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Video Archive

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Mitch McConnell Records Kentucky Derby Radio Introduction

Many Kentucky radio listeners will be hearing a familiar voice at the start of coverage of the Run for the Roses. Over an instrumental version of "My Old Kentucky Home," Louisville-based 840 WHAS is featuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introducing the news radio station’s coverage of this year’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. “This is Sen. Mitch McConnell. Welcome to one of our commonwealth’s most treasured traditions, filled with colorful pageantry, remarkable speed and stunning surprises. It’s the first jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown,” McConnell says in the recorded promo. “The Kentucky Derby on NewsRadio 840, WHAS.”

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of April 20, 2015

As Nancy Pelosi and John A. Boehner smooched, members spent the remainder of the workweek protecting turtle passwords, choking up over Sam Houston and threatening to drop constituents’ asses.

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Pelosi Reacts to Death of Al Qaida Hostages

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi extended condolences to the families of two Al Qaida hostages killed in a January strike at her weekly news conference Thursday, calling the deaths “heartbreaking.” “It’s a tragic, terrible, terrible day,” Pelosi said. “There’s no way to say anything less than our thoughts and prayers are with the families, their sacrifice is a big one, the idealism of their family members will always be remembered and that will be part of their legacy, and part of their legacy is for us to do better.”

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Pelosi Calls Emerging Trade Deal a 'Pothole'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pushed back against an emerging “fast-track” trade deal at her weekly news conference Thursday, calling the legislation a “pothole” and saying Republicans had a responsibility to work with Democrats to develop a better framework. “[If] they have 218 Republican votes … I don’t think they’ll pay too much attention to many of our concerns. I don’t know if they have that,” Pelosi said. “If they don’t have 218 votes, we have a further opportunity to say, ‘Where are some areas that we can come together.’” Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Ron Wyden along with Rep. Paul D. Ryan negotiated the trade framework, which the Ways and Means Committee marked up earlier today after the Senate Finance Committee approved a similar measure 20-6 on Wednesday.

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Lightning Strikes Capitol Police Post

Compounding a series of dark days for Capitol Police, a bolt of lightning struck a post on the south side of the Hill this week while an officer was stationed inside. Monday night’s storm carried torrential rain, cannon shots of thunder and quarter-sized hail through the Washington-metro area. A 14-second video captured as the storm trekked across Capitol Hill shows a crack of lightning fracturing the sky and electrifying a security kiosk near the south door of the building.

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Senator Calls Lynch Confirmation Delay 'Disgusting'

Shortly before advancing Loretta Lynch’s attorney general nomination Thursday, Sen. Claire McCaskill slammed the delay on the confirmation vote on the floor, calling out Republicans for practicing base politics aimed at “the cheap seats.” “[It] doesn’t get any uglier than this,” McCaskill said, a former prosecutor herself. “It is beyond depressing. It’s disgusting … She is a prosecutor’s prosecutor. She’s prosecuted more terrorists than almost anyone on the planet.” The Senate voted to cut off a filibuster on the nomination, 66-34, and later confirmed Lynch, 56-43.

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Boehner 'Comfortable' With House Ethics Protocols

When asked Thursday about a Politico report on Rep. Bill Shuster’s relationship with a top aviation lobbyist, Speaker John A. Boehner said he would not comment on the Pennsylvania Republican's relationship with anyone, but said he is “comfortable” with ethics protocols to prevent conflicts of interest between members and lobbyists. “I’m also very comfortable that proper procedures were put in place to avoid a public or professional conflict of interest,” Boehner said.

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Boehner Avoids Committing to ISIS AUMF Vote Timeframe

At his weekly news conference Thursday, Speaker John A. Boehner did not commit to holding floor debate or a vote on a White House-submitted Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State terror group and instead slammed the administration’s AUMF for restricting President Barack Obama’s ability to defeat ISIS. “I don’t know why we’d want to give him less authorization than he has today,” he said. In December, Boehner said the White House should submit an ISIS AUMF before subsequently hammering the proposal in February for “tying” Obama’s hands. Earlier this week a House Democrat and Republican sent a letter to Boehner calling for the House to take action on the proposal.

