Win or Lose in the Midterms, Top Democratic Leaders Could Shuffle in House
Reporter's Notebook: An executive summary of Roll Call’s biggest stories, from the reporters themselves

Hoyer Celebrates Caps Win on House Floor

House Takes Steps to Revive Ex-Im Bank

Hensarling, left, and Boehner. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House took steps Monday night to reopen the Export-Import Bank, making history by successfully employing a quirky procedural gambit for the first time in decades.  

Sixty-two Republicans bucked their leadership to join with every House Democrat on a "motion to discharge" petition to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, for which the charter expired at the end of June. The 246-177 vote sets up subsequent votes on Tuesday aimed at reviving the federal agency that finances the sale of goods overseas, and which many conservatives deride as "corporate cronyism."  

Hoyer Hints House Democrats Won't Sink 'Clean' CR

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats have said they don't want to help pass a continuing resolution that funds the government at sequester levels  unless it's a very short-term bill and there's a promise to begin negotiations to eventually lift the spending caps.  

At the moment, it looks like they're not going to get concessions on either front.  

Hoyer Hints Boehner Wants Vote to Reauthorize Ex-Im

Hoyer had "a positive conversation" with Boehner about reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Does Speaker John A. Boehner want the House to vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank?  

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., says yes. During his weekly pen and pad briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Hoyer let slip that he and the Ohio Republican have spoken several times about putting a bill on the floor to revive the bank's lapsed charter.  

Hoyer Steers Clear of Conservatives' Push to Oust Boehner

Hoyer wouldn't comment on how Democrats would vote on a motion to "vacate the chair" (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., forces a floor vote to "vacate the chair"  — or oust Speaker John A. Boehner — House Democrats will have to decide: Will they vote to help Boehner keep his gavel to maintain some semblance of order in the chamber? Or abandon the Ohio Republican, sit back and watch the GOP implode?  

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer indicated Tuesday he wasn't interested in playing a game of hypotheticals, even on something that could have huge implications at a time when Boehner and other House Republican leaders are trying to prevent a hardline conservative contingent from spurring a government shutdown . "I understand that," Hoyer told reporters at a pen-and-pad briefing in response to pointed reminders from reporters that the Democrats would have a lot of power in determining Boehner's fate. "We'll see if there's a time to exercise that in an effective way."  

Five House Democrats to Watch on Iran Vote

Engel is the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats no longer need to shore up the votes to sustain a presidential veto if Congress passes a disapproval resolution of the Iran nuclear deal  the Senate took care of that Wednesday when it reached 34 votes that would sustain a veto. Senate Democrats have continued to add to that number, continuing with Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, the 38th to back the deal.  

But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., still could show President Barack Obama that her caucus has his back and could provide a voting margin in the House that falls short of what's needed to overcome a veto. There are holdouts, though, whose opposition won't be helpful to the cause, and undecided members whose positions could be significant in swaying other Democrats.  

Hoyer Makes a New 'Make It In America' Agenda

Hoyer to fellow Democrats: run on jobs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are looking many places for a message to carry the 2016 election cycle. One place they might find it is in Steny H. Hoyer's jobs agenda.  

The Maryland Democrat and House minority whip has, for the past five years, been touting various iterations of his "Make It In America" economic platform, which packages together bills and legislative initiatives aimed at boosting domestic-employment opportunities. Typically, Hoyer's proposals have been focused on manufacturing and industrial sectors, with themes that resonate in blue-collar, working-class districts.  

Zombie Bank: Why Killing Ex-Im Doesn't Mean It's Dead

Congressional staffers stood below a television monitor on June 3, as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank, testified before the House Financial Services Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With only hours to go before the Export-Import Bank's charter expires for the first time in its 81-year history, lawmakers who support the agency are pointing fingers at the base of opposition — but not sounding the alarm bells of imminent catastrophe.  

Starting Wednesday, the bank won't be able to extend new loans — but it will still be able to serve out existing contracts. Most members are confident the operation will get reauthorized, some way or another, in the weeks before the month-long August recess and before the funding lapse becomes a real problem. Nobody is quite sure just how they'll pull it off, politically or practically.  

House Sends Trade Adjustment Assistance to President's Desk

Pelosi voted for TAA after leading a prior mobilization of members in opposition (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House did Thursday what two weeks ago might have seemed impossible: Cleared for President Barack Obama the second and third of four necessary components to his ambitious and contentious trade agenda.  

Lawmakers voted 286-138 on a bill to establish broad trade preferences and extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which facilitates trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. The bill became a vehicle to also pass Trade Adjustment Assistance, which aids U.S. workers displaced by global trade agreements, and language to change TAA's original offset, which would have used sequester cuts to Medicare.