Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 5, 2015

Posts in "Agenda"

July 22, 2015

White House Keeps Up Export-Import Bank Push

Reps. Paul Tonko  Joyce Beatty and Carolyn Maloney conduct a news conference Wednesday at the Capitol's House triangle on the Joint Economic Committee's report supporting the Export-Import Bank. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reps. Paul Tonko, Joyce Beatty and Carolyn Maloney conduct a news conference Wednesday on the Joint Economic Committee’s report supporting the Export-Import Bank. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama is pushing hard for a deal reviving the Export-Import Bank before Congress heads home for the August recess — Donald Trump notwithstanding.

“These next couple of weeks, before Congress adjourns, is the time for us to go ahead and complete this,” he said as he met with officials from companies across the country who have benefited from the financing the bank provides for exports. Full story

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.

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.”

Full story

May 14, 2015

Takeaways From Obama’s Press Conference

Warren and Obama have been trading barbs of late over trade. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Warren and Obama have been trading barbs of late over trade. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama says his fight with “Elizabeth,” as in Warren, has never been “personal.”

He’s happy the Senate is moving forward on his fast-track trade bill but wants to keep reaching out to opponents on the left.

Full story

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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March 26, 2015

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

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWY79JCfhjw&feature=youtu.be

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

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