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Boehner Comments on Death of al-Qaida Hostages

Speaker John A. Boehner expressed his condolences to the families of two al-Qaida hostages killed in a January strike at his weekly news conference Thursday, saying the House would wait for the White House review of the incident before taking additional oversight measures. “I’m sure that the House Armed Services Committee and or the Intelligence Committee will look at this, but my guess is we’ll wait for to see what the review board develops and then take a look at that, to make sure that this kind of occurrence does not happen again while we work to protect American lives,” Boehner said.

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McConnell Aims to Move Trade Bill Before Memorial Day

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “hoped” to move a Trade Promotion Authority bill through the Senate ahead of the Memorial Day recess, less than 24 hours after the Senate Finance Committee approved the legislation, 20-6. The bill would enable the president to bring a negotiated trade agreement to Congress for an up-or-down vote. Lawmakers would not be able to amend the trade pact.

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Obama Orders Review of Strike That Killed Two Hostages

President Barack Obama said Thursday he has ordered a full review of the January operation that killed two hostages held by al-Qaida at the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In an eight-minute address to reporters, Obama said it is “a cruel and bitter truth” that in the “fog of war … mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes, can occur.” “I profoundly regret what happened,” he said.

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Cárdenas Responds to Reports of FBI Investigation (Audio)

In an impromptu hallway conversation with CQ Roll Call on Tuesday, Rep. Tony Cárdenas did not confirm nor deny reports that his district director was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury about using staffers to conduct campaign work. “I don’t know more than what you guys have been trying to say in the press,” Cárdenas said during the two-minute conversation. When CQ Roll Call posited that Cárdenas must know why his staffer was subpoenaed, Cárdenas said he didn’t. “No. I am not able to confirm any of that,” he said.

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State Department IG Requests Separate IT Network

In testimony before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing Tuesday, State Department Inspector General Steve A. Linick told the committee that along with needing better communication about potential criminal activity by department officials, he also needed an independent computer network. Linick said while there was no indication of State Department personnel looking into sensitive files on his computer, the possibility existed due to the shared network. Linick highlighted the sensitivity pertaining to investigation materials on whistleblowers as one example. “They’re not open, but if an administrator wanted to — and again, we don’t have evidence of this — if an administrator wanted to, he or she could come on to our system,” Linick said. “They come on to our system as it is with security patching and all, for legitimate reasons."

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Reid Warns GOP on 'Egregious' Trafficking Amendments

Hours after announcing a deal to vote on an anti-human trafficking measure and Loretta Lynch’s attorney general nomination, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid issued a stark warning to Republicans over offering “germane” amendments to the trafficking bill at his weekly news conference Tuesday, saying GOP amendments could “stall” consideration of the legislation. “Although we have an agreement on the legislation, we’re not out of the woods yet and that’s an understatement,” Reid said. “A final vote on the agreement [could] still be stalled by the Republicans because they can’t get over offering a bunch of amendments, most of which, as I’ve seen them, are not germane. Now we’re not going to be filibustering any of their amendments, but we’re not going to be rushed into not having a good debate on these amendments, some of which are very egregious.”

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McConnell Address Concerns Over WH Iran Intel

When asked Tuesday about conflicting reports over Iran’s nuclear weapon breakout time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “withheld judgement” while touting again the Corker-Menendez bill, giving Congress a review period for any nuclear deal reached with Iran. “Apparently for the next three months or so, we’re going to have a lot of interpretations from both the Iranians and from the administration about what the deal does or doesn’t do,” McConnell said. “But in the end we’re going to have the deal, and the administration will have to provide us all the details in order to get the deal approved. And I’m going to withhold judgement.”

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Iran, Trade, Education to Follow Lynch on Senate Agenda

At his weekly news conference Tuesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said legislation on cybersecurity, “fast-track” trade authority, Iran and a rewrite of No Child Left Behind would be next on the Senate agenda after the chamber votes on an anti-human trafficking bill and Loretta Lynch’s attorney general nomination. McConnell declined to specify when and how the Senate would debate the items. “I’m not going to lay out the order, but I’ve already listed the bills that are out of committee on a bipartisan basis, and those would be candidates for consideration between now and the Memorial Day break,” McConnell said.

