Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 21, 2014

Posts in "Barack Obama"

April 8, 2014

Sensenbrenner: Intelligence Director Committed Perjury (Video)

During a Justice Department oversight hearing Tuesday, the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee accused Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. of committing perjury during his Jan. 29 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said he believed Clapper’s refusal to acknowledge whether warrantless searches of Americans’ communications had been conducted was perjurious after Clapper appeared to concede the point in a letter last week to Sen. Ron Wyden.

“Director Clapper’s perjury in my opinion has been covered extensively,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “In light of this, are you willing to discuss whether or not the Justice Department is investigating Director Clapper for his statements before the Senate?

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. refused to say whether the DOJ was conducting an investigation.

“I’m really not in a position to confirm whether the department is investigating any particular matter, but we are reviewing the material that you and other members of the committee have provided to us, and I can assure you that we will take any action that is appropriate,” Holder said. Full story

Republicans: Democrats Using Women as Pawns in Pay Debate

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the Senate poised to act this week on the gender pay gap, Republicans pushed back again Tuesday against the notion the GOP is waging a “war on women,” with GOP leaders accusing Democrats of using women as “pawns” to score political points.

Republican leaders wouldn’t say at their Tuesday morning news conference whether they’d bring their own legislative solution to the floor, focusing instead on rebutting Democrats’ “Equal Pay Day” criticisms that the GOP is anti-woman. 

“Women understand the direct impact of the policies and the impact that they have on them, so on this Equal Pay Day, I would urge us to stop politicizing women and let’s start focusing on those policies that are actually going to help women and everyone else in this country have a better life,” said House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. “Let’s focus on those policies that are actually going to move forward on a jobs plan that will create a higher paycheck, [and] more opportunities … for a better life we all want.” Full story

April 4, 2014

Gutierrez: Obama Ready to Halt Deportations With Executive Orders

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(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has given the White House six pages of recommendations on how the Obama administration might proceed with executive orders to curb deportations of illegal immigrants.

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., a leading advocate for rewriting the nation’s immigration laws on Capitol Hill, told reporters during a conference call Friday that the CHC had “adopted a very strong memo” of suggestions the day before in advance of a scheduled meeting next Wednesday with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Full story

April 2, 2014

Obama Signing Cantor’s Pediatric Bill, Leader Will Attend White House Photo Op

cantor003 071111 445x295 Obama Signing Cantors Pediatric Bill, Leader Will Attend White House Photo Op

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., will make a rare trip to the White House Thursday afternoon to attend a bill signing ceremony for the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.

The bill is named for a young girl who died of brain cancer last year and who was an advocate for pediatric research. Cantor will be joined by the Miller family, who are his constituents.

The bill, which seeks to increase funding for pediatric research, was a key priority for Cantor and marked an unusual election-year bipartisan victory.

Full story

April 1, 2014

Highest Ranking Latino in Congress, Xavier Becerra Comes Into His Own

dems004 011414 445x305 Highest Ranking Latino in Congress, Xavier Becerra Comes Into His Own

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated, April 2, 1:15 p.m. | In 2001, just shy of a decade in the House, Rep. Xavier Becerra suggested he was more of a policy wonk than a power broker.

“I understand the politics,” he told a Los Angeles Times reporter. “I’m not the best at playing the game.”

Thirteen years later, whether he was being self-effacing or somewhat disingenuous is debatable. But one thing’s become clear in the intervening decade: As a political operator, Becerra’s come into his own.

Full story

March 26, 2014

Boehner on Obamacare Delay: ‘What The Hell Is This, a Joke?’ (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner lambasted the Obama administration again Wednesday over the Affordable Care Act, this time for extending the health care insurance enrollment period beyond March 31 for individuals who had begun, but not completed enrollment.

“Last night brought us yet another delay of Obamacare,” the Ohio Republican said at his weekly press conference. “Another deadline made meaningless. The administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it. What the hell is this, a joke?”

As enrollment has surged on the federal exchanges over the last few weeks, House Republicans continue to work on an alternative to the Democrats’ law.

“I’ve got to live by the law, you’ve got to live by the law, the American people have to live by the law and guess what? The president needs to live by the law as well.”

March 18, 2014

Cantor Looks to Confront Putin, Impose Costs on Russia

cantor062513 445x296 Cantor Looks to Confront Putin, Impose Costs on Russia

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is looking to retaliate against Russia after it moved to annex Crimea Tuesday.

“I’ve asked House Committees to examine additional steps that can be taken to impose greater costs to Russia,” the Virginia Republican said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

He added that he also would “look forward to working with President Obama and his Administration to confront the brazen challenge to international security posted by [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin’s aggression.” Full story

When the Speaker Calls: How McMorris Rodgers Was Picked for SOTU Response

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers was back in Spokane, Wash., for the holidays, hosting her district staff Christmas party at the local Old Spaghetti Factory, when she heard she’d missed a call from Speaker John A. Boehner.

