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November 26, 2015

Posts in "Republicans"

November 25, 2015

Mike Lee in the Middle of Reconciliation Battle

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, (center) is joining fellow Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida (left) and Ted Cruz of Texas (right), in pushing leadership for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act through the reconciliation process. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lee, center, is joining fellow Republicans Rubio, left, and Cruz in pushing leadership on the Affordable Care Act. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.”

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November 20, 2015

Why Mike Lee Won’t Do Hallway Interviews

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, runs to the Senate floor to vote. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lee says he won’t be doing hallway interviews anymore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mike Lee is no longer taking hallway interviews. Full story

November 17, 2015

Paris Terror Attacks Give Graham an Opening in 2016 Race

Graham (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Graham (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

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November 12, 2015

Does Obamacare Repeal Have a Senate Path Without the Mandates?

Cruz and Rubio are among those o. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz, Lee and Rubio have previously expressed concerns about a reconciliation bill that doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

November 9, 2015

Ties to Coats Bind Top Leadership Staffers in Congress

McConnell walks with Soderstrom. (Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell walks with Soderstrom. (Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

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November 8, 2015

It’s Veterans Week in the Senate

veterans day

Kirk is the MilCon-VA subcommittee chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

November 6, 2015

First Speeches Steeped in Patriotic Red, White and Blue


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

November 5, 2015

McCain to Democrats: Do You ‘Give a Damn’ About Servicemembers?

McCain ripped reports of a possible extension in the Iran nuclear deal deadline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCain gave a biting floor speech about the blockade of the defense spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

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.

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November 2, 2015

Coats, Isakson Deny Ku Klux Klan Ties

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., denied having KKK ties on Monday, along with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Coats denied having KKK ties on Monday, along with Isakson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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 by someone named Amped Attacks suggested. Full story

November 1, 2015

Fred Thompson Dies at 73

Phil Gramm, R-Texas, Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Zell Miller, D-Ga., speak to the press after the Senate luncheons in Septmeber 2002. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

From left, Phil Gramm, R-Texas, Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Zell Miller, D-Ga., speak to the press after the Senate luncheons in September 2002. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 6:49 p.m.

October 29, 2015

Senate Sends Budget Deal to Obama’s Desk (Video)

budget deal

Reid and Pelosi held an impromptu news conference after the House budget vote Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

Roberts, McConnell Announce Crop Insurance Fix

UNITED STATES - MAY 7: Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., listens to testimony during the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing on child nutrition programs on Thursday, May 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roberts joined GOP leaders on the floor to discuss crop insurance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Full story

Rubio Refuses to Attack Jeff Sessions at Debate

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., refused to attack Sen. Jeff Sessions at Wednesday's Republican debate (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rubio refused to attack Sessions at the debate (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

October 28, 2015

Paul Pledges Budget Deal Filibuster Ahead of Debate

Rand Paul arrives at the U.S. Capitol to block any Patriot Act extension Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul said he would filibuster the deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Full story

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