Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 29, 2015

Posts in "Procedure"

November 19, 2015

Paul Holding Up Spending Bill Over Refugee Welfare

rand paul

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he won’t allow a transportation and housing spending bill through quickly without a vote about Syrian refugees, likely halting final passage until after Thanksgiving.

In a statement, Paul called it “an outrage” that Senate leadership filed cloture on the bill without his amendment regarding welfare for new refugees, and he promised he “will not back down.” Full story

November 16, 2015

Senate Bides Time as Highway Bill Negotiations Continue

highway bill

Collins departs from the weekly Senate Republicans luncheon on Nov. 10. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

It might feel like Groundhog Day with another deadline arriving to fund highway programs, but negotiators hope this one will be the last.

They have until the end of the week to produce and advance a conference agreement on transportation programs, absent another extension. It’s also the vehicle for reviving the Export-Import Bank.

Full story

November 11, 2015

Senate Seeks Bipartisanship in Rules Overhaul

Sen. Patty Murray, from left, Schumer and Reid after the Democratic policy luncheon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Patty Murray, from left, Schumer and Reid after the Democratic policy luncheon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer is upbeat that the Senate’s rules will be tweaked by the time he’s expected to become Democratic leader in 2017 — regardless of which leadership job that becomes.

But for any rules change plan to advance, the New York Democrat says it will have to be bipartisan and need a two-thirds vote. Both sides agree the “nuclear option” won’t be used to implement adjustments in how the Senate takes up legislation.

Full story

November 3, 2015

The Last Freshman: Sasse Evokes Senate Titans in Opening Speech

Sasse arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sasse arrives for the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Leave it to a historian with a Yale doctorate to respect a Senate tradition from a bygone era.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., delivered his first speech on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, waiting until a year after he won his Senate seat to speak from his chamber desk — the final member of the freshman class to do so. His remarks highlighted a trio of the chamber’s legendary figures: Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine and Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.

Full story

Senate to Join House in Prolonged August Recess

UNITED STATES - MARCH 3: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, right, lead the procession of Senators to the House floor for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will return Jan. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators are expected to have an extended August recess in 2016, just like their House counterparts.

That’s according to a calendar obtained by CQ Roll Call. The schedule calls for the Senate to be out of session from July 18 through Sept. 5, which is Labor Day. As with the House schedule posted earlier Tuesday, the extended state work period aligns with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in late July.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 2:15 p.m.
2016, Procedure

November 2, 2015

Rand Paul Goes Viral, Thanks to Mike Lee

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rand Paul’s late-night budget deal filibuster bid picked up an unexpected boost from fellow Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

Lee posted to his Facebook page a clip of the Kentucky presidential hopeful expressing on the Senate floor his opposition to the budget deal, which also suspended the debt limit beyond the 2016 elections.

Full story

October 14, 2015

Explaining the Cracks in Ted Cruz’s State Department Blockade

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz’s State Department holds do not apply to career ambassadors. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I intend to block all nominees for the Department of State and hold any legislation that reauthorizes funds for the Department of State.”

That quote, from a July 16 letter from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to President Barack Obama sounded pretty straightforward. But, it turns out that career ambassadors are not State Department nominees, at least according to the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful.

Full story

September 8, 2015

Senate Democrats Can Block Iran Deal Disapproval (Updated)

joe manchin

Despite Manchin, Iran deal disapproval faces a likely Senate blockade. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:23 p.m. | The path to block disapproval of the Iran deal from ever getting out of the Senate appeared to be at hand Tuesday, just after Minority Leader Harry Reid made the case for why doing that should be perfectly acceptable.

But there’s an element of kabuki in all of this, because the votes are already there to sustain a veto by President Barack Obama. Full story

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.

Full story

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.

Full story

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.

Full story

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.”

Full story

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.

Full story

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

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