Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Posts in "Democrats"

February 4, 2016

Democrats Had a Lot of GOP Help on Energy Bill Vote


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 9: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, left, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, talk before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cornyn, right, blamed Democrats for the impasse, but several of his GOP colleagues, such as Lee, left, voted to sustain a filibuster on the energy bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn was mad, and he knew just whom to blame: Democrats, who were insisting on an emergency aid package for the city of Flint, Mich., to address its poisoned water system. But the truth, as it often is, was a little more complicated.

As his colleagues voted down a move to cut off debate on a bipartisan energy bill Thursday, the Texas Republican trained his sights on the other side of the aisle.

Full story

Flint Aid Deal Slows Down Energy Bill


FLINT, MI - JANUARY 27:  A sign at a local restaurant reassures customers that they are not on Flint water but on uncontaminated water pulled from Detroit on January 27, 2016 at Westside Diner in Flint, Michigan.  Local restaurants have faced concerns following the contamination of Flint's water and subsequent federal state of emergency.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

A sign at a local restaurant in Flint, Mich., reassures customers they are not on local water but on water pulled from Detroit. Congressional lawmakers are wrangling over federal aid to help the city. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Updated 12:05 p.m. | Senate Democrats blocked a broad bipartisan energy bill from advancing, while senators discuss the extent of federal assistance needed for Flint, Mich.

Senators voted, 46-50, on a motion to limit debate. That was well short of the 60 votes needed. One senator also voted “present.”

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:18 a.m.
Democrats, Policy

January 28, 2016

Michigan Democrats Want GOP Governor to Lobby for Flint Aid


Schumer, Stabenow and Peters look at poster showing dirty water in Flint during the Senate Democrats' news conference on the lead contaminated drinking water. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Schumer, Stabenow and Peters look at poster showing dirty water in Flint during the Senate Democrats’ news conference on the lead contaminated drinking water. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Michigan’s Democratic senators, who are seeking $600 million in federal dollars to replace Flint’s toxic water pipes and support families affected by lead exposure, are hoping the state’s GOP governor will lobby his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill to help foot the bill.

Full story

January 27, 2016

Democrats Seek $400 Million for Flint Repairs


UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER12: Senator-elect Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., does a television interview on the Cannon balcony on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Peters is hoping for bipartisan support to fix Flint’s water system. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are seeking as much as $400 million in emergency federal money to fix or replace the corroded pipes polluting the water in Flint, Mich., part of a proposed amendment to the bipartisan energy bill being considered in the Senate.

As drafted, the amendment would require the state of Michigan to match the federal contribution, dollar for dollar, and would give the state greater flexibility to forgive loans for water infrastructure. It would also call for spending $200 million in federal money for a center that would support the children and adults exposed to lead in the tainted water.

Full story

Watch Live: Senate Hearing on Heroin and Prescription Drug Epidemic


Ayotte holds a heroin epidemic roundtable discussion at the Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia , N.H., on Aug. 26, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayotte holds a heroin epidemic roundtable discussion at the Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia , N.H., on Aug. 26, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and other officials are among the witnesses expected to testify.

Coverage begins at 10 a.m.

Full story

January 21, 2016

Democrats Vow to Push GOP to Address Student Debt


Murray, left, and Schumer, right, said they push the GOP to address student debt. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Murray, left, and Schumer, right, said they will push the GOP to address student debt. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats pledged Thursday to prod the Republicans who control Congress to combat student loan debt this year, whether through legislation or floor amendments.

“I want to make sure that we get this done,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., one of several Democrats unveiling a legislative package to relieve spiraling debt levels. According to the Federal Reserve, student loan debt topped $1.3 trillion in Sept. 2015. “We’re willing to look at any way to get that done.” Full story

January 19, 2016

Today’s Senate Roadblock Is Tomorrow’s Safeguard


6/14/01.EDUCATION FINAL PASSAGE--Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., left, and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., stand on the stage during a news conference on final passage of the education bill..CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY PHOTO BY SCOTT J. FERRELL

Daschle, left, and Lott worked together well for years and think it’s not so far-fetched to overcome the current partisan atmosphere. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate has a reputation for being a slow-moving and conservative institution, but its recent political history is one of volatility: Since 1980, the party holding the majority has changed nine times and even had a 50-50 tie.

That might be one reason senators tend to tread carefully in considering changes to how the chamber votes, because today’s procedural roadblock can become tomorrow’s minority safeguard.

