Joe L Barton

House GOP Immigration and Leadership Battles Entwined
Results of June attempt to pass immigration legislation will affect current GOP leaders, future candidates

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks alongside Speaker Paul Ryan at the House Republican Leadership Press Conference on Tuesday morning. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are on the precipice of a major win or an embarrassing loss on immigration. Either outcome will have lasting impacts for the current leadership team and future contenders for those jobs.

But the prospect of an immediate backlash against Paul D. Ryan’s speakership over anything that could be perceived as an immigration failure appears minimal at best. The House is preparing to take up sweeping immigration legislation the third week of June for the first time since Republicans took control of the chamber eight years ago.

Democrats Get Preferred Candidates in House Races in Texas
GOP sees mixed fortunes for establishment candidates in runoffs

Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones won the Democratic nomination for Texas’ 23rd District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

General election matchups in Texas were set following Tuesday’s runoffs, including a few expected to be competitive in the fall. 

Democrats saw new opportunities in the Lone Star state after Hillary Clinton carried three Republican-held seats in 2016. Each of those races on the Democratic side went to a runoff after no one took more than 50 percent of the vote in the March 6 primary. A slew of Republican retirements sparked crowded GOP primaries, which led to runoffs in five open seats. The winners of most of these contests are likely to come to Congress from the Republican-leaning districts.

Growth in Domestic Oil and Natural Gas Poses New Policy Issues
Republicans want to make overseas shipment of liquefied natural gas easier

The United States is flush with supplies of oil and natural gas — and that has lawmakers contemplating policy changes. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to U.S. energy supplies, Congress’ default setting for decades had been worry: worry that America did not have enough energy to meet its needs and worry that OPEC would hold the U.S. hostage by jacking up the price of — or withholding — its oil.

That setting has changed. With the U.S. flush with supplies of oil and natural gas over the past few years, Congress has permitted the export of domestic oil and raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce the budget deficit and offset costs of unrelated legislation. And now Republicans want to make it easier for producers to ship liquefied natural gas overseas.

5 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Outside of Texas runoffs, this week’s action is mostly on the Democratic side

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is running in Kentucky’s 6 District Democratic primary Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voters again head to the polls Tuesday, this time in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky. 

Texas held its primaries in March, but more than a few of those contests advanced to runoffs since the winners did not surpass 50 percent of the vote. None has received more attention that the Democratic runoff in the 7th District. 

New Faces on the Field for Congressional Baseball Game
Some veterans will be playing in the final game on June 14

Republican manager Rep. Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, right, talks with Democratic team manager Mike Doyle, D-Pa., before the 50th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in July 2011 (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Both Democratic and Republican teams have new faces on their rosters for the Congressional Baseball Game on June 14, while a few familiar stalwarts are getting ready to say goodbye.

The Democrats, reigning champions after their 8-2 win last year, have just one new addition — Freshman California Rep. Jimmy Gomez, whose district includes Dodger Stadium.

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.