mind when it comes to post-speaker perks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Incredible Shrinking Speakership is going to get just a little bit smaller.

The Constitution makes speakers unassailable as presiding officer in the House. Chamber rules vest the job with plenty of responsibility. And federal law places them second in the line of presidential succession.

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy to Step Down In May
Jesuit priest has served in the role since 2011

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, right, attends a swearing-in ceremony for the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in 2016 with Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., center, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The in-house chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives is stepping down next month after seven years in the post.

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, 67, a Catholic priest of the Jesuit order, has served in the post since 2011, when then-Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pegged him for the post.