John A Boehner

Legislative Agenda Gets Tougher for Trump
Even before Comey issue, Capitol Hill efforts were plodding

President Donald Trump speaks on May 4 while flanked by House Republicans in the Rose Garden after they passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law. Trump will need to keep them on his side to pass his agenda as legal experts say James B. Comey bolstered a possible obstruction of justice case against him. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is declaring victory despite scathing testimony against him by former FBI Director James B. Comey. But that likely will further complicate his domestic agenda and transform the 2018 midterms into a referendum on his actions related to the bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections.

Comey did not land a knockout blow on the president during hours of dramatic testimony Thursday. But some experts say he presented a strong case that the president obstructed justice when Trump leaned on him to drop a probe of his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and then allegedly fired Comey for refusing to do so.

Boehner: Trump a ‘Complete Disaster’ Beyond Foreign Policy
Former speaker of the House says Trump is still learning to be president

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said he doesn't miss his previous job. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner told attendees at an energy conference that beyond foreign policy, President Donald Trump has been a “complete disaster” so far.

As the keynote speaker at KPMG’s Global Energy conference, Boehner said he’s known the president for 15 years and Trump would call him regularly when he had a bad day or to commend him.

Annual Capitol Insiders Survey: The Trump Effect
Tensions on the Hill from last year have carried over into 2017

Republicans staffers on Capitol Hill are still not comfortable with President Donald Trump, the latest Capitol Insiders Survey finds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last year’s election was humbling for pollsters, and the Capitol Insiders Survey was no exception. The vast majority of congressional staffers surveyed by CQ Roll Call in the days before the election — 91 percent — predicted a Hillary Clinton win. Only 6 percent thought Donald Trump could pull it off.

Still, the results reflect how Trump’s win blindsided the Washington establishment. The majority of Republican aides said consistently during the campaign that they wouldn’t vote for Trump.

For Freedom Caucus, No Place Like Home
Constituents appreciate group’s influence in Congress

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, answers questions from protestors in Morganton, North Carolina, about the health care bill and Russia investigations. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Washington may not always understand or appreciate the House Freedom Caucus, but its constituents generally do.

At events in the districts of three caucus members last week — Mark Meadows in North Carolina, and Dave Brat and Morgan Griffith in Virginia — a variety of constituents interviewed had not only heard of the hard-line conservative group but showed a good grasp of its mission: to provide a voice for people outside the Beltway who lack backing among Washington’s special interests. 

Survey: Republicans See Harm From Freedom Caucus
GOP staffers also fault Trump’s temperament and approach to governing

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Reps. Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol on March 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Freedom Caucus, the conservative House faction that stymied Republican efforts to repeal the health care law in March and, before that, upended the speakership of John A. Boehner, is deeply unpopular with the bulk of Republican staffers.

That, anyway, was the case among the respondents to the April Capitol Insiders Survey, CQ Roll Call’s email poll of congressional staff. Asked if the caucus was a positive or negative force for the party, 71 percent of GOP respondents said it was negative, while 22 percent said it was positive. The remainder were unsure.

Harry Reid is Done Talking About Donald Trump
Says he regularly gives advice to Nevada delegation

Former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he’s said all he’s going to say about President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid never held his tongue when talking about Donald Trump when he was a candidate.

But in an interview published Monday in the Las Vegas Sun, Reid said he didn’t want to talk about the president anymore. 

Opinion: An Opening for Reform
What do Democrats have to lose?

Democrats have ceded a lot of political turf to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, Jonathan Allen writes.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Since Donald Trump shocked the world by winning the presidency in November, Democrats have had a tendency to bury their heads in the sand.

They want very badly to attribute their defeat to external factors, but the truth is they ceded a lot of basic political turf to Trump and his Republican Party in the last election. Their campaigns, up and down the ballot, had the feel of a party satisfied with communicating only to parts of the electorate that already agreed with them.

Analysis: Democrats Try to Force Republicans’ Hands — but Can They?
Republicans still have the edge in political maneuvering

Democrats are hoping to force the Republicans’ hand through legislation from Massachusetts Rep. Katherine M. Clark. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats want to force Republicans’ hands on President Donald Trump’s tax returns — but it remains to be see how effective posturing can be for the minority party.

Democrats in the chamber plan to have Massachusetts Rep. Katherine M. Clark introduce legislation requiring Trump to release his tax returns from 2007 to 2016, according to The Washington Post. 

Freedom Caucus Member’s Book Slams Money-Obsessed Politicians
In ‘Drain the Swamp,’ Ken Buck also takes aim at NRCC’s ‘pay-to-play’ culture

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck attributes criticism of the House Freedom Caucus to “just plain jealousy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck describes a money-hungry, lobbyist-influenced Republican leadership in his first book “Drain the Swamp” but he told CQ Roll Call that life is better for the hard-line conservative faction under Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

The Colorado Republican, now in his second term, has few kind words in his book released this week for Ryan’s predecessor, Ohio’s John A. Boehner, whom conservative lawmakers worked to oust. Boehner has since set up a practice at the K Street firm Squire Patton Boggs, and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Survey: GOP Staffers Reeling From Health Care Setback
Ryan’s approval rating drops among House Republican aides

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s approval rating among House GOP staffers stands at its lowest level since he assumed the speakership, according to the latest CQ Roll Call Capitol Insiders Survey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican aides are reeling from the implosion of their party’s attempt to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to the latest CQ Roll Call Capitol Insiders Survey.

Paul D. Ryan’s approval rating among House GOP staffers has dropped to its lowest level since he became speaker in 2015, plummeting from 85 percent three weeks after Election Day to 44 percent in March. Those are levels not seen — for either party’s congressional leaders — since the ouster of Ryan’s predecessor, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a year and a half ago.