Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Posts by Emma Dumain

9 Posts

December 4, 2015

Senate Periodical Press Gallery Director Ed Pesce to Retire


(Courtesy of Ed Pesce)

After 25 years — including 11 sergeants-at-arms, two President Bushes, a 50-50 Senate membership split and too many vote-a-ramas to count — the director of the Senate Periodical Press Gallery is packing it up.

Ed Pesce will retire from his post in mid-February, the Capitol Hill veteran told Roll Call Friday.

Full story

September 22, 2015

Collins Warns House Against Amending a Clean CR

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Collins says there won’t be time for the House to amend a clean CR. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Susan Collins does not want the House meddling with a clean stopgap spending bill that the Senate will inevitably need to pass.

Officially, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t announced the plan for when Democrats filibuster the continuing resolution that also blocks funding for Planned Parenthood, but there will be just a few days to advance a bill that President Barack Obama might actually sign into law to avoid a government shutdown.

And Collins, R-Maine, said Tuesday after the weekly conference lunch that Republicans across the Rotunda should see the writing on the wall.

Full story

September 18, 2015

McConnell Faces More Calls for ‘Nuclear Option’ in Senate

UNITED STATES - MARCH 6: Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee Lamar Smith, R-Texas, makes his case for funding of his committee during the House Administration Committee hearing on "Committee Funding for the 113th Congress" on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smith and other House Republicans are pressuring McConnell to change Senate rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s repeated ill-fated efforts to break filibusters of legislation to reject or impose conditions on the Iran deal have had an unusual side effect.

House Republicans, sick of being blamed for the gridlock in Congress and tired of passing bills that never get to President Barack Obama’s desk, have begun to direct their ire onto an unusual target: the Kentucky Republican.

Full story

August 6, 2015

McConnell: No Immigration Bill While Obama Is President (Video)

Immigration reform is dead in this Congress, per McConnell. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Immigration reform is dead in this Congress, per McConnell. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama won’t get to sign an immigration bill, per Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“Not in this Congress,” McConnell said when asked about the prospects for immigration legislation. Full story

McConnell Shuts Down Planned Parenthood Shutdown Talk (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell says he won’t shut down the government over Planned Parenthood. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the growing talk that the fight over Planned Parenthood might result in a government shutdown come Oct. 1 — nor, he said, would he allow a default on the debt.

McConnell, R-Ky., who has repeatedly vowed to oppose shutdowns on his watch, will need to corral a good number of his conference as well as the Democrats to get that done, but he didn’t seem that worried about it Thursday at a press conference marking the first half of the year with Republicans newly in charge of the Senate. Full story

September 9, 2014

Reid Warns of Shutdown Showdown Over Immigration (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz said Tuesday it would be appropriate to add language blocking a “pen and phone” approach from the president on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that if a band of Republicans press for language blocking executive actions on immigration, they’re inviting a government shutdown.

“If I have anything to do with it? No, no, no,” the Nevada Democrat said of allowing a vote on such a proposal, as sought by a group of Senate and House conservatives led on the Senate side by Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions and Mike Lee.

Asked what happens if the senators insist on considering it as part of the continuing resolution debate that’s expected next week, Reid pointed to a risk government funding could lapse.

Full story

August 7, 2014

Cuts to National Guard Motorsports Sponsorships Draw Mixed Reviews

Earnhardt Jr., in victory lane following Sunday's 400 at Pocono Raceway (Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Earnhardt Jr., in victory lane following Sunday’s 400 at Pocono Raceway (Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Lawmakers are predictably split on the National Guard’s announcement it will be slashing motor sports sponsorships — just days after a car sporting the Guard’s livery won a major NASCAR race.

Sen. Claire McCaskill was among those who lauded the news.

“I’m a NASCAR fan, and I love the National Guard — but spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on a recruitment program that signed up zero recruits, and that has been abandoned by other service branches as ineffective, just makes no sense,” the Missouri Democrat said in a statement.

Full story

September 2, 2013

Voting Against Obama on Syria Would Be ‘Catastrophic,’ McCain Warns

Two senior Republican senators emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday warning that a vote against striking Syria would be disastrous.

“A rejection, a vote against that resolution by Congress, I think would be catastrophic because it would undermine the credibility of the United States and the president,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters outside the White House. He added that it would be difficult for Obama to decide to use force without receiving the blessing of Congress.

“If we lost a vote in the Congress dealing with the chemical weapons being used in Syria, what effect would that have on Iran?” asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

McCain and Graham were invited to the White House on Labor Day to discuss what it would take for them to help convince other lawmakers to support a military action. So far, most members of Congress have expressed doubts about the need to intervene in Syria’s civil war — even if government forces used deadly sarin gas against their own people, as the U.S. and other countries have alleged.

While both McCain and Graham support intervention, the senators said they need to be convinced that Obama has a long-term strategic plan for addressing the crisis in Syria.

Both senators have said that Obama should have acted sooner and should have done a better job of communicating the threat that inaction in Syria poses to the international community. And they said they are concerned that the president has now put forth a draft resolution that is too limited to be effective in the long term.

During a 20 minute exchange with reporters on the White House lawn, McCain said that “a weak response is almost as bad as doing nothing,” while Graham bluntly stated that Obama “has no one to blame but himself for the lack of public understanding about what’s at stake in Syria.”

“Sen. Graham and I are in agreement that now that a resolution is going to be before the Congress … we want to work to make that resolution something that the majority of both houses can support,” McCain acknowledged. “We had a candid exchange of views and … I think we have found some areas where we can work together but we have a long way to go.”

But there may not be much time: Congress is due back from recess the week of Sept. 9, and both House and Senate leaders have indicated they will hold votes on an authorization during that first week back.

August 29, 2013

Tim Scott Declined Invite to Attend MLK March as Spectator

The Senate’s only black lawmaker wasn’t invited to speak at Wednesday’s 50th anniversary March on Washington, because Tim Scott’s office declined an invitation to attend the ceremony as a spectator, according to a source connected to the event.

“Much of the speaking program was created based on those who were able to confirm availability to attend the event, and thus were able to speak at the event,” the source explained.

And based on an email exchange obtained by CQ Roll Call, the South Carolina Republican did receive an invitation to attend the festivities commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The invitation, sent Aug. 8 from the Coalition for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, appears to have been a form letter to all members of Congress, with invitees listed as “Representative” rather than by name.

Within a day, Rachel Shelbourne, a staff assistant to Scott, had replied to the email with the following message: Full story

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