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McConnell Slams Obama, Says GOP Will Not Shut Down Government

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hammered President Barack Obama on issues ranging from net neutrality to immigration at his weekly news conference Thursday, while praising Senate Democrats for their "epiphany" on the Keystone XL pipeline. McConnell also twice refuted the notion Republicans would shut down the government over Obama's expected executive action on immigration, amid speculation House Republicans may attach a rider to a December spending bill blocking funding for the action.

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Reid Unveils Leadership Team, Says 'Not Get Even Time' With GOP

Sen. Harry Reid survived a four-hour meeting with his Democratic flock with his job as their leader intact, albeit without unanimous support, as he debuted three new members of his leadership team and promised to work with Republicans to legislate. His leadership team has three new members: Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, a moderate who is the new head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who is chairwoman of Steering and Outreach; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has a newly created post to reach out to the progressive wing of the party. "We have to continue fighting for the middle class," Reid said. "The middle class is what is concerning every one of my senators. They're not getting a fair shot and we are going to do everything we can in the 114th Congress to make sure the middle class of this great country of ours has a fair shot.

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Pelosi Criticizes Keystone Bill for Liability Exemption

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi voiced her opposition Thursday to a House Republicans bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline because it would exempt TransCanada from having to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. "If you were 100 percent for the Keystone pipeline, you would have to have a problem with the legistlation on the floor," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. "Should there be a leak, TransCanada will be exempted from paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, even though the tar sands component of what they're transmitting is highly corrosive."

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Pelosi: Obama Has Legal Authority, Precedents to Act on Immigration

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reasserted President Barack Obama's legal authority to change existing immigration laws Thursday, while saying Republicans should not attach a spending bill rider blocking funding for Obama's expected executive action. "[Republicans] are saying to the president, 'Don't use your executive authority.' Suppose he turned to us and said, 'Don't use your legislative authority,'" Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. "That's what presidents do: they have executive authority. ... Why are we going down this path when Congress can prevent it all from happening by passing the Senate bill?

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Pelosi Defiant on Leadership Post, Slams Media

In her first public remarks since Election Day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defended her decision to run to keep her post atop the House Democratic Caucus, and doesn't sound likely to relinquish her role anytime soon. "I don't understand why this question should even come up," the California Democrat said at a news conference Thursday. "I'm here as long as the members want me to be here." She also hinted there was implicit sexism in the constant "will she or won't she?" rhetoric. "When was the last time you asked Mitch McConnell, ... 'Aren't you getting a little old, Mitch?'" Pelosi asked about the Republican senator from Kentucky.

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Landrieu Calls for Vote on Keystone Pipeline

Embattled Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu announced her support for an immediate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline on the floor Wednesday, as House Republicans moved forward with an identical measure to help Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is in a runoff with Landrieu. "This has been a project that has lingered far too long," Landrieu said. "I believe it is time to act.

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McConnell: Obama Acting Alone on Immigration 'Would Be a Big Mistake'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned President Barack Obama Wednesday about taking widely expected unilateral moves on immigration while laying out agenda items for the lame-duck session. Theres a lot both parties can accomplish together over the next couple years. I hope that happens. Im optimistic. But working together requires trust, McConnell said on the floor. I think President Obama has a duty to help build the trust we all need to move forward together, not to double-down on old ways of doing business. Thats why I think moving forward with the unilateral action on immigration hes planned would be a big mistake, McConnell said.

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Reid Congratulates McConnell, Says Democrats 'Ready to Work in Good Faith'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid congratulated Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans on the floor Wednesday for regaining the majority, adding, "Senate Democrats are ready to work in good faith" with Republicans. "I saw firsthand how a strategy of obstruction was debilitating to our system, and I have no desire to engage in that manner," Reid said. "I've been able to strike compromise with my Republican colleagues, and I'm ready to do it again. ... Although the desks in this great chamber may move around, and change, our duty to help working American families never will.

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Louisiana: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Associate Politics Editor Kyle Trygstad and Photo Editor Bill Clark give you on-the-ground analysis on key Louisiana races before the 2014 midterms.

