Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

July 30, 2015

Obama’s Late Night Lobbying on Iran Deal

President Barack Obama has been working late to ensure he gets to votes on the Iran deal.

Not only did the president meet with House Democrats Wednesday, a group of about two dozen returned to the White House that night after House votes and met with Obama for a couple of hours, Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

That’s not typical for Obama.

“Spending time with individual members of Congress and answering their questions directly, again, I think it’s an indication that the president feels a personal responsibility to engage with members of Congress who are keeping an open mind and evaluating this agreement, and I would expect that the president will continue to have … many other conversations like that over the next several weeks,” Earnest said.

Per Earnest, the arguments he’s been making to Democrats are the same he’s been making publicly: that killing the deal makes war more likely, that Iran will get sanctions relief anyway because the rest of the world will not continue them, and the United States, not Iran, will be the one that will be isolated.

The efforts appear to be paying off.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters she’s heard “widely” from Democrats that they would vote to sustain the president’s veto of an expected disapproval resolution.

Matt Fuller contributed to this report.

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Josh Earnest: Planned Parenthood Videos ‘Fraudulent’

Earnest called the release of videos about Planned Parenthood "fraudulent." (Screenshot)

Earnest called the release of videos about Planned Parenthood “fraudulent.” (Screenshot)

Strong words today from the White House over those Planned Parenthood videos showing officials with the nation’s leading abortion provider discussing the sale of aborted body parts. But not for Planned Parenthood.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest called the release of the videos “fraudulent,” later clarifying that he was relying on public statements from Planned Parenthood when he made that charge, as well as other critics of the videos by The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group. Full story

July 29, 2015

Fattah Buttonholed Obama Directly, According to Indictment

Fattah, third from the right, attending an Oval Office signing ceremony in 2012.

Fattah, third from the right, attending an Oval Office signing ceremony in 2012. (Official White House photo/Pete Souza)

The Department of Justice’s indictment of Rep. Chaka Fattah alleges the Pennsylvania Democrat’s quid-pro-quo scheme included an in-person effort to get President Barack Obama to give a lobbyist an ambassadorship.

Fattah, a powerful Pennsylvania Democrat, is a longtime ally of the president’s and a frequent visitor to the White House. Full story

Chamber Plans August Outreach as Export-Import Bank Stays Expired

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce — a key White House ally on reviving the Export-Import Bank — plans a blitz to rebuild momentum with state and local chambers as members head home for the August recess.

“The Chamber and our members regret that Congress will adjourn for its August break without reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) despite clear evidence that broad majorities in both the Senate and House support it,” executive vice president for government affairs Bruce Josten said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “The impasse over a long-term highways bill had nothing to do with Ex-Im, and legislative maneuvering over that bill and its funding mechanisms in the end sidelined Ex-Im.”

Full story

Indicted Rep. Chaka Fattah Is a Frequent White House Visitor (Video)

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder, left, talked with Rep. Chaka Fattah, during a statue unveiling ceremony for civil rights activist Rosa Parks in the Capitol's Statuary Hall Feb. 27, 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder, left, talked with Rep. Chaka Fattah, during a statue unveiling ceremony for civil rights activist Rosa Parks in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall Feb. 27, 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s not every day that a frequent White House guest and political ally of the president is indicted on public corruption charges. But Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was indicted Wednesday by the Department of Justice, has been to the White House dozens of times to meet with President Barack Obama, according to public visitor logs.

Fattah was charged in a 29-count indictment with a scheme to use federal grant money to help pay off a campaign debt, among other charges. Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz declined to comment on the indictment Wednesday, citing the administration’s policy of not commenting on criminal cases. Full story

July 28, 2015

Why GOP’s Obamacare Reconciliation Effort Is Doomed

McConnell says he'll try to repeal Obamacare again though he has acknowledged it won't work. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell says he’ll try to repeal Obamacare again though he has acknowledged it won’t become law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are touting — again — another doomed effort to repeal Obamacare while President Barack Obama remains president.

The latest pledge has been in the works for a while, using special budget rules to get a repeal — or a very large chunk of a repeal — through the Senate and onto the president’s desk using a filibuster-proof reconciliation measure. Full story

Hillary Clinton Won’t Tell Keystone XL Position Until 2017

Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton waves to tourists as she makes her way through the Capitol en route to the Democratic Senate Policy luncheon, July 14, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 Clinton waves to tourists on July 14 as she makes her way through the Capitol. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton had an unusual dodge for a yes-or-no question from a voter on whether she would sign a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline: Wait until I’m president.

Clinton at first pointed, as she has previously, to her unique status as the secretary of State during the time when the review of the pipeline was initiated, and said she wanted to wait for President Barack Obama to make his decision. She said she wouldn’t second-guess the president’s decision. Full story

July 27, 2015

Obama Dings Cruz, Cotton, Huckabee and Trump

Obama ripped what he called ad hominem attacks from GOP presidential candidates. (Screenshot)

Obama ripped what he called ad hominem attacks from GOP presidential candidates. (Screenshot)

In a news conference in Ethiopia, President Barack Obama responded at length to Mike Huckabee’s comment that the Iran deal is marching Israelis to “the door of the oven” — saying it was part of a pattern of attacks that “would be ridiculous if it wasn’t so sad.”

Without naming names, Obama said a senator who is a presidential candidate — an apparent reference to Texas Republican Ted Cruz — had said the president was a leading state sponsor of terrorism and another had referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as Pontius Pilate, a reference to remarks by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 8:17 a.m.
2016

July 24, 2015

Ted Cruz Hasn’t Corrected CodePink Debate Flub

Cruz hasn't corrected a flub he made during a debate with Code Pink. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Cruz hasn’t corrected a flub he made during a debate with Code Pink. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A day later, Sen. Ted Cruz still hasn’t acknowledged he flubbed one on Iran during a debate with CodePink.

The Texas Republican and presidential candidate insisted that both Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have “explicitly said they are developing nuclear weapons,” which is not true.  Full story

July 23, 2015

Ted Cruz Gets One Wrong on Iran Deal

Ted Cruz Iran Deal

Cruz got one wrong Thursday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Ted Cruz flubbed one Thursday in his impromptu debate on the Iran deal.

While many believe Iran wants a nuclear weapon, Cruz declared Iran’s leaders have “explicitly said they are developing nuclear weapons” — something that simply hasn’t happened. “There is no doubt about it,” the Texas Republican added for emphasis. Full story

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