Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

Posts in "Leadership"

November 21, 2014

New DCCC Chairman Rides on Air Force One

New DCCC Chairman Rides on Air Force One

Luján was named DCCC chairman on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Four days after being named chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján was among several lawmakers who flew to Las Vegas Friday on Air Force One with President Barack Obama for an immigration event.

Obama, who unveiled an executive action on the issue Thursday night, was set to speak at a high school “to talk about the actions that he’s taken,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters during the flight. Full story

November 17, 2014

Pelosi Chooses Ben Ray Luján as DCCC Chairman (Updated)

Pelosi Chooses Ben Ray Luján as DCCC Chairman (Updated)

Luján will lead the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:47 p.m. | In a shock to her caucus, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi selected Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2016 cycle.

Luján will lead his caucus’ political arm and all aspects of the campaign to take back the gavel: fundraising, messaging, recruiting and getting out the vote.

The choice is Pelosi’s lone decision, but it was a total shock to most Democrats on Capitol Hill.

“I am pleased recommend to our colleagues Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, a dynamic and forward-looking leader with a fresh energy and ideas that demcorats need for victory in 2016,” Pelosi said in a Monday news conference. “He has bold vision and determined leaership to deliver wins in difficult districts. I am confident [he] will prove a tireless champion.”

Full story

November 13, 2014

Pelosi Meets With 5 Potential DCCC Chairmen

Pelosi Meets With 5 Potential DCCC Chairmen

Pelosi is a California Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has met with five possible contenders to run the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2016, according to her office, though she has not decided whom she will ultimately select.

On Thursday, Pelosi met with Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado, Jim Himes of Connecticut and Joaquin Castro of Texas. Also per her office, Pelosi had a meeting Tuesday with Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, and she met Friday with Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland.

A number of those members have been publicly angling for the role, including Frankel and Edwards — who spent the final days of the 2014 cycle on the trail with House candidates.

Full story

Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016

Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016

House Democrats want Horsford to run for the Nevada seat he lost this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s no rest for the weary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to name the new committee chairman for 2016, but the DCCC is already getting a jump on recruiting during the final days of New York Rep. Steve Israel’s tenure.

On Thursday morning, Israel held the first 2016 recruitment meeting since Election Day. He named two northeastern congressional districts as top targeting opportunities, and party strategists are readying for at least five rematches from 2014, according to a committee aide. Full story

Exclusive: NRCC Chairman Reveals Top Targets for 2016

Exclusive: NRCC Chairman Reveals Top Targets for 2016

Walden is seeking a second term running the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fresh off a historic House majority, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden said he is already pivoting to focus on protecting the incoming GOP members elected last week.

In an exclusive interview with CQ Roll Call, Walden said his main priority will be defending the seats — at least 244 — his party captured on Election Day.

Many of the newly elected members represent districts that traditionally favor Democrats — and could again, especially in a presidential year. Walden said fortifying those new incumbents be his main focus.

“It’s a wonderful burden to have,” Walden said Wednesday afternoon at the NRCC.

Full story

November 6, 2014

Greg Walden Officially Launches NRCC Re-Election Bid

Greg Walden Officially Launches NRCC Re Election Bid

Walden is a Oregon Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the heels of winning at least 13 seats for House Republicans, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden officially launched his bid Thursday to serve as chairman for a second term.

Walden had announced this summer he wanted a second stint at the helm of House Republicans’ campaign arm. But in a Thursday letter to the House GOP conference, which was obtained by CQ Roll Call, Walden made his bid official. Walden touted the NRCC’s success as the chief reason for his second campaign.

In the weeks prior to the elections, two other House Republicans — Roger Williams of Texas and Aaron Schock of Illinois — considered challenging Walden. But Williams announced Wednesday he would not seek the job given the GOP’s success, and Walden cites his support in this letter. Schock’s plans are still unknown.

Republicans in the House elect their NRCC chairman. On the Democratic side, the Democratic leader selects the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman.

The full text of the letter is below:

Full story

October 28, 2014

Coup Brews Against NRCC Chairman

Coup Brews Against NRCC Chairman

Rep. Rodney Davis, left, greets Schock, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While most Republicans are focused on Tuesday’s midterms, some members are already eyeing another race: The battle to be the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The current NRCC chairman, Greg Walden of Oregon, wants to run for another term at the helm of the committee  — and House GOP insiders say he’s still their pick. But Reps. Roger Williams of Texas and Aaron Schock of Illinois have shown interest in challenging Walden for the chairmanship for the 2016 cycle.

Neither have officially announced, but both men are making waves on Capitol Hill ahead of a post-election, conference-wide vote for chairman. An announcement from Williams might be imminent.

“If we choose to do this, I don’t think anybody will be surprised,” Williams told CQ Roll Call Tuesday. Full story

A Darkhorse Emerges for DCCC Chairman in 2016

A Darkhorse Emerges for DCCC Chairman in 2016

Frankel's name has surfaced as a potential DCCC chair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats have two things on their minds heading into next month: How many seats the party will lose on Nov. 4, and who will be the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee?

Since the spring, speculation swirled around three members: Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland, Jim Himes of Connecticut and Jared Polis of Colorado.

But according to several operatives and members, a couple of other names surfaced in recent weeks — including Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida. The freshman didn’t rule out the gig when CQ Roll Call contacted her office for comment.  Full story

July 30, 2014

Roger Williams Makes Play for NRCC Chairman (Updated)

Roger Williams Makes Play for NRCC Chairman (Updated)

Williams wants to mount a challenge to Walden. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:22 p.m. | Freshman Rep. Roger Williams of Texas is gunning to challenge current National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden’s bid for a second term and is actively seeking meetings with members for his bid, CQ Roll Call has learned.

