Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Posts in "Congressional Relations"

February 9, 2016

Obama Pitches Budget’s Cybersecurity Plan — At Length


Copies of Obama's fiscal 2017 federal budget are seen for sale at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Copies of Obama’s fiscal 2017 federal budget are seen for sale Tuesday at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

After submitting his final spending plan to Congress on Tuesday, President Barack Obama touted his record and delivered a sales pitch for nearly $20 billion he says is needed to secure America’s cyber-footprint, a perhaps unexpected but entirely needed push, he said.

Obama is pitching a 35 percent hike in cybersecurity funding across the sprawling federal apparatus, saying the United States is increasingly at risk to attacks on its information infrastructure.

At the start of brief remarks to reporters at the White House at the conclusion of a meeting with senior national security officials and his cyber security advisers, Obama also defended his seven years in office. Full story

February 5, 2016

Criminal Justice Debate Turns to ‘How Much’ Is Possible


 

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, talks with reporters at the Capitol. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, talks with reporters at the Capitol. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Debate about a sweeping criminal justice overhaul bill favored by Republicans and Democrats is now focused on the size and scope of potential changes, but there are reasons to doubt its passage this year.

Some congressional aides and members of the advocacy community involved in the overhaul effort say they remain upbeat about Obama signing a measure into law — possibly before Congress adjourns for a prolonged summer and campaign season break.

Still, some sources say, with one month of a truncated election-year legislative calendar already gone and the politics of an election year overlapping the legislative calendar, the prospects for the kind of soup-to-nuts bill Obama and some senior Republicans want appear to be fading. Full story

February 2, 2016

Ryan, McConnell Find Little ‘Common Ground’ at White House


Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walk to the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Nov. 3. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walk to the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch in the Capitol on Nov. 3. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama’s private meetings with congressional Republican leaders appeared to do very little to  break the legislative impasse that largely has defined his tenure.

Descriptions of the meeting from both ends of Pennsylvania Ave. were clinical at best. Notably missing were usual Washington declarations that a high-level meeting was “productive” or “constructive.” Asked about that omission, an aide to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., called the speaker’s time on Tuesday with Obama “cordial.”

And, in a fitting bit of symbolism, Ryan departed the White House for yet another House attempt to derail Obamacare. The chamber, however, failed to override a veto of a bill to repeal it.
Full story

February 1, 2016

Obama, Ryan to Lunch Tuesday at White House


President Barack Obama shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House expects President Barack Obama and the Republican House and Senate leaders on Tuesday to discuss issues ranging from taxes to criminal justice to national security.

Obama is scheduled to meet privately with Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Later, he and Ryan will have a one-on-one lunch meeting. It will be Obama’s first private meeting with Ryan since the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee became speaker in late October. Full story

January 29, 2016

In Shift, Trump Touts ‘Great’ Relationships With Top Democrats


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with reporters and supporters at a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots on Capitol Hill on Sept. 9, 2015, to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is fond of calling U.S. leaders “stupid,” but he’s now trumpeting his “great” relationships with them — even name-dropping senior Democrats.

“I think that I’m going to be able to get along with Pelosi. I think I’m going to be able to — I’ve always had a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi,” Trump said this week during a television interview, referring to the House Democratic leader from San Francisco. “I always had a decent relationship with [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid.” Full story

January 12, 2016

SOTU: Obama Tries to Reassure Anxious Public


WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12:  U.S. President Barack Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office at the White House January 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama will give his 7th and the final State of the Union address tonight at the Capitol.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office on Tuesday as he prepares to give his 7th and the final State of the Union address. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama will take an optimistic message about the future of America to Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening, using his final State of the Union to reassure a distressed public and challenge a restive Congress.

Obama hopes to use his final address to lawmakers to strike a stark contrast with what the White House has described as “gloom and doom” talk from the Republican presidential candidates about the trajectory of the country. He and his top aides are previewing the prime time speech as a break from tradition, saying Obama will speak in broad terms rather than lay out a sweeping legislative agenda. Full story

December 10, 2015

Obama Takes Backseat in Omnibus Talks


UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 27: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) leaves the Senate Republicans' policy lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Blunt said the president has to be involved in the government-funding debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama has stayed in the background as lawmakers have negotiated a year-end spending measure, allowing senior members to duke it out.

The White House is describing Obama’s role in the talks as minimal, though Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday there has been “some presidential involvement.” The president has taken a low-profile approach in the recent handful of times lawmakers have faced funding deadlines. Full story

October 7, 2015

McCarthy’s Benghazi Gaffe Becomes All-Purpose White House, Hillary Clinton Defense (Video)


McCarthy's had better weeks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy’s had better weeks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When in doubt, talk up Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s epic Benghazi gaffe. That’s the plan of attack from the White House, the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who clearly hope his remark will be the gift that keeps on giving.

The new plans for a committee to investigate Planned Parenthood? More politics like the Benghazi committee, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday. Full story

October 1, 2015

Debt Limit Coming a Month Earlier Than Expected (Updated)


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:56 p.m. | The Treasury Department said Thursday it would reach the debt limit a bit earlier than was expected by many on Capitol Hill.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Congress in a new letter that thanks in part to lower-than-expected quarterly tax receipts, the extraordinary measures to forestall breaching the debt limit, combined with the new revenues, will run their course just a week after the resignation of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, takes effect.

Full story

September 25, 2015

Presented by Proctor and Gamble

Obama Praises Boehner, Hopes Republicans Learn Lesson (Video)


Obama called Boehner upon hearing the news of his resignation. (Whitehouse.gov screenshot)

Obama called Boehner upon hearing the news of his resignation. (Whitehouse.gov screenshot)

President Barack Obama praised Speaker John A. Boehner as a patriot Friday and said he hoped his successor realizes they shouldn’t shut down the government or risk a financial crisis.

“I just heard the news as I was coming out of the meeting here, so it took me by surprise and I took the time prior to this press conference to call John directly and talk to him,” Obama said of Boehner’s resignation announcement. “John Boehner is a good man. He is a patriot, he cares deeply about the House, an institution in which he’s served for a long time. He cares about his constituents and he cares about America. Full story

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