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January 31, 2015

Posts in "Democrats"

January 30, 2015

Democrats Leave Philadelphia United, on Message — for Now

 Jan. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi got the band back together in Philadelphia. But for how long? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — For House Democrats, it seemed fitting they held their annual issues conference in the City of Brotherly Love.

After nearly three months of soul-searching and second-guessing in the wake of a demoralizing midterm election, it took just three days in Philadelphia to restore — at least publicly — a sense of unity and resolve among most of Nancy Pelosi’s troops.

Full story

Biden to House Democrats: ‘Double Down’

Biden gets directions from his staff as he arrives for a photo-op with students participating in the JDRF Children’s Congress in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Every two years, over a hundred children with type 1 diabetes gather in Washington, D. C. to meet face-to-face with some of the top decision-makers in the U.S. government to help politicians understand what life with type 1 diabetes is like and why research to find the cure for diabetes and its complications is so critical. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) « less

Biden said Democrats need to take credit for the improving economy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
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PHILADELPHIA — As a House Democratic retreat obsessed with messaging on the middle class came to a close Friday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. implored his congressional colleagues to not run from the White House’s economic record.

“Let’s resolve to double down,” Biden told House Democrats assembled in the Sheraton ballroom. “Let’s resolve to double down right now.” Full story

January 29, 2015

Obama Fires Up House Democrats (Updated)

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 told Democrats to take credit for the improving economy (Mandel Ngan/AFP File Photo)

Updated 10:55 p.m. | PHILADELPHIA — A fiery President Barack Obama addressed House Democrats Thursday night, saying while there’s more work to do in restoring the economy, Democrats can’t be shy about what they’ve already accomplished.

His remarks, delivered in the ballroom of a Sheraton hotel on the second evening of the House Democratic retreat, were tailored to the caucus’s new strategy: Focus the party’s message on growing the middle class and take full credit for the nation’s economic recovery of the past six years.
Full story

Key Democrat Criticizes Obama on Trade Negotiations

Levin, D-Mich., speaks during the press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, to announce legislation "to tighten restrictions on corporate tax inversions." (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Levin said Congress needs more transparency from Obama on the Pacific trade deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — As Congress and the White House work on a trade agreement with Pacific countries, a key Democrat in the negotiations is criticizing the Obama administration for a lack of transparency — and more specifically, a lack of access to the actual text.

Ways and Means ranking Democrat Sander M. Levin told reporters assembled at a hotel conference room roundtable that the White House was not allowing members of Congress to know what is being offered by which countries in an emerging trade deal. Full story

Democrats Unite Around Middle-Class Message, Israel Says

Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the DCCC, speaks at the National Press Club's Newsmaker series on how Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., budget will effect the midterm elections. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Israel says Democrats are behind the new “middle class” focus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

PHILADELPHIA — House Democrats are united around a new messaging strategy for the 2016 cycle, according to Rep. Steve Israel of New York.

“Middle class, middle class and middle class,” the chairman of a newly created Democratic Policy and Communication Committee told reporters on Thursday morning. Full story

January 28, 2015

Pelosi Says Netanyahu Address ‘Not Appropriate’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, January 22, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi offered up a more forceful rebuke of Netanyahu’s plans to address Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — As the controversy builds over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned address to a joint session of Congress this spring, Nancy Pelosi weighed in again Wednesday with a more forceful rebuke of what she and the White House have called a breach in protocol.

“It is not appropriate,” the House minority leader said at the end of a 45 minute news conference with other top Democrats to kick off the House Democratic retreat. The Californian said she had spoken with Netanyahu earlier in the day, and she made her feelings clear that his visit, scheduled for just two weeks before the Israeli elections, could jeopardize fragile nuclear negotiations with Iran. She said it “could send the wrong message.” Full story

White House Helping Democrats Shape Message to Middle Class

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 is one of the Democrats championing more “aspirational” messaging. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The same day House Democrats are set to go to their annual issues conference in Philadelphia to discuss messaging for the 2016 election cycle, among other things, the caucus’s new messaging group held its inaugural meeting on Capitol Hill.

The newly minted, 16-member Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which was tailored specifically to be led by recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York, heard Wednesday morning from David Simas, the White House director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. Full story

Republican Champion of Dodd-Frank Changes Goes After Elizabeth Warren

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 14: Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., waits on one of the buses outside the Rayburn House Office Building as House Republicans prepare to head to Hershey, Pa., for their retreat with Senate Republicans on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Yoder waits on one of the buses that took Republicans to their retreat in Hershey, Pa., earlier this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When your greatest legislative achievement is passing one of the most contentious provisions in the 113th Congress — a Dodd-Frank rollback that lobbyists literally helped write — taking credit for the legislation is a delicate art.

If you celebrate your win with a round of self-congratulatory press releases, you risk incurring the wrath of an American public generally resentful and distrusting of Wall Street. Full story

January 27, 2015

Gowdy: ‘Southern Politeness’ Isn’t Working in Benghazi Probe

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 17: Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi hearing on "Implementation of the Accountability Review Board Recommendations" on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gowdy plans to “ratchet up” the Benghazi hearings. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Well, that honeymoon is over. After months of public deference toward one another, the top Republican and the ranking Democrat on the House Benghazi committee put on the gloves Tuesday.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., accused Chairman Trey Gowdy of violating repeated promises to conduct a nonpartisan investigation into the 2012 terror attack in Libya that cost the lives of four Americans. The South Carolina Republican fired back that Obama administration officials are deliberately wasting the panel’s time. Full story

House Democrats Brace for Potentially Tense Retreat

elosi, D-Calif., arrives for her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center, January 22, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi’s Democrats head to Philadelphia looking for unity. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The official theme of the House Democrats’ annual “issues conference” this week is “Grow America’s Economy, Grow American Paychecks.”

But the three-day retreat in Philadelphia, which kicks off Wednesday afternoon, could be a test of whether leaders and rank-and-file members can return to Washington, D.C., having found some common ground. Full story

January 22, 2015

Democrats to Complete Survey to Help Leadership With Messaging

Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the DCCC, speaks at the National Press Club's Newsmaker series on how Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., budget will effect the midterm elections. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Israel is asking Democrats what they think should have been done differently in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With members still divided on what went wrong for the party in the 2014 midterm elections, the House Democrat in charge of honing messaging for the next two years is trying to build consensus around a revised communication strategy.

Rep. Steve Israel of New York, the two-term chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee who was selected by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to run a new “Democratic Policy and Communications Committee,” is asking every member to fill out a seven-part survey in advance of the caucus’ scheduled retreat next week in Philadelphia. Full story

What the House GOP’s Abortion Bill About-Face Really Means

Ellmers, R-N.C., questions HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during her testimony before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on the failures of Affordable Care Act's enrollment website. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ellmers and other Republican women had concerns about the way the 20-week abortion ban was written. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A significant contingent of women and moderate members of the House Republican Conference prevailed Wednesday, convincing GOP leadership that the political blowback for voting to ban abortions after 20 weeks could far outweigh any favor curried with the anti-abortion base of the party.

It wasn’t clear Thursday whether the decision to swap out the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” for less controversial legislation to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion services signaled a permanent shift back toward the middle for House Republicans. Full story

Pelosi Accuses Boehner of ‘Hubris’

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dinged Speaker John A. Boehner Thursday for not consulting with Democrats or the White House on the decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

“It’s out of order in terms of the protocol,” Pelosi said of the invite. Boehner apparently did not consult with the White House on the joint session, nor did he make Democratic leadership aware of the Netanyahu invite. Full story

Clyburn Offers Personal Perspective on the Relevance, Power of ‘Selma’

Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference on poverty and the House Republicans' budget on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © Roll Call Group

Clyburn will lead the Democratic Party’s efforts to increase voter participation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Selma” may have been snubbed by the Oscars, but Rep. James E. Clyburn gave the civil-rights movie a very personal endorsement Wednesday during a Democratic Party news conference on voting rights.

The South Carolina Democrat, introduced at the event by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the chairman of a new task force charged with increasing voter participation, shared an anecdote about how the movie about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement of the 1960s resonated with one of his younger relatives:

I have now seen the movie, “Selma,” twice and I plan to see it again in this building next Tuesday evening. The second time I watched it was last week and I watched it sitting with my just-turned 18-year-old granddaughter. I didn’t say anything to her about the movie. I just told her that I was sponsoring the movie for members of — of my staff and others in the community.

We rented out a theater of 120 seats. Within two hours, we had to go back and get a 300-seat theater. But I was really focusing on my granddaughter, so I sat next to her during the movie. She was — she had her iPhone, doing what 18-year-olds do.

I’m — like a granddaddy; I’m scared to look at see what was going on on that iPad, so I kept looking forward. But she stayed, when even the movie came on, she didn’t turn off that iPhone until those little four girls was walking down the staircase in the church, going to their Sunday School room and the bomb went off.

At that point, she turned off her iPhone and intently watched the movie; even asked me at one point, a question about who that person was that was having a little interchange with John Lewis about whether or not to march, James Foreman, who was one of my best friends in the movement.

And I explained who James Foreman was and she was a little bit surprised to know that I — I knew him and he was a friend. But the next morning, when the movie was over, she went home. I got a call the next morning. She wanted to have lunch. And so I said OK.

And she told me what time and I — I objected to the time. And I said, ‘Well — well, can’t we do it a little earlier?’ She says, ‘No, because I’m going to register to vote. And when I finish my registration, I want to come and have lunch with you.’

And she brought some of her friends with her. And we talked about the movie. And we talked about voting. And when lunch was over, the rest of her friends; they left and went to the voter registration office.

I think that we’re at a time that young people, who seem not to be participating at the same level as young people did when I was young; that we can get people re-engaged once again. And that’s what this task force is all about.

Clyburn, the House’s No. 3 Democrat, will head the 11-person Democratic Outreach & Engagement Task Force, which will also include California’s Lucille Roybal-Allard and Barbara Lee; New York’s Nydia Velázquez, Hakeem Jeffries and Grace Meng; Indiana’s André Carson; Louisiana’s Cedric Richmond; Pennsylvania’s Matt Cartwright and Brendan Boyle; and New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham.

 

Related:

Cantor Voting Rights Act Legacy is Failure to Deliver, Democrats Say

Democrats Commemorate Voting Rights Act Anniversary as Legislative Fix Remains Elusive

Voting Rights Rally Calls on Congress to Act

Can Cantor Deliver on Voting Rights Act?

Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Voting Rights Act Fix

Republicans to Eric Holder: Don’t Mess With Texas on Voting Rights

Cantor Calls For a Voting Rights Act Fix

Voting Rights Act Puts GOP in Pickle

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‘Toughest Border Security Bill Ever’ Sets Table for Piecemeal Strategy

McCaul, R-Texas, heads to the House floor for a vote on Thursday, July 24, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCaul heads to the House floor for a vote on July 24, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House is set to vote next week on what some Republicans are proudly calling “the toughest border security bill ever.”

But once the roll is called and the measure is passed, then what? Full story

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