The issue is being hashed out both inside and out of the Senate. Full story

January 12, 2016

SOTU Guests Obergefell, Davis Highlight Gay Rights Divide


Activists celebrate the Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Activists celebrate the Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there are two people who represent opposite poles in the gay marriage debate, it’s Supreme Court plaintiff Jim Obergefell and Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. And they’ll both be in the House chamber for the State of the Union on Tuesday night.

Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that declared same-sex marriages be recognized in all 50 states, will be seated in a place of prominence as a guest of first lady Michelle Obama. Davis, who made headlines last year for refusing to recognize a gay marriage license after the court’s decision, will also be in the gallery.

Full story

January 6, 2016

The Out of This World Legacy of Supernova Mikulski


Mikulski toured the Goddard Space Flight Center before a town hall with employees. (Rebecca Roth/NASA/Goddard)

Mikulski toured the Goddard Space Flight Center before a town hall with employees. (Rebecca Roth/NASA/Goddard)

GREENBELT, Md. — Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski spent Wednesday back on the campus where she watched as astronauts repair the Hubble Space Telescope more than two decades ago.

“I was here for that first mission,” recalled the Maryland Democrat who will retire at the end of this term of  Congress. “I went on so many Rolaids that day, I knew that I would never have acid reflux for 20 years.”

Full story

January 5, 2016

Connecticut Democrats Take Lead Turn on Obama Gun Actions


Murphy met with Obama Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Murphy met with Obama Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama had a message for congressional Democrats on the eve of his announcement that he was acting to combat gun violence: Don’t let Congress off the hook.

Three Connecticut Democrats, Sens. Christopher S. Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who represents Newtown, Conn., attended an hourlong meeting with Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday evening along with other members of the House Democrats’ Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, where they discussed Obama’s executive actions that he would announce the following day, as well as their next moves. Full story

December 8, 2015

Capitol Food Workers Escalate Protests in Senate


Capitol workers gather before heading to Cruz's office. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol workers gather before heading to Cruz’s office. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Dozens of Capitol food workers went on strike Tuesday, demanding to negotiate higher wages with their management and taking their message to other Senate workspace, specifically calling on Sen. Ted Cruz, who sits on the committee that oversees their contract, to support their push for better pay and union representation.

The workers flooded the Texas Republican’s office, and the hallway outside, to award Cruz the “Golden Grinch” award, and bring attention to their effort for a $15 an hour wage and collective bargaining rights. Full story

December 1, 2015

Democrats Look Past Planned Parenthood, Obamacare Fight


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 1 - Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., speaks as Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., listen during the weekly Senate luncheon news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, December 1, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Durbin, D-Ill., speaks as Sen. Patty Murray, left and Reid, right listen during the weekly Senate luncheon news conference on Tuesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats won’t put up much of a floor fight against Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and gut the Affordable Care Act, aware that it eventually faces a certain veto from President Barack Obama.

Senators will consider the Planned Parenthood provision and partial rollback of Obama’s signature domestic achievement as part of the budget reconciliation process this week, which requires only majority support to pass the chamber.

That path was set on Tuesday when the Senate parliamentarian’s office cleared a GOP amendment to the reconciliation bill that would disable the individual and employer mandates in the health care law by reducing the penalties to zero, according to congressional staff.

Even without the ability to throw up traditional procedural roadblocks, Democrats still could have jammed up the process with numerous amendments. But they have elected not to do so, and are looking toward other must-pass items. Full story

November 24, 2015

‘Lioness’ Mikulski Gets Medal of Freedom


WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24:  U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) (2nd R) during an East Room ceremony November 24, 2015 at the White House in Washington, DC. Seventeen recipients were awarded with the nationÕs highest civilian honor.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mikulski became the dean of women in the Senate. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama on Tuesday awarded 17 Americans their country’s most prestigious honor. In true American form, there were Presidential Medals of Freedom for baseball legends, Hollywood legends and musical legends.

And then there was a social worker from Maryland who became a true Washington legend, Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Full story

November 23, 2015

Heroin Epidemic Prompts Calls for More Congressional Spending


Shaheen proposed ending discrimination against same-sex marriage in the military. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shaheen wants supplemental funding to fight heroin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As appropriators work to craft an omnibus spending package to fund the federal government, one of them is making a pitch for additional funding to combat heroin.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is proposing a $600 million emergency supplemental for health care and law enforcement expenses associated with fighting the heroin epidemic that’s swept through communities across the country, including in the Democratic senator’s home state of New Hampshire.

Full story

November 20, 2015

Why Mike Lee Won’t Do Hallway Interviews


Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, runs to the Senate floor to vote. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lee says he won’t be doing hallway interviews anymore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mike Lee is no longer taking hallway interviews. Full story

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