Mark Walker

Congress has had it up to here with agencies not taking its spending advice
Departments have not implemented proposals that could save $87 billion, and now they will have to explain why

Aerial view of the Pentagon building photographed Sept. 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress is increasingly trying to force federal departments, especially the Pentagon, to quit disregarding audit recommendations on how to get more bang for billions of dollars in taxpayer bucks.

Starting next year, in fact, federal agencies will have to explain to Congress why they are letting thousands of good ideas gather dust.

Amid border wall debate, House and Senate Republicans aligned on spending issues, for once
GOP unity over border wall has lasted for seven-plus weeks now but could soon be tested

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, right, have largely been on the same page when it comes to border wall funding President Donald Trump, center, has advocated. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For years, House Republicans would blame the Senate if they didn’t get their way in spending negotiations. But now, amid an ongoing border wall funding dispute, GOP lawmakers in both chambers are finally on the same page.

The symbiotic relationship is oddly timed with House Republicans in the minority. In the previous two Congresses, Republicans held the majority in both chambers — first under former President Barack Obama and then under President Donald Trump — but rarely agreed on appropriations matters.

BLAKE Act targets future Blake Farentholds
Legislation is named for former congressman who reneged on repaying funds for sexual harassment settlement

The Bad Lawmakers Accountability and Key Emends Act is named for Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold might have resigned in disgrace, but he’s still making a mark on Capitol Hill.

The BLAKE Act, or the Bad Lawmakers Accountability and Key Emends Act, would bar any former member of Congress from behaving like Farenthold. Specifically, the legislation would prevent any member of Congress from cashing in on his time in office with a plum lobbying job if that member had used tax dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim and had not reimbursed federal coffers.

House Republicans came back from being written off before. They can again
Close 2018 midterm losses show a path for the GOP

The House Republican leadership team for the 116th Congress speaks to the media on Nov. 14, 2018. From left, Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Gary Palmer, R-Ala., Jason Smith, R-Mo., Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Steve Scalise, R-La., and Mark Walker, R-N.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Through much of 2018 and especially in the weeks following the midterm elections, many opinion writers and other political pundits enthusiastically declared the Republican Party dead or at least relegated to life support.

The commentary was eerily reminiscent of the post-2006 declarations that the GOP was finished … over … no longer a viable political party.

House Democrats pass government funding bills, Pelosi jokes she’d give Trump $1 for a wall
More seriously, Pelosi reiterates Democrats will not agree to wall as Republicans predict long shutdown

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., pictured greeting Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., during opening day proceedings of the 116th Congress Jan. 3, said Democrats will not agree to a border wall but joked she’d give President Donald Trump $1 for it. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The new House Democratic majority passed two government funding bills Thursday to open shuttered federal agencies that President Donald Trump has said he will not sign, as Republicans predicted the partial government shutdown will be a long one. 

Before the votes Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated that Democrats will not agree to a border wall but joked that she’d give Trump $1 for it.

Trump Will Not Sign Senate-Passed Stopgap Funding Bill, Paul Ryan Says
Shutdown starts getting closer with no path to passage

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., seen here Wednesday at the Library of Congress, says President Donald Trump is leaving Congress on his own terms, a rarity for a speaker. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump has rejected a stopgap funding bill passed by the Senate, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said following a meeting at the White House. He said House GOP leaders will try to add border security to the Senate measure before a Friday night deadline.

“He will not sign this bill,” Ryan said outside the executive mansion. 

22 Images That Defined 2018 in Congress: Photos of the Year
Roll Call’s photographers captured moments from the halls of Congress to the campaign trail

1. FEBRUARY 7: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks with reporters as she leaves the House chamber in the Capitol after holding her filibuster focusing on DACA for eight-plus hours. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

2018 is wrapping up on the Hill, while uncertainty remains on federal funding for much of the government in fiscal 2019. In short, it’s another year in Congress

Roll Call reviewed its archives from Capitol Hill to Laguna Beach, California (and all the campaigns in between), and picked 22 of our favorite images from the year.

Mike Johnson Elected Next Republican Study Committee Chairman
Freshman Louisiana Republican won chairmanship over California Rep. Tom McClintock

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:03 p.m. | Louisiana freshman Rep. Mike Johnson will chair the Republican Study Committee in the 116th Congress, after winning a race Friday against five-term California Rep. Tom McClintock.

This is the second consecutive RSC election in which a first-term congressman was elected chairman over a more senior lawmaker.

New GOP Leaders Stick With Trump Despite Midterm Losses
Expect challenges to excessive Democratic investigations, McCarthy says

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., newly elected as House Minority Leader for the upcoming Congress, arrives for the press conference following the House GOP leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The new House GOP leadership team gave no indication Wednesday it would reconsider its cozy relationship with President Donald Trump, despite losses in dozens of suburban districts in the midterms last week.

Newly elected House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California acknowledged at a press conference Wednesday that winning back the American suburbs will be a “challenge” in 2020 but said multiple times at the press conference that “history was against” the GOP keeping control of both chambers of Congress in a midterm election with a first-term Republican president in the Oval Office.

Here’s the List of House Republican Leaders for the Next Congress
Kevin McCarthy will be tops in House GOP in years in the minority

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., arrives for the House Republican leadership elections forum in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans chose their leadership team for the next Congress on Wednesday, which will be their first stint in the minority since 2010. 

Minority Leader: Kevin McCarthy of California.