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Video Archive

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Wisconsin Republican Asks Members to Save Our Sausages

Wisconsin Republican Tom Petri took to the House floor Thursday to issue a dire warning to grill tenders the world over: Europe is coming for our pork products.

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Appropriations Chairman Piles On to Members 'Underpaid' Remarks

Turns out not even the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee can avoid weighing in on whether members are "underpaid." At an appropriations markup Wednesday, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., laid into Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., after Moran's amendment to raise each member's pay by $2,800 was rejected by voice vote.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of April 7

While senators explain their beef with cable TV and representatives talk about Big Macs, Majority Leader Harry Reid just cannot get enough Koch.

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What You Missed: House Oversight Votes to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Thursday to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.

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Boehner Hammers Obama Administration Over Benghazi, IRS

During his weekly press conference, which lasted for just more than 6 minutes, Boehner criticized former IRS official Lois Lerner, knocked Democrats for playing politics rather than working with Republicans to create jobs, and, most notably and vociferously, knocked the Obama administration for putting up roadblocks to answers on Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious and the IRS scandal.

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Pelosi: 'Race' Part of the Reason GOP Won't Act on Immigration

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that "race" is one reason Republicans are avoiding an immigration overhaul. During her weekly press conference, the California Democrat implied there were ulterior reasons Republicans weren't addressing immigration. "I think race has something to do with them not bringing up the immigration bill," Pelosi said. "I've heard them say to the Irish, 'If it was just you, it would be easy.'"

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House Oversight Votes to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines Thursday to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress. The vote, coming as Congress heads out of town for a two-week recess, is the latest chapter in a year-long probe that has sparked some of the fiercest partisan clashes among panel members in recent memory — from cutting off the ranking member’s microphone as he sought to speak to comparing the chairman to Sen. Joe McCarthy, R-Wis.

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Boehner Still Blocking Unemployment Extension

Speaker John A. Boehner doesn't seem to think the Senate passing an unemployment benefits extension has changed the political calculus for the House. Boehner said Thursday morning that he had made it clear to the president in December that an unemployment insurance extension would "have to be paid for and would have to include things that would help get our economy moving.

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Cummings Compares Lerner Contempt Vote to McCarthyism

The Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform Thursday compared the committee's vote to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress to McCarthyism. "I cannot cast a vote that would place me on the same page of the history books as Senator Joseph McCarthy," Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., said. "I do not draw that comparison lightly."

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Graham to Comcast Exec: 'Anybody Represent DIRECTV?'

When officials from Comcast and Time Warner Cable appeared at the Senate Judiciary Committee to push the case for their proposed $45 billion merger, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked questions that any ordinary American consumer might. The South Carolina Republican had service issues, with both cable and DirecTV. Before he switched to the satellite service, Graham said at the hearing that his cable TV "went out right in the fourth quarter of a ballgame."

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Holder Testifies Before House Judiciary: What You Missed

Marijuana, accusations of perjury, election integrity and asparagus were the range of topics covered in Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing. Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the committee in a hearing designed for oversight on the Department of Justice. Holder and members of the committee had some tense exchanges as congressmen tried to nail down the attorney general on specific enforcement of laws.

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McConnell Doubts Individual Campaign Finance Limits Will Go Away

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, an outspoken foe of many campaign finance restrictions, said Tuesday that he didn't think limits on individual contributions to candidates will disappear any time soon. "I think that's not likely to happen," the Kentucky Republican said when asked at a news conference about the possibility of the restrictions on individual contributions being thrown out.

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Holder to Gohmert: 'You Don't Want To Go There, Buddy'

Things got heated between Rep. Louie Gohmert and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department. Gohmert, who was questioning the attorney general about releasing documents relating to the Holy Land Foundation's 2008 conviction of providing financial assistance to Hamas, then suggested contempt was "not a big deal" to Holder. "You don't want to go there, buddy," Holder quickly shot back. "You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. ... Don't ever think that."

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Eric Holder in the Hot Seat on Pot, Fired Up to Defend DOJ Enforcement

As states and cities move to liberalize marijuana laws, the administration looks at changes to federal policy and the No. 2 House Democrat reverses course on decriminalization, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. found himself in a charged congressional hearing on Tuesday. Pressed by members from both sides of the aisle to defend Justice Department practices in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, Holder insisted the Obama administration has not “retreated.” Holder also said the DOJ won’t scale back marijuana punishments by rescheduling the drug, as House Democrats have been pushing President Barack Obama to do, saying he was “satisfied” with what the department is doing.

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McCain and Kerry Have Tense Exchange at Foreign Relations Hearing

Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., confronted Secretary of State John Kerry about the Obama administration's foreign policy in a heated exchange at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Tuesday. "I must say, I think you're about to hit the trifecta," McCain told Kerry, citing the ongoing conflict in Syria, the seemingly stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the uncertain nuclear deal with Iran, which McCain predicted would collapse. McCain further lambasted Kerry, who was testifying on the administration's national security and foreign policy budget priorities, on failing to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine, saying the failure to do so was "beyond logic."

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‘Cuban Twitter’ Dominates USAID Hearing

The senior senator charged with overseeing the U.S. Agency for International Development budget unleashed scathing criticism on the department’s leader Tuesday over a “Cuban Twitter” program. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., the longtime chairman of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, pressed USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah over the U.S-run social media platform in Cuba that was reported last week by The Associated Press. Leahy wanted to know who was behind creation of the program, but Shah did not have a specific answer, saying it came before he started running the agency at the end of 2009.

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Sensenbrenner: Intelligence Director Committed Perjury

During a Justice Department oversight hearing Tuesday, the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee accused Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. of committing perjury during his Jan. 29 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said he believed Clapper's refusal to acknowledge whether warrantless searches of Americans' communications had been conducted was perjurious after conceding the point in a letter last week to Sen. Ron Wyden.

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Steve King: Illegal Immigrants Kill Americans Every Day

Rep. Steve King has been known to make, from time to time, some controversial remarks about immigration — and his floor speech on Friday was no exception. Speaking to a nearly empty chamber, the Iowa Republican said the result of an immigration overhaul would be more dead Americans.

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Roll Call's Book Club With Mark Halperin in 3 Minutes

Roll Call editors Christina Bellantoni and Jason Dick sit down with Mark Halperin, co-author of "Double Down: Game Change 2012," to discuss the 2014 midterm elections, the 2016 presidential election and the political climate in Washington.

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Coats Wanders Into Wrong Committee Hearing

Congressional hearing witnesses may start worrying about members not in the room, as opposed to those in the room. During a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Dan Coats wandered in and began asking the Treasury Department's witness a series of questions, before a staffer informed him he was in the wrong place.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 31

Rep. Robert A. Brady tells zookeepers how to dress, Rep. Mark Takano stages an "intervention" and Majority Leader Harry Reid says he is not afraid of the Koch brothers, again.

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Dem Rep: 'American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid'

Despite what constituents outside of Washington might think, members of Congress are underpaid, a House Legislative Branch appropriator suggested Thursday. Virginia Democrat James P. Moran said he plans to highlight the injustice by introducing an amendment to Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan’s spending blueprint next week. Moran made the comments while the bill that funds member’s $174,000 salaries was being marked up. Read more at http://blogs.rollcall.com/hill-blotter/moran-members-cant-afford-to-live-decently-in-d-c/

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Pelosi: SCOTUS Campaign Ruling 'Existential Threat'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is one of the most prolific fundraisers in congressional history. But that doesn’t mean she’s a fan of Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the aggregate limit on campaign contributions. Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the court decision was “suffocating the voice of the many.” Read more at http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/pelosi-slams-mccutcheon-ruling/

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Roberts Blasts IRS at Finance Markup

Senate Republicans fired another warning shot Thursday in their ongoing battle against the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of conservative organizations. The latest came at the Finance Committee's markup of the broad "tax extenders" package, when GOP Sen. Pat Roberts floated an amendment to block, for one year, the IRS from making new rules governing political activity by social welfare groups under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code.

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Iowa Democrat: GM Induced Customers to Buy Vehicles Through Safety Misrepresentation

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, hammered the CEO of General Motors Tuesday during a House hearing investigating deaths and injuries stemming from defective ignition switches, saying the company made representations of safety to induce customers to buy GM vehicles.

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House GM Hearing Highlights in 4 Minutes

General Motors CEO Mary Barra's testimony Tuesday before a House oversight subcommittee had fairly low drama, despite the emotional subject matter. The hearing — titled "The GM Ignition Switch Recall: Why Did It Take So Long?" — was meant to investigate GM's culpability and response to faulty ignition switches in small cars. The ignition switches are believed to have resulted in injuries and deaths of several car owners.

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Ami Bera Challenger Starts Television Ads in California Race

Former Rep. Doug Ose, one of three Republicans looking to oust vulnerable freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., hit the airwaves Wednesday with his first advertisement of the cycle. The 30-second spot, which highlights his biography, will air on cable across the 7th District, an Ose aide confirmed.