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Top Cardenas Staffer Subpoenaed, FBI May Be Investigating

The district director for sophomore Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas notified the House Thursday that she’s been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury conducting an investigation in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Gabriela Marquez, who heads operations in the Los Angeles congressman’s Panorama City office, issued the formal notice in accordance with House rules and staff in the congressman’s Washington, D.C., office confirmed the April 13 communication, but did not provide further details. Sources in California tell CQ Roll Call the FBI spent a few hours interviewing Marquez in her California home roughly three weeks ago, asking questions about whether staffers in Cárdenas’ office worked on campaign-related activities while being paid for official office time.

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Senate Strikes Deal on Trafficking Bill, Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch can expect to be confirmed as the next attorney general within a day or two, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a deal on a human-trafficking bill that had been tied up in abortion politics for weeks. “There have been good-faith negotiations to resolve the impasse that has prevented the Senate from moving forward on this bill,” McConnell said. “And now, I’m glad we can say there is a bipartisan proposal that will allow us to complete action on this important legislation so we can provide help to the victims who desperately need it.” “As soon as we finish the trafficking bill, as I’ve indicated for some time now, we’ll move to the president’s nominee for attorney general—hopefully in the next day or so,” he said.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of April 13, 2015

Lawmakers shook off the rust of a two-week recess recalling trips to McDonald’s, playing their favorite Disney ringtones and counting to seven.

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Pelosi: Iraq Vote Should Not Disqualify Clinton

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday simultaneously slammed the Iraq War while defending Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2002 vote authorizing military action in Iraq, saying the former senator and secretary of State’s vote should not disqualify her from becoming president. “I mean [the Iraq War] was wrong all around,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “Having said it, that was then, this is now, we go forward. And I do not think that the vote that Hillary Clinton took on that, nor did I think the vote that John Kerry took on it, disqualified him from being a candidate for president.” Pelosi’s remarks come on the heels of comments last week by Lincoln Chafee, a possible Democratic presidential candidate, who said nobody “should be president of the United States that made that mistake.”

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Pelosi: Gyrocopter Landing at Capitol 'Stunning'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the Wednesday gyrocopter landing at the Capitol “stunning” at her weekly news conference Thursday, deferring to the investigators when asked about specifics and saying lawmakers “certainly need answers." “We have to subject what we do the the harshest scrutiny as to how does this enable people to enjoy fine employment, legislate in the Capitol, but nonetheless ensure their safety,” Pelosi said. The gyrocopter incident followed a suicide at the West Terrace of the Capitol that occurred over the weekend.

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Pelosi Calls Corker Iran Bill 'Innocuous'

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised House Democrats at her weekly news conference Thursday for initially opposing an Iran nuclear bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker, linking congressional opposition to a compromise later reached by Corker and Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In expressing her support for the compromise bill, Pelosi also called the legislation “innocuous,” saying, “I don’t think we need any legislation." “It’s much different from the original Corker bill, … Congress can always act,” Pelosi said. “But the Corker bill in the form that it was, was harmful. I don’t think it’s as harmful now.”

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White House Has 'Concerns' About DEA Chief

In a back-and-forth with reporters Thursday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the White House “has concerns” about the leadership of DEA chief Michele Leonhart, two days after lawmakers grilled officials at a House Oversight on a Justice Department report detailing the DEA’s history of sexual misconduct. “At this point, we are — we do have concerns about what’s been reported by the Office of Inspector General, we do have high expectations for those who serve this government and serve the American people and we do believe it’s important for the Department of Justice to do as they’re doing, following through on some reforms to address those concerns,” Earnest said. When pressed whether Leonhart has lived up to those expectations, Earnest replied, “I think I’ve said all I have to say about this subject.”

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Senator's 'Let It Go' Ringtone Goes Off at Hearing

A Senate Finance hearing on U.S. tariff policy was disrupted Thursday not by protestors, but by one Republican’s Disney-themed ringtone. In the middle of questioning Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Sen. Pat Roberts found himself in a unique predicament when his cellphone rang to the tune of “Let It Go,” the theme song to the popular 2013 movie “Frozen." The Kansas Republican didn’t miss a beat, telling the committee, “just let it go."

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McCarthy Honors 150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Death

On the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's death, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy paid tribute to the 16th president Wednesday on the House floor, noting Lincoln was a member of the House of Representatives before he became "one of our greatest statesmen.” “At 7:22 this morning, 150 years ago, we lost one of the greatest leaders of our nation, President Abraham Lincoln,” McCarthy said. “As we remember Lincoln as one of the greatest American leaders and the truest embodiment of American principles, our country still feels the mark of his great presence today.”

