Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Posts in "Syria"

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

December 24, 2015

Amid ISIS Worries, Voters Warm to Obama’s Economy

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the country from the Oval Office on December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC. President Obama is addressing the terrorism threat to the United States and the recent attack in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

Will Obama get credit for the economy being less of a concern?. (Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

Polls show voters are giving President Barack Obama higher marks for guiding the economy, but security concerns could be clouding recent snapshots of the electorate’s mindset.

Trends in voters’ collective worries have transformed, for now at least, the 2016 election cycle into one focused in large part on national security and foreign policy issues. In recent months, terrorism has surged to the top of lists of voters’ top concerns nearly 10 months before the presidential and congressional elections. Full story

December 23, 2015

Obama and the Mythical Arab Ground Force

Iraqi pro-government forces stand next to armored vehicles as they take position in al-Aramil area, south of the Anbar province's capital Ramadi, during military operations on December 22, 2015. Iraqi security forces advanced into the centre of the city for a final push aimed at retaking the city they lost to the Islamic State jihadist group in May 2015.   AFP PHOTO / STR / AFP / -        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-Iraqi government forces wait next to armored vehicles on Tuesday in the al-Aramil area before pushing into Anbar province’s capital Ramadi. (AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on at least one foreign policy issue, calling for Arab countries to do more against the Islamic State. But there are reasons aplenty to see holes in what is a key part of their strategies for defeating the violent extremist group.

Despite a new Saudi Arabian-led coalition to fight ISIS, the U.S. has gotten little in return from bipartisan calls for its friends in the Middle East to help raise an Arab ground force. And some experts and lawmakers doubt that will dramatically change, further giving the 2016 election the look of a national security referendum. Full story

December 14, 2015

Obama Looking for a ‘Mulligan’ on ISIS Speech

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the news media after receiving a briefing from his national security team in the Oval Office at the White House December 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama talked about Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead and 17 others injured.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama’s prime-time speech on the war against terror was largely panned. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

The unofficial theme of President Barack Obama’s week is the fight against the Islamic State, but there are questions whether the public will give him a do-over after his recent prime-time address fell flat.

Obama made a rare appearance Monday in the Pentagon briefing room, warning leaders of the group “you’re next” after ticking off a list of their predecessors killed by U.S. and coalition air strikes.

Full story

December 8, 2015

Which Terror List Are Democrats Tying to Gun Control, Exactly?


An aide to Feinstein said her bill has always referred to the terror database. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House and congressional Democrats are referring to two very different lists of potential terrorists interchangeably in their push for stricter gun laws, further complicating a politically white-hot issue.

Since an Islamic State-inspired California couple used several legally purchased firearms to kill 14 people and injure nearly two dozen more, President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have proposed linking the gun-purchasing process to two separate databases of terrorism suspects.

Full story

December 6, 2015

Obama: ‘New Phase’ of Terror, a ‘Cancer That Has No Immediate Cure’

Speaking from the Oval Office for just the third time in his presidency on Sunday evening, President Barack Obama said the war on terror has entered a “new phase,” but promised that the West “will overcome” the threat from groups like the Islamic State.

“The threat from terrorism is real,” he said, but “tough talk” alone won’t work. Instead, we “will prevail by being strong and smart.” Full story

December 1, 2015

In Paris, Obama Says Climate Change ‘Akin’ to ISIS Threat

US President Barack Obama delivers a speech during the plenary session at the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, on November 30, 2015 at Le Bourget, on the outskirts of the French capital Paris. More than 150 world leaders are meeting under heightened security,  for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), also known as "Paris 2015" from November 30 to December 11.    AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP / ERIC FEFERBERG        (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

An Obama adviser says the White House views climate change as a top threat. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 1:41 p.m. | The ramifications of a changing global climate will rival those of Islamic State attacks like the one last month in Paris, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

In comments sure to reverberate across the Atlantic and rile hawkish congressional Republicans, Obama said the threats to U.S. and global security from climate change are already “akin” to an Islamic State terrorist attack.

Full story

November 25, 2015

Obama: No ‘Credible’ Thanksgiving Terror Threat

US President Barack Obama(L) makes a statement  next to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2015, following a meeting with his national security team. President Obama assured Americans Wednesday that "every possible step" is being taken to keep the country safe during the Thanksgiving holiday.   AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

National security officials see no evidence of a Thanksgiving terrorist attack in the United States, President Barack Obama said Wednesday while urging Americans to proceed with their holiday travel and revelry.

Less than two weeks after the Islamic State-claimed terrorist attacks in Paris left 130 dead, Obama said it is “understandable” for Americans to worry that a similar attack could be in the works here.

Full story

November 24, 2015

Democrats to Obama: Don’t Trust Putin on ISIS

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28:  (AFP OUT)  Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama shake hands for the cameras before the start of a bilateral meeting at the United Nations headquarters September 28, 2015 in New York City. Putin and Obama are in New York City to attend the 70th anniversary general assembly meetings.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama and Putin exchanged a much-analyzed handshake in September at the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

Several House Democrats want President Barack Obama to reject Moscow’s overtures on fighting ISIS, arguing Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot be trusted.

But whether to work more closely with Russia on striking Islamic State targets in Syria is among the most pressing issues that experts expect to top the agenda Tuesday when Obama huddles at the White House with French French President Francois Hollande.

Full story

November 23, 2015

White House Digs In on ISIS Strategy Ahead of Hollande Visit

US President Barack Obama (R) and French President Francois Hollande take part in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Summit at the Schloss Elmau castle resort near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in southern Germany on June 8, 2015.    AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD        (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Obama met with Hollande at the G7 Summit in Germany in June. (Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

The White House continues to give no indication that President Barack Obama is poised to deploy additional U.S. combat troops or military hardware to fight the Islamic State.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday gave reporters a snapshot of what Obama and French President Francoise Hollande will discuss Tuesday about the response to the Paris terrorist attacks. At no point did Earnest mention the two leaders talking about the potential for the U.S. to expand military operations or increase its combat footprint in Syria or Iraq. But he had plenty to say about America’s allies, including France, doing more. Full story

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