Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

Posts by Daniel Newhauser

13 Posts

April 3, 2014

Westmoreland: Perdue ‘High School Graduate’ Comments ‘Stupid’

Westmoreland: Perdue High School Graduate Comments Stupid

Westmoreland weighs in to Senate primary spat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on Thursday knocked down Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue’s assertion that his opponent is not qualified to run for the Senate because she does not have a college education.

Westmoreland, who himself never graduated from college, said Perdue’s comments about former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel are “stupid.” He is a five-term Georgia Republican and has yet to endorse a candidate in the race, which includes three of his House colleagues, Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston. He noted that Perdue’s comment is unlikely to affect his choice.

Westmoreland: Perdue High School Graduate Comments Stupid

Full story

February 26, 2014

Walter Jones Blasts Primary Challenger’s Hill Fundraiser

Walter Jones Blasts Primary Challengers Hill Fundraiser

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:30 p.m. | Rep. Walter B. Jones blasted his primary opponent Wednesday, implying that he is a “puppet of Washington” after CQ Roll Call reported that a cadre of plugged-in Republican operatives are hosting a fundraiser for his challenger this week.

The North Carolina Republican said the Capitol Hill fundraiser with a handful of longtime GOP aides shows the influence of Washington insiders and campaign money in politics, rather than ideas and principles.

“This is again an example of the influence of Washington. I am an independent. The people back home know I’m an independent. And I don’t think the people back home want a puppet of Washington to go down there and represent them,” he said. Full story

February 13, 2013

Romney’s Pollster Warns GOP Members Not to Count on Six-Year Itch

House Republicans got a refresher course in why they lost the White House this morning and a warning to beware of President Barack Obama’s bully pulpit this election cycle.

At their first political conference meeting of the 113th Congress, held at Republican National Committee headquarters a stone’s throw from the Capitol, National Republican Congressional Committee Vice Chairman Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia and top GOP pollster Neil Newhouse told members to be on guard for Obama’s campaign machine.

Westmoreland warned that just because the Obama for America campaign has relaunched as Organizing for Action and Obama is not eligible for re-election does not mean he will not be present on the political scene.

“His attention has gone from getting himself elected to keeping the majority in the Senate and winning the majority in the House,” Westmoreland said in an interview, paraphrasing his remarks. “They need to be prepared for him being involved, because he made it quite clear at their retreat that he wanted his last two years to be like his first two years and that means, of course, having Pelosi as the speaker.”

Westmoreland’s prediction is already ringing true. Organizing for America is planning its first official day of action to back up Obama’s call for gun control measures. Full story

February 8, 2013

Iowa: King Waits on Senate Bid, Disputes Criticism on Viability

Iowa: King Waits on Senate Bid, Disputes Criticism on Viability

King has been criticized by some conservatives, but it doesn't appear that it will keep him out of the race for Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BALTIMORE — Rep. Steve King hinted Friday that a run for the Iowa Senate may be imminent, but said he does not want to announce in the wake of GOP strategist Karl Rove’s attacks on him.

Since American Crossroads President Steven Law attacked him in The New York Times last weekend, King, a Republican, said he continues to consider a run to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

“It’s under deliberation of course, and it’s something that I had been looking at before Tom Harkin announced his retirement and now that that has happened, of course it accelerated the decision making process,” King said as he was leaving a Heritage Foundation-sponsored retreat for conservative Republicans in Baltimore.

“I don’t want to step into this thing and make an announcement in the face of the issue that Karl Rove has raised,” he continued. “We’ve got to decide first who’s going to nominate people for public office in America: Somebody outside the state with a big checkbook, or the people of Iowa.”

Full story

January 17, 2013

NRCC’s Walden Says GOP Must Focus on Minority Outreach, Communication

NRCCs Walden Says GOP Must Focus on Minority Outreach, Communication

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATED 5:00 p.m. | WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden said one of his priorities this cycle will be reaching out to minorities, something he said Republicans have not done well.

The Oregon representative said he plans to make inroads into minority communities and said the party needs to figure out better ways to communicate its message there.

