Rob Woodall

House Rules Committee Adopts Closed Rule for GOP Tax Bill
With last hurdle cleared, measure heads to the floor

House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, center, and Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, seen here with a staffer in March, joined six other Republicans Tuesday night to send the GOP tax bill to the floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Republican tax bill cleared the Rules Committee late Tuesday night with no changes or amendments made in order for floor debate.

The panel adopted a closed rule in an 8-3 party-line vote, the last hurdle for the bill to clear before it reaches the floor.

On Debt Reduction, GOP Says Wait Till Next Year
Oft-cited deficit concerns thrown by the wayside for fiscal 2018 budget

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is focused on using the budget process to rewrite the tax code, but hasn’t yet committed on what to use the next budget resolution for. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite years of calling for reducing the federal debt, House Republicans are voting Thursday on a budget that doesn’t balance and that calls for adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit to finance a tax overhaul. And most of them are fine with that.

Why? Primarily because the fiscal 2018 budget resolution is the vehicle needed to set up the fast-track process for rewriting the tax code and not letting Senate Democrats filibuster the bill. But Republicans say they plan to use that same budget reconciliation process again next year to start chipping away at the deficit.

Rob Woodall Doubles Down in Budget Chairmanship Race
Georgia Republican vying with two others for gavel

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall hopes to succeed Tennessee Rep. Diane Black as chairman of the House Budget Committee. (Al Drago/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rob Woodall is all-in in the race to succeed House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, if and when she steps down.

“Absolutely,” the George Republican said when asked if he will compete for the top spot when Black leaves the chairmanship. Black is running for governor of Tennessee next year, though she has not yet said when she plans to leave her position at the Budget panel.

Budget Debate, Grievances Get Airing in Both Chambers

From left, Rep. Richard Neal, Sen. Ron Wyden, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer,  Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Barbara Lee, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Bernie Sanders conduct a news conference in the Capitol Wednesday to speak out against Republicans’ tax and budget plan that they say will benefit the wealthy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Floor action on the fiscal 2018 budget resolution — made possible by assuaging conservatives’ concerns over the emerging tax overhaul blueprint last week — officially got under way on Wednesday.

The House voted 232-188 to approve parameters for debate and moved on to formally debating the resolution. Once the House and Senate formally adopt a joint budget resolution, if they can get that far, the tax-writing committees will be able to produce filibuster-proof tax legislation through the fast-track reconciliation process.

Tax Overhaul Path Unclear Amid Budget Chair's Expected Departure
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 28

House Budget Committee Chairwoman Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Action on the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that is key to a tax overhaul remains uncertain as House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black is expected to resign to run for governor of Tennessee, say CQ Roll Call's House leadership reporter Lindsey McPherson and budget reporter Jennifer Shutt.

Leading contenders to replace Black include GOP Reps. Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio. Meanwhile, Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia and Tom McClintock of California could also make the list if they decide to seek the post.

GOP Leaders Say They're Done Tweaking Health Bill
Thursday or Friday vote is goal

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and his team see progress toward their position on the health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY LINDSEY MCPHERSON AND ERIN MERSHON

House GOP leaders suggested Wednesday afternoon that a forthcoming amendment for an additional $8 billion to reduce coverage costs for individuals with pre-existing conditions would be the final tweak needed to their health overhaul bill.

Why Some House Republicans Could be Taking a Risk on Obamacare Repeal
The 11 GOP members who have the most constituents on Obamacare

These 11 members of Congress represent the Republican districts with the greatest percentage of constituents enrolled in government insurance exchanges. They are (clockwise from upper left): Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Francis Rooney, R-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Rob Woodall, R-Ga.

As House Republicans rolled out their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act this week, some members of the conference found themselves stuck between their constituents and their colleagues.

Eleven House Republicans, who will be expected by party leadership and the White House to support their party’s replacement plan, represent districts where at least 6 percent of their constituents are enrolled in government insurance exchanges set up by the 2010 health care law, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of Kaiser Family Health Foundation and Census Bureau data. 

Word on the Hill: Chocolate Time
D.C. wants to be resilient and a new record in the Senate

A new survey finds that 94 percent of Americans want candy or chocolate for Valentine’s Day. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy Friday, finally. And it’s time to buy some chocolate.

Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday and chocolate is what Americans want most for the holiday, according to a survey by the National Confectioners Association.

RSC Founders Endorse Andy Harris Over Mark Walker in Chairman Race
With election on Nov. 17, Rep. Walker still has time to make his case

Republican Study Committee founders cited Maryland Rep. Andy Harris's three terms of experience as a conservative leader in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Six Republican Study Committee founders and current Chairman Bill Flores on Thursday effectively endorsed three-term Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland to be the next chairman of the conservative caucus.

Harris, who is a member of both the RSC and the more conservative House Freedom Caucus, is running against freshman North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker.