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February 27, 2015

Posts in "Democrats"

February 26, 2015

Some Democrats May Skip It, But Netanyahu Speech Is Still a Hot Ticket

Dozens of House Democrats are planning to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3, and they’re hoping their absence will send a strong signal.

One of those Democrats is Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Full story

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

The Foggy, Imperfect, No-Good End Game on DHS Funding

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., conduct a news conference after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, February 25, 2015. The group fielded questions on funding for the Department of Homeland Security. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and Scalise look on as McCarthy takes questions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

If you’re wondering how the fight over the Department of Homeland Security funding bill is going to end, you’re not alone: Lawmakers and aides across the Capitol genuinely don’t know — which doesn’t exactly portend well for avoiding a department shutdown.

After a two-week stint where they purportedly didn’t directly speak to each other, Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thawed the silence during a 41-minute meeting in McConnell’s office Wednesday. 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 24, 2015

Hoyer on Short-Term DHS Bill: ‘Cross That Bridge When We Come to It’

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

Hoyer . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders still haven’t shared their game plan — if they have one — for funding the Department of Homeland Security past its Friday expiration date.

But House Democrats are playing their hand close to the vest, too. Full story

California’s Outsider-Turned-Insider Tasked With Youth Outreach

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks with Roll Call in his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Swalwell, who has a rack of wines produced in his California district in his Capitol Hill office, tells CQ Roll Call he’s learned a lot from Pelosi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Eric Swalwell got to Washington three years ago by taking on the establishment: Instead of waiting for Pete Stark, who was 80 at the time, to retire, Swalwell went after the 20-term Democratic incumbent.

It was a bold move for a 31-year-old city councilman from the San Francisco suburbs, and Swalwell conceded in a recent interview with CQ Roll Call that he had concerns about how Stark’s longtime colleagues on Capitol Hill would react to his arrival. Full story

February 23, 2015

CBC Chairman: ‘Black America Is in a State of Emergency’

The Congressional Black Caucus is still getting up and running for the 114th Congress — it announced its staff Monday — but its new chairman sees an urgency for an organization that has long been known to represent the interests of minorities and the poor.

“We have a traditional role and that is to be the conscience of the Congress,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., told CQ Roll Call on Feb. 20. “We’ve been using ‘conscience of the Congress’ as our brand, if you will, since our founding. But we’ve got to do more than that because black America is in a state of emergency right now.” Full story

New Congressional Black Caucus Staffers Announced

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 20: Congressional Black Caucus staffers from left, Kwame Canty, Kendra Brown, Candace L. Randle, and Abdul Henderson pose in the Cannon House Office Building on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Black Caucus staffers, from left, Kwame Canty, Kendra Brown, Candace L. Randle and Abdul Henderson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the 114th Congress already heading into its seventh week of action, the Congressional Black Caucus announced its new staff, filling out its four-person shop with three new hires and one holdover from the 113th.

Abdul Henderson will serve as the CBC’s new executive director, taking over for LaDavia Drane, who is now director of the Office of Federal and Regional Affairs in D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration. Full story

February 20, 2015

Terri Sewell Proves You Can Come Home Again

Sewell, left, takes a selfie with Patti Chambers at the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sewell, right, poses with Patti Chambers at the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Ala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — “I come to places like Sidney Lanier so you can see, congresswomen look like me,” Rep. Terri A. Sewell tells a roundtable of student journalists here at Sidney Lanier High School.

With apologies to the late novelist Thomas Wolfe, the Alabama Democrat contradicts the title of his 1940 book, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” 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

In Richmond’s Defense of Scalise, a History of Camaraderie

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., right, and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., talk in the Capitol's House chamber before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, January 20, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Richmond, left, and Scalise speak in the House chamber before President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrat Cedric L. Richmond’s defense of Steve Scalise after revelations the Republican majority whip spoke to a white supremacist group in 2002 raised eyebrows in Washington — especially among other members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

But the two Louisiana congressmen — one a black progressive, the other a white conservative — have a relationship that goes back 14 years, to their early days as friendly adversaries in the state Legislature. Full story

February 17, 2015

Pelosi Leads House Democratic CODEL to Cuba (Updated)

Pelosi stopped short of saying she wouldn't support a continuing resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi is leading a group of Democrats to Cuba. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:44 p.m. | As congressional Republicans continue to slam the White House for overreaching on immigration and promising to veto Iran sanctions, House Democrats traveled to Cuba in celebration of another Obama administrative initiative much-derided by the GOP: the recent normalization of ties between the United States and the long-marginalized country.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and eight colleagues were in Havana Tuesday to meet with government officials, Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, local community leaders and American representatives from the U.S. Interests Section. Full story

February 12, 2015

Pelosi: Short-Term DHS Funding Bill ‘Not a Solution’

Pelosi stopped short of saying she wouldn't support a continuing resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi stopped short of saying she wouldn’t support a continuing resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stopped short Thursday of saying she wouldn’t vote for a stop-gap spending bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security if Democrats and Republicans can’t reach an agreement for long-term funding in the next two weeks.

But the California Democrat, in her weekly news conference, slammed the GOP for bringing the critical agency to the brink of a shutdown when its funding expires at the end of the month.

“Two months — that’s not a solution,” said Pelosi, responding to questions about whether a two-month continuation of existing DHS funding was in order, given Republicans’ resistance to remove provisions in their proposed spending bill to block President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

A short-term continuing resolution, or CR, would just prolong the fight, Pelosi suggested, plus prevent the DHS from operating efficiently and effectively.

“A two-month CR is not an end,” she said. “A two-month CR is the continuation of uncertainty … That’s not an endgame.”

She said, “the president has the right to do what he has done by executive action. He has the right by law, by legal authority, as well as by precedent of other presidents … You’ll have to ask [Republicans] how they’re going to face up to their responsibilities.”

Pelosi’s comments come just two days before Congress is set to recess for the Presidents Day holiday next week, and as Republican leadership in the House and Senate are divided on whose court holds the ball.

Senate Republicans have tried three times, unsuccessfully, to surmount a procedural hurdle to even bring up the House-passed DHS bill to the floor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his allies have said that means it time for the House to come up with a new plan, while Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and his top lieutenants say they don’t intend to make another move until the Senate acts.

 

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

Lawmakers Push Longshot Bid to Rewrite Voting Rights Act

Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., prepares to testify during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "From Selma to Shelby County: Working Together to Restore the Protections of the Voting Rights Act" on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sensenbrenner seeks more Republican support for a revived Voting Rights Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner fell short in his 2014 efforts to convince GOP leadership to take up his Voting Rights Amendment Act, but the Wisconsin Republican is ready to take another stab at passing a rewrite of the historic law.

But there’s little indication this year will be any different.

Full story

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