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July 7, 2015

Posts in "Procedure"

July 7, 2015

After Trade Triumph, Senate Republicans Look to Rack Up More Wins

McConnell hopes to pass a bipartisan No Child Left Behind rewrite after last month's trade triumph. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell hopes to pass a bipartisan No Child Left Behind rewrite after last month’s trade triumph. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate is on a roll — and he wants to make sure it stays that way.

After reviving Trade Promotion Authority, the Kentucky Republican opted to move next to a bipartisan rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law in a bid to maintain the chamber’s legislative momentum.

Full story

Senators Running for President Defend the Filibuster

Cruz and Rubio are among those who oppose eliminating the filibuster to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz and Rubio are among those who oppose eliminating the filibuster to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If using the nuclear option to repeal Obamacare becomes a GOP litmus test, then the Republican senators running for president will have a problem.

Both Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt some variation of no way, no how to the idea of ending the 60-vote threshold for filibusters of legislation.

Full story

June 2, 2015

McConnell and Reid Feud: ‘He Doesn’t Get to Schedule the Senate Anymore’ (Video)

Reid and McConnell traded barbs Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reid and McConnell traded barbs Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate’s leaders traded unusually harsh and personal words on the floor Tuesday afternoon, just before a clear majority rejected Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s arguments against an overhaul of lapsed Patriot Act surveillance authorities.

“As my good friend, the majority leader, frequently reminded me over the last few years, the majority leader always gets the last word,” the Kentucky Republican said during the exchange. “And look, his fundamental complaint is he doesn’t get to schedule the Senate anymore and he wanted to kill the president’s trade bill, and so he didn’t like the fact that we moved to the trade bill early enough before the opposition to it might become more severe.”

Full story

May 18, 2015

McConnell Threatens Memorial Day Recess

McConnell is threatening senators with weekend work. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell is threatening senators with weekend work. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s time to start threatening recess.

Like clockwork Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned senators he intends to force them to stick around until they are finished with their work.

“The Senate will finish its work on trade this week, and we will remain in session as long as it takes to do so,” said the Kentucky Republican.

“I would advise against making any sort of travel arrangements until the path forward becomes clear.” Full story

April 30, 2015

Corker Predicts No More Amendments to Iran Bill (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:58 p.m. | Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker predicted there was no hope for additional amendments to his bill to provide for review of the Iran agreement — and that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s next step would be to limit debate.

“Mitch has a decision now about filing cloture. My sense is, you’ll need to talk with him, but that’s what he’s going to do,” the Tennessee Republican said of his Kentucky counterpart’s likely next move. Senate Republicans announced no further floor votes for the week.

Full story

April 24, 2015

Iran Bill Supporters Seek to Avoid Contentious Amendments

Corker will manage floor debate on the Iran review legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Corker will manage floor debate on the Iran review legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Supporters of the Senate’s Iran legislation know they have to do a delicate dance on the floor.

With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promising an open-amendment process for the bill negotiated by Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and ranking Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the advocates for the carefully crafted compromise know they will have to bat back unwanted amendments — including some they might support — to stave off the return of a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

“The White House has made very plain that they dropped their veto threat for the bill as constituted,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said. “Look, I was one of the co-sponsors, but there might be amendments that would cause me to withdraw. If there are amendments that try to take what has been scrupulously nonpartisan and make it partisan, you’re going to see a lot of people who are on the bill moving off of it.”

Full story

April 17, 2015

For Lynch, Next Week Just Might Be the Week

Lynch appears to have a narrow majority backing her nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lynch appears to have a narrow majority backing her nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the end of a week that saw bipartisanship break out all around the Senate, Loretta Lynch remained in limbo.

The Thursday afternoon announcement there would be no further Senate votes for the week guaranteed that the Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be attorney general, would enter another week awaiting Senate confirmation. The contrast was on the president’s mind Friday.

“And I have to say that there are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it. It’s gone too far. Enough,” Obama said at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. “Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job. This is embarrassing, a process like this.”