“We recognize that Republicans have good answers; we just have bad communications in many cases,” Walden said at a panel discussion during House Republicans’ annual retreat. “We may not understand how what we say is interpreted by others. And we have to be sensitive and understand other issues that different communities face.” Full story

November 6, 2012

John Boehner: A Republican House Means No Tax Rate Hikes

John Boehner: A Republican House Means No Tax Rate Hikes

Speaker John Boehner addresses the crowd at the Republican National Committee election night party in D.C. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John Boehner drew a firm line on taxes tonight, saying that Republicans’ retention of the House majority is a sign the public does not want a tax rate hike.

With CNN and NBC projecting that the GOP will retain the House majority, Boehner and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) took the stage at the GOP’s victory party in Washington, D.C., to cheer on the crowd.

“The American people want solutions, and tonight, they’ve responded by renewing our majority,” the Ohio Republican said. “With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus did not join them onstage, although the official schedule released earlier in the day had listed him as speaking before Sessions.

With Democrats claiming several Tossup Senate seats, the path to victory for Republicans in that chamber is slimming. The presidential contest remains extremely close as well.

Boehner thanked Priebus from the stage nonetheless. He also thanked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), who, he said “carried the banner of our party with grace, vision, strength and dignity.”

“We stand ready to work with any willing partner — Republican, Democrat or otherwise — who shares a commitment to getting these things done,” he said. “We’re humbled to have again been entrusted by the American people with the responsibility of leading the People’s House. We’ll never take it for granted, and we won’t let you down.”

Sessions, who introduced Boehner, called the House an “incubator of ideas.”

“We will continue to work with the American people on ideas that will make our country stronger, more competitive and will build back the American dream,” he said.

John Boehner to Address RNC Party

John Boehner to Address RNC Party

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John Boehner will address the crowd at the Republican National Committee party in Washington, D.C., tonight according to a late news release from his office.

The Ohio Republican’s comments will come around 9:50 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, after remarks from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas).

Although many elections results should be in by that time, it is unlikely the presidential race will be decided by that hour. As a result, it remains unclear what tack Boehner will take in his speech. In recent interviews from the campaign trail, Boehner has been saying he wants to delay until the new year several issues that Congress could consider during the lame-duck session and that he sees raising tax rates on the highest earners — a stated priority of the Obama administration — as a nonstarter.

October 16, 2012

John Boehner to Boost Candidates in Iowa, Illinois

John Boehner to Boost Candidates in Iowa, Illinois

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John Boehner will be in Iowa campaigning for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday, and he also plans to fundraise for two House challengers while he’s in the state.

Ben Lange and John Archer, who are running against Democratic incumbents in Iowa’s 1st and 2nd districts, respectively, will get a boost from the Speaker.

The Ohio Republican will start the day with a fundraising luncheon in Davenport for Archer, a lawyer who is running against Rep. Dave Loebsack (D). The event will be held at the Davenport Country Club, and donations range from $250 to $1,000 a person, according to the Quad-City Times. Full story

September 21, 2012

GOP Candidate Uses Photo With Darrell Issa to Deflect Comments

GOP Candidate Uses Photo With Darrell Issa to Deflect Comments

(Screengrab)

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer (R), who is challenging Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D) in Arizona’s new 3rd district, has come under fire for saying that Middle Easterners are not wanted in America and attempting to use her connection to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to deflect the controversy.

On Monday evening, Mercer and Issa attended a Tucson, Ariz., dinner hosted by the Brian Terry Foundation, named for the Border Patrol agent who was killed near the Arizona-Mexico border in December 2010. As chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa has been investigating the events surrounding Terry’s death. Mercer posted a photo of herself with Issa on her Facebook page and, when a commenter noted Issa’s Lebanese heritage, Mercer defended the photo by noting that Issa does not have ties to terrorist organizations.

“I am fully aware that California Representative Darrell Issa is and AMERICAN of Lebanese descent who LOVES the United States of America. It was on honor for me to have shaken his hand and to have met his beautiful wife at the Brian Terry Foundation dinner,” reads her response on the page. “FYI Rep. Issa does not have ties to ANY terrorist organizations nor does he engage in destructive behavior against US citizens. Rep. Issa is leading the investigation on the botched Fast & Furious gun running scandal that Attorney General Eric Holder is trying to wiggle out of. As a matter of fact this man is one of my heroes! Viva Darrell Issa and GodBless the USA!”