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Four Schock Staffers Served Grand Jury Subpoenas

Four staffers for ex-Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., have been issued grand jury subpoenas as part of an investigation into their former boss's improper spending. As the House convened after a two-week recess Tuesday, the clerk read each staffer's letter to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, notifying him they had been served with a grand jury subpoena for testimony by United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. House rules stipulate that an employee of the House must notify the speaker if he or she receives a subpoena.

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White House 'Willing to Sign' Iran Bill

After weeks of negotiations, the White House now appears poised to sign the Corker-Melendez Iran bill after it passed through a Senate Foreign Relations Committee markup on a 19-0 vote. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama “would be willing to sign” compromise legislation, but cautioned the bill would need to go through markup — Earnest was asked about the bill ahead of a Tuesday afternoon hearing. “We’ve gone from a piece of legislation that the president would veto to a piece of legislation that’s undergone substantial revision, such that it is now in a form of a compromise that the president would be willing to sign,” Earnest said.

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McConnell: 'Laughable' to Think Hillary Clinton Represents Change

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was “laughable” to think Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton represented a “change” from President Barack Obama at his weekly news conference Tuesday, saying she “represents the views” and was a part of the Obama administration and its policies. “If the American public is happy with where we are at home … and if they’re comfortable with America’s current position of influence around the world, then maybe Secretary Clinton will win,” McConnell said. As for the Republican presidential nominees? “We’ve got a great bunch,” McConnell added.

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McConnell Urges Support for House-Passed Medicare Fix

Ahead of a midnight deadline to fund payments to doctors treating Medicare patients, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the Senate to pass a House-passed fix to the sustainable growth rate payment formula despite concerns from conservatives that the legislation adds to the deficit. “On something like 17 occasions, we’ve gone through these so-called short-term fixes, under which we have largely whacked providers far beyond what I think was appropriate. So yeah, I think like any large bill it’s a mixed bag in some respects, but I think on the whole it’s a bill well-worth supporting. We also need to pass it today and I think most of our members understand that.” The Senate may vote on the House-passed bill tonight.

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Reid Avoids Speculating on Democrat Leadership Positions

Amid speculation over whether Sen. Patty Murray will challenge Sen. Richard J. Durbin for minority whip in the 115th Congress, Minority Leader Harry Reid brushed aside the issue and pivoted to praising the Senate leadership team. “Leadership positions … will be determined after the first of the year — toward the end of next year,” Reid said. “I’m so happy, proud of, in admiration of my three leaders that have been with me during basically my entire tenure. There’s never been a better leadership team in the history of the country as far as leading the caucus.” Reid has endorsed Sen. Charles E. Schumer to succeed him as the Senate's Democratic leader.

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Reid: Loretta Lynch Will be Attorney General

With the Senate set to continue sitting on Loretta Lynch's nomination to be attorney general, Minority Leader Harry Reid affirmed at his weekly news conference Tuesday that she would be confirmed to head the Justice Department. “Loretta Lynch will get confirmed,” Reid said. "We’re not going to let this one be held up, and we have ways of handling this.” Republicans and Democrats are at odds over an abortion rider in a human trafficking bill, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said would be considered before Lynch’s nomination is taken up on the Senate floor.

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Deal Reached to Soften Iran Bill's Terrorism Language

Leading lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee appear to have reached a compromise to dilute some provisions of major Iran legislation ahead of this afternoon's markup. The announcement came on the heels of a direct appeal to senators from Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz, who visited Capitol Hill this morning to chip away at the legislation’s chances of securing a veto-proof majority. Among the anticipated changes to the bill would be removing controversial language that tying Iran’s continued support of terrorism to receiving relief from congressional sanctions as part of a final international nuclear agreement. That certification requirement drew particular ire from Democratic lawmakers and the White House. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who leads the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters his sense is "we're moving toward a strong support in committee, but again in this business you never count your chickens before they hatch."

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Corker: White House 'Spinning' Iran Deal (Audio)

Speaking with reporters Tuesday following a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, Sen. Bob Corker said the White House was "spinning" the implications of a measure he's sponsored to increase the role of Congress in any potential Iran nuclear agreement, saying he has had "no conversations with the White House about the substance" of the bill. "I've had only pushback — even in the Kerry presentation — he was pushing back against this legislation, and my sense is they know this thing has run away, and very likely is going to go way beyond the veto threat,” Corker said.

