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

Posts by Niels Lesniewski

30 Posts

July 29, 2015

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.”

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July 20, 2015

At White House Celebration of Disability Law, Obama Leaves Treaty Aside

Dole has made repeated appearances to advocate for the disability treaty. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dole has made repeated appearances to advocate for the disability treaty. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When President Barack Obama hailed the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, he didn’t make mention of a treaty on disabilities that’s been stymied in the Senate.

Both former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., were in attendance at the White House event Monday. Both longtime senators played key roles in the enactment of the landmark ADA a quarter century ago, and both advocated for Senate concurrence in the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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Obama Names Nominee to Federal Reserve Board

President Barack Obama has chosen a University of Michigan economist with expertise in financial markets and monetary policy for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. Full story

July 8, 2015

Obama Tells Democrats Iran Deal Odds Below 50 Percent

Durbin Obama Iran deal

Durbin said Obama put the odds of a deal with Iran at less than 50-50. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

During his meeting Tuesday evening with Senate Democrats, President Barack Obama put the chances of success on the international negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program at less than 50-50.

“He said in the course of the negotiations he’s been more optimistic, less optimistic. He said that the chances at this point are below 50-50, this week,” Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois told reporters Wednesday. Full story

July 1, 2015

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.”

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May 12, 2015

Obama Tries to Revive Fast-Track Trade Bill After ‘SNAFU’ (Updated) (Video)

Schumer's currency enforcement would come first in a new offer to revive Obama's trade agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Schumer’s currency enforcement measure would come first in a new offer to revive Obama’s trade agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:52 p.m. | President Barack Obama — and Senate Democratic leaders — are working to resurrect his trade agenda, according to aides on the Hill and in the administration.

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May 1, 2015

Senate Patent Bill Gets White House Plaudits

Cornyn, Schumer and Leahy huddle before a news conference to tout the patent bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cornyn, Schumer and Leahy huddle before a news conference to tout the patent bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama wants to see a bipartisan patent overhaul reach his desk before the end of 2015, and the White House is responding favorably to the new Senate bill introduced this week.

“The Administration applauds the introduction of balanced, bipartisan legislation in the Senate that would strengthen and modernize our nation’s patent laws,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call. “The Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of members, represents an important step toward answering the President’s call for common-sense legislation that will help deter abusive conduct and promote an efficient and strong patent system.”

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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.

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March 9, 2015

Joe Biden Plays a Home Game at Firefighters Conference

Biden speaks during the International Association of Fire Fighters Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Decades ago, a young Democrat running for Senate said that in Delaware, there are really three political parties: “Democrats, Republicans and firefighters.”

And Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been a favorite of career and volunteer firefighters alike ever since, so when he was scheduled to speak Monday to an audience of unionized firefighters from across the nation gathered in Washington, he was playing as close to a home game as he could get outside of Delaware (or Scranton, Pa.). Full story

February 23, 2015

Warren Joining Obama for Retirement Security Push

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Perez says the retirement security announcement is part of Obama’s longtime focus on consumer financial protections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama will be making a public push to strengthen the regulation of financial advisers who provide advice about saving for retirement.

The two Senate Democrats with perhaps the most star power, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, will join the president for the rollout of the proposal at an event hosted by the AARP. Monday’s event also will feature Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Warren advocated for creating, along with Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.

Full story

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