conservatives

Growth in Domestic Oil and Natural Gas Poses New Policy Issues
Republicans want to make overseas shipment of liquefied natural gas easier

The United States is flush with supplies of oil and natural gas — and that has lawmakers contemplating policy changes. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to U.S. energy supplies, Congress’ default setting for decades had been worry: worry that America did not have enough energy to meet its needs and worry that OPEC would hold the U.S. hostage by jacking up the price of — or withholding — its oil.

That setting has changed. With the U.S. flush with supplies of oil and natural gas over the past few years, Congress has permitted the export of domestic oil and raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce the budget deficit and offset costs of unrelated legislation. And now Republicans want to make it easier for producers to ship liquefied natural gas overseas.

Paul Ryan Pushes Back on Pressure for Early Exit
Republican leaders defend capabilities amid caucus disagreements

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., right, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left have had to answer tough questions about the future of the House leadership situation and reports of McCarthy's role in pushing Ryan aside. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan defended himself Tuesday amid reports of threats to his leadership position and reiterated his view that it’s not in Republicans best interest to have a divisive leadership race before the November midterm elections.

“Obviously I serve at the pleasure of the members; those are the people who drafted me in this job the first place,” the Wisconsin Republican said when asked if he is confident he will remain speaker through the election. “But I think we all agree the best thing for us is to complete our agenda and not wedge into the completion of our agenda divisive leadership elections.”

5 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Outside of Texas runoffs, this week’s action is mostly on the Democratic side

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is running in Kentucky’s 6 District Democratic primary Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voters again head to the polls Tuesday, this time in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky. 

Texas held its primaries in March, but more than a few of those contests advanced to runoffs since the winners did not surpass 50 percent of the vote. None has received more attention that the Democratic runoff in the 7th District. 

Analysis: The Trump Agenda’s Unintentional International Consequences
Signs of fraying relationships among close allies starting to show up

Mexican presidential hopeful Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised to put Donald Trump “in his place.” (Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, who preaches pro-business policies at home and more favorable terms for the United States in trade deals, may well help elect more anti-American leaders around the world and leave the United States more isolated and embattled.

We could see the first manifestation of this in Trump’s confrontational approach with Mexico. His positions on trade (particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement) and immigration, and his characterization of the people of Mexico, have boosted the prospects of presidential hopeful Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico’s July 1 election.

Scalise Announces Plan for Immigration, Farm Bill Votes Third Week of June
Meanwhile Denham expects to get 218 signatures on immigration discharge petition

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said the failed farm bill will be back on the floor June 22 with an immigration vote occurring earlier that third week of June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:33 p.m. | The farm bill, which failed on the House floor Friday, will get a second vote June 22 after a vote on a conservative immigration bill earlier that week, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said Monday.

The immigration bill by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas that leaders have scheduled a vote on includes border wall funding, security and enforcement provisions, cuts to legal immigration and a process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients to obtain three-year renewals of their work permits. 

Court Sides With Employers Over Workers in Arbitration Case
Gorsuch: Court not free to substitute economic policies for those chosen by people’s representatives

Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice nominee, right, opens the door for Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., before a meeting with Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., in the Dirksen Building last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that arbitration clauses in employment contracts can prevent workers from pursuing class-action lawsuits on minimum wage and overtime disputes, prompting some justices to call for congressional action to protect workers’ rights.

In the 5-4 opinion, the conservative justices sided with corporate interests to find that Congress, in a 1925 law, instructed federal courts to enforce arbitration agreements according to their own terms. That includes terms that require individual — and not class — proceedings.

Republican Divide, Mistrust Dooms Farm Bill in House
Failure is major blow to House Republican leaders

Despite pleas from Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his leadership team, Republicans did not united behind the farm bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:20 p.m. | The farm bill’s defeat Friday wasn’t the outcome House Republican leadership was expecting. 

GOP leaders headed to the floor for the vote with an inconclusive whip count. They knew the vote would be close. But they felt fairly confident based on private conversations they had throughout the week that their commitment to hold a vote on immigration legislation in the coming weeks would sway enough Freedom Caucus members whose votes they needed.

Congress Doesn’t Report Diversity Because It Doesn’t Have to
While federal agencies must report the diversity of their employees, there is no such requirement of Congress

Kemba Hendrix, director of the House Democrats’ Diversity Initiative, took on her role in November. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:30 a.m. with figures for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s staff | If you ask a House or Senate office to break down the diversity of its staff, chances are it won’t. Because it doesn’t have to.

While the executive branch has to provide data on the racial and ethnic makeup of its staff for the public record, there is no rule mandating that congressional offices do the same.

Freedom Caucus Wants to Delay Farm Bill for Immigration Votes
Meadows says more than enough conservatives prepared to block passage of farm bill

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and members of his hard-line conservative group want floor action on immigration before the House finishes the farm bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:25 p.m. | House Freedom Caucus members continued to hold the farm bill hostage to their demand for a floor vote on immigration late into Thursday evening, less than 24 hours before a scheduled vote on final passage on the farm bill. 

Republican leaders appear to need the caucus members’ support to pass the farm bill, which is opposed by most Democrats and some GOP moderates. 

House Republicans Get Closer to Deal for Immigration Floor Votes
Agreement could pave way for farm bill passage as well

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., and his allies are getting closer to a deal on immigration votes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)