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

Posts in "Politics"

July 29, 2015

Boxer, Inhofe Want to Avoid Highway Bill Trick or Treat

Boxer and Inhofe discussed the highway bill in the EPW hearing room. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boxer and Inhofe discussed the highway bill in the Environment and Public Works hearing room. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ask Sens. James M. Inhofe and Barbara Boxer about most issues, and they will disagree.

But when it comes to building roads and bridges, the conservative Oklahoma Republican and liberal California Democrat are in lockstep. That was on full display during a rare joint interview Tuesday afternoon, as they encouraged the House to move quickly after the Senate on a six-year highway bill, rather than allow the expected three-month extension to turn into a punt right up to another deadline ahead of Halloween.

Full story

July 28, 2015

Rand Paul: GOP Will Discuss Best Way to Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a rally with supporters of his effort to defund Planned Parenthood, Sen. Rand Paul said it’s not yet certain whether his bill will get a vote.

“I don’t think it’s decided which bill it’s going to be. The only thing that’s been decided is that there will be a bill to defund, and I’ll be part of the discussion,” the Republican from Kentucky said in a brief interview. “I respect Sen. Lankford and others who want to do it, so we’ll just have to work on exactly what the final bill is.”

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July 27, 2015

Rand Paul Planned Parenthood Bill May Get a Vote

Paul (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul’s plan to defund Planned Parenthood might be the one that gets a Senate vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans are looking to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood before leaving the Capitol for August recess.

It’s an effort that is unlikely to be much more than a procedural or show-vote given that they only control 54 seats in the chamber and the Democratic minority is certain to balk at any vote without a 60-vote threshold.

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 23, 2015

Senate Taking Scenic Route on Highway Bill (Updated)

highway bill

Senators confer before a July 9 news conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UPDATED 7:17 p.m. |Senate negotiators on a long-term highway bill worked out some issues in a new version unveiled Thursday afternoon, but lawmakers appeared on track for weekend work, including potential Sunday votes.

A shortfall in transit funding in the original agreement led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Environment and Public Works ranking member Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., put the deal at risk early, though 62 senators ultimately voted Wednesday to limit debate on advancing to the vehicle for the bill.

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GOP Seeking Venues to Attack Planned Parenthood

Tillis (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tillis drafted an amendment that could effectively block the VA from funding Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans want the debate over federal funding of Planned Parenthood to take place everywhere.

As expected, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has filed an amendment to the vehicle for the highway bill that would block taxpayer dollars from flowing to the organization in the aftermath of controversial videos that critics said showed the organization was engaging in improper organ harvesting after abortions.

“The continued disregard and disrespect for human life at Planned Parenthood, a partially taxpayer-funded organization, is shocking and appalling,” Paul said in a statement Wednesday.

Full story

July 21, 2015

Graham Cellphone Debacle Might Be Hassle for Senate Tech Team

Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Graham will have a Senate tech team to help him if he needs to update his digits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Because the cellphone number Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced to the world Tuesday was issued to Sen. Lindsey Graham by the Senate, Trump’s stunt has likely caused some extra work for the institution’s tech support team.

Staff of the Senate sergeant-at-arms will help the South Carolina Republican if he decides to update the digits Trump recited to a crowd in Graham’s home state, apparently in retaliation for Graham calling Trump a “jackass.” Full story

July 20, 2015

Waiting on Biden

Joe Biden President 2016 endorsements

Biden was on the Hill last week pitching the Iran deal. Few lawmakers are clamoring for him to run for president. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

While most Senate Democrats are #ReadyForHillary, a few are waiting on Joe.

After both buzzed through the Capitol last week — Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. made the trip as the White House’s emissary on an Iran nuclear disarmament deal and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was there to shore up support for her White House bid — Clinton has already locked up the bulk of the Democrats and time seems to be running short for anyone else. Full story

July 15, 2015

On Iran Deal, Mark Kirk Continues Hitler, Chamberlain Analogy

Mark Kirk Bowe Bergdahl Taliban video

Kirk is comparing the Iran deal to the appeasement of Hitler. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the framework for a nuclear deal with Iran was announced in April, Sen. Mark S. Kirk said, “Neville Chamberlain got a better deal from Adolf Hitler.”

