Joe L Barton

GOP Leaders Float Alternative to Immigration Discharge Petition
Denham says discharge petition supporters working with leadership but have the signatures

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.,and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., are working on an immigration plan with President Donald Trump they hope will stop a discharge petition moderate Republicans are pushing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:35 p.m. | House Republican leaders and the conservative rank and file are desperately trying to kill a discharge petition that would trigger a series of immigration votes, likely resulting in House passage of a bill carried mostly by Democrats.

Moderate Republicans say they have enough support to force a vote on a “queen of the hill” rule that would set up votes on four different immigration bills, with the one receiving the most support above the required simple majority threshold advancing. But not all the members whose support they’re counting on have signed on to the discharge petition yet, partly because GOP leaders insist they’ll have an alternative solution.

House Experience Poised to Nose-Dive
Following a rash of retirements, incumbent losses in November could bring the body’s experience to a low not seen since the 1990s

Michigan Democratic Reps. John Conyers Jr. and Sander M. Levin and Texas Republican Reps. Joe L. Barton and Lamar Smith are the four most senior House members to end their service during the current Congress. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

If this election year ushers in as big a wave as Democrats are hoping for, it could end not just with a new party in control of the House, but with a major brain drain in the chamber. Departing members take with them their institutional knowledge and experienced staff. The freshmen who replace them will not only be starting from scratch, but, like Tea Party members did in 2010, could arrive by virtue of an antagonistic attitude and may be reluctant to back established party leadership.

The 69 representatives who for one reason or another won’t be a part of the House membership next year represent a significant portion of the House’s cumulative experience, a combined 828 years of experience in the chamber — roughly a fifth of the House’s total at the time this Congress began. 

Here Are the 7 Congressmen Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since #MeToo
Rep. Patrick Meehan is most recent resignation from Congress over sexual misconduct allegations

Gretchen Carlson arrives for the press conference with members of Congress in the Capitol on a new bipartisan bill to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace on Wednesday. The bill passed the House, but no action has been made in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Pat Meehan announced his resignation from Congress Friday following reports that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint with a former aide.

Meehan had previously announced he would not run for re-election. He cited sparing his staff from an Ethics investigation as the cause for the early exit.

Photos of the Week: Kids, a Kardashian and Macron at Capitol ... and More
The week of April 23 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., arrives to hold his weekly press conference as press offspring play on stage during Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday saw some cute new members of the press corps and congressional staff — the children who took over the Capitol during Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

The visitors offered moments of levity during leadership news conferences in an otherwise busy and heated week on Capitol Hill. 

Ryan Disputes Assertions He Fired House Chaplain Over Prayer
Speaker addresses controversy over ouster of Rev. Patrick Conroy to Republican conference

Rep. Mark Amoedi said Speaker Paul Ryan told the Republican conference that he asked House chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy to resign because people were saying “their pastoral needs weren’t being met.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan told the House Republican Conference on Friday that he did not come to the decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy lightly and disputed assertions that it was related to a prayer the Jesuit priest gave during the tax overhaul debate.

“He assured us that had nothing to do with it,” Rep. Mia Love of Utah said.

GOP Baseball Team Returns to Scene of Last Year’s Shooting
Huge media and security presence around field where gunman opened fire last year

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in red hat, hugs Matt Mika, who was critically injured in the shooting at last year’s Republican baseball practice. The GOP team held a news conference after their first practice at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican congressional baseball coach Roger Williams hit infield practice Wednesday morning as Rodney Davis played catcher and Williams staffer Zack Barth backed them up around a flooded batter’s box.

In the outfield, lobbyist and former Hill aide Matt Mika fielded balls with teammates.

‘Robust’ Security for GOP Baseball Team’s First Practice Since Shooting
Four wounded and gunman killed in shootout at Alexandria ball field last year

Alexandria Police officers stand next to a shattered car in Alexandria, Va., after a gunman opened fire on the Republican team’s baseball practice in June 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican lawmakers will lace up their cleats Wednesday morning for their first practice of the year at the baseball field in Alexandria, where a gunman wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others last June.

This year, authorities are taking no chances on security.

Republicans’ First Congressional Baseball Practice After Shooting Set for April 25
Security higher at the field in Alexandria, Virginia

Cones, police tape and emergency medical bags are seen at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during practice for the Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Republican congressional baseball team will return to Simpson Field in Alexandria, Virginia, for its first practice after last year’s shooting.

The practice is at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 25.  The team, managed by Rep. Joe L. Barton, will hold a press conference at 7:30 a.m. 

Why the Speaker Race Won’t Fade Away Until November
Potential candidates lack a path to 218 votes and need time to build coalitions

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is the front-runner to succeed retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., but there is a long way to go until the November elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans don’t know if they will be holding a speaker’s race or a contest for minority leader come November, but that isn’t stopping them from preparing for the former. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the leading candidate to replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, needs more time to build sufficient support to win a still-hypothetical speaker’s race. The same goes for other members eyeing the position.

Interns Get a Boost From College to Congress
‘These people belong here, they just can’t afford to be here,’ founder Audrey Henson says

Audrey Henson with last summer’s College to Congress interns. (Courtesy College to Congress)

This summer, 12 students will have their cost of living covered as they intern on Capitol Hill, so they can focus on their work.

College to Congress, a program that strives to level the playing field for congressional interns, selects students to invest in and places them in Hill offices.