Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 17, 2014

Posts in "Politics"

April 10, 2014

Joe Manchin: Koch Brothers ‘Not Breaking the Law’

manchin 058 020614 445x296 Joe Manchin: Koch Brothers Not Breaking the Law

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W. Va., sounds like no fan of the top Senate Democrat’s attacks on the Koch brothers.

Asked by Fox News about the drumbeat of criticism of the billionaire businessmen and donors to conservative campaigns and causes from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Manchin replied, “You don’t beat up people.”

“I mean, I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but you know they’re Americans, they’re doing — paying their taxes,” Manchin said.

Full story

April 8, 2014

Senate GOP Not Sweating Democratic Pay Equity Push (Video)

fischer 080 040814 330x222 Senate GOP Not Sweating Democratic Pay Equity Push (Video)

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., arrives in the Capitol for the weekly policy luncheons on Tuesday. Fischer co-authored the GOP’s alternative pay equity bill. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans aren’t sweating a ramped-up push by Democrats and President Barack Obama for new pay equity legislation — pushing forward women Republicans to rebut charges they have a woman problem and doubting the issue will resonate with voters.

“I think the Democrats are doing anything they can to try to change the subject from the nightmare of Obamacare and the joblessness that we experience in our country right now,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

But Democrats contend that Senate Republicans ignore the pay equity issue at their political peril come November, with control of the Senate at stake.

“They are out of touch,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of Democratic leadership, said of the GOP after a press conference touting the bill. “They are so in their conservative echo chamber that they don’t know what’s going on in America and that’s going to help us dramatically in 2014.” Full story

McConnell Doubts Individual Campaign Finance Limits Will Go Away (Video)

mcconnell 016 040114 445x312 McConnell Doubts Individual Campaign Finance Limits Will Go Away (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, an outspoken foe of many campaign finance restrictions, said Tuesday that he didn’t think limits on individual contributions to candidates will disappear any time soon.

“I think that’s not likely to happen,” the Kentucky Republican said when asked at a news conference about the possibility of the restrictions on individual contributions being thrown out.

Full story

April 4, 2014

Reid Contributor Hopes to Toss Remaining Campaign Finance Limits

reid 198 0325141 445x296 Reid Contributor Hopes to Toss Remaining Campaign Finance Limits

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A man convicted of making illegal campaign contributions to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would like to make a nightmare of one of the Nevada Democrat’s top lieutenants come true — by eliminating all campaign contribution limits.

Senate Rules Chairman Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., reacted to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, tossing aggregate campaign contribution limits by telling reporters ”the implications of this particular decision are significant but not huge, but the direction that the court is heading in is just dramatic and just dark.”

Full story

March 26, 2014

On Obamacare, Harry Reid Says the Joke Is on Boehner

reid 198 032514 445x296 On Obamacare, Harry Reid Says the Joke Is on Boehner

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats unveiled an agenda Wednesday focused on the middle class and designed to help them keep the majority, but spent part of their press conference parrying questions about whether the Affordable Care Act would be a liability for Democrats in the November election.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., ripped Republicans for attacking the White House’s latest deadline extension aimed at giving people more time to sign up for health insurance beyond March 31.

“They should be trying to help people get health care,” Reid said, adding that the criticism is “a bunch of drivel.” Full story

March 20, 2014

Reid Features in Gray Campaign Mailer Reminding Voters ‘Who Stood Up for Us’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plays a starring role in a campaign mailer arriving in District of Columbia mailboxes.

A snapshot of the Nevada Democrat standing shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Vincent Gray graces a flyer encouraging D.C. voters to give the mayor another four years at the helm of the city. It captures the tight-lipped scowl that appeared on Reid’s face when Gray crashed an Oct. 9 press conference that Senate Democrats were holding on the Capitol steps in the midst of this fall’s federal government shutdown.

gray 251x335 Reid Features in Gray Campaign Mailer Reminding Voters Who Stood Up for Us

A snapshot of the mailer.

The mailer, paid for by Vince Gray 2014, tells voters to “remember who stood up for us” when they cast their ballots in the April 1 Democratic primary. Full story

March 13, 2014

McCain Rails GOP on Ukraine Bill: ‘Don’t Call Yourself Reagan Republicans’ (Video)

Sen. John McCain hammered Republicans on the Senate floor Thursday for refusing to pass by unanimous consent a Senate Foreign Relation Committee bill which would provide economic aid while imposing sanctions on Russia.

“What has happened? Where are our priorities? You can call yourself Republicans, that’s fine, because that’s your voter registration. Don’t call yourself Reagan Republicans,” the Arizona Republican said.

Full story

Graham to Kerry: ‘Let Me Know What I Can Do’ to Help With Boehner (Video)

Following remarks Wednesday from Speaker John A. Boehner saying IMF aid to Ukraine is unnecessary, Sen. Lindsey Graham personally offered assistance to Secretary of State John Kerry as the House and Senate continue to debate the appropriate response to the Ukrainian crisis.

“Hey, John, good job,” the South Carolina Republican was heard saying before Kerry turned off the desk mic. “Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner.”

Graham’s remarks were caught following a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the State Department’s fiscal 2015 budget. Meanwhile, Kerry travels to London on Friday to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Correction 11:40 p.m.

An earlier version of this report misstated where Kerry is traveling on Friday.

Reid, Durbin Accuse GOP of Putting Koch Brothers Ahead of Ukrainians

Senate Democratic leaders lit into Republicans Thursday over reports of an effort to tie aid to Ukraine to a move to block the IRS from clamping down on the political activities of tax-exempt groups.

