Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 2, 2015

Posts in "Democrats"

February 25, 2015

Kaine Won’t Attend Netanyahu Speech

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kaine is skipping the Netanyahu Congress speech. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tim Kaine is the latest Democrat to announce he will not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress next week.

The Virginian said in a statement provided first to CQ Roll Call that he’s concerned in particular about the timing of the March 3 address, just weeks ahead of the scheduled Knesset elections on March 17.

Full story

February 24, 2015

Corker, Menendez on Bipartisan Campaign to End Modern-Day Slavery

 Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has a red X pin, symbol for the End It Movement, applied by aide Tara DiJulio, before a news conference in the Capitol on the introduction of the "End Modern Slavery Initiative Act," February 24, 2015. Ranking Member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., also attended. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corker has a red X from the anti-slavery END IT movement pinned to his lapel by aide Tara DiJulio Tuesday on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are pushing for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to rally behind an international effort to raise $1.5 billion to end slavery around the globe.

On Monday, Chairman Bob Corker posted a photo of himself alongside National Football League star Peyton Manning and Todd Helton, another former University of Tennessee signal-caller, each of the three men proudly sporting on the back of their hands the symbol of the anti-slavery END IT movement: a large red X. Full story

February 18, 2015

Hawaii Internment Camp Monument a Legacy of Akaka, Inouye

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Akaka and Inouye led efforts to secure the monument designation. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Thursday’s expected announcement from President Barack Obama that the Honouliuli internment camp will become a national monument will bring to fruition an effort that dates to Hawaii’s former senators.

The process to secure the monument designation began in earnest in 2009, in much the same way many of Hawaii’s federal projects have originated for decades: through inclusion of language in an appropriations bill by the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii. Full story

February 17, 2015

Democrats Escape Cold, Spend Part of Recess in Cuba

McCaskill, center, and Klobuchar, right, were part of a CODEL to Cuba. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

McCaskill, center, and Klobuchar, right, were part of a CODEL to Cuba. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

Democrats from both sides of the Capitol have been spending parts of their Presidents Day recess in Cuba as relations between the communist nation and the United States begin to thaw.

The trips weren’t designed to be a means of avoiding the bitter cold, but that might be a much appreciated side effect. A House delegation led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrived on the island Tuesday, just as a trio of senators wrapped up their trip of a few days and prepared to return to the U.S. Full story

February 13, 2015

GOP Senators Also Pushing to Nuke Filibusters, Says House Lawmaker

Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks during a news conference with House and Senate members on immigration on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Brooks said GOP senators are also asking McConnell to change the filibuster rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House conservatives are increasingly pushing the Senate to “go nuclear” and change filibuster rules so that a Department of Homeland Security funding bill blocking the president’s executive action on immigration can move forward. But according to one GOP lawmaker member, it’s not just the House pushing for that change.

Alabama Republican Mo Brooks told CQ Roll Call Friday that he had spoken to senators supportive of changing the filibuster rules. Full story

February 3, 2015

Lobster and Ham on the Menu for Bipartisan Senate Luncheon (Updated)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:23 p.m. | On Wednesday, senators will gather for a most unusual bipartisan Senate lunch.

Senators will gather in the Russell Office Building’s Kennedy Caucus Room for a feast featuring Maine lobster and Virginia ham, a source familiar with the menu told CQ Roll Call. Not surprisingly, Republican Susan Collins of Maine is behind the lobster salad and Democrat Mark Warner will bring the ham.

Collins, in hosting, will provide Maine-themed offerings including Maine blueberry pie and Gifford’s ice cream. There will also be chips sourced from Maine potatoes, according to her office.

The New York Times first reported on the plan for the lunch coming to fruition, saying it was put together by Republican Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota and Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 in the Democratic leadership structure. Sources confirmed the lunch plan.

Full story

January 30, 2015

Senator Presses NFL on Domestic Violence Ahead of Super Bowl

NFL blackouts Blumenthal McCain

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal isn’t convinced the National Football League is doing everything possible to address domestic violence.

The Connecticut Democrat is particularly skeptical of the way the NFL plans to allocate $25 million over five years to back groups that fight domestic violence. Some of that money will come in the form of “promotional support” to entities such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, according to a letter to Blumenthal and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, from Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Aside from the dollar value seeming small compared to the NFL’s multibillion-dollar revenues, Blumenthal sounds dubious of the promotional elements, and he fired off a response letter to Goodell on Friday.
Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 11:24 a.m.
Democrats

January 15, 2015

Ernst Gives GOP #SOTU Rebuttal a Folksy Feel

State of the Union 2015

Ernst heads to the Senate subway following a vote on Jan. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans are going folksy with their choice to respond to President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., jointly announced at their retreat Thursday that Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, would deliver the Republicans’ rebuttal.

