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July 4, 2015

Posts in "Congressional Relations"

June 8, 2015

Frustrated Obama Fights Courts, Congress, ISIS, Putin (Updated) (Video)

Frustrated Obama King v. Burwell Obamacare

Cassie Boyle, 8, and her sister Helena Roberts, 11, hold a picture of their father and grandmother, Hannah Brown, at a rally outside of the Supreme Court during March arguments in the King v. Burwell case. Brown died 1999 at age 58, and the family attributes her death to her lack of sufficient health insurance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:25 p.m. | The “fourth quarter” of President Barack Obama’s presidency isn’t exactly going according to plan.

All of the president’s frustrations appeared on full display Monday at the conclusion of the G-7 summit in Germany — with Obama taking on the courts, Congress, the Islamic State terror group and Vladimir Putin. Full story

May 18, 2015

Elizabeth Warren: You Can’t Trust Barack Obama’s Promises

Warren dismissed "empty promises" made about trade agreements. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Warren dismissed “empty promises” made about trade agreements. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After President Barack Obama called out Elizabeth Warren for being a politician “like everybody else,” the Massachusetts senator is calling out the president, suggesting you can’t trust his promises.

Warren released a 15-page report Monday saying the United States had failed to enforce labor and environmental standards for two decades in previous trade agreements.

A statement from her office noted Obama recently promised the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be “the most progressive trade bill in history” and will have “higher labor standards, higher environmental standards,” and “new tools to hold countries accountable.” 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

May 12, 2015

White House Brushes Off Fast-Track Failure As Temporary ‘SNAFU’ (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:32 p.m. | The White House is brushing off what is now expected to be the imminent filibuster of President Barack Obama’s fast-track bill on the Senate floor, with Press Secretary Josh Earnest blaming a “procedural SNAFU” for Democrats planning to vote en masse to block it. Full story

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.”

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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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

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 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 29, 2015

Obama Budget Aim: Roll Back Sequester Spending Cuts (Updated)

Republicans applauded Obama 31 times during the 2015 State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:48 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s budget will increase spending on domestic and defense programs by $74 billion, he plans to tell House Democrats Thursday at their retreat in Philadelphia.

According to a White House official, Obama will once again propose to “end the across-the-board sequester cuts that threaten our economy and our military.”

That’s translates to about $74 billion increase in discretionary spending over the level allowed under sequestration caps in fiscal 2016 — or about 7 percent, according to second White House official.

Non-defense discretionary spending would increase to $530 billion, or $37 billion over the spending caps, and $561 billion for defense spending, an increase of $38 billion, per the second official.

Full story

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