Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 5, 2015

Posts in "Barack Obama"

June 26, 2015

How One House Democrat Helped Save Trade for Obama

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the House New Democrat Coalition news conference to unveil a policy agenda "aimed at creating a new era of American prosperity" on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind, D-Wis., helped get 28 Democrats to vote for TPA (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At midday Thursday, there was a gathering in Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s members’ lounge off Statuary Hall to toast House passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance, the last piece of a legislative package giving Trade Promotion Authority to President Barack Obama.

But among the select group of lawmakers and aides from both parties, there was one notable absence: The House Democrat who helped win for Obama the ability to negotiate a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Full story

June 25, 2015

House Sends Trade Adjustment Assistance to President’s Desk

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi voted for TAA after leading a prior mobilization of members in opposition (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House did Thursday what two weeks ago might have seemed impossible: Cleared for President Barack Obama the second and third of four necessary components to his ambitious and contentious trade agenda.

Lawmakers voted 286-138 on a bill to establish broad trade preferences and extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which facilitates trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. Full story

June 24, 2015

Obama Gets Trade Win: Democrats Give In on TAA

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer will vote for TAA when it comes back to the House floor Thursday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s over.”

That’s how several House Democrats and senior aides described the current feeling in the caucus regarding their efforts to stop “fast-track” trade authority for the White House.

Over the past two weeks, most members of the House Democratic Caucus have gone from opposing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation — packaged with the related Trade Promotion Authority, a Republican and Obama administration priority — to acknowledging there’s little point in voting “no.” Full story

June 18, 2015

House Passes Trade Promotion Authority Bill (Updated) (Video)

Benghazi Committee Democrats

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., has been leading the charge against Trade Promotion Authority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:22 p.m. | The House narrowly passed Trade Promotion Authority Thursday — the first step of many to resurrect President Barack Obama’s trade agenda after his own party torpedoed a combined bill last week.

The chamber voted 218-208 on TPA, which will give him the latitude to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal sought by most Republicans and a small number of Democrats. Full story

June 17, 2015

CBC Chairman Concerned Trade Maneuvers Imperil Africa Pact

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., speaks to reporters before a House Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center to receive a briefing on security from Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse and Assistant Chief Dan Nichols in the wake of Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is recovering from surgery after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Butterfield is concerned about what would happen if the AGOA reauthorization bill is amended to include TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation could be a casualty of efforts to stymie Trade Promotion Authority; now, some members fear the long-heralded African Growth and Opportunity Act could fall to the wayside, too.

As pro-trade lawmakers from both parties in the House and Senate move ahead with an effort to pass “fast-track” negotiating authority Thursday using a complex procedural maneuver, some skeptical Democrats are raising concerns the TPA maneuvering endangers the renewal of AGOA, a multi-nation pact that has long enjoyed bipartisan support.       Full story

War on Islamic State Finally Gets House Floor Debate

Farm Bill's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

McGovern spearheaded the push to force a floor debate on U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three House lawmakers wanted a robust debate on whether there should be boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

On Wednesday, they got their wish. Full story

June 16, 2015

How Republicans Could Get Obama Trade Promotion Authority (Video)

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions in his office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions could set up a vote on TPA this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders are mulling their options for forcing a vote on Trade Promotion Authority while saving reconsideration of Trade Adjustment Assistance for another day.

The Rules Committee could meet this week to establish parameters for floor consideration of TPA that, if approved, clears the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal. Full story

Diaz-Balart Gumming Up Obama’s Cuba Thaw Plans

House Republican Conference

Diaz-Balart prefers a low-key style of legislating through the appropriations process (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is not a quiet man. The gregarious Florida Republican, known for sudden eruptions of laughter and dramatic gesticulations, is hard to miss in a crowd. But when it comes to legislating, the seven-term lawmaker blends in, working methodically, usually behind the scenes, to put his stamp on policy.