“If you submitted that plot line that we can’t protect Americans and our friends overseas unless we protect the Koch brothers to ‘House of Cards,’ they’d reject it as a script incredible,” Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said. “No one would take that position.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been hammering Charles and David Koch and the conservative 501(c)(4) group Americans for Prosperity recently.

Earlier this week, Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Corker, R-Tenn., made public a push by some in the GOP to insist on blocking the IRS from imposing new restrictions on the political activities of groups such as Americans for Prosperity claiming the not-for-profit tax status as part of a deal to adopt a package of International Monetary Fund proposals that date to 2010. Full story

February 28, 2014

Mumia Abu-Jamal Case Reverberates in Senate Nomination Fight

143344021 protestor stands next to an image of mumia gettyimages 445x297 Mumia Abu Jamal Case Reverberates in Senate Nomination Fight

A protestor stands next to an image of Abu-Jamal in 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has unleashed a decades-old racial feud centered on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal that threatens to cross partisan lines and give credence to Senate Republican worries that more controversial nominees will be confirmed since Democrats eased the process last year.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on cloture on the Adegbile nomination Monday evening. Adegbile, senior counsel for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., previously worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which helped commute the death sentence of Abu-Jamal, a black nationalist who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Senate Democrats control 55 votes in the Senate and only need 51 to clear the hurdle. But it is likely to be close, as one of their own, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania announced Friday he would oppose the nomination, and several Democrats up for re-election in swing or conservative states might think twice about wading into the hornets’ nest that surrounds Abu-Jamal.

The case goes back to a dark period in Philadelphia history, when the MOVE group of black separatists clashed frequently with the Philadelphia political and law enforcement community.   Full story

February 27, 2014

Cruz Won’t Say Whether He’ll Vote for Cornyn in Tuesday’s Primary

cornyn 122 062513 445x270 Cruz Wont Say Whether Hell Vote for Cornyn in Tuesdays Primary

Does Cornyn have Cruz’s vote? Texas’ junior senator won’t say. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz declined to say whether he would vote for his fellow Texan, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, in next week’s Republican primary, despite Cruz’s avowed affection for the state’s senior senator.

“I like John Cornyn,” Cruz said Thursday in a Politico Playbook breakfast interview. “He and I have worked together very closely. We’ve agreed on the vast majority of things, there are some areas on which we disagree.”

Cruz said his decision not to disclose his choice in Tuesday’s GOP Senate primary — in which Rep. Steve Stockman is one of several challengers to Cornyn — stems from him not wanting to meddle in the primaries of sitting Republicans. But he said his decision is not iron clad and left open the possibility that he may still get involved in primaries this year.

“What I have said is that I am likely going to stay out of incumbent Republican primaries,” Cruz said. “I haven’t put that in concrete.”

Asked why he hedged, Cruz said, “Because things can change in politics.” Full story

Corker Compares Reid’s Reign to Putin’s

 Corker Compares Reids Reign to Putins

(Courtesy Michael Bonfigli/Christian Science Monitor)

Sen. Bob Corker lit into Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday morning, at one point comparing the Nevada Democrat’s leadership of the Senate to the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Tennessee Republican, who is the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he supports finding a way forward on filling noncontroversial ambassadorial nominations, but he said he understands why Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republicans would take advantage of Senate rules in the aftermath of the “nuclear” option.

Full story

February 15, 2014

McConnell Responds to Cruz on Debt Limit, Takes Credit for Avoiding Default

senate vote002 010714 445x294 McConnell Responds to Cruz on Debt Limit, Takes Credit for Avoiding Default

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Responding to sharp criticism from Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he voted to protect the country from default when he cast the decisive vote advancing the suspension of the debt limit this week.

“My job is to protect the country when I can, and step up and lead on those occasions when it’s required,” McConnell told reporters at a campaign event in Kentucky on Friday. “That’s what I did.”

McConnell said the Senate had only two choices after House Republicans were unable to coalesce around any strategy for attaching policy provisions to the debt limit hike: “a clean debt ceiling in the Senate or default.”

But before and after Wednesday afternoon’s contentious cloture vote that saw six GOP senators switch their votes, Cruz argued that if Republicans held firm, the Democrats would be forced to the bargaining table, despite insistence by Democrats on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue that they would not negotiate a “ransom” over the full faith and credit of the United States.

Full story

February 6, 2014

With Baucus Confirmed, Wyden Talks Finance (Video)

dw050208090 445x289 With Baucus Confirmed, Wyden Talks Finance (Video)

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Finance Chairman Max Baucus confirmed as the next ambassador to China, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is beginning to talk about his plans for his new gavel.

Senators voted 96-0 in favor of confirming Baucus to the post Thursday afternoon, praising the senior Montana Democrat for his efforts working with Republicans — some of which raised the ire of his own party over the years.

“On the Finance Committee, you can’t sit back and throw stones. You have to roll up your sleeves, find common ground, and get the job done,” said fellow Montanan Jon Tester. “Max’s penchant for hard work and thoughtful, independent-minded leadership stems from another great Montanan he and I both admire: former Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.”

Full story

February 4, 2014

Collins, Murkowski Most Likely Republicans to Back Obama

Agri markup 001 042612 445x297 Collins, Murkowski Most Likely Republicans to Back Obama

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska held their reputations as leading GOP moderates in 2013.

In CQ Roll Call’s annual look at voting records, the two Republican women led the field of those most likely to vote with President Barack Obama on votes on which the administration clearly took a position, either through a formal Statement of Administration Policy or other expression of policy view.

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...