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Capturing the Shot in the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Photo Editor Bill Clark and Staff Photographer Tom Williams give you on-the-ground analysis from key races before the 2014 midterms.

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Mississippi: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Associate Politics Editor Kyle Trygstad and Staff Photographer Tom Williams give you on-the-ground analysis on key Mississippi races before the 2014 midterms.

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West Virginia: A Photographer's Take on the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Photo Editor Bill Clark gives you on-the-ground analysis on key West Virginia races before the 2014 midterms.

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West Virginia: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Staff Writer Abby Livingston gives you on-the-ground analysis on key West Virginia races before the 2014 midterms.

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Iowa: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Staff Writer Alexis Levinson and Staff Photographer Tom Williams give you on-the-ground analysis on key Iowa races before the 2014 midterms.

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Nebraska: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Staff Writer Emily Cahn gives you on-the-ground analysis on key Nebraska races before the 2014 midterms.

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Kansas: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Staff Writer Alexis Levinson gives you on-the-ground analysis on key Kansas races before the 2014 midterms.

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Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Staff Writer Emily Cahn gives you on-the-ground analysis on key Pennsylvania races before the 2014 midterms.

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Florida: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Staff Writer Abby Livingston gives you on-the-ground analysis on key Florida races before the 2014 midterms.

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Illinois: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Staff Writer Emily Cahn gives you on-the-ground analysis on key Illinois races before the 2014 midterms.

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Arizona: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Photo Editor Bill Clark gives you on-the-ground analysis on key Arizona races before the 2014 midterms.

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Georgia: What You Need to Know About the 2014 Midterms

Roll Call Associate Politics Editor Kyle Trygstad and Photo Editor Bill Clark give you on-the-ground analysis on key Georgia races before the 2014 midterms.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of the 2014 Campaign Season

As news outlets tracked the best campaign ads of the 2014 cycle over the past seven weeks, HOH kept tabs on the other activities which kept your elected officials busy, including arguing with constituents, reciting Greek history and reading mean tweets.

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C-SPAN Caller Says N-Word On Air

C-SPAN abruptly cut off a viewer call-in on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program Thursday when the viewer, who was discussing how Republican overreach in the 114th Congress could help Democrats in the 2016 presidential election, said "Republicans hate that n***** Obama." C-SPAN Senior Executive Producer and Washington Journal Host Steven Scully quickly apologized to viewers, saying the language "crossed the line."

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Boehner on Incoming House Republicans: 'They're Really Solid Members'

Speaker John A. Boehner pushed back Thursday on speculation of an expanding "hell no" caucus in the Republican party following Tuesday's Midterm Elections, instead calling on President Barack Obama to rebuild trust by not acting unilaterally on issues like immigration. "Yes we have some new members who have made some statements, I'll give you that," Boehner said, responding to CBS News' Nancy Cordes, "but when you look at the vast majority of new members who are coming in here, they're really solid members." When challenged by Cordes on Boehner's inability to pass immigration legislation, the Ohio Republican blamed inaction on the child migrant crisis while adding "hope springs eternal" moving forward.

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Boehner: House Will Continue to Vote on Obamacare Repeal

Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that regardless of its prospects of passage in the Senate, the House would continue to vote to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care law when the 114th Congress convenes next year. "The House, I'm sure, at some point next year will move to repeal Obamacare, because it should be repealed, it should be replaced with common sense reforms," the Ohio Republican said at his weekly news conference. "Now, whether that can pass the Senate, I don't know, but I know in the House it'll pass. But we're going to pass it. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't do other things. ... Just because we may not be able to get everything we want, doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to get what we can.

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Boehner: Obama Will 'Burn Himself' Acting Alone on Immigration

In his first news conference after Tuesday's elections, Speaker John A. Boehner had stern words for President Barack Obama and his expected executive action on immigration, telling the president he was inviting "big trouble" if he continued to act without Congress on issues such as immigration. Asked whether the president would be "poisoning the well" with Congress if he issued an executive action on immigration, Boehner offered this advice: "When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. And he's going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path." "The American people made it clear on Election Day," Boehner said, "they want to get things done and they don't want the president acting on a unilateral basis."

