Louie Gohmert

Taxes, Immigration Bigger Tests for Ryan Speakership Than Fiscal Deal
Conservatives concerned about how speaker will handle DACA

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s leadership will be tested in upcoming debates over taxes and immigration, potentially determining whether he remains the House’s top Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s leadership capabilities are back in the spotlight after September’s fiscal crises were quickly resolved last week without any wins for conservative policies. But that deal is unlikely to define his speakership the way upcoming legislative battles on taxes and immigration will.

Whether the 10-term Wisconsin Republican remains speaker — either by his or the House GOP’s choosing — may depend on his ability to deliver legislation in those areas that can both appease his largely conservative conference and get through the more moderate Senate to President Donald Trump’s desk.

Why Most House Republicans Voted for a Deal They Loathed
Debt haters and defense hawks made up most no votes

Texas Rep. Pete Olson, seen here at a Wednesday press conference, was among the 21 of 25 Texas Republicans to vote for final passage of the Hurricane Harvey relief measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Republicans griped about the fiscal package they were forced to vote on Friday, but ultimately, a relatively small portion of the conference was willing to vote against it.

A little more than one-third of House Republicans voted against a package that would extend government funding and the debt ceiling for three months, while providing $15 billion in disaster relief aid, primarily to Texas and Louisiana to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

Word on the Hill: Peters’ Motorcycle Ride
Recess activities for Cárdenas, Ferguson and Hudson

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters toured the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital in Ontonagon, Mich., on his bike ride. (Courtesy Peters via Twitter)

Motorcycle enthusiast Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., took his annual recess motorcycle tour of the Wolverine State this week.

The senator visited a rural airport to talk about President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to Essential Air Service, a government program enacted to guarantee that small communities maintain commercial airline service. 

Trump’s Tweet on Transgender Service Members Roils Congress
McCain: Americans who serve should be treated as patriots

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain says no able service member should be forced to leave the military. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday morning on Twitter that he will bar transgender people from serving in the military brings to a boil a previously simmering congressional debate.

Critics of Trump’s proposal have already vowed to fight back hard, and the battle will be joined promptly. It will start in the next 24 hours or so during House debate on security spending legislation.

Analysis: Moving Past Obamacare May Include Embracing Some of Its Conservative Roots
Parts of 2010 health care law based on Republican ideas

Montana Sen. Max Baucus, seen here in 2013, solicited Republican opinions while crafting a template for what became the 2010 health care law. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missteps, miscalculations and mistakes have almost defined efforts to repeal Obamacare. 

Some political theorists and economists — including conservatives — suggest that one of the biggest mistakes may be the reluctance by Republicans to acknowledge that significant parts of the Affordable Care Act were based on conservative principles.

Trump Stances Could Affect Cross-Border Energy Trade

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, arrives to chair the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets on Tuesday, jan. 19, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order in April to impose a tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, the administration and its supporters heralded the move as an equalizing measure meant to bolster domestic timber production.

For Trump, the tariff was the latest move meant to build on his “America First” campaign platform. The action his administration took amounted to a tariff in the form of an import tax totaling around 20 percent for softwood lumber imports from Canada. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross estimated the measure could result in $1 billion a year from Canadian lumber imports, which make up about one-third of the U.S. lumber market.

For Scalise, Les Bons Fleur-de-Lis Flair
Hospital upgrades condition of Louisiana Republican

Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, right, and Mike Conaway, R-Texas, leave a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on June 21, 2017. Members wore fleur-de-lis stickers to honor House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was injured in last week’s shooting at the Republican baseball practice. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Was it the fleurs-de-lis?

On a day when his GOP colleagues donned Louisiana fleur-de-lis flair, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s condition improved to fair and he is beginning an extended rehabilitation process, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement Wednesday.

Democrats Down Republicans, Both Down the Rhetoric
Emotional evening at Congressional Baseball Game

Steve Scalise fans waves signs before the start of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday, June 15, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When winning Democratic manager Rep. Mike Doyle gave the Congressional Baseball Game trophy to his counterpart, Rep. Joe L. Barton, to put in Rep. Steve Scalise’s office while he is recovering, it summed up the feeling of the evening.

“It’s so awesome to show everyone that we actually get along and I want that to be the message that everyone takes away tonight,” Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis said after the game.

Highlights From the Congressional Baseball Game
Winning Democrats elect to put trophy in Scalise’s office

Republican shortstop Rep. Ryan A. Costello of Pennsylvania dives for a ground ball during the second inning of the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a tight first couple of innings, the Democratic team blew the game open on their way to an 11-2 win Thursday at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game.

The day after a gunman opened fire at the Republican team’s practice session, the winning Democrats elected to put the coveted Roll Call Trophy in the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was one of five wounded in Wednesday’s attack. News that he had come out of his third surgery in two days and that his condition was improving was released just before the game started.

With End in Sight for Omnibus, Dissonance Takes Over
Sore feelings take hold even as deal heads to passage

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is among the Republicans who say he will not support the omnibus spending bill when the Senate considers it later this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On a day Congress could have spent singing the praises of a bipartisan agreement to wrap up the long-overdue fiscal 2017 spending process, seemingly everyone — from Capitol Hill to the White House — found a way to hit dissonant notes. 

“They’re walking around acting like they pulled a fast one on the president, and I just won’t stand for it,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday afternoon at the third of three press briefings he conducted in a 24-hour period after congressional Democrats started effusively praising the omnibus spending deal as a win for their priorities.