“He told me that he was thinking about doing that, and I think Roger would be a good, viable candidate for that job,” Rep. Randy Neugebauer said late Wednesday afternoon. “The Texas delegation is a pretty tight delegation. I can’t speak for my other colleagues, but I would look favorably on Roger’s candidacy.”

“I understand he is running for NRCC Chairman,” fellow Texas Rep. John Carter said, adding he would support Williams for the gig. “I think he does” have a chance at defeating Walden with “new ideas, new blood.”

Williams has also made his intent clear to Speaker John A. Boehner, who told House GOP leadership in a private Monday meeting that he will be backing Walden as chairman, multiple sources confirmed. On Tuesday afternoon, Walden announced to reporters he plans to run for chairman of the committee again after the November elections.

“The speaker made it very clear in recent meetings that he’s going to be supporting Walden,” a Republican aide told CQ Roll Call.

Without Boehner’s support, Williams’ chances of upsetting Walden are slim. House Republicans elect their NRCC chairman. The House’s Democratic leader picks the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Williams’ office did not immediately return repeated requests for comment Wednesday morning. After this story was published, Williams would not confirm or deny his intention to run for the NRCC slot. Full story

July 29, 2014

Greg Walden to Seek Second Term Running NRCC (Updated)

Greg Walden to Seek Second Term Running NRCC (Updated)

Walden is the current NRCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:54 p.m. | National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden announced Tuesday he will seek a second term running the House GOP’s campaign arm.

“I fully intend to seek re-election as NRCC chairman,” Walden told reporters at an afternoon briefing at the committee’s headquarters. Full story

July 18, 2014

Republicans Bet Housework Over NRCC Dues Collection

Republicans Bet Housework Over NRCC Dues Collection

Brady, left, and Scalise, right, live in the same townhouse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Four House Republicans — who are also roommates — aren’t messing around with collecting dues for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Earlier this week, Republicans named Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, John Shimkus of Illinois and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the incoming House majority whip, as chairmen of the campaign committee’s latest push to get members to pay their dues. The men also live together in a Washington, D.C., townhouse when Congress is in session.

“It’s a competition,” Brady said. “And the loser each period has to do chores around the house.”

“I know one week is washing dishes. Another one is taking out the trash,” he said. “The third is, heaven forbid, vacuuming. Which we don’t have a vacuum.” Full story

July 15, 2014

John Boehner Raises More Than $6.2 Million

John Boehner Raises More Than $6.2 Million

Boehner is an Ohio Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio will report bringing in more than $6.2 million in the second quarter across three committees, according to fundraising figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

In that haul, Boehner raised $871,000 for his re-election, $5 million for his nationally focused joint fundraising committee, and $300,000 for his leadership PAC.

Full story

July 14, 2014

NRCC Tasks Members With Collecting Conference Dues

NRCC Tasks Members With Collecting Conference Dues

Scalise is the incoming House Majority Whip. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden announced the names of his top lieutenants in the push for member dues ahead of the fall midterms, according to an internal conference email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Walden named Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and John Shimkus of Illinois as the NRCCs “Battleground Program” chairs.

“As you know, the Battleground Program is the major dues drive of the year,” Walden of Oregon wrote. “With their enthusiasm and fundraising efforts, I am certain that we will be able to continue our attack on Democrat candidates in for supporting flawed and costly legislation like ObamaCare.”

Full story

May 8, 2014

Democrats Jockeying to Run DCCC in 2016

Democrats Jockeying to Run DCCC in 2016

Israel is the current chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The hours are punishing, the travel is relentless and sometimes — no matter how politically shrewd or hardworking a person is — he or she can completely fail on the national stage by nearly no fault of their own.

So who would want to run a House campaign committee, again?

Quite a few Democrats. One of the most intense guessing games currently in the caucus is who will serve as the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“If you are looking to get a seat at the table, and right now no one is getting up, then the DCCC post might be the only opening,” former DCCC spokesman Doug Thornell said. “It’s probably the toughest, most thankless job in leadership. But if you excel, a lot of doors open.”

The position offers an opportunity to win the loyalty of incoming freshman that can translate into support for a future House leadership bid.

But more importantly, Democrats bet that next cycle — 2016 —  will be a good one, thanks to improved party performance in presidential years and the possibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the top of the ticket.

Dozens of plugged-in Democratic operatives weighed in to CQ Roll Call on likely contenders. But the caucus leader, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, will make the final selection. And if Pelosi is no longer in leadership, the race for DCCC chairman could completely change.

To compare, House Republicans elected their campaign committee chairman. Insiders say the current National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon will stay for a second term.

Here’s a rundown of the likely candidates for the Democratic field: Full story

May 1, 2014

Donna Edwards to Lead DCCC ‘Red to Blue’ Program

Donna Edwards to Lead DCCC Red to Blue Program

Edwards will lead the DCCC's Red to Blue program (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards has been named chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program, which assists the party’s top challengers.

Edwards, now in her third full term in the House, spent the first half of the cycle leading the committee’s recruitment program. With primary season kicking into high gear this month, the congresswoman is shifting to this new leadership position.

Serving alongside Edwards as vice chairs of the program will be Reps. Lois Frankel of Florida and Denny Heck of Washington. Full story

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