Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Posts in "Politics"

October 7, 2014

Obama Cheers Gay Marriage Decision

Gay Marriage 11 062613 445x295 Obama Cheers Gay Marriage Decision

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama cheered the legalization of gay marriage in states across the country today at a fundraiser in New York following yesterday’s surprise Supreme Court decision to let lower court rulings stand.

“All across the country, now couples who love each other are able to join in that most meaningful of unions,” Obama said in a reference to the court, according to a pool report. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 5:37 p.m.
Politics

September 22, 2014

Obama Won’t Withdraw Boggs Nomination (Updated)

luncheons002 071514 445x298 Obama Wont Withdraw Boggs Nomination (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | President Barack Obama still supports the nomination of Michael P. Boggs for a federal judgeship in Georgia, even though Sen. Patrick J. Leahy told The New York Times there aren’t enough votes for confirmation.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at Monday’s briefing that the president still supports Boggs and said the president was not considering withdrawing the pick despite the report quoting Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a Vermont Democrat.

Leahy confirmed his statement to CQ Roll Call Monday, and said he also spoke to the two Georgia Republican senators backing Boggs — Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss.

“After talking with Judiciary Committee members, I advised the Georgia Senators that Judge Boggs does not have the votes in committee to be reported. His nomination should be withdrawn,” Leahy said in a statement late Monday.

The nomination of Boggs, a Democrat, has been extremely controversial, with numerous liberal groups blasting the pick as well as Georgia Democrats, led by Rep. David Scott, who has ripped Boggs’ record as a state legislator on the Confederate flag, abortion and other issues. Full story

September 10, 2014

Menendez Drafting New Authorization for ISIS War

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Menendez wants to get to work on the ISIS issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez said Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s new plan to “destroy” ISIS will eventually require congressional authorization, and promised his committee will begin drafting one.

Menendez’s statement came as vulnerable Democrats generally praised the president’s decision to take on ISIS but split over pieces of his strategy — while liberals demanded Congress vote to authorize the war.

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:11 p.m.
Iraq, Politics

August 18, 2014

Obama Dispatches Holder to Ferguson, Cites Progress in Iraq (Video)

492587929 445x296 Obama Dispatches Holder to Ferguson, Cites Progress in Iraq (Video)

Obama sends Holder to Ferguson, reports progress in Iraq. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated 7:03 p.m. | President Barack Obama, back in Washington for a day of meetings in the midst of his August vacation, on Monday reported “progress” in the expanded campaign of U.S. airstrikes on Iraqi insurgents near Mosul, and again called for calm in the riot-torn streets of Ferguson, Mo.

He announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to talk with local leaders about the riots that have rocked the St. Louis suburb since the Aug. 9 police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

Asked about the militarization of American law enforcement that some have said is exacerbating clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Obama said it may be time to review the use of federal dollars to purchase surplus military vehicles and gear.

“There’s a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement,” he said. “And we don’t want those lines blurred.”

Some civil rights leaders have urged the president to speak out more forcefully on the shooting of Michael Brown, but on Monday, Obama instead called for restraint on the part of both police and protesters. Full story

May 27, 2014

Obama: We Restored ‘Trillions of Dollars of Wealth’

parks012 022713 246x335 Obama: We Restored Trillions of Dollars of Wealth

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama has a new line he’s been trotting out as he talks to Democratic party donors — a claim that “trillions of dollars of wealth” have been restored on his watch.

Turns out, the line is true.

Household wealth has soared by trillions since Obama’s inauguration. And it’s now at an all-time high.

In 2008 alone, the total net worth of households and nonprofit organizations plummeted by more than $10 trillion to $57.2 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data. Since then wealth has soared more than $23 trillion to $80.7 trillion at the end of 2013. (See page 108, Line 42).

That’s $13 trillion above the pre-Obama yearly all-time high of $67.7 trillion at the end of 2007. Net worth now amounts to about $250,000 per U.S. resident.

Nearly $10 trillion of that improvement in net worth came just in 2013.

What Obama doesn’t mention is that federal debt has also soared since he took office. The national debt is now close to $17.5 trillion — up nearly $7 trillion — or $22,000 per U.S. resident — since he took office.

Full story

May 20, 2014

Carney Touts Obama’s Fundraising, Turnout Efforts

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Obama’s focus during the upcoming elections likely will be on fundraising. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the president’s efforts to help his party in the midterms Tuesday after recent reports of grumbling among Democrats and party donors.

“The president is focused on what he can do to help Democrats in this midterm cycle,” Carney said, emphasizing President Barack Obama’s fundraising, his grass-roots network and the technology behind it and work to boost turnout among the party’s most loyal voters.

“Midterms, as all you expert political reporters know, are about turnout, getting the base out. And no one is better at doing that than President Obama, at least in the Democratic Party,” Carney asserted. Full story

May 17, 2014

Obama Goes Populist (Video)

491358061 445x293 Obama Goes Populist (Video)

 (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

With midterm elections just around the corner, President Barack Obama is sharpening his populist rhetoric against the GOP.

In his weekly address, Obama accused Republicans of backing big new tax breaks for millionaires while cutting transportation grants that have created jobs.

He also spotlighted the looming expiration of transportation programs, potentially putting projects on hold.

“If Congress fails to act, nearly 700,000 jobs would be at risk over the next year,” he said. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 9:24 a.m.
Budget, Politics

May 15, 2014

Obama: Senate Needs to Change ‘How a Filibuster Works’

obama051514 445x296 Obama: Senate Needs to Change How a Filibuster Works

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama endorsed more changes to the filibuster rules in the Senate in a speech Wednesday, remarks that will encourage senators who want to deploy the “nuclear option” again.

At a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York, Obama said Democrats need to change “how a filibuster works,” without going into specifics.

Some Democrats want to force talking filibusters, requiring senators to be on the floor around the clock if cloture is not invoked. Others want to reduce or eliminate the 60-vote threshold for overcoming a filibuster on legislation, as the Democrats did last year for nominations other than Supreme Court picks. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has recently been considering if he went far enough in changing the rules given the GOP’s procedural retaliation, which has chewed up weeks of floor time.

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 10:47 a.m.
Politics, Procedure

May 8, 2014

Obama’s 2014 Stump Speech — Victory Lap but Wages Flat

parks012 022713 246x335 Obamas 2014 Stump Speech — Victory Lap but Wages Flat

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama’s stump speech at a Los Angeles fundraiser Wednesday night was one part self-celebratory victory lap, one part a nod to the anxiety of families whose wages have remained flat and one part pure partisan red meat.

Perhaps most striking was the president’s acknowledgement that family incomes have remained stagnant on his watch, as he talked at length about “disquiet around the country” and frustration with a dysfunctional Washington.

“And for families, in particular, even with the recovery, they still have not seen an increase in wages, an increase in incomes. They’re still worried that they’re not going to be able to retire when they plan to retire. They worry about the prospects for their kids, whether they’re going to be able to live out their American Dream the same way that they did.” Full story

May 5, 2014

Another Ugly Poll for Obama

These aren’t the poll results President Barack Obama is looking for. A new USA Today/Pew poll has ugly numbers for the president’s Democratic Party ahead of the midterm elections and even uglier figures for the president. Full story

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