Full story

April 14, 2015

Senate’s To-Do List Keeps Getting Longer (Video)

McConnell outlined an extremely busy legislative calendar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell outlined an extremely busy legislative calendar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A debate over Iran may highlight the Senate’s agenda, but it already seems like there might be too much to do.

Sen. Bob Corker’s efforts to get broad support for bipartisan legislation to provide a role for Congress in reviewing a final international agreement with Iran about nuclear weapons appears to have paid dividends. And the Corker legislation seems to be on an expedited path to the floor after a markup set for Tuesday afternoon. Full story

March 26, 2015

Vote-a-Rama Minute-by-Minute

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The moment you’ve been waiting for — the (sort of) annual Senate vote-a-rama — is here. A whole host of CQ Roll Call reporters and editors are tweeting out details during the marathon voting session, which you can read below. Scores of amendments are expected to get votes, with final adoption of the Senate GOP’s budget expected early Friday morning.

Hundreds of amendments have been filed, and the only limit to the voting time is exhaustion, aided by the powerful jet fumes of a pending recess.

Voting Marathon: More Test Marketing Than Attack Ads

Vote-a-Rama Presents Political Peril for Vulnerable Incumbents

Start Preparing Now for the Budget Vote-A-Rama

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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March 23, 2015

Democrats Outline Floor Strategy for Budget Battle

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders, foreground, and Schumer briefed reporters on their response to the GOP budget last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate and House Democrats face different challenges in responding to the budget blueprints on the floors of their respective chambers, but they’re operating from much the same playbook.

The budget resolutions, which both moved through the House and Senate budget committees last week with customary party-line support, are indisputably political documents, which will give each side fodder leading in to the two-week recess at the beginning of April.

In the Senate, Democrats intend to focus particular attention on “meat and potato” policy issues in this year’s budget vote-a-rama. That’s how Senate Democratic messaging guru Charles E. Schumer described the Democratic plan last week.

Full story

March 10, 2015

Senate Faces Trust Breakdown Over Abortion (Updated) (Video)

Updated 6:12 p.m. | Abortion politics — and an emerging trust gap between Democrats and Republicans — threatened to derail the ostensibly noncontroversial human trafficking bill on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Democrats said they were effectively hoodwinked by Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas and other Republican senators with the inclusion of an expansion of the scope of the prohibition of federal funding on abortion known as the Hyde amendment.

A Cornyn aide alleged that the staff of Judiciary ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., was aware of the abortion language before the bill even came up for a vote in committee, but Democratic aides said that simply was not true.

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 12, 2015

Kathie Alvarez Hears Her Name on Senate Floor, for Once

A familiar voice is leaving the Senate.

Senators paid tribute Thursday to Kathie Alvarez, the chamber’s first female legislative clerk, who is retiring after 30 years of service. Full story

By Humberto Sanchez Posted at 5:53 p.m.
Procedure

January 12, 2015

Ted Cruz: Preserve Filibuster, Even For Obamacare Repeal

Cruz wants to keep the filibuster, even though it makes it harder to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz wants to keep the filibuster, even though it makes it harder to repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There’s a limit to what Sen. Ted Cruz would do to repeal Obamacare.

The Texas Republican said Monday that Republicans should do “everything humanly possible to repeal Obamacare” during a speech at Heritage Action’s annual policy summit. It’s a line he’s used before. But he later added a caveat.

When asked if Republicans should use the “nuclear option” to ditch the filibuster on legislation and get more bills to President Obama’s desk, including a bill repealing Obamacare, Cruz told reporters, “no, we should not.”

“We should preserve the procedural protections in the Senate for the rights of the minority,” he said. Full story

Cornyn: ‘We Learned the Hard Way’

"We have the responsibility to govern," Cornyn said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“We have the responsibility to govern,” Cornyn said. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At the start of the last Congress, John Cornyn wrote an editorial titled “Partial Government Shutdown May Be Needed to Restore Fiscal Sanity.” He’s singing a different tune today.

“I’ve evolved,” the Texas Republican and newly minted Senate majority whip said in an interview last week with CQ Roll Call.

For starters, the memory of the 2013 shutdown over Obamacare instigated by his fellow Texas senator, Ted Cruz, remains fresh. Full story

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