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GM CEO: 'I Cannot Tell You Why It Took So Long' to Announce Defect

Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Tuesday, General Motors CEO Mary Barra vowed in her opening statement to "find out" why there was a long delay before the company announced a safety defect. "Sitting here today, I cannot tell you why it took so long for a safety defect to be announced for this program," Barra said. "But I can tell you we will find out."

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 24

Members returned this week explaining proper congressional dress code, discussing who is nastier and playing popular television game shows, all wrapped up in this week's Hits and Misses.

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Leaders Sneak 'Doc Fix' by Members in Bipartisan Power Move

The House on Thursday passed a bill that did not have the votes to pass. It was clear that a bill ensuring doctors’ Medicare payments aren’t cut did not have enough support, so Republican leaders struck a closed-door agreement with Democrats to pass it by voice vote while members were not yet in the chamber, according to members and aides from both parties. The voice vote allowed members to avoid a tough roll call, which would have forced them to either vote for a bill they do not support or allow doctors who treat Medicare patients to take a pay cut, incensing powerful outside interests.

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Roll Call's Inside Look at the 2014 Midterms

As part of an ongoing Roll Call political webinar series, our editors took a detailed look at upcoming House and Senate primaries. From the heated Democratic primary in Northern Virginia to questions of Republican conservatism up and down the ballot, the group gabbed about the races that ultimately will determine the makeup of the next Congress.

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Boehner Backs Ending NSA Collection of Bulk Data

Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday backed for the first time the end of the National Security Agency's collection of bulk data, expressing support for a bipartisan bill that would reform the way the government engages in domestic surveillance. The Ohio Republican endorsed a bipartisan bill that would allow private companies to store the telephone metadata, rather than the government.

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Boehner on Obamacare Delay: 'What The Hell Is This, a Joke?'

Speaker John A. Boehner lambasted the Obama administration again Wednesday over the Affordable Care Act, this time for extending the health care insurance enrollment period beyond March 31 for individuals who had begun, but not completed enrollment. "Last night brought us yet another delay of Obamacare," the Ohio Republican said at his weekly press conference. "Another deadline made meaningless. The administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it. What the hell is this, a joke?"

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Boehner Reminds Members to Dress Appropriately: 'You Know Who You Are'

Perhaps it was Rep. Jared Polis' recent affinity for bow ties or Janet Yellen's black-on-black threads, but Speaker John A. Boehner is not happy with members recent decorum on the House floor. The Ohio Republican reminded members Tuesday of proper "parliamentary practice" before moving on to the House dress code.

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Candidate Interview: Richard Tisei (R) MA-06

The former state Senate minority leader who is challenging Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., visited Roll Call on Tuesday, March 11.

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Candidate Interview: Nick Casey (D) WV-02

The former West Virginia Democratic Chairman who is running for the open House seat in West Virginia's 2nd District, visited Roll Call on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 10

While members explain how to drive to Hawaii, put lipstick on a pig and which state has better ski resorts, Majority Leader Harry Reid still is not finished telling us about the Koch brothers.

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McCain Rails GOP on Ukraine Bill: ‘Don’t Call Yourself Reagan Republicans’

Sen. John McCain hammered Republicans on the Senate floor Thursday for refusing to pass by unanimous consent a Senate Foreign Relation Committee bill which would provide economic aid while imposing sanctions on Russia. "What has happened? Where are our priorities? You can call yourself Republicans, that's fine, because that's your voter registration. Don't call yourself Reagan Republicans," the Arizona Republican said.

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Republicans Block Democratic Attempt to Force Public Issa Apology on House Floor

Republicans blocked Democrats' privileged resolution demanding that Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa publicly apologize to the House of Representatives for cutting off Rep. Elijah E. Cummings last week at an IRS hearing. The nearly party line vote shelving the resolution came after a theatrical display of protest on the House floor, with Democrats not about to give up on the issue. "This was not just a violation of Mr. Issa's treatment of Mr. Cummings," said Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., a freshman lawmaker who introduced the resolution on Thursday. "My resolution was about Mr. Issa's offense against the House." "If we don't enforce the rules," Kildee said, "where do we go?" As Kildee and his Democratic colleagues offered the resolution, they defiantly held pictures of Issa making the throat-cutting motion, displaying the image on iPads, iPhones and paper. A floor procedure kerfuffle, in which a new House precedent may have been established, ensued.

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Graham to Kerry: 'Let Me Know What I Can Do To Help You With Boehner'

Following Wednesday remarks from Speaker John A. Boehner saying IMF aid to Ukraine is unnecessary, Sen. Lindsey Graham personally offered assistance to Secretary of State John Kerry as the House and Senate began debating the appropriate response to the Ukrainian crisis. "Hey John good job," the South Carolina Republican said to the secretary of State. "Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner." Graham's remarks were caught on a hot mic following a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the State Department's fiscal 2015 budget. Kerry will travel to London Friday to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Correction: 10:23 a.m. An earlier version of this post misstated where Kerry is traveling Friday.

