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March 4, 2015

Posts in "Barack Obama"

March 3, 2015

Netanyahu Speech Lives Up to Controversial Expectations (Video)

In January, when Speaker John A. Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, it caused the type of controversy and media attention normally reserved for a declaration of war, not a speech that’s little more than a glorified press release.

But by the time Netanyahu showed up Tuesday, the furor surrounding his address had eased somewhat, overshadowed by a battle — and capitulation — over funding the Department of Homeland Security and blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. Full story

Centrist New Democrats Want Bigger Role in Party’s Message

Kind, D-Wisc., speaks during the bipartisan news conference outside of the Capitol to unveil "a major proposal aimed at modernizing America's regulatory system to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, and improve national competitiveness" on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kind said the centrist group wants a bigger role in helping to shape Democrats’ message. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the New Democrat Coalition have struggled for years to make their centrist message heard in the larger, and distinctly more left-leaning, House Democratic Caucus.

The 46 self-described “moderate” and “pro-growth” House members in the coalition say they agree with the rest of their caucus on “90 percent of the issues” — it’s the remaining 10 percent that’s harder to summarize. Full story

March 2, 2015

Overflow Crowd Expected for Netanyahu Address, Despite Boycotts

ader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Harry, D-Nev., make their way to a news conference in the Capitol's Senate studio to criticize Republican leaders on the hold up of the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, February 26, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Reid are expected to be among the members escorting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the House chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thanks to a partial boycott by Democrats, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t be speaking to every member of Congress when he addresses Tuesday’s joint session.

But despite the controversy — perhaps in some ways because of it — his speech on Iran is expected, after last week’s draining Department of Homeland Security debate, to refocus Washington’s attention on the Middle East.

Full story

March 1, 2015

Boehner Says House Will ‘Follow Regular Order’

Boehner is in a tough spot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner is in a tough spot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House will reconvene Monday with little sense of how the dynamics will play out in the quest to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year, but Speaker John A. Boehner said he intends to follow “regular order.”

In an interview on “Face the Nation” Sunday, the Ohio Republican was asked what promise he made Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that secured enough votes from House Democrats Friday night to pass a one-week extension of DHS funding, just hours before the agency was due to shutter.

Boehner chose his words carefully: “The promise I made to Ms. Pelosi is the same promise I made to Republicans, that we would follow regular order.” Full story

February 27, 2015

With Conservative Opposition, DHS Funding Vote Looks Tight

Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters after his presentations at the Heritage Action for America's Conservative Policy Summit in Washington on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jordan’s House Freedom Caucus is leaning against the DHS funding bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid dissension in the conservative ranks, House GOP leaders are furiously whipping the Department of Homeland Security funding bill in an attempt to get it to the Senate with hardly any help from Democrats.

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus emerged Friday afternoon from their second meeting in fewer than 24 hours with a seemingly unified front: They are going to vote no. Full story

February 26, 2015

A Kiss for Luck? DHS Funding Falls Back to Boehner

Things are getting weird in the House.

Despite a GOP Senate that is waving the white flag, Speaker John A. Boehner isn’t ready to admit defeat on the Department of Homeland Security funding bill — at least not yet. Full story

February 25, 2015

Wasserman Schultz Fillets House Counsel Over Cost of Boehner Lawsuit

Wasserman Schultz wanted an estimate of legal costs. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wasserman Schultz wanted an estimate of legal costs. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top Democrat on the House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee took advantage of a rare opportunity to grill the chamber’s top lawyer on the cost of Speaker John A. Boehner’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama.

House General Counsel Kerry W. Kircher was called to the witness table by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who wanted an estimate of how many billable hours taxpayers would be on the hook for in fiscal 2016, as the GOP challenges the legality of Obama’s executive actions and targeting implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Full story

On DHS Funding, House Republicans Agree to Wait on Senate

House Republicans emerged from their closed-door meeting Wednesday morning in agreement they’ll wait and see what the Senate can pass in regards to legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security.

That is, however, where the strategy ends, at least in terms of what’s being articulated publicly. Full story

February 19, 2015

Nearly Two Dozen House Democrats Call for Netanyahu Delay

Waters, D-Calif., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference to discuss Republican lawsuit against President Obama and the House Democrats' focus on the economy on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Waters and other progressives in the Democratic Caucus are calling for a Netanyahu postponement.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Twenty-three House Democrats have signed onto a letter calling on Speaker John A. Boehner to postpone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled March 3 address to a joint session of Congress.

