Walter B Jones

North Carolina’s Robert Pittenger Is First Incumbent to Lose in 2018
GOP congressman fell to repeat primary challenger Mark Harris

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger has lost a GOP primary rematch with former pastor Mark Harris. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger is the first incumbent of 2018 to lose, falling to former pastor Mark Harris in Tuesday’s 9th District Republican primary.

Harris defeated Pittenger 48.5 percent to 46 percent, reversing the result from two years ago when the latter won by just 134 votes in a recount.

House Again Rejects Move to Form Select Committee on Chaplain Controversy
Republicans reluctant to back Crowley's resolution on second try

House Chaplain Patrick Conroy has been at the center of a simmering dispute over his resignation — and un-resignation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Whatever bipartisan support Democrats had for probing the circumstances that led Speaker Paul D. Ryan to call for the House chaplain’s resignation appears to be gone now that Patrick J. Conroy has been reinstated to his post. 

The House on Tuesday approved a motion to table a privileged resolution offered by Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley of New York to form a select committee to look into the chaplain controversy. The motion was adopted 223-182.

3 Ways In Which the House Chaplain Controversy May Continue
Lawmakers still want answers about the speaker’s decision to fire Rev. Patrick J. Conroy

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy is staying is position but lawmakers are still questioning why he was asked to leave in the first place. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy is getting to stay in his position, but that doesn’t mean the controversy surrounding Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s initial decision to fire him is going away. 

Several lawmakers are still questioning what influenced the Wisconsin Republican to make his call and how to prevent future speakers from unilaterally seeking to remove the House chaplain. 

Ryan Accepts Conroy Letter Rescinding His Resignation, Allows Him to Remain House Chaplain
Speaker stands by public statement that his original decision was based on inadequate ‘pastoral services’

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his chief of staff Jonathan Burks, right, were involved in the initial decision to request House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy’s resignation. Ryan is now accepting Conroy’s decision to rescind that resignation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is letting House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy remain in his position, accepting the Jesuit priest’s Thursday letter rescinding his resignation that he submitted last month at the speaker’s request. 

“I have accepted Father Conroy’s letter and decided that he will remain in his position as Chaplain of the House,” Ryan said in a statement. “My original decision was made in what I believed to be the best interest of this institution.”

Lawmakers Worried About Religious Freedom After Chaplain Ouster
Democrats raise questions about anti-Catholic sentiments from Republicans

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said there’s only division coming out of Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update 8:45 a.m. | A spokesman for Rep. Mark Walkertold USA Today that the congressman was stepping down from the group searching for a new House chaplain.

Emotions are running high in the House as members grapple with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy. And religious tensions started to spill into public view last week before lawmakers departed Washington for a one-week recess.

Kaptur Exploring Legislative Reprieve for Ousted House Chaplain
Ohio Democrat said any legislation she proposes would be bipartisan

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy performs a marriage ceremony in 2015 for Alaska Rep. Don Young and Anne Garland Walton in the chapel of the U.S. Capitol. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur does not believe Speaker Paul D. Ryan has authority to remove House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy without a vote of the House. And she’s exploring legislation to prevent his ouster. 

Conroy submitted a letter of resignation April 15 at the speaker’s request that was read on the House floor the following day. Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong confirmed that Ryan sought the Jesuit priest’s resignation but did not provide a reason why. 

Bipartisan Letter to Ryan Seeks More Information on Chaplain Resignation
Speaker’s office to receive letter Friday

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, is expected to resign in May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan letter requesting additional information circulated for signatures Thursday after reports surfaced that Speaker Paul D. Ryan pushed for House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy to resign.

“The sensitive nature of this situation requires a description of the process followed to arrive at the decision and a justification for that decision,” wrote the letter’s author, Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerald E. Connolly.

Analysis: Leadership Race Not Over Despite Scalise Declining to Challenge McCarthy
McCarthy still needs to shore up support from conservatives, GOP candidates

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., are presenting a united front for now about the future leadership lineup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republican leaders made moves Thursday to give the appearance that there won’t be any infighting about who should replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan as head of the conference. Don’t be fooled.

The race to replace Ryan is not over — unless Republicans lose the majority in November. In that scenario, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would have the insider track to being elected minority leader since it would only require a simple majority vote of the GOP conference.

Wanted: Prolific Fundraiser to Boost House GOP After Ryan Exits
Speaker’s retirement announcement sparks scramble to find a donor-friendly successor

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., arrive in the basement of the Capitol as reports of Speaker Paul Ryan not running for re-election spread on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s retirement announcement Wednesday sparked a public scramble for a successor to match his fundraising prowess and to serve as the House GOP’s political and policy chief in the age of President Donald Trump.

Though the Wisconsin lawmaker has pledged to stay in office through the end of the term in early January 2019, some GOP insiders on and off the Hill question whether he can remain an effective fundraiser and political leader during a nearly nine-month lame-duck period.

Porn Still Turning Up in the Federal Workplace Despite Ban
Congress made rules to block employees from watching porn. But will it act to enforce them?

North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones led the effort to expand a pornography ban as part of the 2017 omnibus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s been six years since Congress began banning federal employees from watching pornography in the workplace. But even though lawmakers have gradually added the rule to spending bills, implementing it agency by agency, some workers are still pulling up porn — and some departments still aren’t covered.

As the spotlight on sexual exploitation intensifies in Washington and around the nation, it’s clear that the problem of online porn in the federal workplace hasn’t gone away.