“It was late enough that I decided to wait until the next day to return his call, the next morning,” the Washington Republican recalled in a recent sit-down interview with CQ Roll Call. “But everything runs through your mind as to why Speaker Boehner would be calling.”

A pitch to deliver the official GOP rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address was certainly “not on the list,” McMorris Rodgers said.

But that was exactly what Boehner was calling to discuss.

“He simply said that he and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell had been talking, and they thought that I was the one that they’d like to see deliver the response to —” McMorris Rodgers stopped herself. “The Republican address. We didn’t call it a response. The Republican address following the State of the Union.”

The work started right away.

Full story

March 17, 2014

RSC Chairman: ‘We’re Not Done’ Until Obamacare Alternative Hits House Floor

scalise 038 020514 445x296 RSC Chairman: Were Not Done Until Obamacare Alternative Hits House Floor

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House GOP leadership intends to put forward a formal framework for repealing and replacing Obamacare, but has so far stopped short of promising to turn that framework into actual legislative text.

Should leaders decline to take that next step, it won’t sit well with Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise.

“I feel good about where we are right now,” the Louisiana Republican told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview on Monday, “but we’re not done until we get a bill on the floor. Full story

March 14, 2014

Hispanic Caucus Regroups as Obama Promises Deportation Review

becerra031414 445x296 Hispanic Caucus Regroups as Obama Promises Deportation Review

Becerra said he expects the CHC to meet with the secretary of Homeland Security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will hold off on pursuing a resolution calling for the White House to take action to decrease deportations after President Barack Obama on Thursday evening promised to closely examine the issue.

Such a resolution coming from his own base would have been politically embarrassing for Obama, who has already come under fire from Democratic allies for suggesting his hands are tied when it comes to revising his administration’s deportation policies.

Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., even went so far as to call Obama on the House floor last week the “Deporter-in-Chief” and “dishonest.”

But Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, stressed on Friday that the resolution was not off the table entirely.

“Action on the resolution is deferred,” Castro told reporters. “It’s not dead.” Full story

March 13, 2014

Obama Considering New Immigration Enforcement Changes (Updated)

Updated 10:18 p.m. | President Barack Obama told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus leadership Thursday evening he’s considering more changes to the enforcement of immigration laws, amid growing unrest among his allies over his deportation record.

“The President emphasized his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting. “He told the members that he has asked Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to do an inventory of the Department’s current practices to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law.” Full story

Use War Money to Pay for ‘Doc Fix,’ Reid Tells Boehner

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is renewing his call to use unspent war funds to spare doctors from a severe cut in Medicare payments slated to begin next month.

The Nevada Democrat told Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio last week that he wants to use Overseas Contingency Operations funding — money saved from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to pay for the “doc fix,” a policy that would shore up a formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients, according to members and staff.

The conversation came as the House began planning for a Friday vote to pay for the $138 billion fix by delaying the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that individuals purchase insurance, and further underscores that the bill will not be taken up by the Senate.

It also shows just how mired in politics the policy has become, despite a bipartisan, bicameral goal of avoiding the doctors’ pay spike. Members are starting to grumble, as a result, that Congress could end up with another temporary extension, especially because the policy must be dealt with by the end of the month. Full story

March 12, 2014

White House, Democrats Cry Foul Over GOP Push to Enforce Immigration, Other Laws

A House Republican bill aimed at forcing President Barack Obama to enforce immigration and other laws as they are written drew sharp rebukes Wednesday from the White House and House Democrats, who ripped the measure as anti-immigrant.

The legal dispute over President Barack Obama’s unilateral decision to suspend deportations for people brought to the country illegally by their parents, known as “dreamers,” has split the GOP and Democrats before.

But on Wednesday the dispute threatened to end any lingering goodwill Democrats were inclined to extend toward GOP leaders, who just weeks earlier unveiled a set of immigration principles for overhauling the nation’s broken system — and then said Obama needed to earn back the GOP’s trust that he would enforce the law. Full story

House GOP Leaders Gloat Over Jolly’s Victory in Florida (Updated) (Video)

House Republican leaders enjoyed some bragging rights at their Wednesday morning press conference after their candidate, David Jolly, won Tuesday’s hotly-contested special election in Florida to succeed late-Republican Rep. C. W. Bill Young.

“I’ve stood here after losing some special elections,” said Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio. “I’ve tried to put lipstick on a pig, and it was still a pig. So you can bet they’ll try to put lipstick on it today but you all know what the facts are.”

Full story

Boehner: IMF Aid to Ukraine Isn’t Necessary (Updated) (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner said authority sought by President Barack Obama to extend IMF loans to Ukraine isn’t needed.

“This IMF money isn’t necessary for dealing with this Ukraine crisis,” the Ohio Republican told reporters at his weekly press conference Wednesday. “So I think what the Senate ought to do is take up the House-passed loan guarantee package and they could move it today. Beyond that, we’ll see what the Senate actually does.”

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