Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 27, 2015

Posts in "Procedure"

August 26, 2015

Rubio: GOP Needs 60 Votes to Repeal Obamacare

Rubio held a town hall Wednesday in Londonderry. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio held a town hall Wednesday in Londonderry. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Marco Rubio sounds rather bearish on repealing Obamacare anytime soon, even if he or another Republican becomes president.

Outlining his economic and foreign policy visions at a town hall meeting in Londonderry, N.H., on Wednesday, the Floridian said upending the 2010 health care overhaul law would take the support of a filibuster-proof supermajority of 60 senators.

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August 25, 2015

Patty Murray Joins in Supporting the Iran Deal

Could Murray help avert another government shutdown? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Murray has become the 29th Democratic Conference member to back the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The one member of the Senate Democratic leadership who had yet to announce a position on the Iran deal is supporting it.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Tuesday in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call ahead of release that she would be joining with Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois in lining up in favor of the international agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear development.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., is the lone Democratic leader on the other side.

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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 5, 2015

Senate Heads for Recess After Reaching Deal on Iran, Cyber Debates (Video)

McConnell pledged to hold a vote on a 20-week abortion ban bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell announced no further votes before recess. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate’s figured out how to go ahead with debates on both the Iran deal and cybersecurity legislation — debates that will not happen in earnest until after the August recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., secured an agreement to take up a congressional disapproval of the deal between the P5+1 powers (the U.S., Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany) and Iran that President Barack Obama made the case for during a speech at American University earlier Wednesday.

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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.”

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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.

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July 26, 2015

Senate Votes to Revive Export-Import Bank, Keep Obamacare (Updated)

McConnell set up Sunday's victory for Ex-Im Bank supporters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell set up Sunday’s victory for Ex-Im Bank supporters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:57 p.m. | In a pair of losses for conservatives, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Sunday to revive the Export-Import Bank while failing to overcome a filibuster of an attempt to repeal Obamacare — with more fireworks to come.

The rare Sunday votes set the stage for the Senate to send a long-term highway bill tied to the Ex-Im Bank to the House later this week, but not before facing other gambits by conservatives, including a procedural vote forced by Sen. Ted Cruz regarding the Iran deal and an effort to deploy a maneuver akin to the “nuclear option.” Full story

July 15, 2015

Cruz, Lee Promise Highway Bill Traffic Jam Over Ex-Im Bank

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz and Lee are ready to gum up the works. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If senators want to revive the Export-Import Bank as part of the upcoming highway bill debate, they’re going to have to do it the hard way.

That was one key takeaway from GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah at a news conference with other conservative lawmakers and members of outside groups that oppose the government-credit agency.

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July 7, 2015

Extension of Iran Nuclear Talks Could Save August Recess

( Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Perdue is among the Republicans calling for Kerry to step away from the Iranian nuclear talks. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

News of yet another extension of the deadline for nuclear talks with Iran might prove a boon for lawmakers and staffers with plans to get out of town in August.

A longer, 60-day review period would kick in if an agreement is submitted to Congress any time between July 10, which is Friday, and Labor Day. Any agreement submitted in that time would mean the Senate’s upcoming recess could begin as scheduled by Aug. 10, without the risk of needing to quickly return to Capitol Hill for a bid to override a veto of Iran agreement disapproval legislation. Lawmakers are due back by Sept. 8, which would be at the tail end of the review window. Full story

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

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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