The 114th Congress had some major shakeups in 2015, let’s take a look back at some of the legislative branch’s most memorable moments this year.
John Boehner unexpectedly steps down as speaker of the House
The Ohio Republican shocked Capitol Hill in September when he announced he was resigning his seat at the end of October, citing
Paul Ryan is elected as new House speaker
It took some persuasion to convince the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to run for the position, but eventually the Wisconsin Republican agreed. Ryan was sworn in as speaker on Oct. 29.
Pope Francis makes historic appearance before Congress
Pope Francis addressed a joint meeting of Congress for the first time in history in September, the pontiff’s words moved several congressman and the vice president to tears.
Rep. Aaron Schock steps down following “Downton Abbey” decorating scandal
The Illinois Republican was once seen as a rising star in the Republican party, but resigned in disgrace in March after it came out he spent thousands to decorate his “Downton Abbey”-inspired office followed by accusations of taxpayer dollars and campaign funds.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drops out of speaker race
The California Republican was largely expected to succeed Boehner as speaker of the House, surprising many when he said he wasn’t the man for the job.
Hillary Clinton appears before Benghazi Committee
Lawmakers grilled the former secretary of state for roughly 11 hours during the marathon congressional hearing in October.
Lawmakers fail to block Iran Nuclear Deal
Despite pushback seen from members of both parties, lawmakers failed to block the controversial Iran nuclear agreement, which lifts sanctions placed on the Middle Eastern country.
Rep. Jim Jordan and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards spar over videos during Congressional hearing
Ohio Republican Jim Jordan went after Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards for flip-flopping on her apology for a staff member’s remarks in one of the undercover videos allegedly discussing harvesting fetal body parts for profit during a congressional hearing in September. “You don’t apologize for things that are inaccurate, you apologize for things that are accurate,” he said in the exchange. “And you said that there were statements in that first video that I want to apologize for.”
Sen. John McCain takes the reins as chairman of the Armed Services Committee
It seemed suiting the Arizona Republican and former prisoner of war take over as the head of the powerful Senate committee.
Harry Reid dons black eye following incident with exercise band
The Senate minority leader sustained some major injuries, including loss of vision in his right eye and broken ribs, after an accident involving the slip of an exercise band. The Nevada Democrat, who is set to retire after this term, is now suing makers of the Thera-Band.
Paul Ryan grows a beard
Paul Ryan has been rocking his hunting beard — masculinity is back.
Netanyahu addresses Congress
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress in March, much to the dismay of the president, cautioning of the dangers of the Iran nuclear agreement. ““No deal is better than a bad deal. Well this is a bad deal. It is a very bad deal. We’re better off without it,” he said.
Rep. Michael Grimm steps down after pleading guilty to tax evasion
The New York Republican left Congress in early-January after pleading guilty to charges of tax evasion. The former congressman became notorious after an incident involving Grimm threatening to throw a reporter over a balcony.
Florida Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson shamelessly hates on his estranged wife on television
Florida Democrat Alan Grayson had no qualms about airing his dirty laundry regarding his messy divorce with Lolita Grayson on television. “Gold diggers gotta dig. That’s all I’m gonna say,” he told Orlando’s ABC affiliate WFTV in May after he called the cops on his wife for allegedly used his credit card to buy groceries and gas.
The House Freedom Caucus was founded
A group of lawmakers in the lower chamber formed the House Freedom Caucus, which has grown to be very influential, to advance conservative goals. The group was partially credited for Boehner’s resignation.
A not-so-sober Ruth Bader Ginsberg falls asleep during the State of the Union
Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo breaking his arm falling off a hoverboard
— The Hill (@thehill) December 26, 2015
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