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October 8, 2015

Posts in "Progressives"

October 6, 2015

House Democrats Brace for Round Two of Trade Fight

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 helped the president whip House votes on TPA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats who fought unsuccessfully earlier this year to withhold Trade Promotion Authority from the White House are gearing up for round two: an effort to undo the sweeping 12-nation Pacific trade deal announced Monday that TPA authorized the administration to negotiate.

“The deal … is the result of negotiations between corporate interests and trade representatives, which ignored the voices of working families in all twelve countries,” Progressive Caucus Co-Chairmen Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota declared in a statement. Full story

September 25, 2015

House Democrats React to Boehner Resignation

UNITED STATES - JULY 10: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., run into each other in the green room in between their weekly news conferences in the Capitol Visitor Center's Studio A, July 10, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner and Pelosi run into each other in the green room between their weekly news conferences on July 10, 2014. ( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While House Republicans were still digesting the news Speaker John A. Boehner would be stepping down at the end of October, House Democrats were quickly getting in on the action.

In official statements, news conferences and hallway interviews, members of the minority party could barely contain their schadenfreude. Full story

September 19, 2015

The Congressional Wish List for the Pope’s Speech

(Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

(Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Every lawmaker on Capitol Hill has a cause that could use a boost from a powerful person’s endorsement — and next week there won’t be a more influential seal of approval than one from Pope Francis.

Since taking on the papacy in March 2013, the leader of the world’s largest church has shown a willingness to wade into some of the thorniest political debates around the globe, from economic equality to climate change to immigration.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike want to hear what he has to say, and his scheduled Sept. 24 address to a joint session of Congress will afford him a soapbox from which to deliver a message to, basically, the world. Full story

September 3, 2015

Attendance Sparse at Planned Parenthood Video Screening

UNITED STATES - JULY 28: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at a mid-day rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in support of defunding Planned Parenthood. During the rally, Sen. Paul announced a commitment from Senate leadership for a vote on his legislation to defund Planned Parenthood prior to the August recess.   (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at a rally in favor of de-funding Planned Parenthood (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

Two thousand is the number of Democratic House and Senate staffers invited to a screening of the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissues and organs.

Sixteen is the number of congressional aides who responded to the invitation, sent out by the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. Full story

July 27, 2015

Why Eric Swalwell Endorsed Martin O’Malley

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)

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., endorsed former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When it comes to 2016 endorsements, House Democrats were, until just a couple of days ago, divided into two camps : Those who had publicly endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president and those who hadn’t.

Enter Rep. Eric Swalwell. Full story

July 7, 2015

Clinton to Meet With ‘Tri-Caucus’ Members on Capitol Hill

Clinton, center, mourned Mandela while accepting an award for human rights work. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clinton, center, will visit Capitol Hill next week to court Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton will return to her old stomping grounds on Capitol Hill next week for the first time since declaring her candidacy for president.

The former secretary of State, New York senator and first lady has scheduled meetings for July 14 with members of the Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American caucuses, a Clinton campaign official confirmed with CQ Roll Call. Full story

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

Boehner Confident on Trade. Pelosi? Not So Much (Video)

Boehner says it's been a strange couple of weeks in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner said things have been “close to bizarre” in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)


With a new Trade Promotion Authority bill now through the House chamber, and with its chances of passage in the Senate looking good, you might think House Democrats would be prepared to wave the white flag and pass a worker-aid bill they had been holding hostage.

But maybe the Trade Adjustment Assurance bill isn’t such a sure thing. Speaker John A. Boehner is saying one thing. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is saying another.

What we have here, it seems, is a failure to communicate  or maybe something even stranger. Full story

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 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

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