Congress | KUOW News and Information

Congress

There was chaos on Capitol Hill on Thursday after front-runner Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name from the House speakership election. The closed-door House Republican meeting that was supposed to emerge with a speaker nominee spilled out into the hallway outside of the House Ways and Means Room in the Longworth Office Building. That's where reporters rushed lawmakers to find out exactly what had happened and where the conference might go from here.

Here's a peek into that hallway, in 60 seconds:

In a stunning turn of events, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has withdrawn from the race to become the next speaker of the House.

McCarthy was the favorite ahead of Thursday's closed-door vote by House Republicans. He was in a three-way race for the top spot in the House with Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla.

This post was updated at 4:25 p.m.

In a shocking move Thursday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pulled out of the race for speaker of the House, throwing the GOP leadership race into chaos and confusion.

According to Republican congressmen coming out of the caucus meeting — where lawmakers were expected to pick a successor to retiring House Speaker John Boehner — McCarthy told Republicans he didn't have a path to victory.

Even though President Obama has not yet released details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership announced Monday, supporters and opponents are making their voices heard — at full volume.

Business leaders and interest groups hope their impassioned pleas will sway Congress, which must vote on the proposed deal next year.

This is what the cheers sounded like:

For the first time since surreptitious videos put Planned Parenthood in the spotlight again, the organization's president, Cecile Richards, faced the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

(This post was last updated at 1:31 p.m. ET.)

House Speaker John Boehner will give up his seat in Congress at the end of October.

Boehner became the 53rd speaker of the House in 2011. The Ohio Republican's tenure has been marked by fierce confrontations with Democrats and sometimes with his own party. One of those fights led to a 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013.

Amid renewed conflict with more conservative members of his party, Boehner is once again facing the prospect of a government shutdown.

Updated at 12:34 p.m.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Democratic leader in the Senate, said he won't seek re-election next year.

U.S. Capital congress
Flickr Photo/Stephen Melkisethian (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Cathy Allen, political consultant and president of The Connections Group, about Washington state's political clout in Congress now that the majority party is Republican.

ballot drop box ballot box
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Ross Reynolds talks to Andrea Seabrook, founder of DecodeDC, about how local initiatives create laws in spite of the stalemate in Congress.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Representative Derek Kilmer, a Democrat representing Washington's 6th Congressional District, about the Senate passage of The American Savings Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to allow more financial institutions nationwide to offer prize-linked savings accounts.

The Internal Revenue Service has warned of tax season chaos if Congress fails to pass a series of breaks by the end of November. The so-called tax extenders include everything from deductions for school teachers who buy classroom supplies to faster depreciation for business equipmentent.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Democrat Suzan DelBene cruised to an easy victory in her first re-election bid in the state’s 1st Congressional District.

At last count, DelBene is leading Republican challenger Pedro Celis 55 to 44 percent.

Washington State Capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Governor Inslee about gridlock in state congress. Inslee says you're probably not as frustrated with it as he is. 

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Zachary Werrell and Gray Delany are barely out of college, but they already enjoy a national reputation.

They were the masterminds behind Tea Party candidate David Brat's campaign against former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia. Brat, an economics professor, ousted Cantor in a June primary, in what some called the biggest political upset in US history.

Last month, after a lackluster primary finish, Republican Pedro Celis hired Werrell and Delany to come to Washington state to salvage his struggling campaign against Democrat Suzan DelBene in the 1st Congressional District.

In this extended interview, Werrell and Delany talk about Celis' politics, the importance of the ground game, and why they initially hated (and now love) the campaign's "Vote For Pedro" slogan.

For more KUOW elections coverage, visit the Election Connection page.  

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Viet Shelton and Sandeep Kaushik were two of the key players in Suzan DelBene's successful run for Congress in Washington's 1st District in 2012. This year, they are back running DelBene's re-election campaign. 

Ross Reynolds talks with the two leading U.S. House candidates vying for Washington state's 5th congressional district: incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Joe Pakootas.

Ross Reynolds talks with Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., about his decision to vote for a measure to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition forces to fight against the militant Islamic State.

  Ross Reynolds speaks with Todd Donovan, professor of political science at Western Washington University, about U.S. representative candidate Pedro Celis' decision to hire young hotshots who helped bring down House Speaker Eric Cantor.

The Idaho Transportation Department has suspended advertising for bids for future highway projects. Oregon and Washington may soon do the same.

Marcie Sillman talks with U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions, President Obama's executive action on immigration policy, and a variety of other issues.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.

The amount of confidence Americans have in Congress has hit a new low. Only 7 percent of the people polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the legislature as an American institution.

The rock-bottom level of confidence in Congress "is not only the lowest on record," the polling company says, "but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits."

U.S. Legislators Show Progress In Washington, D.C.

Mar 17, 2014
Flickr Photo/Humberto Moreno (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Andrea Seabrook, founder of DecodeDC, about how the so-called lame-duck Congress may be turning over a new leaf.

After two decades as south central Washington’s congressman, Republican Doc Hastings announced Thursday that he is retiring at the end of the year.

Spokane Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the current Republican health care bill is only part of a larger plan.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4kQ16

Marcie Sillman talks with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC about a possible ethics investigation surrounding Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of Spokane.

Revisiting The Last State Of The Union

Jan 28, 2014
Obama arrives for a meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak at the presidential palace in Cairo June 4, 2009.
Flickr Photo/Muhammad Ghafari (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/6uPiGf

David Hyde talks with David Gergen, former presidential advisor, CNN political analyst and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, about President Barack Obama's last State of the Union address and whether he met his goals for 2013.

Looking Ahead: Congress Convenes For The New Year

Jan 6, 2014
US Congress
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Marcie Sillman talks with DecodeDC's Andrea Seabrook about the new session of Congress and the future of long-term unemployment benefits, budget deals, immigration and partisan platforms. 

US Congress
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Marcie Sillman talks with Jim McTague, Washington D.C. editor at Barron's, about the December Congressional session and what he calls a "to-do-nothing list."

Ross Reynolds discusses the latest news out of Congress with Andrea Seabrook, host of DecodeDC and former NPR congressional reporter.

US Congress
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Marcie Sillman interviews Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC about the immigration reform legislation that a conservative lobbying coalition is hoping to bring to the House floor.

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