Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 28, 2015

Posts in "Agenda"

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

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

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 9, 2015

Obama, City Leaders Share Approach to Gridlocked Congress

(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

In yet another example of how the president is attempting to work around a gridlocked Congress, President Barack Obama unveiled an initiative Monday to spur technology hiring throughout the country. And the nation’s city leaders were all ears.

“[Obama] has taken that mantle on this year, and last year, and said, ‘I’m going to do whatever I can to act on things that are important.’ And he’s assumed stronger executive authority that way,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, president of the National League of Cities. “But I think those of us in cities get that, because we can’t sit around and wait, and just talk about things when people’s expectations are that we get things done.” 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

February 19, 2015

White House Makes Economic Pitch

The latest economic report from the White House is part victory lap, part pitch for enacting what President Barack Obama calls his “middle-class” agenda — including new trade deals with Europe and Asia and the president’s budget.

At a briefing for reporters Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s release of the Economic Report of the President, chief economic adviser Jason Furman ticked off the statistics that have buoyed White House spirits of late — improving economic growth, the best job performance since 1999 last year and lower gas prices.

But there are several troubling caveats, Furman acknowledged.

The percentage of men in prime working age who have dropped out of the labor force has grown substantially in recent decades and is higher than many competitors. More troubling, the income of middle-class families has been largely flat, although there are recent signs of modest improvement. Median family incomes remain stuck at mid-1990s levels.

“This is the big picture challenge that we’re trying to overcome as an economy,” Furman said. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 6 a.m.
Agenda, Budget

February 11, 2015

Congress Gets to Dust Off Its War Voting Powers

Sen. Tim Kaine, left, and House Intelligence ranking member Adam B. Schiff want to debate a war authorization. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tim Kaine, left, and House Intelligence ranking member Adam B. Schiff want to debate a war authorization. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For the first time this decade, Congress is set to have a full-fledged war debate. The White House wants pure kabuki with no practical effect; lawmakers, most of whom have never voted to send men and women into harm’s way, will have to choose whether to go along.

President Barack Obama is intent on doing what he wants either way — as he already has in his undeclared war on the Islamic State terror group for months, with Congress on the sidelines. Full story

January 21, 2015

#SOTU Pumps Up Democrats, Post-‘Shellacking II’

Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the in the Capitol's House chamber, January 20, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Obama’s defiant address has Democrats fired up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Barack Obama’s Back.” That was the three-word verdict from Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., after Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

It sums up, perhaps, a sense among Democrats that the newly confident, revitalized president that they’ve seen in recent weeks should have been the president on the campaign trail before the midterm elections.

“He seems to be relaxed and free,” Takano said. Full story

December 3, 2014

‘Looser’ Obama Riffs on Taxes, Trade, Regulations, Immigration, GOP

From left: Deutsche Bank Chief executive Jacques Brand, President and CEO of Convergys Andrea Ayers, President and CEO of Dell Michael Dell (3L), listen to U.S. President Barack Obama at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable. (Getty Images News)

From left: Deutsche Bank Chief executive Jacques Brand, President and CEO of Convergys Andrea Ayers, President and CEO of Dell Michael Dell, listen to President Barack Obama at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable. (Getty Images News)

President Barack Obama is starting to open up, six years into the job.

“You get a little looser in your last two years in office,” he told CEOs at a meeting with the Business Roundtable.

Indeed, the remark itself would never have been made public under the old White House policy of kicking out the press for the all-important Q&As the president regularly has with business leaders and donors. Full story

November 5, 2014

Obama Struggles to Read the Public, Congress

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File Photo)

Obama signaled little course correction Wednesday in response to Tuesday’s blowout losses for Democrats. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File Photo)

For any politician, losing the public — and the message they are sending — is a dangerous thing. And in the wake of one of the worst drubbings for his party in memory, due in large part to his own persistent unpopularity, President Barack Obama didn’t seem to have any answers Wednesday.

At a lengthy news conference after another shellacking, the president avoided using any new word to describe his party’s epic defeat and offered up no plans for substantive change either in his policy approach or his personnel.

He offered no new legislative olive branch to Republicans other than his desire to listen to their ideas.

He doubled down on his plans to thumb his nose at Congress and act on immigration on his own.

He offered no mea culpa to angry Democrats on Capitol Hill, who have fumed ever more openly about a White House they see as overly insular, politically tone-deaf and prone to gaffes. Full story

July 25, 2014

White House Has Doubts House Will Act on Border Crisis

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pronounced himself a cynic when it comes to chances the House will act to pass an emergency border supplemental before going home for the August recess.

Earnest said Friday that his “cynicism” is due to Speaker John A. Boehner’s comments Thursday that he was still talking about it with his members, suggesting the GOP is still arguing amongst itself about what to do.

“If there are additional proposals that Congress will actually act on, we’re certainly willing to have conversations with them about what they’re willing to do,” Earnest said. “But again, all we’re hearing from the speaker of the House is talk that’s not backed up by any action.” Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...