Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Posts in "Policy"

February 9, 2016

GOP Senator Wants to Compel Reports on Iran-North Korea Ties


Perdue, left, wants to amend a North Korea sanctions bill authored by Gardner. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Perdue, left, wants to amend a North Korea sanctions bill authored by Gardner. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican senator wants to compel the Obama administration to tell Congress what it knows about ties between North Korea and Iran.

“It’s undeniable that Iran and North Korea have been cooperating on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development for years now. Iranians have reportedly been present for at least three of North Korea’s nuclear tests,” Sen. David Perdue said in a statement provided to Roll Call.

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Kelly Ayotte Backs Draft Registration for Women


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Having heard from top military officials, Sen. Kelly Ayotte is backing the idea of requiring women to register for the draft.

“After the hearing that we had the other day about women in combat, I support it. I think that we’ve opened up all the combat billets for women who can meet the qualifications of those billets, and therefore it makes sense that … women would also register for the Selective Service,” the New Hampshire Republican said.

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February 4, 2016

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.”

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

February 2, 2016

Reid: ‘Did You See Diversity in Iowa?’


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 15: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks to reporters after the Senate Democrats' lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Reid bemoans the lack of diversity in early contests. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

A day after the Iowa caucuses and a week from the New Hampshire primary, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is back blasting the lack of diversity in the states that come before his home of Nevada in the presidential nominating process.

Asked about the outcome in Iowa, where Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., finishing very narrowly behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Reid highlighted his role in changing the process to put more focus on the subsequent contests in states with more diverse Democratic electorates. His efforts helped move Nevada’s Democratic caucuses earlier in the electoral calendar.

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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.

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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.

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January 26, 2016

Sanders Is Latest Obstacle to Obama Nominee


Bernie Sanders VA Health care deal crisis

Sanders (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration is facing friendly fire, with Democratic presidential candidate Bernard Sanders and Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey both placing a hold on the nomination.

Sanders said Tuesday that Robert Califf, currently serving as deputy commissioner at the FDA, is too closely tied to the pharmaceutical industry. Califf ran a research operation while at Duke University that received funding from that industry. Full story

January 20, 2016

McConnell Counts Down Days Until Obama Leaves


Perhaps no one has a more expansive view of how the First Amendment protects campaign speech and donations than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

So it’s no surprise that the Kentucky Republican would respond to news that President Barack Obama is mulling an executive action on campaign expenditures by reminding reporters that since it is Jan. 20, “a year from today he will be gone.”

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35 Years Later, Former Hostages, Lawmakers Cheer Restitution


UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during the ceremony to sign H.R.203, the "Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act." in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Isakson led a bipartisan group of lawmakers working to secure restitution for former Iranian hostages. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In 1979, Johnny Isakson was just one of many Americans tuning in to Ted Koppel’s late night reports on the status of Americans taken hostage in Iran — what became the 444 day saga.

“I was one of the people that was alive when ‘Nightline’ got started,” the Republican senator from Georgia recalled Wednesday. “I took an interest when it happened. Never knew that I would get to the United States Senate, and when I got there on the Foreign Relations Committee, I came to appreciate the work that had been done in the past by people who tried to make compensation happen.”

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January 14, 2016

GOP Mull Budget Resolution to Set Up 2017


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 13: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., stands by the buses outside of the Rayburn House Office Building bound for the Joint Republican Issues Conference in Baltimore on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., stands by the buses outside of the Rayburn House Office Building bound for the Joint Republican Issues Conference in Baltimore on Wednesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

BALTIMORE — With President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address in the rear view mirror, Republicans gathering at the Inner Harbor this week will have the 2016 elections on their minds.

And that includes how to best set up the GOP for the next year should elections go their way, up and down the ballot. Full story

January 11, 2016

Paul Admits ‘Uphill Climb’ for ‘Audit the Fed’


Rand Paul was among the presidential candidates who came to Washington to cast votes against Planned Parenthood, participating in the Voters First candidate forum via remote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul is pushing his vote on auditing the Federal Reserve ahead of a GOP debate this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

He may be at risk of falling off the main presidential debate stage, but Sen. Rand Paul is at long last getting his colleagues to vote on his proposal to audit the Federal Reserve.

The Kentucky Republican said he tried and failed to get Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to schedule a vote on the central bank legislation back when the Democrats held the majority. When asked if he would ultimately like to wind down the Federal Reserve, Paul focused on the task at hand.

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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.”

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January 4, 2016

Rubio: ISIS Would’ve Lobbied for USA Freedom Act


UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 3: Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio, a presidential candidate, slammed the USA Freedom Act on Monday.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“If ISIS had lobbyists in Washington, they would have spent millions to support the anti-Intelligence law that was just passed with the help of some Republicans now running for president.”

That’s what Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Monday in a foreign policy speech of the surveillance overhaul that he’s long opposed, drawing a contrast with his Republican presidential rivals from the Senate. But the rhetoric against the USA Freedom Act has not led to concern by supporters of his White House bid who also backed — or even advocated for — to have concerns about Rubio or his message.

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December 18, 2015

Alexander Says ‘Step-By-Step’ Process Only Way to Change Obamacare


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 15 - Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., arrives in the basement of the U.S. Capitol for the weekly luncheons in Washington, Tuesday, December 15, 2015 (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Alexander arrives in the basement of the U.S. Capitol for the weekly luncheons Tuesday. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The way to change Obamacare in the coming years will be through bipartisan adjustments, one of the Senate GOP leaders on health policy said Thursday.

“I think over the next four or five years it’ll be changed step-by-step toward a health care system with more freedom for people to find policies, more choices and hopefully lower prices,” Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Thursday when asked about the future of the health care law.

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December 17, 2015

Senate Clinches Deal to Finish Omnibus on Friday


GOP Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has the lowest vote participation rate of any senator in 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio had hinted at a slow down of the omnibus, but it won’t take place. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

No level of consternation about the big omnibus spending and budget deal will interfere with this year’s Christmas getaway.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced an agreement that will allow the Senate to quickly call up and pass the combined measure after the House finishes work Friday — without a weekend session.

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