Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 30, 2015

Posts in "Mitch McConnell"

August 17, 2015

McConnell Praises Efforts to Fight Heroin Epidemic

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell is praising new funds to fight heroin abuse in Kentucky and elsewhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is starting the week with praise for the White House’s drug czar.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy on Monday formally announced that it would be providing $2.5 million in funding for a new Heroin Response strategy to fight opioid abuse in five identified High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, including Appalachia.

Full story

August 7, 2015

Ted Cruz Won’t Rule Out Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood

The Texas senator struck a different tone than his party's leader on Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Texas senator struck a different tone than his party’s leader Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mitch McConnell may be ruling out a government shutdown at the end of September, but Sen. Ted Cruz certainly is not.

“The last government shutdown occurred because Barack Obama and Harry Reid took an extreme position and they were unwilling to compromise and negotiate,” the Texas Republican said of the 2013 budget standoff. “So, I cannot give any guarantee as to whether the Obama administration will once again play partisan political games. For six-and-a-half years, that has been their pattern. So, no one would be surprised to see them go down that road again.”

Cruz was in suburban Charleston to kick off a 2016 presidential campaign bus tour that will see him hit seven states in seven days throughout the South, following Thursday night’s GOP debate in Cleveland. Full story

August 6, 2015

Senate Is Working Again Despite Ted Cruz and Co., McConnell Says (Video)

McConnell touted productivity of his Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell touted the productivity of his Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the new Senate under his leadership Thursday — one with far more productivity and votes than under his predecessor — and he isn’t about to let Ted Cruz, or anyone else, derail it.

“For any of our members, there are a lot of procedural tools available to slow things down, and they’ve been used frequently and we worked our way through every one of them,” McConnell said when asked about Cruz talking up efforts to hold up federal funding and the debt limit. Full story

August 4, 2015

McConnell Says No Shutdowns as September Agenda Takes Shape (Video)

McConnell says there won't be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell says there won’t be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are warning a new shutdown showdown looms in September, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated there wouldn’t be any government shutdowns on his watch.

“Let me say it again: no more government shutdowns,” the Kentucky Republican said, when asked how he intended to adhere to his pledge made numerous times. “We have divided government. … At some point we’ll negotiate the way forward.”

Full story

Cruz Ready for Next Debt Limit Debate

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz recalled the last fight over the nation’s debt ceiling. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Remember what happened the last time Congress acted to raise the debt limit?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, certainly does.

The 2016 presidential hopeful found himself right in the middle, stopping a February 2014 effort to allow the Senate to vote on a debt ceiling measure with a simple majority.

Full story

August 3, 2015

What’s McConnell’s Next Move on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan? (Updated)

What McConnell called the Obama administration's "war on coal" was a key theme in his 2014 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What McConnell called the Obama administration’s “war on coal” was a key theme in his 2014 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:55 p.m. | The Obama administration’s final Clean Power Plan unveiled Monday sets aggressive goals for reducing carbon pollution — but the first challenge on the road to implementation will be working around Republican opposition on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been cautioning state governments against developing their own implementation plans as prescribed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and on Monday he swung the door wide open to a legislative response.

“We can pursue other avenues, like [Congressional Review Act] resolutions and further appropriations riders, as these regulations are published and as they wind their way through the courts. But here’s the bottom line about today’s announcement: if the Obama administration were actually serious about advancing renewable energy, then it would follow the example of what leaders like Sen. [Lisa] Murkowski has been achieving in the Energy Committee,” McConnell said. “She’s showing how we can make big strides on energy diversification, that we can do it in a bipartisan way, and that we don’t have to punish the middle class to do it.”

Full story

July 30, 2015

Senate Passes Long-Term Highway Bill, Short-Term Extension

Inhofe and Boxer conferred before an interview with CQ Roll Call about the highway bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Inhofe and Boxer conferred before an interview with CQ Roll Call about the highway bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:14 p.m. | The Senate passed its long-term highway bill (HR 22) shortly after noon Thursday, and then agreed to a House-passed three-month extension (HR 3236) before completing work for the day.

The margin for final passage of the long-term bill was fairly healthy, 65-34. The House’s patch was passed in overwhelming fashion: 91-4.

For senators involved in crafting the bipartisan bill — a six-year authorization with about three years worth of offsets to plug the hole in the Highway Trust Fund — the solution is not ideal. They would have preferred the House stick around to at least consider accepting the Senate bill.

Full story

July 28, 2015

With Votes to Advance, Inhofe Makes Highway Bill Sales Pitch to House

Inhofe plans to force votes to block EPA regulations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Inhofe is arguing that the Senate highway bill is a more conservative policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

With a series of obstacles being cleared late Monday, the Senate’s on the road to passing a long-term highway bill, and one of the chamber’s most conservative members is trying to make the case that his product will be more conservative than the House’s stopgap approach.

Following the 62-32 vote to invoke cloture and thus limit debate on a highway bill substitute amendment that was the product of bipartisan negotiations led in the end by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and ranking Democrat Barbara Boxer of California, Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe urged House Republicans to take up the Senate’s bill.