The comments come after Mercer said, in a video interview with the Western Free Press, an Arizona-based online newspaper, that authorities caught more than 25,000 non-Mexican illegal immigrants last year.

“That includes Chinese, Middle Easterners. If you know Middle Easterners, they look Mexican or like a lot of people in South America, dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes, and they mix in,” she said, according to the Tucson-based Arizona Daily Star. “And those people, their only goal in life is to cause harm to the United States, so why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?”

Mercer has claimed that her comments about Middle Easterners were taken out of context. But when asked today about her photo with Issa, Grijalva suggested that Mercer was using the lawmaker.

“I think she’s looking for cover, and you have a high-profile Middle Easterner Congressman who has a high profile nationally based on the committee he runs and suddenly they’re chummy,” Grijalva said. “I would suggest that Mr. Issa probably needs to examine that because by him taking a picture and it being posted, it validates or takes her off the hook on that subject and that’s a mistake.”

The Mercer campaign dismissed the charge.

“The narrative that Grijalva is trying to portray is not an accurate one,” said Mercer spokeswoman Rebecca Keating. “She was at an occasion showing respect to a fallen Border Patrol agent and had a lot of pictures taken with a lot of people. … [Issa is] a great American that chose to come and honor the fallen soldier as well.”

Issa’s spokesman did not return a request for comment. There is no evidence to indicate whether the Congressman knew who Mercer was before taking the photo.

Roll Call rates this race as Safe Democratic.

September 6, 2012

House Democrats: Don’t Blame Us

House Democrats: Dont Blame Us

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi addresses the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— President Barack Obama has had harsh words for Congress, and no doubt there are more ahead as the campaign unfurls. So House Democrats have a simple message this week: Don’t blame us.

House Democratic leaders have been trumpeting their accomplishments in an effort to inoculate themselves from attacks on Congress and to set themselves apart from the dismal public perception of the institution as a whole.

In fact, Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) said, there is a distinction to be made.

“I don’t think the president is running against Congress,” he said. “The president is running against a Republican do-nothing Congress that tried to stop and thwart everything that he tried to do.”

Full story

September 5, 2012

Democratic Convention Has Rough Logistical Second Day

After a near perfect first day of the Democratic National Convention, the DNC hit some major snags on its second night, which has been rife with platform fights, logistical problems and accusations of dishonesty.

First, spurred by threats of rain, the DNC decided this morning to move Thursday’s festivities, including President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, from Bank of America Stadium indoors to the much smaller Time Warner Cable Arena.

If the bottleneck at the door tonight is any indication, the scene Thursday is sure to be a madhouse.

The fire marshal closed entry to and exit from the arena tonight, citing capacity issues. Though the entryway was later reopened, reporters spotted countless high-profile officials among the ranks of those locked out of the building. Full story

Gabrielle Giffords to Deliver Pledge Thursday at Convention

Updated: 8:12 p.m. | CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will make a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, Roll Call has confirmed.

She will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance, according to a source close to the former Congresswoman, kicking off the night that will culminate in President Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination for president.

Giffords spokeswoman Hayley Zachary confirmed that the former Congresswoman is in Charlotte but did not expound on her plans for the convention.

“I can confirm that Gabby is in Charlotte to attend the convention, and she is excited to be here,” Zachary said. “She does not have a role in tonight’s convention schedule.” Full story

DNC Amends Platform Amid Controversy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Caving under pressure from critics, the Democratic Party today decided to restore to its platform the word “God” and language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

But on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena, where the Democratic National Convention is being held, the vote to do so seemed anything but decisive.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gaveled the roll call vote to amend the platform and tried multiple times to secure the voice vote needed to approve the reinstated language.

“Let me try that again,” the confused Democratic National Convention co-chairman said after the first vote, during which it seemed an equal number of voices called out “Aye,” as they did, “Nay.”

He tried again, but to equally ambiguous results. After a third try, Villaraigosa decided to settle the issue, announcing that the vote had passed. The decision was met with boos from the crowd.

Not everybody believed the issue was settled. Full story

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