Ernst, who upset former Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa in 2014 as one of the party’s majority-makers, gained notoriety during her campaign for an ad she ran conflating her childhood on the farm castrating pigs with her ability to cut government spending. Full story

Obama Meets Senate Democrats in Baltimore After Lunch With Mikulski (Updated)

Mikulski had lunch with Obama Thursday ahead of his address to the Democratic retreat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Mikulski had lunch with Obama Thursday ahead of his address to the Democratic retreat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:40 p.m. | BALTIMORE — President Barack Obama may not be Jay Leno, but he has earned top billing at the annual issues conference for Senate Democrats at a hotel where he’s speaking Thursday.

His mid-afternoon appearance is entirely off limits to the media, in contrast to his 2010 appearance down the street for a similar retreat with House Republicans. This year, most of the media attention was with the new Senate majority GOP and their House counterparts, who huddled for a joint retreat in Hershey, Pa.

There, reporters were being treated to pen-and-pad sessions and media availabilities with prominent Republicans from both sides of the Rotunda, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers and her Senate counterpart, John Thune of South Dakota.

Full story

January 14, 2015

Harry Reid Absent, but Still in Charge

(Courtesy Reid's Office)

(Courtesy Reid’s Office)

As Senate Democrats headed to Baltimore for their retreat, Minority Leader Harry Reid wasn’t with them — but he will be listening in.

Even without a physical presence, the Nevada Democrat is still making the daily decisions about running the caucus — and an aide said late Wednesday he is likely to return to the Capitol next week.

Full story

January 13, 2015

Menendez Staffer Bids Farewell to Hill Life

O'Brien is leaving Capitol Hill to join General Electric. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

O’Brien is leaving Capitol Hill to join General Electric. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Danny O’Brien never had a career path plotted out — certainly not one that included serving as Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff director for the past two years, in the Clinton White House or in senior Senate posts for now-Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

Now, after more than 20 years in the public sector, O’Brien is calling it quits to join General Electric’s global government affairs team. Full story

January 12, 2015

Senate Democrats Blast New House Rule on Social Security

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Operating in the minority, Democrats are beginning to show signs of being aggressive in fighting against potential changes to entitlement programs they have long championed.

Take, for example, Social Security. Senate Democrats are pushing against a change in House rules that makes it more difficult to reallocate Social Security taxes for those collecting from the Disability Trust Fund.

In a letter sent Monday to Republican Senate leadership, eight senior members of the Senate’s Democratic Conference decried the House move to establish a point of order against a fund transfer, which would would be needed next year to avert an almost 20-percent benefit cut for those receiving disability payments, unless there’s somehow a broader agreement on Social Security funding.

Full story

January 8, 2015

Senate Colleagues Pay Tribute to Boxer

Reid and Boxer came to Congress the same year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reid and Boxer first arrived in Washington to serve in the House the same year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Barbara Boxer’s Senate colleagues offered a raft of heartfelt accolades Thursday, after the California Democrat’s announcement she would not seek re-election.

“Senator Barbara Boxer is one of the finest public officials the state of California has seen,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said. “Her efforts to combat climate change and ensure we have clean air and clean water will be remembered long past her retirement.”

Full story

January 6, 2015

A Battered Reid Stays on Message (Video)

After missing the opening of the Senate, a battered Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in an online video message that Democrats would continue to fight for the middle class.

“We understand the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer [and] the middle class is being squeezed literally out of existence,” Reid said.” And we are going to do everything we can to fulfill the expectation the middle class has.”

Full story

January 2, 2015

Democrats Call on GOP to Keep CBO’s Elmendorf

Schumer, D-N.Y. speaks at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, on what went wrong for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections and what they must do to succeed in 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Schumer warned Republicans against “any effort to politicize” the Congressional Budget Office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer and five other Senate Democrats raised concerns in a letter Friday that Republican leaders will replace the current Congressional Budget Office director as part of an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“We strongly object to any effort to politicize this important office,” the letter said. “Appointing a new CBO Director on the basis of ideology would fundamentally compromise the integrity of an institution that has served as a trusted scorekeeper.” Full story

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