Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 2, 2015

July 1, 2015

Jumpers Beware: White House Fence Is a Lot Spikier

Contract workers install security spikes atop the fence in front of the White House along Pennsylyvania Avenue in Washington on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The temprary spikes are to help deter fence jumpers at the White House until a more permanent solution can be installed. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)Contract workers install security spikes atop the fence in front of the White House along Pennsylyvania Avenue in Washington on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The temprary spikes are to help deter fence jumpers at the White House until a more permanent solution can be installed. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Workers install security spikes atop the White House fence Wednesday. The temporary spikes are to help deter fence jumpers until a more permanent solution can be installed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With the nation on a high terror alert three days before the July 4 holiday weekend, security is being tightened just about everywhere — including at the two symbolic buildings at opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

On Wednesday, workers were installing nasty-looking extra rows of sharp metal spikes atop the fence at the White House, where the Secret Service has had a problem in recent months with jumpers. Full story

What a Good White House Pool Report Looks Like

“This is fun,” Caitlyn and Chloe Robinson told veteran White House reporter George E. Condon Jr., as relayed in Condon’s pool report on Wednesday, the first day tourists were able to take pictures (and selfies!) during a tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Condon, a National Journal scribe, former bureau chief for Copley and one-time president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, knows how to be a pooler with panache. Some excerpts from his missive: Full story

Defying Boehner, Obama to Open Cuba Embassy (Updated)

Obama announced he's normalizing relations with Cuba and reopening the embassy in Havana. (Screenshot)

Obama announced he’s normalizing relations with Cuba and reopening the embassy in Havana. (Screenshot)

Updated 1:41 p.m. | Defying Speaker John A. Boehner, President Barack Obama announced plans Wednesday to normalize relations with Cuba and reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana. Full story

Obama Makes Op-Ed Push to Revive Export-Import Bank

The Export-Import Bank charter has lapsed. (Screenshot)

The Export-Import Bank charter has lapsed. (Screenshot)

As the charter for the Export-Import Bank was lapsing, President Barack Obama penned opinion pieces in a number of newspapers across the country asking readers to pressure their lawmakers to bring it back.

“Your members of Congress are home this week. So if you’re a small business owner – or an employee of a large business that depends on financing to sell in new markets and create new jobs – tell your senators to quit treating your business like it’s expendable. Tell your representative to stop the delays,” Obama writes in the version published in Wednesday’s Birmingham News. “It’s time for Congress to do its job, and keep America’s exports growing.”

Full story

June 29, 2015

Let Puerto Rico Go Bankrupt? Maybe.

Pierluisi wants Congress to authorize Chapter 9 bankruptcy for Puerto Rico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pierluisi wants Congress to authorize Chapter 9 bankruptcy for Puerto Rico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Let Puerto Rico Go Bankrupt. That’s something Puerto Rico’s voice in Congress supports, as does Jeb Bush, and now, maybe, the White House.

President Barack Obama, whose campaign mercilessly ripped Mitt Romney for his “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” column, appears open to bankruptcy for Puerto Rico.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday Congress should “take a look at” granting Puerto Rico the ability to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

That’s the same chapter of the bankruptcy code used by Detroit, ironically. Full story

June 26, 2015

Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ After Sweeping Call for Action

On perhaps the most remarkable day of his presidency, Barack Obama touched a crowd of thousands in Charleston, S.C., leading them in singing ‘Amazing Grace’ after issuing a stirring call to action as he eulogized state Sen. Clementa Pinckney and the others slain a week ago.

It was a moment that’s hard to imagine any other president pulling off: Addressing thousands from a historically black congregation after an act of unspeakable racial violence and speaking in the rhythms of a preacher — with organ accompaniment and frequent interruptions from the faithful. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 5:22 p.m.
Race

Transcript: Obama Delivers Eulogy for Clementa Pinckney

Here’s the full CQ Roll Call transcript of President Barack Obama’s Eulogy for State Senator Clementa Pinckney in Charleston, S.C.: Full story

Obama Transcript: Statement on Same-Sex Marriage Supreme Court Ruling

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama on Friday addressed the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:48 a.m.
SCOTUS

Same-Sex Marriage Supreme Court Decision Caps Historic Week for Obama (Updated) (Video)

Marriage equality advocates demonstrate outside the Supreme Court Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Marriage equality advocates demonstrate outside the Supreme Court Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:51 a.m. | Same-sex marriage will now be legal throughout the United States — putting another monumental exclamation point to President Barack Obama’s presidency.

This is arguably the high point of Obama’s entire tenure in office, with the Supreme Court justices he put on the court joining the rest of the liberal wing of the court and Anthony M. Kennedy in a 5-4 decision requiring states to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 10:24 a.m.
Politics, SCOTUS

June 25, 2015

Obamacare SCOTUS Win Sets Up Huge Week for Obama (Updated) (Video)

Obamacare supporters demonstrated outside the Supreme Court Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Obamacare supporters demonstrated outside the Supreme Court Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:29 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s enormous 6-3 win in the Supreme Court upholding subsidies nationwide for Obamacare — and preserving his signature domestic accomplishment — sets up what has the makings of the biggest week of his second term. Full story

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