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Sen. Mike Lee will find himself in the middle of the debate on the Affordable Care Act on Monday, as well as between two colleagues running for president.
The Utah Republican and chairman of the Senate Steering Committee is joining fellow Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida at a news conference where they will announce their opposition to anything short of a full repeal of the law when the chamber begins debating it under the budget reconciliation process on Dec. 2.
“There are a few of us who have expressed concerns,” Lee said in an interview in his office before the Thanksgiving recess. “We just want to make sure that we are taking full advantage of the opportunity; that we are doing as much as we can consistent with the rules.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham has tried in vain to make the GOP presidential race a fight over who has the best plan to crush the Islamic State. But as coordinated terror attacks on Paris dominate headlines, will primary voters finally listen to the South Carolina Republican?
Graham has long pushed for military intervention in Syria, with a substantial ground component. He told CQ Roll Call Monday that he hoped his message would pick up traction, particularly in New Hampshire — host of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary and where he will travel this weekend with Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain.
The search is on for 51 Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising questions about whether the House’s attempt to use the budget reconciliation process to do so will succeed.
Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both presidential candidates, and Sen. Mike Lee are on record that they “cannot support” a bill that doesn’t “fully repeal” the health care law. The offices of Cruz and Rubio referred CQ Roll Call back to a joint statement from three weeks ago when asked for a response to Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s ruling this week that Obamacare’s employer and individual mandates fail the test for inclusion in a reconciliation bill. Full story
Sen. Dan Coats wishes he had been able to do more with the all-star staff he assembled more than two decades ago, given the sphere of influence two of them now occupy in the top echelons of Congress.
The Indiana Republican’s staff leader in the early ’90s was Dave Hoppe, who just returned to the Capitol as chief of staff to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. Hoppe in turn hired Sharon Soderstrom for Coats’ team. She’s now chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an aggressive plan for what could be a two-day workweek ahead of the Veterans Day holiday.
The Kentucky Republican secured a consent agreement Nov. 5 that sets up a Tuesday morning vote on the Senate agreeing to a House-passed revision of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, clearing one must-do item off the calendar. Full story
Patriotic themes were a common thread among the first Senate floor speeches of the 12 Republican freshmen, the last of which was delivered this week.
According to a CQ Roll Call analysis of the dozen addresses, the trend favored references to the agenda of the new Republican majority and the importance of getting the Senate back to work. Some focused on a specific policy question, such as Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., whose first remarks in the chamber came during the debate over approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Full story
The Republican defense policy leader in the Senate wondered aloud Thursday if Democrats “don’t give a damn” about military personnel.
During a stem-winding floor speech, Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., asked if his Democratic counterparts were blocking the defense spending bill debate not for procedural reasons — but because they don’t care. Full story
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.
Two senators on Monday denied claims they had any involvement with the Ku Klux Klan.
Responding to an anonymous and unsubstantiated blog post, Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., denied claims they “are associated with either kkk or racist related,” as the post on pastebin.com by someone named Amped Attacks suggested. Full story
Updated 8:09 p.m. | Fred Thompson, a former Republican senator, presidential candidate and actor, died Sunday in Nashville, Tenn., from a recurrence of lymphoma, according to a statement from his family. He was 73.
Six years out of law school at Vanderbilt University and a year after serving as campaign manager for Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn., Thompson first gained national notice after signing on in 1973 as the Republican counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, which investigated President Richard M. Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Full story
Updated 5:22 a.m., Oct. 30 | The Senate sent to President Barack Obama a massive fiscal package early Friday morning that averts a U.S. debt default and raises spending caps.
The chamber worked into the wee hours of the morning as senators cleared a key procedural hurdle, 63-35, and then passed the sweeping budget deal in a 64-35 vote that also suspends the debt limit into 2017. Full story
Updated 1:57 p.m. | Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts has assurances from his leadership to reverse crop insurance cutbacks in the budget and debt limit deal that’s currently on the Senate floor.
“This commitment is in reference to the obvious need to remedy the language adversely affected our nation’s farmers and ranchers now included in the bipartisan budget act,” the Kansas Republican said Thursday.
Sen. Jeff Sessions got more time at Wednesday night’s main Republican presidential debate than some of the candidates.
CNBC debate moderator John Harwood asked Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to address the Alabama Republican’s position that high-skilled visas programs hurt American workers, pointing to a recent Wired article that said Rubio wanted to be the savior of the tech industry by increasing the amount of H-1B visas. Full story
The two-year budget deal heading to the House floor will make prime Republican presidential debate fodder Wednesday evening in Colorado.
Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday that he intended to filibuster the bipartisan budget agreement that would also provide for a suspension of the debt limit.