Now with a final agreement between the Iranian government and the P5+1 negotiating partners the Illinois Republican isn’t so sure about that.

Full story

July 8, 2015

Lindsey Graham Makes Case for War

Graham outlined his foreign policy vision on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Graham outlined his foreign policy vision on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Perhaps more than any other presidential candidate, Sen. Lindsey Graham enjoys telling people to vote for somebody else.

“Radical Islam is not going to be compromised with. They are religious Nazis. Somebody better go over there and hit them before they hit us,” Graham said Wednesday. “There is no alternative to going in on the ground and pulling the caliphate up by the roots. If that scares you, don’t vote for me.”

Full story

June 29, 2015

In Washington, Ted Cruz’s ‘Truth’ Will Make Him More Enemies

A new book by Ted Cruz slams a number of his colleagues in what he calls the "Washington cartel." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new book by Cruz — “A Time For Truth” — slams a number of his colleagues in what he calls the “Washington cartel.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

When their presidential bids failed, senators as liberal as Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and as conservative as Barry Goldwater of Arizona returned to Capitol Hill and had productive — if not legendary — careers.

But Sen. Ted Cruz’s new book is the latest indication he has no plan to be a member of such a club if his run for the White House doesn’t go as planned. He is running against what he’s taken to calling a “Washington cartel.”

As to be expected from a senator who has openly sought to undermine GOP leadership, “A Time for Truth” does not pull punches, leading off with anecdotes about one of the more bizarre sequences of events in recent Senate history: the day the clerk’s microphone was turned off for a crucial vote on raising the debt limit.

Full story

June 26, 2015

Gay Marriage Supporters Turn Focus to ENDA

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Baldwin and Merkley were among those signing on to a statement calling for additional action on gay rights. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Having achieved marriage equality in Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision, supporters of gay rights are making clear there’s still much work to do, including on employment discrimination.

“In dozens of states, a couple can marry in the morning, announce their union in the afternoon, yet lose their jobs or be evicted from their apartment by the day’s end. Just as we needed Congress to pass legislation to fully realize the promise of previous Supreme Court decisions recognizing fundamental civil rights, Congress must act to fully realize the promise of today’s ruling by introducing and passing legislation to finally provide comprehensive federal non-discrimination protections to LGBT Americans,” said a broad coalition of civil rights groups and lawmakers, including Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Full story

June 24, 2015

NRSC Chairman Evolves on Mississippi Flag (Updated)

Wicker has changed his stance on his state's flag. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wicker has changed his stance on his state’s flag. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:20 a.m. | GOP Sen. Roger Wicker now says his home state of Mississippi should change its flag.

“After reflection and prayer, I now believe our state flag should be put in a museum and replaced by one that is more unifying to all Mississippians,” Wicker said in a statement. Full story

June 22, 2015

NRSC Chairman Says Mississippi State Flag’s Confederate Symbol Up to Voters

Confederate Battle Flag Mississippi South Carolina Capitol

As South Carolina struggles with the issue of the Confederate battle flag flying on the grounds of the State Capitol, the battle flag, as part of Mississippi’s state flag, hangs along the Senate subway at the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The head of the Senate GOP’s campaign committee says it is up to the people of his state to decide about possibly changing the Mississippi state flag, which includes a battle symbol of the Confederacy.

In a statement, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Roger Wicker referred to a 2001 referendum on the state flag. Full story

Toomey Applauds Medical Marijuana Research

Toomey backs a streamlined process for medical marijuana research. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Toomey backs a streamlined process for medical marijuana research. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration’s decision to streamline medical marijuana research Monday drew praise from Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, one of the more endangered Republicans up in 2016.

According to The Washington Post, eliminating the Public Health Service review from research proposals will cut an additional layer of bureaucracy from an already onerous process. Full story

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