Marcy Kaptur

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. 

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.

100 Years of Past Chaplains and Their Denominations
Here’s which Christian sects have been in the Capitol chambers recently

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., center, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., attend a swearing-in ceremony for the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rev. Patrick Conroy submitted a letter of resignation April 15 at Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s request.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, said she was surprised that Ryan, who is Catholic, would try to oust the Roman Catholic priest. 

House Floor Erupts Over Chaplain Controversy
Democrats wanted select committee to look into firing but were voted down

The House voted on a privileged motion related to the firing of House Chaplain Patrick Conroy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The controversy over the firing of House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy made its way to the floor on Friday, as House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley offered a privileged resolution to establish a select committee to look into Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s ouster of the Jesuit priest

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., offered a motion to table the resolution, which was agreed to, 215-171, with three voting present. 

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.

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.

At the Races: Breaking Into Congress With a Nail File
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Opinion: It’s the Action of Youth That Shames Lawmakers
Amid the chaos of Washington, young marchers stepped up

Whether or not you agreed with the vision of the many young people who participated in the weekend’s “March for Our Lives” rallies across the world, at least they had one, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It was partly partisan politics that drove protesters and counterprotesters in the global “March for Our Lives” on Saturday. Many who traveled to Washington or their town squares demanded action on school safety, gun control and more.

But to Washington lawmakers, of both parties and on either side of the gun issue, who just managed to pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill to keep the government running that same week and may not pass any other major legislation for the rest of the year, it was a rebuke.

Marcy Kaptur Has a 2018 Message for House Democrats
Longtime Ohio lawmaker recently became the longest-serving woman in the House

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur, flanked by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, right, and Ohio Rep. Bob Latta, attends a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in Emancipation Hall on March 21 to honor members of the Office of Strategic Services. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Marcy Kaptur was at a Toledo, Ohio, funeral home when The New York Times interviewed her during her first campaign for the House. It was 1982. But the headline of the resulting story could have been written today: “Democrats in Ohio Woo Disenchanted Defectors.”

For a party still grappling with what went wrong in 2016, taking back the House in November now looks like the Democrats’ best chance of reclaiming some power in a Republican-controlled government. And although the most natural pickups might be in Virginia, California or New York, party strategists acknowledge they need to play for the center too.