“They know what the bill is, they’ve had it in front of them for two months,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “When they see the bill and they see how much money it’s going to cost if they don’t pass it, then I think [House Republicans will realize] that the conservative position is to pass a long-term bill.”

Full story

July 27, 2015

What Robert Byrd Thought of Calling Colleagues Liars

Byrd said that until 1995, he had never heard a senator accuse colleagues of lying on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Byrd said that until 1995, he had never heard a senator accuse colleagues of lying on the floor. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“The decorum in the Senate has deteriorated, and political partisanship has run rife, and when the American people see and hear such intellectual pemmican as was spewed forth on this floor last Friday, no wonder there is such a growing disrespect for Congress throughout the country.”

No, that wasn’t a statement in response to last week’s startling floor speech from Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had lied about renewing the Export-Import Bank. But it did bring back memories of one of the most memorable speeches in Senate history, nearly 20 years ago, another time accusations of lawmaker lying flew in the chamber.

Full story

July 26, 2015

Despite Rebukes, Ted Cruz Doubles Down on Charge McConnell Lied (Updated)

McConnell defended his decision to set up a vote on the Ex-Im Bank two days after Ted Cruz called him a liar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell defended his decision to set up a vote on the Ex-Im Bank two days after Cruz called him a liar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:05 p.m. | The Senate opened Sunday with a reading by the Senate President Pro Tem Orrin G. Hatch of the Senate’s rules of decorum, in an apparent rebuke of Sen. Ted Cruz calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on Friday. And things got more personal from there.

Shortly thereafter, McConnell defended his actions setting up a vote to revive the Export-Import Bank, even though he opposes it — and other top Republicans rebuked Cruz on the floor even as the Texas Republican defended his comments in an extraordinary speech of his own.

The back and forth between Hatch, Cruz and Cruz’s senior Texas colleague, Majority Whip John Cornyn, made for an extraordinary sequence. Full story

Cruz Calling McConnell a Liar Likely to Linger

Cruz spoke against the Ex-Im Bank on July 15. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz spoke against the Export-Import Bank on July 15. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Rush Limbaugh asked Sen. Ted Cruz what blowback he expected from accusing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of lying about reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, the Texas Republican said he was gearing up for more fights.

“Teeth are bared, the knives are out and the cartel is coming after me,” Cruz said in the radio interview Friday, as he was on the way to catch a flight.

Full story

July 24, 2015

Cruz Accuses McConnell of Lying About Deal on Reviving the Export-Import Bank (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:29 a.m. | Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, accused his own majority leader of effectively lying to fellow senators about his intentions Friday in a floor speech that could have serious repercussions.

“The majority leader looked me in the eye, and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie. And I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every single one of us,” the GOP presidential candidate said. “What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over and over again was a simple lie.”

Full story

July 21, 2015

Democrats Delay McConnell Highway Bill Deal (Updated) (Video)

McConnell laid out a path for a long-term highway bill and the Ex-Im Bank to reach Obama's desk before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell laid out a path for a long-term highway bill and the Ex-Im Bank to reach Obama’s desk before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:25 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s highway deal with Sen. Barbara Boxer hit a pothole Tuesday, as Democrats helped torpedo a vote to advance the 1,030-page bill about an hour after senators received it.

In a bizarre turn of events, Boxer ended up voting to filibuster bringing up a bill she helped negotiate, while saying she hopes to get on the bill by Wednesday.

“Keep our eye on the prize,” she said in floor remarks.

Minority Leader Harry Reid and Boxer had called for a delay so Democrats could read the mammoth bill, and senators blocked bringing it up, 41-56 vote, well shy of the 60 votes need to advance.

McConnell had touted his breakthrough as a plan that should have been attractive to the House, and suggested supporters of the Export-Import Bank would have a chance to offer an amendment to revive its charter.

After the vote failed, McConnell said the Senate would have to be in session this weekend in an effort to complete the highway bill before the August recess, and Reid said he’d be “fine” doing so. Full story

July 17, 2015

Rand Paul Bringing Abortion Politics to Highway Bill Debate

Rand Paul

Paul says he’ll use procedural tools to get a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul appears to be plotting to bring the debate over abortion to the highway bill.

The Kentucky Republican’s presidential campaign said Friday he would be seeking an amendment vote on blocking federal funding for Planned Parenthood next week.

Full story

July 16, 2015

McConnell Uses Clout to Help Hemp Industry

McConnell wants to expand the market for industrial hemp grown in Kentucky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell wants to expand the market for industrial hemp grown in Kentucky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be the best friend in Washington for the nascent industrial hemp industry.

The Kentucky Republican announced Thursday he had secured hemp-processing language in an Agriculture Department spending bill.

“Kentucky’s industrial hemp pilot programs continue to prosper and I want to make sure our legal hemp producers can safely transport their crops between states, including to States that maintain processing facilities, so they can fully capitalize on the commercial potential for this commodity,” McConnell said in a statement.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...