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Republican Says Not All Facts Known About CIA Spying on Committee

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Wednesday responded to Chairman Dianne Feinstein's Tuesday speech, which alleged the CIA spied on the Senate committee. "We do not know the actual facts concerning the CIA's alleged actions or all of the specific details about the actions by the committee staff," the Georgia Republican said. "Both parties have made allegations against one another, and even speculated as to each others' actions, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that must be addressed."

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Boehner: A Pig With Lipstick Is Still a Pig

House Republican leaders enjoyed some bragging rights at their Wednesday morning press conference after their candidate, David Jolly, won Tuesday’s hotly-contested special election in Florida to succeed the late Republican Rep. C. W. Bill Young. “I’ve stood here after losing some special elections,” said Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio. “I’ve tried to put lipstick on a pig, and it was still a pig. So you can bet they’ll try to put lipstick on it today but you all know what the facts are.” Boehner also addressed the Feinstein-CIA feud and whether IMF aid to Ukraine was needed.

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Candidate Interview: Marilinda Garcia (R) NH-02

The state representative who is challenging Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., for New Hampshire's 2nd District, visited Roll Call on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

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Feinstein: CIA Spied on Intelligence Committee (Full Speech)

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday accused the CIA of spying on her committee’s computers without authorization — in possible violation of the law and the Constitution — and suggested the CIA may have also tried to engage in an effort to intimidate her staff.

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Feinstein: CIA Spied on Intelligence Committee

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee torched the Central Intelligence Agency in a floor speech Tuesday morning, charging the agency with spying on her committee’s computers in a possibly illegal search that has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.

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Roll Call Round Table: After Cummings-Issa Dust-Up, a Look Back at Nasty House Fights

Just how nasty was the brouhaha between Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa and ranking member Elijah E. Cummings, anyway? And how did the resulting floor fight over a resolution to rap Issa on the knuckles compare to other partisan stunts? These are questions that came up Thursday morning in our editorial meeting as Congressional Black Caucus members put forth the measure, and once we got going, the stories started flying. Bill Thomas crying! Nancy Pelosi turning out the lights and locking the House chamber! The days when legislative spats were settled with fisticuffs! Sure, partisan rancor these days is bad, but things have definitely been worse.

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Republican Warns GOP Presidential Candidates of Military Sexual-Assault Vote

The Senate narrowly blocked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's bill to remove prosecutorial decisions for military sexual assaults and other felonies from the chain of command. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has vast experience as a military lawyer, said a vote in favor of the New York Democrat's proposal could come back to haunt to GOP presidential aspirants in the Senate. "People wanting to run for president on our side, I will remind you of this vote. You want to be commander in chief? You told me a a lot today about who you are as commander in chief," Graham said. "You were willing to fire every commander in the military for reasons I don't quite understand. So we will have a good conversation as to whether or not you understand how the military actually works."

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 3

HOH serves up another dish of the best of what's around with members detailing how cold Ukraine is, explaining what happens when the toilet leaks and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seeing how many times he can say "Koch brothers" in a 10-minute speech.

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Black Caucus Brings Resolution Condemning Darrell Issa, Asks Boehner to Take His Gavel

The Congressional Black Caucus has brought a resolution to the floor condemning Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa and has asked Speaker John A. Boehner to take his gavel after he cut off Rep. Elijah E. Cummings' microphone at a hearing on Wednesday. On Thursday, flanked by CBC colleagues, Chairwoman Marcia L. Fudge, D-Ohio, stood on the House floor to introduce a privileged resolution condemning Issa for the "offensive and disrespectful manner in which [he] conducted the hearing" and for "turn[ing] off the microphones of the ranking member while he was speaking and adjourn[ing] the hearing without a vote or a unanimous consent agreement."

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Dalai Lama Gives Senate Opening Prayer

It was a historic morning in the Senate when His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, gave the Senate’s opening prayer on Thursday in place of Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black. Attendance, however, left something to be desired. A good number of staffers were gathered on the floor of the chamber and in the galleries, but the chamber was by no means packed. Perhaps a dozen senators were present when Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., gaveled the Senate into session and yielded to the Dalai Lama for the morning prayer. “We make our world. Speak or act with a pure mind, and happiness will follow you,” His Holiness said. “This is my favorite prayer. Daily I pray this.”

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