Mark Walker

How House Republicans Got to ‘Yes’ on Funding the Government
Leaders navigated twists and turns in negotiations with the Freedom Caucus

Speaker Paul D. Ryan leaves his office in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

All eyes will be on the Senate on Friday as lawmakers there race against the clock to avert a government shutdown. But over in the House, Republicans are happy they were able to pass a four-week stopgap measure without turning to the Democrats for help.

It wasn’t an easy task for House GOP leaders to cobble up the 216 votes within their conference needed to pass a continuing resolution. (The bill ended up passing Thursday, 230-197.) Yet throughout the negotiations, leadership remained confident its members would get there, given the urgency of the deadline and the political consequences if they failed to meet it.

House Lawmakers Ready to Carve Some Pork
Optimistic chatter around earmarks draws cheers, cringes

Alaska Rep. Don Young still defends the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” The bridge “should have been built,” he said at a Rules subcommittee hearing Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The U.S. House of Representatives appears ready to welcome back earmarks with open, bipartisan arms.

During a Rules subcommittee hearing Wednesday, lawmakers sounded optimistic that Congress will wrestle back a portion of its spending authority from the executive branch — though there was some discord over when and how earmarks should return.

Ryan Tries to Thread the Needle on DACA Solution
Speaker calls immigration measure by Rep. Bob Goodlatte ‘a good bill’

Speaker Paul D. Ryan conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:22 p.m. | An immigration deal to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation will be bipartisan, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday. But the Wisconsin Republican left the door open to voting on a bill that is not expected to draw Democratic support. 

Many House Republicans are pushing for a floor vote on legislation introduced Wednesday by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte that Democrats have panned.

Steve Womack Poised to Become House Budget Chairman
Republican Steering Committee chooses Arkansas lawmaker for post

Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack was recommended for Budget chairman by the Republican Steering Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arkansas Republican Steve Womack is poised to be the next House Budget Committee chairman after the Republican Steering Committee Tuesday evening recommended him over two other candidates for the post.

The Steering Committee’s choice of Womack over Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia and Bill Johnson of Ohio still needs to be ratified by the full House Republican Conference before it becomes official, but the conference traditionally accepts the Steering panel’s recommendations. The ratification will occur during the next conference meeting, which will either be this Thursday or next Wednesday.

GOP Dumps Full-Year Defense Plan, CR Incoming
Friday deadline or government shuts down

From left, incoming House Appropriations Committee chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talk as the 115th Congress convenes on Jan. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican leaders are abandoning plans to pass a full-year defense appropriations measure by the end of the week and will instead use a continuing resolution to keep the military and other government agencies funded through Jan. 19, a GOP aide confirmed.

Leadership is currently planning separate votes on the CR, a disaster relief supplemental vote and reauthorization of government surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

With Talks in Flux, Shutdown Showdown Gets Closer
Fate of ‘cromnibus’ hangs in the balance

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., center, is trying to figure out the winning combo to fund the government and pass other priorities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans’ plan to pass a full-year Defense appropriations bill with a continuing resolution for remaining agencies through Jan. 19 was supposed to be an easy lift, a measure designed to show the Senate their unified support for increased national security funding.

But as the House prepares to vote on the spending bill Wednesday, just two days before the Dec. 22 government funding deadline, GOP division over the $81 billion disaster supplemental that leadership hoped to attach to the so-called cromnibus has effectively weakened the House’s negotiating leverage.

Those That Shall Not Be Named: Cost Sharing Reductions
Once a nonstarter, health insurance subsidies part of year-end calculus

Speaker Paul D. Ryan once panned a measure that would restore cost-sharing reduction subsidies for health insurance companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In Congress, where most lawmakers are hesitant to spill secrets about ongoing negotiations, answers are often found in what lawmakers are not saying. And House Republican leaders are not saying much about subsidies for health care insurers lately.

GOP leaders’ continued refusal in recent weeks to rule out funding the cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, which President Donald Trump’s administration has stopped paying, is not a guarantee that Congress will do so. But it’s certainly a green light for negotiations to continue.

House GOP Charts Spending Collision With Senate
Republican reps discussing alternatives, no details provided

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. said in his experience trying to jam the Senate hasn’t been so successful.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:10 p.m. | House Republicans are continuing on course with a spending strategy expected to fail in the Senate as they huddled Wednesday to discuss other pressing matters that might ride on the must-pass measure.

GOP leaders signaled an intention to move forward with a plan to pass a spending bill next week that would fully fund defense appropriations through the end of the fiscal year above the sequestration cap and use a continuing resolution to extend current funding for remaining agencies until Jan. 19, several members said after the meeting.

Trump Signs Bill to Keep Government’s Lights on Through Dec. 22
The continuing resolution passed both chambers of Congress Thursday

President Donald Trump speaks during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday signed the stopgap spending bill to fund the government through Dec. 22, according to a tweet from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

The House and Senate passed the measure on Thursday, averting a government shutdown, for now.

Arizona’s Trent Franks to Resign Jan. 31
GOP lawmaker said to have made female staffers uncomfortable with talk of surrogacy

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks was first elected in 2002. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:24 pm | Arizona Republican Trent Franks said Thursday he is resigning from Congress effective Jan. 31 amid an Ethics Committee investigation into discussions he had with two female staffers about surrogacy. 

In a lengthy statement Thursday evening, Franks said he and his wife struggled with fertility.