Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Posts in "Immigration"

February 3, 2016

At Maryland Mosque, Obama Calls Muslims ‘Real Americans’


President Obama speaks during his final State of the Union address last month. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Obama speaks during his final State of the Union address last month. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Visiting a mosque on U.S. soil for the first time, President Barack Obama urged Americans to reject politics that target those of a single faith and told Muslim-Americans “you’re right where you belong.”

Obama’s visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore offered him a chance to counter anti-Muslim rhetoric from some leading GOP presidential hopefuls such as Donald Trump. And it was met with resistance from some on the country’s political right. Full story

January 26, 2016

‘Big Men': Is Trump America’s Berlusconi?


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in front of a wax statue of John Wayne during a news conference at the John Wayne Museum on Jan. 19 in Winterset, Iowa. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in front of a wax statue of John Wayne during a news conference at the John Wayne Museum on Jan. 19 in Winterset, Iowa. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A wealthy businessman-turned-politician promised his countrymen a “miracle,” serving voters a cocktail of bombastic nationalist rhetoric and boasts about his business acumen.

Prominent publications such as The New York Times branded him “a man of no particular ideology,” who “exploited vague slogans” on the campaign trail. The Economist, Roll Call’s sister publication, called him “a controversial tycoon with few coherent policies,” observing that the man “acts like a businessman who has seen a market niche … and is rushing to fill it.”

One could be excused for believing that man is Donald Trump, the American real estate billionaire who is in the driver’s seat for the Republican presidential nomination. But the politician described above is Silvio Berlusconi in the early 1990s as he sought his first term as Italy’s prime minister. Full story

January 25, 2016

Will Obama Issue Executive Action on Cap-and-Trade?


Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., speaks with a reporter as he arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Inhofe. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration is refusing to make his final year in office as uneventful as Republicans would like. In fact, lawmakers expect executive action on everything from terrorist detention to campaign finance to environmental issues.

One possibility is an executive action setting up a carbon cap-and-trade system, says Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe, R-Okla. President Barack Obama “has legacy things and he doesn’t have as much time as he would like to have,” Inhofe said in an interview. “Cap-and-trade and closing Gitmo, those are the things he wants to do.”

Full story

January 13, 2016

Biden, McDonough Defend Obama’s Last SOTU


UNITED STATES - JANUARY 12 - President Barack Obama speaks during his final State of the Union to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Behind him Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Paul Ryan listen. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Obama speaks during his final State of the Union to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday. Behind him, Biden and Ryan listen. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Obama deployed two of his closest advisers to defend his final State of the Union address, and they championed his shots at Donald Trump and calls for economic adjustments.

During his likely final address to a joint session of Congress, Obama landed some not-so-subtle jabs on Trump’s chin. White House aides said the speech was not crafted as a political document meant to influence the presidential election cycle, but the president clearly wanted voters to hear an anti-Trump message from perhaps the most powerful bully pulpit in American politics.

Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff, told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor-sponsored breakfast near the White House, that Obama wanted to put on display an “alternative argumentation to rebut the prevailing wisdom in some of the public debate right now.”

But, by criticizing the Republican front-runner on such a bright stage, was Obama failing to live up to his own call for politicians and citizens to behave better when participating in the political system? 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 16, 2015

Donald Trump, the Accidental Populist


LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 14:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a campaign rally at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on December 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Donlad Trump is campaigning in Las Vegas a day ahead of the final GOP debate.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Trump responds to a cheering crowd of supporters on Tuesday in Las Vegas. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s brash campaign-trail tactics are an accidental stumble into a brash and unprecedented populist presidential bid rather than the convictions of a true believer, campaign observers say.

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?


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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

November 19, 2015

Democrats Want More From Obama on Islamic State


Durbin, right, said the president should have been more forceful. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Durbin, right, said the president should have been more forceful. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats on both sides of the Capitol want President Barack Obama to get tougher on the Islamic State, in both words and deeds.

House Democrats on Thursday expressed frustration with the White House over its messaging on a GOP-crafted bill the chamber passed Thursday, 289-137, that would tighten screening processes for individuals coming from Iraq and Syria. And on the Senate side, some in Obama’s party want a more muscular response to last Friday’s attacks in Paris.

“I think the president should have been more forceful in his original statements,” Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., told CQ Roll Call. Full story

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