Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 30, 2014

Posts in "Agenda"

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

June 2, 2014

Obama Power Plant Rules Take a Big Swing at Big Coal

USA OBAMA SPEECH WAS55 58F3C6F9900544F4B760440B85D3A850 445x268 Obama Power Plant Rules Take a Big Swing at Big Coal

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama is bypassing Congress to take a big swing at Big Coal — with the EPA announcing a sweeping new cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

A 30 percent cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 is a big number — less than environmental groups want but far more than the president can get via Congress, where climate change skeptics rule the House and the Democratic Senate so far avoiding bringing a climate change bill to the floor during Obama’s presidency.

The Obama power plant rules are the most far-reaching policies in the “pen-and-phone” second-term presidency, with the impact touching every American who turns on a light switch.
Full story

May 5, 2014

‘Zero’ Chance Congress Can Block Obama’s Climate Change Regulations, Podesta Says

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, left, and Podesta, center, are working to push through sweeping climate change regulations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s second term may be sweeping climate change regulations, and he isn’t about to let Congress rein him in.

White House adviser John Podesta, back at the White House podium, said congressional Republicans will not be able to block the president’s climate regulations, despite numerous legislative efforts to do so.

“Those have zero percent chance of working,” Podesta said. “We’re committed. … There are no takers at this end of Pennsylvania Avenue.” Full story

March 1, 2013

Obama’s Lost Leverage

It wasn’t supposed to be like this for the White House and a re-elected president with political capital to spend.

But President Barack Obama is in a position of supplication to Hill Republicans, talking loudly and often about the harm of automatic budget cuts but lacking the leverage to get the GOP to buckle.

Senior administration officials had for months predicted that Republicans would cave on the sequester and agree to more taxes, even after agreeing to $600 billion in tax increases in the New Year’s Eve fiscal-cliff deal.

After all, aides noted, Republicans had caved again and again: on the 2012 payroll tax cut, on tax rate increases for the wealthy and on a debt ceiling extension.

Why not one more GOP rollover? Polls seemed solidly in the president’s favor.

But so far it’s not working out as the West Wing planned. Full story

December 5, 2011

Obama’s Aloof Behavior With GOP Could Hurt Agenda

President Barack Obama’s relationships with Congressional Republicans have withered in recent months, casting doubt on his ability to influence Congress during the election season next year as well as his ability to push an aggressive agenda if he wins a second term.

Though Republicans are in a good position to hold the levers of power in both chambers come 2013, several rank-and-file GOP Senators told Roll Call last week that Obama hasn’t called them at all this year — and several said his standoffish relations have hurt his agenda in a chamber that is pivotal to any White House legislative successes.

Obama did have all Senate Republicans up to the White House for a cattle call earlier this year, and he engaged in extensive discussions with Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on this summer’s debt deal. But direct contacts between the president and lawmakers have slowed to a trickle as he gears up for re-election, Republicans said.

A senior Republican aide said Obama has had just three brief phone calls with Boehner since unveiling his jobs package — and there’s been no real effort to work with the Speaker. Full story

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