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Roll Call Presents The 2014 Midterms Teaser

Join us Tuesday at 6 p.m. for Roll Call's first election night live stream. Featuring analysis, road reporting and up-to-the-minute results, Roll Call will be the go-to destination for political professionals, campaign junkies and Hill staffers.

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CQ Roll Call Election Impact Conference

The midterms are two weeks away and promise to be the most exciting - and difficult to predict - in years. But no matter what happens, we'll lend some clarity to what happened, what's next and what it all means at CQ Roll Call's Post Election Impact Conference on Nov. 6 - just two days after the elections. Register: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1561470

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Peter DeFazio

With less than two weeks until Election Day, Heard on the Hill's tribute to members continues this week with Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, who pays homage to the Cuyahoga River, analyzes sheep journals and shows off his favorite tie.

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Fmr. Top Capitol Cop: 'I Was Armed When I Needed To Be'

Members of the Canadian Parliament are praising as a hero House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former police superintendent, for his reported role in taking down the gunman who entered the building. Capitol Hill may be wondering if its own sergeants-at-arms usually pack heat. I didnt carry it all the time," former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance W. Gainer said on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" Thursday morning. "I had it close at hand in a locked compartment." Gainer, who served as chief of the Capitol Police before his seven-year gig in the Senate, said he frequently relied on the uniformed officers of the department. "We have concentric circles of security around here and so they are the first line of defense, but as the chief law enforcement officer, I was armed when I needed to be or thought it was appropriate," he said.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Don Young

As election season rolls on, Heard on the Hill pays tribute to Rep. Don Young, the self-described "alpha wolf" of Alaska politics who loves cranes, beanies and the Anchorage Daily News.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Pete Sessions

Heard on the Hill continues its salute to members, focusing this week on the Texas Rules Committee chairman and his love for America, microphones and cleavers.

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Biden Jokes: Being VP a 'Bitch'

Minutes after repeating his familiar warning that sometimes he does not know when to stop saying all that he means, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. let out quite a quip at Harvards Institute of Politics Thursday night. When a questioner identified himself as the vice president of the Harvard student body, Biden chimed in, isnt it a bitch, I mean that vice president thing? Knowing what had just come out of his own mouth, Biden quickly added Im joking. Im joking. Im joking. The best decision I ever made. That was a joke. That was a joke, he continued.

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Candidate Interview: Rick Allen (R) GA-12

The businessman who is challenging Democratic Rep. John Barrow for Georgia's 12th District visited Roll Call on Sept. 9.

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Montel Williams to Obama on Jailed Marine: 'Make the Call'

President Barack Obama and Mexico each took a tongue-lashing at a rare mid-recess Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday on the case of a U.S. Marine imprisoned for six months in Mexico on questionable charges. Talk-show host Montel Williams, a former Marine who has become a leading advocate for the release of the Afghanistan veteran, urged Obama to call Mexican President Enrique Pea Nieto to free Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who has been held in Mexico since March. If this hearings going to stop in 10 minutes, I think the president needs to pick up the phone in 15," Williams said, his voice breaking with emotion. "Make the call. Make the call today."

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Pelosi Opines About Baseball, Television

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could not resist the urge to discuss the MLB playoffs and her television-watching habits with the press as she was leaving her news conference Wednesday. "Well you know my father brought the Orioles to Baltimore, ... I'm happy to see them doing so well," Pelosi said, referring to the team's playoff berth. "Because that's the only TV I watch is sports. I'm not interested in anybody's opinion. In fact, I don't even listen to the commentator's opinion. I just want to watch the score, and the team and watch sports that way.

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Pelosi on GOP: 'Their Days Are Numbered'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., touted Democrats' opportunity to pick up seats this November at a news conference Wednesday, saying Republicans' "days are numbered." "I know that in two years there will be a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president. I'd like it to be in two months," Pelosi said. "So this fall, it's important for us to come as close to that as possible."

