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January 25, 2015

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January 20, 2015

Obama’s State of the Union Speech Text as Prepared for Delivery

The White House has released the 2015 State of the Union speech text as prepared for delivery, exceeding 6,700 words.

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 8:56 p.m.

January 13, 2015

Obama Pushes for Deals on Cybersecurity, Trade, Taxes (Updated)

Updated 1:22 p.m. | President Barack Obama kicked off his meeting with congressional leaders this morning missing an injured Harry Reid, who is under doctor’s orders to stay at home as he recovers from his injuries.

With the press pool ushered into the room for brief remarks, Obama said he was looking for areas of agreement, including cybersecurity, trade, taxes and “streamlining government,” per the pool report.

Obama also joked that one area of bipartisan agreement was the college football playoff system and congratulated Ohio State for its victory. Obama has long backed having a playoff system.

“Some of these folks, I haven’t seen, so I had an opportunity to wish them a happy new year. To the speaker, I just wanted to point out, I said there are going to be some things that we agree on. Having a college football playoff is clearly something we can agree on. I’m all for it. … I think it turned out pretty well, particularly for Ohio. I congratulate the Ohio State Buckeyes for their outstanding victory and commend Oregon as well for building a great team.”

Obama also touted the improving economy, per the pool report.

“We’re in a position to make sure that 2015 is an even stronger year, and relative to our competitors, we are holding much better cards. The key now is for us to work as a team to build on this progress.”

He cited the Sony hack and the hacking of Central Command’s Twitter account as reasons to do a cybersecurity bill.

“I’ve got a state of the Union next week, one of the things we’re going to be talking about is cybersecurity. With the Sony attack that took place, with the Twitter account that was hacked by Islamist jihadist sympathizers yesterday, it just goes to show much more work we need to do both public and private sector to strengthen our cyber security,” he said.

Obama says he’s spoken to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on cybersecurity and “I think we agreed that this is an area where we can work hard together, get some legislation done and make sure that we are much more effective in protecting the American people from these kinds of cyberattacks.”

Boehner’s office released a readout after the meeting saying that topics discussed included Boehner’s backing of an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL and new cybersecurity measures. Boehner urged Obama to send an AUMF to Congress and pledged to work to get it through.

Boehner touted the Keystone XL pipeline and urged Obama to sign it, and also talked about working with the president on trade and overhauling the tax code.

And Boehner talked about the Homeland Security appropriations bill.

“The speaker reminded the president that he himself had stated publicly many times in the past that he did not have the power to rewrite immigration law through executive action,” the readout said.

Boehner told Obama the House had passed cyber bills but they hadn’t gone anywhere in the Senate. He said Republicans are prepared to address the issue.


Reid has not returned to the Senate since an exercising accident in his home that broke a number of bones and damaged one eye.

“On doctor’s orders, Senator Reid will not be attending today’s meeting with President Obama,” a spokesperson from his office said. “He continues to work from home and looks forward to returning to the Senate floor soon.”

Eighteen lawmakers attended the bipartisan meeting, include the top leaders in both parties and both chambers.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:39 a.m.

January 6, 2015

White House Promises to Veto GOP’s Keystone Legislation

McConnell, R-Ky.,speaks to reporters following the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell and the Republicans are sending a Keystone bill to the president despite a veto threat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The new GOP-led Congress is moving quickly to put a bill expediting the Keystone XL Pipeline on President Barack Obama’s desk, despite a new veto threat from the White House.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest, in his daily briefing Tuesday, said the president has no plans to sign the legislation. Full story

December 18, 2014

#TBT: What Barack Obama Looked Like 10 Years Ago

Digging through our photo archives, we found pictures of Barack Obama from Jan. 5, 2005, holding court as he moved into his temporary Senate digs as a newly minted senator nearly a decade ago.

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:55 a.m.

December 11, 2014

Obama Opposes D.C. Marijuana Rider, But Will Sign Bill

President Barack Obama opposes a rider on the “cromnibus” prohibiting the District of Columbia from implementing a voter referendum legalizing marijuana but will sign the bill anyway.

That’s according to Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who said the president doesn’t believe Congress should assert its authority to undo the will of the District’s voters.

He didn’t appear to say the word “marijuana,” but was asked about the rider by a reporter.

You can read the full Statement of Administrative Policy backing the cromnibus at this link.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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By Steven Dennis Posted at 2:09 p.m.

December 9, 2014

Obama: Back Immigration Action Because of Christmas, Bible

President Barack Obama implied Tuesday that the Christmas spirit should have people backing his executive action on immigration.

During his immigration question-and-answer session in Tennessee, a member of the clergy wished him a “joyful and blessed Christmas.”

Obama thanked him.

“I appreciate that, Father. It’s worth considering the Good Book when you’re thinking about immigration. This Christmas season there’s a whole story about a young, soon-to-be-mother and her husband of modest means looking for a place to house themselves for the night, and there’s no room at the inn.

“And as I said the day that I announced these executive actions, we were once strangers too. And part of what my faith teaches me is to look upon the stranger as part of myself. And during this Christmas season, that’s a good place to start.

“So thank you for your generous comment. But if we’re serious about the Christmas season, now is a good time to reflect on those who are strangers in our midst, and remember what it was like to be a stranger.”

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

December 5, 2014

Ashton Carter Has Tall Order at Defense (Video)

Ashton Carter is set to be the next secretary of Defense. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashton Carter is set to be the next secretary of Defense. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashton Carter will be nominated by President Barack Obama this morning and will almost certainly be confirmed by the Senate. But he will face a very full plate on a job with only two years to do it.

Among the many missions Carter will have to embark on:

* Managing a White House that has churned through previous defense secretaries. Full story

December 4, 2014

Rahm Emanuel Doesn’t Miss Washington

Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rahm Emanuel isn’t longing for a return to Washington anytime soon.

CQ Roll Call spotted the Chicago mayor and former chief of staff to President Barack Obama after he cleared security at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Thursday. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 4:07 p.m.

December 3, 2014

Obama Talks Eric Garner: ‘This Is an American Problem’ (Updated)

Benjamin Carr, father of Eric Garner, speaks to the media outside the beauty salon where his son was killed. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images News)

Benjamin Carr, father of Eric Garner, speaks to the media outside the beauty salon where his son was killed. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images News)

Updated 6:18 p.m. | Another grand jury and another decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of an unarmed black man — this time in the choking of Eric Garner — had President Barack Obama back at the podium Wednesday afternoon lamenting relations between minorities and law enforcement and vowing action.

“It’s incumbent on all of us as Americans …that we recognize that this is an American problem,” Obama said. “And it’s my job as president to help solve it.” Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 5:05 p.m.

November 10, 2014

Report: U.S. Wealth Grows By $31.5 Trillion During Obama Presidency

Obama presidency

(Andrew Burton/Getty Images File Photo)

President Barack Obama’s tenure hasn’t done much for the Democratic Party given the shellacking at the polls last week, but it’s coincided with a huge surge in wealth.

According to Credit Suisse’s annual report on wealth, the net worth of United States households has soared $31.5 trillion since the 2008 economic collapse to $83.7 trillion.

The average net worth for the United States is $348,000 per adult, according to the report — a new all-time high.

There are now 14 million millionaires in the United States out of 35 million worldwide.

But the median net worth is just $53,000 per adult, suggesting most people aren’t seeing the benefits in their own pocketbooks. Full story

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