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Iran, Medicare, Trafficking Top Senate's Spring Agenda

In his opening remarks Tuesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell added to a growing Senate to-do list, praising bipartisan efforts on education policy, cybersecurity and trade promotion authority while saying bipartisan House-passed legislation replacing Medicare’s sustainable growth rate deserved a Senate vote, despite opposition from some conservatives. McConnell reaffirmed the Senate's need to address human-trafficking legislation before moving to a vote to confirm Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, and McConnell also said Sen. Bob Corker’s bill giving Congress a role in reviewing any Iran nuclear agreement is a high priority. “The legislation is supported by a large number of Democrats. It’s no wonder why,” McConnell said of the Corker-sponsored Iran bill. “The bill is aimed at giving Congress and the American people a say in reviewing and approving an international agreement with such wide-ranging consequences."

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Boehner Aims to Move Iran Bill Before Negotiations Finish

As the Senate prepares to take up a bill that would let Congress reject a nuclear agreement with Iran, Speaker John A. Boehner reaffirmed Tuesday that he’s waiting for that bill with open arms. “Congress absolutely should have the opportunity to review this deal,” Boehner said Tuesday. “We shouldn’t count on the administration, who appears to want a deal at any cost.” Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has been leading the charge to give Congress the ability to review an Iranian nuclear agreement before it’s finalized. While the votes appear to be there for passage, Corker has been working to line up a veto-proof majority despite objections from President Barack Obama.

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Democrat: 'It Feels Like Open Season on Black Men'

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., an outspoken critic of police shootings, took to the House floor again Monday to slam police for the death of an unarmed black man in South Carolina earlier this month, calling on Congress to stop ignoring what Johnson deemed a “crisis." “It feels like open season on black men in America and I’m outraged,” Johnson said. “In fact, all Americans are at risk when bad actors in law enforcement use their guns instead of their heads. Despite bipartisan nationwide calls for action … this Congress does nothing.” In December, the Congressional Black Caucus on the House floor protested a grand jury’s decision to not indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown by repeating the refrain “hands up, don’t shoot.”

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Reid: 'Obamacare is Working'

As Republicans consider budget reconciliation procedures to undermine parts of the Affordable Care Act, Minority Leader Harry Reid issued a stark defense of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation on the Senate floor Monday, touting a Gallup Poll finding the number of uninsured Americans at its lowest levels since the survey began in 2008. “This is really, really very good news for America. Obamacare is working, more and more evidence is mounting every day,” Reid said. “So it’s time Republicans stop trying to destroy the law that is helping millions and millions of Americans.” Reid’s comments come as Congress prepares to conference over House and Senate-passed budget bills, where reconciliation measures could be incorporated.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Dan Coats

Heard on the Hill’s tribute to retiring lawmakers rolls on this week with Sen. Dan Coats and his affinity for grandchildren, massages and showing up to committee hearings on time.

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Congresswoman Jams Out to The Beatles

Think you partied hard this spring break? Rep. Cheri Bustos certainly attempted to rock her constituents' world. The Illinois Democrat pounded the skins Wednesday during a swing through a nursing home nestled in her district. Bustos appears to bongo with the best of ‘em, keeping time as best she can while her co-performers chime in via guitar, tambourine and rain stick.

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California Congresswoman to Retire

California Rep. Lois Capps announced Wednesday she will not run for re-election. Capps, 77, has represented the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based 24th District since 1998. The Democrat ran in a special election that year to replace her husband, Walter Capps, who died of a heart attack less than a year into his first term in Congress. “Now I believe it is time for me to return home, back to the community and family that I love so much,” Capps said in a video. “And so I’m announcing that this 114th Congress will be my last.”

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Barbara Mikulski

With Congress out of town, Heard on the Hill pays tribute this week to the longest serving woman in Congress, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who teaches us about “soft-hearted social workers,” calcium-rich beverages and Girl Scout cookies.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 23, 2015

Before leaving town for two weeks, lawmakers learned arithmetic, “quacked” at one another and practiced three-point turns.