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Pelosi on ISIS: Vote Should Be Held on Military Authorization

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reiterated her enthusiasm Wednesday for Congress to debate and vote on an Authorization for Use of Military Force to combat the Islamic State terrorist group. "Congress has a role in defining how our country degrades and defeats ISIS," Pelosi said at a news conference, referring to the insurgent terrorist organization that's also known as ISIL. She said there have been "conversations among members informally about what form an authorization should take that will secure our national security interests as well [one that] could pass in both houses of Congress. "These conversations should be moved from the informal to the official," she said.

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Pelosi Calls for 'Independent Investigation' Into Secret Service

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stopped short on Wednesday of demanding Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resign, but called for an "independent investigation" into the disturbing protocol breaches within the agency that she said were "inexcusable." "The challenge may be more than one person," the California Democrat told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "Whether she [resigns] or not, I think we need an independent investigation. Her leaving doesn't end the need to learn more."

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Lawmakers Grill Secret Service Over White House Security Breach

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson took a beating from nearly 20 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee lawmakers who traveled back to Washington for Tuesday's rare, three-and-a-half hour recess hearing. Droves of photographers packed into the panel's Rayburn meeting room to capture Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., demanding succinct responses from Pierson about botched security and the Sept. 19 incident in which Iraq war veteran Omar J. Gonzalez jumped the White House fence and made it into the building.

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Republican Tells Secret Service Director About ADT

A Florida Republican brought a prop to illustrate his point during Tuesday's hearing on the Sept. 19 security breach at the White House. After asking about broken glass following a 2011 shooting at the White House, Rep. John L. Mica held up a the blue shield of ADT Security Systems and asked, "Have you ever heard of these guys?" The congressman plugged ADT as a solution for the 2011 incident, when a window broken by a bullet went undiscovered for at least three days.

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Gowdy Slams Secret Service Director Over 2011 WH Security Breach

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., hammered Secret Service Director Julia Pierson on Tuesday over a 2011 White House shooting, asking her to rehash what a jury had learned about the case in light of new revelations in a Washington Post article. "Director, I'm actually a big fan of law enforcement and I don't take any delight in asking the questions I'm going to ask you, but law enforcement are given unique powers in our society and with those unique powers come unique responsibilities," Gowdy said. "So as I understand it, several agents [in 2011] believed that shots were fired and a supervisor concluded that it was a vehicle backfiring. Even if that were true, given the very small investment of resources, why not investigate the shots fired?"

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How to Approve That Message …

"I'm Candidate X, and I approve this message." Despite being the bane of political admakers everywhere, campaigns creatively weave messaging around this legal disclaimer. Roll Call has compiled the best from this year's election cycle, featuring mom and dad, dramatic music and cows.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of James Traficant

Following his death Saturday, Heard on the Hill pays tribute to the colorful career of James A. Traficant Jr. a lawmaker who regularly reminded C-SPAN audiences of manure studies, his "weed-whacker" hair and his ability to kick liars in the crotch.

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Florida Congressman Sings 'Stand by Me'

Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., sings Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" on the campaign stump.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Bill Nelson

With Congress out until after the midterms, Heard on the Hill kicks off election season by saluting the members who go the extra mile to make Capitol Hill such a unique place to work. This week, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., teaches us about outer space, drywall and how to win a football game.

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Eric Holder Resigns with a Wink and a Nod

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. likes to wink, apparently.

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Obama Announces Eric Holder's Resignation

President Barack Obama announced the resignation of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at the White House Thursday, praising Holder's track record during his six-year-tenure. Holder thanked Obama for allowing him to serve in, what he called, "the greatest honor of my professional life." "I will leave the Department of Justice, but I will never -- I will never leave the work," Holder said. "I will continue to serve and try to find ways to make our nation even more true to its founding ideals."

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SHOCKED: Congressional African-American Leaders React to Holder Resignation

African-American Congressional leaders expressed shock at the news of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.s resignation today during a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation panel over African-American voters and the midterm elections. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., delivered the news. Representatives Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., and John Lewis, D-Ga., along with legal advocates were on the panel.

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Where Should Roll Call Travel to Cover the Midterms?

Less than 36 hours remain for readers to vote on where to send Roll Call reporters Alexis Levinson and Emily Cahn to cover the final weeks of the midterms. Vote: http://atr.rollcall.com/midterms-2014-finalist-house-senate-races/

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