rules-and-procedure

House Budget Resolution May Have Short Lifespan
Republicans are already downplaying its chances on the House floor

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is expected to being markup of the fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid virtually no interest from the Senate, Democrats in either chamber, and even other House Republicans, Budget Chairman Steve Womack is apparently pushing forward with a fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week.

The Arkansas Republican plans to begin the markup Wednesday and continue on Thursday, according to sources. The not-yet-introduced budget plan is even likely to get out of committee, based on discussions with panel members — but as to where it goes from there, prospects don’t look bright.

Inhofe, Frustrated by Defense Bill Amendments, May Favor Rules Changes
Comes amid standoff over the amendments on the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill

Sen. James M. Inhofe is talking about changing the amendment rules for next year’s defense authorization. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Oklahoma Republican who has been filling in as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee is talking about changing the rules ahead of next year’s edition of the annual exercise.

Sen. James M. Inhofe, the bill manager, is blasting the application of the Senate’s procedures allowing any one senator to effectively block the consideration of any other amendments.

Moderates Punt on Immigration Petition as GOP Goals Drift
House plans to vote on 2 proposals next week, but compromise remains elusive

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., arrives at the office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday for a meeting on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the month since moderate Republicans launched a discharge petition to force the House to take up immigration legislation to protect so-called Dreamers, they’ve continuously moved the goal posts on what it is they want to achieve. On Tuesday, they shifted the target again.

The moderates have effectively agreed to drop their discharge petition on the “queen of the hill” rule — which would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above a majority prevailing — even though there’s not yet agreement on alternative legislation that can pass the House. 

Immigration Discharge Petition Deadline Arrives
3 remaining signatures expected to be added Tuesday, but negotiations on alternative measure to continue

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., says an immigration discharge petition will get to the required 218 signatures without an agreement on separate immigration legislation House Republicans can pass. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The immigration discharge petition signature deadline has arrived. All signs point to the petition reaching the required 218 signatures by the end of the day, but negotiations are continuing in an effort to block it from forcing a vote.

The discharge petition, led by moderate Republicans, is designed to bypass House leadership and force a floor vote on a series of controversial immigration bills to protect so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. 

Senators Push Defense Amendment to Restore ZTE Sanctions
Proposal would effectively block ZTE from American technology — again

Sen. Tom Cotton is leading a bipartisan effort to restore penalties on ZTE. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan contingent of senators wants to use the defense authorization to restore penalties against Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE that were eased Thursday morning.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined Democratic Sens. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Charles E. Schumer of New York in filing the legislation as an amendment to the defense programs bill. Senators are expected to begin amendment debate on the broader legislation early next week.

House GOP Immigration Negotiations Reach Critical Juncture
Disagreement over legal status for Dreamers remains key sticking point

House Republican leaders are leading a critical two days of immigration negotiations. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans head into a critical two days of immigration negotiations Wednesday without a clear way to resolve a years-long, intraparty policy disagreement over the legal status of so-called “Dreamers” as the threat of a discharge petition lingers in the background.

GOP leaders are still in talks with members of their conference about how best to protect the young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — roughly 700,000 who have been sheltered from deportation with temporary work permits obtained through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — but have yet to figure out how to bridge a divide between moderates who want to offer Dreamers a pathway to citizenship and conservatives who view that as amnesty.

Sometimes, the Dissidents Do Leadership a Solid
As immigration debate shows, rare House discharge petitions can force the majority out of a self-made jam

A discharge petition filed by GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo has put pressure on his own party’s leaders to strike a deal on immigration — but they may not hold it against him, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It sounds like something that might be overheard at the congressional appliance dealership: Power abhors a vacuum, especially when there’s a political mess overdue for cleanup, and a great tool for fixing all that is a discharge petition.

It’s also an apt summation of what’s going on now with the Republican catharsis over immigration — which is notably similar to what went down three years ago, during the last House majority leadership interregnum, and also to another fabled GOP rift back in 2002.

With Eye on Policy, and Politics, McConnell Scraps August Recess
Senate expected to be away the first week in August before returning for the rest of the summer

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in a Tuesday statement that the Senate would substantially curtail the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the Senate will be in session throughout much of August, citing the need to move legislation and nominees. While widely viewed as a gambit to keep Democrats in competitive 2018 races off the trail, the move could have unintended and unpredictable political consequences. 

“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement.“Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.”

Flake Opposes State Nominee Who Attacked His Immigration Views
Ronald Mortensen’s writings have directly criticized several Republican senators

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is not supporting a State Department nominee with immigration positions  he vehemently opposes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jeff Flake announced that he would not be backing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Ronald Mortensen to be assistant secretary of State for population, refugees and migration.

Flake, an Arizona Republican and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, linked his opposition to a Politico report about some of Mortensen’s well-documented views about immigration.

5 Obstacles to a House Republican Immigration Deal
Dreamer question, rules for debate, Democrats, the Senate and Trump all stand in the way

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., says moderate Republicans want the House to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that will have a chance of passing in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans are trying to do in a matter of weeks what they couldn’t accomplish during their nearly eight years in the majority — pass a sweeping immigration bill.

The GOP is facing a self-imposed deadline to move legislation the third week of June that, among other things, would protect so-called Dreamers from deportation. The legal status of those young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children is in limbo, along with the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.