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Boehner Cancels Republican's Trip for Floor Opposition

Speaker John A. Boehner has repeatedly said he doesn’t believe in retribution against the GOP Reps. who didn’t vote for him to be speaker. But Boehner increasingly seems to believe he doesn’t exactly have to reward those members either. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a member who has made no secret of his opposition to many of Boehner’s plans, has found himself kicked off two upcoming congressional trips during the House’s two week recess. According to Gohmert’s office, the Texas Republican was slated to travel with California Republican Dana Rohrabacher “to meet with their friend,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. “But his participation was disapproved after all arrangements were made,” his communications director, Kimberly Willingham, told CQ Roll Call.

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Congressman Releases Immigrant Defense Toolkit

Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., announced the release of an immigration “toolkit” in a three-and-a-half minute video posted Thursday, which is designed to inform immigrants of DACA and DAPA policies implemented by the Obama administration.

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Harry Reid Will Not Run for Re-Election

Longtime Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not seek re-election, he said Friday. Reid, who sustained face and rib injuries earlier this year in an exercise accident, made the announcement in a video to supporters. "This accident has caused Landra and I to have a little downtime," he said. "I have had time to ponder and to think. We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than about ourselves. And as a result of that I’m not going to run for re-election."

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Senator Slams Alleged Ban on Climate Change Speech

Florida Democrat Bill Nelson used the annual Senate vote-a-rama to dis Republican Gov. Rick Scott's alleged ban on the terms "climate change" and "global warming." Nelson has an amendment pending aimed at blocking federal agencies from censoring speech related to climate change. It would set up a procedural hurdle to Senate consideration of any future legislation that censors a federal agency's use of climate change science. Nelson called it "common sense" to protect those terms during a Thursday morning speech. "But we have all read news reports at the state level, at the local level, maybe even at the federal level that, indeed, some folks are trying to muzzle scientists from speaking about the science involving the oceans, the atmosphere, climate and the weather."

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Boehner Coy on Working Relationship With Pelosi

House lawmakers left for a two-week recess on a high note Thursday, with members of both parties banding together in nearly equal measure to pass a substantive piece of legislation. But unlike the longevity of the bill that permanently ends the "sustainable growth rate" used to calculate doctors' payments for Medicare, and extends for two years the Children's Health Insurance Program, it's highly doubtful the bipartisan comity will endure. At his weekly news conference, Speaker John A. Boehner was not asked if this was the start of a new, more productive working relationship between the leaders. Rather, reporters wanted to know when the next time might be that Boehner will "need" Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to help pass crucial legislative priorities, the assumption being that the speaker will rarely be able to corral his ideologically disparate caucus around bills that need to advance. "When I see one, I'll let you know," Boehner replied.

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Boehner: Obama is an 'Anti-War President'

Speaker John A. Boehner dismissed Barack Obama Thursday as an "anti-war president" unwilling to lead an international coalition against the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL; al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations. "The world is starving for American leadership, but America has an anti-war president. We have no strategy, overarching strategy, to deal with a growing terrorist threat, and it's not just ISIS or al-Qaida and all of their affiliates," the Ohio Republican said at his weekly news briefing. "If America leads, our allies would be tickled to death and be happy to join our coalition."

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Nancy Pelosi Wants Pool Table for Birthday

Nancy Pelosi seemingly was content to celebrate her 75th birthday with a vote on a Medicare fix. Until she wasn’t. The California Democrat closed her weekly news conference Thursday echoing a request she has made for the past five years: She wants a pool table, she just doesn’t know where to put it. “I still want my pool table,” Pelosi told reporters, a gift she also asked for in 2010. “And it’s not just the pool table. It’s the question of where do you put the pool table, so that is the ongoing debate. I think the dining room is a perfect place.”

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Pelosi Optimistic Senate Will Pass Medicare Fix

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was optimistic at her Thursday morning news conference when asked about the fate of a bipartisan Medicare fix she negotiated with Speaker John A. Boehner. “I just have confidence that the quality of what we have done — what has been crafted in the House is really a good, bipartisan initiative, and hopefully that will, in the equities that have to be weighed over there, that they will come down in support of it,” Pelosi said. “I believe this will move, not because anybody’s told me it will, but just because of the quality of the package." The bill, which later passed the House 392-37, received a chilled response from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid earlier in the week: “I personally am going to wait until we see it, having passed the House, before we start speculating on what we need to do with it, if anything.”

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