Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 27, 2015

April 23, 2015

Brown Praises GOP’s Newfound Love for Obama

Brown praised Republicans' new found support for the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Brown praised Republicans’ new found support for the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I just think it’s a new day for our country,” Sen. Sherrod Brown deadpanned Thursday to a room full of reporters gathered to hear him and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., discuss their reservations with trade promotion authority legislation cruising toward the Senate floor.

The Ohio Democrat, a critic of the trade measure passed out of the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday evening, set aside his policy critique for a moment to sarcastically marvel at how Republicans were now fighting for their long-time nemesis, President Barack Obama, to be given expedited authority to negotiate trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The pact is a priority for the White House and most congressional Republicans. But it has drawn strife from many Democrats, particularly those from states hit hard by manufacturing losses, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Even as Brown and Casey were outlining their position, evidence of the “new day” was showing up across the Rotunda. The House Ways and Means Committee was marking up its own version of the TPA bill. The panel’s chairman, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, found himself in Brown’s era of good feelings, defending the administration’s push for trade promotion authority against another Rust Belt Democrat, ranking member Sander M. Levin of Michigan.

All kidding aside, Brown said he actually was amazed at the effort the White House was putting into its trade agenda. He said more congressional Democrats have been lobbied on trade by the Obama administration, including multiple Cabinet members, than on any other issue during Obama’s presidency.

“That’s just sad,” Brown said.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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April 16, 2015

Clinton’s ‘Debt Free By 2013′ Pledge

President Bill Clinton and Deputy Chief of Staff John D. Podesta, share a laugh during the announcement of the budget at the White House.. (CQ Roll Call File Photo/Douglas Graham)

Clinton and then-Deputy Chief of Staff John D. Podesta share a laugh in 2000 during the announcement of the budget. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio’s trip to 1999 presents an opportunity to showcase a picture in the CQ Roll Call archives of Bill Clinton’s final budget blueprint, one forecasting massive surpluses and paying off all of the debt owned by the public by 2013.

Full story

April 14, 2015

Corker: White House ‘Spinning’ on Iran Switcheroo (Audio)

Corker says the White House is “spinning” on his Iran bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said the White House’s about-face on his Iran legislation is likely because they were about to lose.

The White House went Tuesday from vowing to veto the Corker-Menendez Iran bill to backing an emerging compromise, with caveats. Full story

April 13, 2015

Marco Rubio’s Opening Speech Had a Goof (Updated)

Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015. The day featured addresses by potential presidential candidates. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Presidential Forum at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated April 14, 11:00 a.m. | Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign announcement speech included inspirational parts of his life story, the outline of a governing agenda and one flat-out error that appears to be a clumsy Prince reference. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 10:09 p.m.
2016, Uncategorized

April 11, 2015

Obama Torches McCain Over Criticism of Kerry on Iran

Obama responded Saturday after McCain, right, called Kerry's view of the Iran negotiations "delusional." (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Obama responded Saturday after McCain, right, called Kerry’s view of the Iran negotiations “delusional.” (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama lit into Sen. John McCain Saturday over the Arizona Republican’s recent comments about the framework agreement with Iran about its nuclear program.

“When I hear some, like Sen. McCain recently, suggest that our secretary of State, John Kerry, who served in the United States Senate, a Vietnam veteran, provided exemplary service to this nation is somehow less trustworthy in the interpretation of what’s in a political agreement than the Supreme Leader of Iran, that’s an indication of the degree to which partisanship has crossed all boundaries, and we’re seeing this again and again,” Obama told reporters at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama.

Full story

April 10, 2015

Obama Still Taking It Slow on Marijuana

Obama answers a question from a participant about decriminalizing marijuana during a town hall meeting with young leaders at the University of the West Indies in Kingston.  (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

Obama answers a question from a participant about decriminalizing marijuana during a town hall meeting with young leaders at the University of the West Indies in Kingston. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

Just when President Barack Obama started to sound more and more like a supporter of legalizing marijuana, he’s hit the pause button. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 4:14 p.m.
marijuana

April 6, 2015

White House Selling the Iran ‘Deal’ As Negotiations Continue

Sen. Tom Cotton, right, has been the leading opponent of Obama's Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tom Cotton, right, has been the leading opponent of Obama’s Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House is effectively fighting on two fronts to keep its peace deal with Iran intact — one to sell the framework to a hostile Congress and another to push against that country’s own effort for an immediate, wholesale end to the sanctions.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, acknowledged Monday a difference of opinion with the Iranians on the sequence and timing of sanctions relief. Prior to the agreement, he suggested some sanctions relief would be years away and that no congressional action would be needed in the interim. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 2:40 p.m.
Iran

March 26, 2015

Obama Talks Drug War With David Simon, Creator of The Wire

The White House has posted a conversation between President Barack Obama and David Simon, the creator of The Wire, about changing the drug war to de-emphasize incarcerations.

On the video, Obama declares himself a huge fan of the HBO series (Omar is his favorite character) and sounded sympathetic to Simon’s push to ratchet down a drug war that has put enormous numbers of people in prison.

The comments are similar to ones he made to Vice News, where the president spoke in favor of decriminalization of marijuana as “progress.”

The sudden burst of news from the president on the issue comes after years where he has done little on the issue directly and where his administration has sent conflicting messages on legalizing marijuana in particular.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

March 25, 2015

Obama ‘Ready to Sign’ Bipartisan Doc Fix (Updated)

Updated 11:30 p.m. | President Barack Obama pronounced himself “ready to sign” a bipartisan “doc fix” Wednesday.

“I’ve got my pen ready to sign a good, bipartisan bill,” Obama said at an event that amounted to a victory lap for the five-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Full story

March 21, 2015

Obama Waves Off Third Term

President Barack Obama won’t serve a third term. That’s one takeaway from his visit Saturday to cheer his niece’s basketball team to victory in the NCAA tournament in College Park, Md., although Leslie Robinson didn’t actually see playing time in Princeton’s 80-70 victory over Green Bay.

During a break in the action with 4:24 left to play following a hard foul, Obama waved at the Princeton student body, fronted by a row of women with T-I-G-E-R-S painted on their tummies. They in turn chanted “Four more years! Four more years!” Full story

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