That’s how the son of Cuban exiles has become one of the Obama administration’s biggest obstacles to normalizing relations with the communist nation 90 miles south of Florida. Full story

June 15, 2015

White House Officials to Meet With Pro-Trade Democrats Tuesday

US President Barack Obama delivers the State of The Union address on January 20, 2015, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.  Credit: Mandel Ngan / Pool Copyright ©2015 Agence France Presse Photos

Obama’s team hits the Hill again Tuesday. (Agence France Presse)

President Barack Obama and his team made a rare trip to Capitol Hill last week to personally lobby for help from House Democrats on his trade agenda. On Tuesday, top administration advisers from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. will return to the halls of Congress — though this time they’ll be meeting with a more select, and sympathetic, audience.

Rather than try to appeal to lawmakers who are increasingly hostile to the president’s wish to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal, representatives from the White House are turning to the 28 Democrats who voted for Trade Promotion Authority to plot out next steps. Full story

McCarthy: Trade Vote Reveals ‘Civil War’ in Democratic Party

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 4: House Majority Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., addresses the media following the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy says “there are options” for the trade deal, even if Democrats don’t come around. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Following last week’s failed vote on Trade Adjustment Assistance, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was more than happy Monday to point his finger at the other side of the aisle and say, “Look at the dysfunction inside the Democratic Party!”

“It’s almost like a civil war in the Democratic Caucus,” McCarthy said during a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters. Full story

June 14, 2015

Ryan Still Optimistic on Trade Deal: ‘Heavy Lift Is Done’

House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks with Roll Call in the House Ways and Means Committee room in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll

Ryan is still optimistic on trade bills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Ways and Means Chairman Paul D. Ryan, Capitol Hill’s biggest Republican proponent of “fast-track” trade legislation, said Sunday he remains optimistic, despite the recent collapse of a deal that would have cleared the way for President Barack Obama to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific pact.

Ryan, R-Wis., in an interview on Fox News Sunday, said the most difficult legislative work required for fast track — lining up GOP and Democratic votes for Trade Promotion Authority for the president — is done. Now it’s up to Obama and the Democrats to come to an agreement on an underlying worker-training bill that failed on the floor Friday, derailing the entire package. Full story

June 12, 2015

President Gets Weekend to Swing Democrats on Trade Deal (Video)

he top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top three Republicans in the House — from right, Boehner, Scalise and McCarthy — made it clear they intend to pass TPA, with or without the underlying TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will take a second crack at passing Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation early next week, after giving President Barack Obama and pro-trade Democrats the weekend to flip some of the party’s 144 “no’s.”

Republicans say this is Democrats’ last chance to pass TAA, which provides resources for retraining programs for U.S. workers displaced by international trade agreements, and which Democrats have typically supported. Full story

Rebuffing Obama, Pelosi and Democrats Scuttle Trade Deal (Video)

 Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the end, Pelosi came down against the trade deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite an eleventh-hour plea from President Barack Obama, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats turned their backs on the White House Friday and blocked the chamber from advancing — for now — the administration’s trade agenda.

It’s an outcome supporters of Trade Promotion Authority say could have irreversible repercussions for key training programs the party has traditionally supported, and it leaves Democrats as fractured as they’ve ever been during the Obama presidency. Full story

Obama Hits the Hill to Lobby Democrats on Trade (Video) (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Obama stopped by the Congressional Baseball Game Thursday night, one day before the big trade vote in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:15 p.m. | President Barack Obama made a last-minute trip to Capitol Hill Friday morning to deliver one more plea to fellow Democrats to advance his trade agenda.

The House was in the middle of floor debate on Trade Adjustment Assistance and Trade Promotion Authority when Republican leaders agreed to recess to accommodate the “emergency Democratic Caucus” meeting with Obama.

Full story

June 11, 2015

Trade Rule Passes Despite Conservative Mutiny

UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. speaks during a news conference in the Capitol as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., looks on, after a meeting of the House Republican Conference, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Scalise needed eight Democrats to help Republicans pass the rule for TPA and TAA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Plans to vote Friday on Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance could still fall through, but the House is moving ahead on a multi-pronged strategy to send the measures to the president’s desk by the week’s end.

The House on Thursday voted 217-212 on the rule that sets up votes on a bill to give President Barack Obama latitude to negotiate a 12-nation Pacific trade deal and to fund programs to retrain U.S. workers displaced by trade agreements. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...