Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 25, 2015

Posts in "Uncategorized"

November 24, 2015

Obama and Hollande Willing to Work With Russia, Iran Against ISIS

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24: United States President Barack Obama hosts President François Hollande of France for a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House November 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. The leaders are meeting to discuss coordination of their efforts in the war against ISIL in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

Obama and Hollande talk in the Oval Office on Tuesday. (Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande made clear on Tuesday they are playing the long game against the Islamic State even in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks, even inviting help from two unlikely countries.  

The two leaders appeared more aligned on how to move forward against the violent extremist group than experts and lawmakers had predicted in the days leading up to their Oval Office meeting. Hollande quashed any notion of French ground troops heading to Syria, and Obama left the door open to working with Russia.

Full story

November 18, 2015

White House: Guantanamo Plan Still Developing

A 2013 protest about Gitmo outside the Hart Senate Office Building. (Douglas Graham, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A 2013 protest about Gitmo outside the Hart Senate Office Building. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House is pouring cold water on a report it is delaying a plan to close the terrorist detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, saying the blueprint remains under construction.

A delay would amount to yet another blow to President Barack Obama’s quest to shutter the controversial prison and transfer some prisoners to U.S. soil. A senior administration official told CQ Roll Call Wednesday night the plan “will be delivered to Congress when complete” because closing the facility “remains a priority for President Obama.” Full story

How Syrian Refugees Get to the United States

A growing chorus of lawmakers, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, has said the United States Syrian refugee program should be paused while Congress evaluates the process for safety concerns following the Paris attacks.

A CQ Roll Call analysis shows that the 1,869 Syrian refugees who have crossed U.S. borders since October 2014 were likely screened by the FBI, passed an in-person Department of Homeland Security interview and underwent other security and background checks. Full story

November 12, 2015

White House Hits GOP’s Legal ‘Track Record’ in Gitmo Standoff

Police use bolt cutters to cut the chains used by protesters to chain themselves to the White House fence during a protest against the war in Afghanistan and torture in 2009. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Police remove protesters from the White House fence during a demonstration against the war in Afghanistan and torture in 2009. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House is firing back at congressional Republicans who are threatening to sue should President Barack Obama use his executive authority to close the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, terrorist detention center.

As the White House prepares to send Congress a plan to shutter the facility perhaps as soon as Friday, congressional leaders have dubbed it dead on arrival. The Obama administration continued Thursday refusing to rule out another option: Using an executive action to close the prison, citing the president’s war powers under Article II of the Constitution. Full story

Moving Gitmo Detainees Unites Political Left and Right

Bev Rice, second from left, of New York City, and others hold pictures of detainees during a Senate Judiciary Constitution, Civil Rights & Human Rights Subcommittee hearing in Hart Building to examine the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp focusing on the "national security, fiscal and human rights implications." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Bev Rice, second from left, and others hold pictures of detainees during a 2013 hearing to examine the closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama already is hearing opposition from his political right over a coming plan to close the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility — and soon he will feel pressure from groups on his left.

A coalition of human rights and civil liberties advocacy groups say they will  join voices on the right about the controversial issue of holding terrorism suspects indefinitely without any criminal charges or a trial. Defense attorneys who represent Guantánamo detainees are also concerned that the quality of life for some may change dramatically if they are transferred to U.S. facilities.

Full story

November 9, 2015

Obama, Netanyahu Aim to Get Past Iran Deal Tension

(Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

(Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama said Monday it’s time he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu get past their “strong disagreement” over the Iran nuclear deal and work toward “blunting destabilizing activities” in Iran that threaten Israel.

The two leaders, joined by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and senior aides, huddled for several hours in the Oval Office in their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year. Both spoke briefly before their closed-door meeting about working together to quell violence in the Palestinian territories, bolstering Israel’s military and combating the Islamic State terror group.

Full story

November 4, 2015

White House Deflects Blame for GOP Gains

Matt Bevin

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Shifting demographics and Republican turnout fueled another victorious election night for Republican candidates, the White House contends, not the president or his health care law.

The morning after a Republican won the Kentucky governor’s race and a year after another GOP success in the midterms, reporters pushed Press Secretary Josh Earnest Wednesday on whether President Barack Obama is to blame for Republican gains in Congress and at the state level since he took office. Full story

November 3, 2015

Earnest Squeezes Ryan on Omnibus, December Shutdown

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration put a bit of pressure on Speaker Paul D. Ryan Tuesday, suggesting he wouldn’t want a government shutdown just weeks after taking the House gavel.

The White House has “a lot of confidence” that lawmakers will avoid sinking a year-end omnibus spending measure and possibly causing a government shutdown with controversial policy riders, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

Full story

October 30, 2015

Obama: Avoid ‘Ideological’ Fights on Spending Bill

Obama (Mandel Ngan / Pool)

Obama (Mandel Ngan / Pool)

President Barack Obama is applauding lawmakers for passing a long-term debt and budget deal, but he also wants them to avoid sinking upcoming spending bills that would enact it with “ideological” policy provisions.

The Senate, on the backs of Democratic votes, early Friday morning sent to Obama’s desk a two-year spending deal that raises defense and domestic spending caps, while also raising the debt ceiling into 2017. Obama hailed it in a statement several hours later as a “responsible, long-term budget agreement that reflects our values, grows our economy and creates jobs.”

Full story

September 25, 2015

Obama Praises Boehner, Hopes Republicans Learn Lesson (Video)

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

Obama called Boehner upon hearing the news of his resignation. ( 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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