The lawmakers argue that while they are loyal allies of Israel, the timing of the planned visit — two weeks before the Middle East nation’s elections — betrays a political agenda on the part of the GOP. Full story

February 18, 2015

Despite Court Injunction, DHS Shutdown Continues to Approach

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 4: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during his weekly press conference on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas judge’s ruling on White House immigration policies could give Boehner and the GOP more options on DHS funding. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two days after a Texas judge halted President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, nothing seems to have changed in the congressional showdown over funding the Department of Homeland Security.

The DHS runs out of cash in 10 days, and Democrats and Republicans appear as dug in as ever on the appropriations bill. A House-passed measure would block Obama’s executive action, as well as a number of other immigration provisions, including an earlier executive action on child immigrants.

Full story

February 11, 2015

With Critics on Left and Right, AUMF Faces Uphill Battle

King, R-N.Y., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

King doesn’t want limitations on Obama’s — or any president’s — ability to use military force. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hours after President Barack Obama sent a proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force to Capitol Hill, the reviews from House lawmakers were already in: Changes will be needed.

The three-page request would repeal the 2002 AUMF for Iraq and give the president authority for the next three years to take military action anywhere in the world against groups associated with the Islamic State. It also pointedly would not authorize “enduring offensive ground combat operations” — whatever that means. Full story

February 10, 2015

Democrats Facing Choice Between Obama, Netanyahu (Updated)

UNITED STATES - JULY 30: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference to discuss Republican lawsuit against President Obama and the House Democrats' focus on the economy on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer said he’ll attend the Netanyahu address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:07 p.m. | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled address to a joint session of Congress on March 3 is starting to look like a watershed moment for Democrats who find themselves facing a choice: Side with Netanyahu, or follow the lead of President Barack Obama.

It’s an open question whether Democrats will honor a decades-long tradition of bipartisan support for Israel and its leaders, or go with the White House, which has criticized the address as a breach of protocol and a threat to ongoing nuclear talks with Iran. Obama has said he has no plans to meet with Netanyahu during the Washington visit, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced he would be out of the country during the address — though exactly where he’ll be traveling remains unknown. Full story

House Says, Senate Says: GOP Split on Next DHS Move (Updated)

McCarthy said it's up to the Senate. Cornyn suggests it's up to the House.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCarthy said it’s up to the Senate. Cornyn suggests it’s up to the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:28 p.m. | When it comes to Department of Homeland Security funding, the ball is still in the Senate’s court, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

“A hundred senators got elected to say they wanted to solve problems,” McCarthy told a small group of reporters Tuesday morning. “They didn’t get elected to say, ‘we’ll wait and see what the House does.’ They should show us where they stand.” Full story

February 5, 2015

AUMF Expected in ‘Coming Days’ (Updated)

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his first press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, following the Republican wave midterm elections. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Authorizing more military action in the Middle East won’t be an easy vote for Congress, Boehner said. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:13 p.m. |Speaker John A. Boehner told reporters Thursday he believes President Barack Obama will be sending an Authorization for Use of Military Force to Congress very shortly.

“I’m expecting that there will be an Authorization for Use of Military Force sent up here in the coming days,” Boehner said. “And we’re going to go through a rigorous set of hearings, and continue to discuss this.” Full story

February 4, 2015

Netanyahu Invite Continues to Divide Democrats

Some Democrats plan to boycott Netanyahu address — but Israel, left, won't be among them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Some Democrats plan to boycott Netanyahu address — but Israel, left, won’t be among them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The messy politics surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled joint address to Congress continue to play out in a less than private way, as Democrats try to show discontent for how the speech ended up on the congressional calendar while not turning their back on Israel and the powerful political lobby it controls.

“There’s a lot of unnecessary drama occurring when we should be focusing on the substance of the negotiations with Iran and the outcome of those negotiations,” said Rep. Steve Israel, the new chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. “Israel” — the state, that is — “has never been used as a political football,” he said. “And we shouldn’t start now.” Full story

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