Mark Walker

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

By the Numbers: Richmond, DeSantis, Others Pad Their Baseball Resumes
Both sides had standout performers at the Congressional Baseball Game

Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond pitches during the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When the usually lighthearted run-up to the annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game was marred by a horrific shooting at the Republican practice session last week, Capitol Hill came together for an emotional night of bipartisanship and baseball. But one thing it did not do was make the players go easy on one another.

“I did tell [Republican manager Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton] that I love him before the game, and I love him after the game, but during the game, we’re going to play to win,” Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, the Democratic manager, quipped at a pre-game press conference. With the coveted Roll Call Trophy on the line, that was exactly what they did, defeating the Republican squad, 11-2. Despite the lopsided score, though, there were standout individual performances on both sides.

By the Numbers: How the Teams Stack Up
A look at the stats to determine which team has the statistical edge in this year’s matchup

Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana is statistically one of the best players in the history of the Congressional Baseball Game. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This story was originally published in the official game program of the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, which was distributed on June 15.

So you think you’re a numbers whiz regarding all things Congress. You know how much money is in the latest appropriations bill. You know by how much Sen. Rand Paul won his last election. But do you know lawmakers’ vital statistics where it counts — on the baseball diamond?

Partisanship Shut Out at Congressional Baseball Game
Unity a big winner after gunman had disrupted GOP practice

During player introductions, Texas Rep. Roger Williams shakes hands with California Rep. Nanette Barragán as, from right, Reps. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, Joe L. Barton of Texas and Pete Aguilar of California look on during the Congressional Baseball Game in Nationals Park on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated June 19, 2017, 1:58 p.m. | The final moments of the 56th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Thursday perfectly demonstrated the event’s purpose — finding unity amid heated competition.

Though the Democrats overwhelmingly beat the Republicans 11-2, that final score was eclipsed during the trophy presentation at the end of the night.

Democrats Reclaim Congressional Baseball Title, Bipartisanship Rules
Night ends with gracious hand-over of trophy

California Rep. Jimmy Panetta slides in safe at home as GOP catcher Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois tries to apply the tag during the the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats regained their mojo on Thursday night at Nationals Park with a commanding 11-2 victory over the Republicans at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game.

But with the tragic shooting during the Republicans’ team practice the day before, esprit de corps was the main game plan for both teams, dispelling for at least a night, the clouds of highly charged partisanship that has plagued both sides of the aisle this year.

GOP Group Ponders Debt Limit/Omnibus Combo
Republican Study Committee aims for votes before August recess

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, says his group would like to combine a debt ceiling increase with an omnibus appropriations bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With Congress needing to both prevent a government shutdown and a debt default in a matter of a few short months, the Republican Study Committee on Wednesday discussed the idea of combining a debt limit increase and an omnibus appropriations bill into one fiscal package to be voted on before Aug. 1.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” RSC Chairman Mark Walker told Roll Call.

Word on the Hill: Staffers Got Talent
Armed Forces Day tomorrow

Geoff Browning pursues his musical career on the side. (Courtesy Nicholas Fitanides/ Geoff Browning)

Geoff Browning, legislative assistant for Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., has a pretty serious music career on the side of his Capitol Hill job. 

His band, Of Tomorrow, is playing tonight at the 9:30 Club (815 V St., NW) with other musicians, including Karl Denson of the Rolling Stones, Melvin Seals of the wider Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Band family and Alan Evans of Soulive.

Ducks Not Using Duck Ramp ... Yet
 

GOP Leaders Say They're Done Tweaking Health Bill
Thursday or Friday vote is goal

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and his team see progress toward their position on the health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY LINDSEY MCPHERSON AND ERIN MERSHON

House GOP leaders suggested Wednesday afternoon that a forthcoming amendment for an additional $8 billion to reduce coverage costs for individuals with pre-existing conditions would be the final tweak needed to their health overhaul bill.