Sept. 17, 2014, 9:16 p.m.
After voting to give President Barack Obama the authority to arm and train Syrian rebels, the House passed legislation Wednesday to fund the government until Dec. 11, moving the bill to avoid a government shutdown and address Islamic State organizations to the Senate. House lawmakers voted 319-108 to pass the continuing resolution, with 143 Democrats joining 176 Republicans in support of the measure. 55 Democrats and 53 Republicans voted against the bill.
Sept. 17, 2014, 7:29 p.m.
A Senate Democrat is floating a proposal that could increase the government's leverage over the activities of professional sports leagues like the NFL. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Wednesday that he's planning legislation to impose a sunset on the antitrust exemptions enjoyed by the National Football League and the other pro sports. The former Connecticut attorney general called the response of the NFL to the domestic violence incident involving now-former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice something "right out of the 1950s, out of an episode of 'Madmen.'"
Sept. 17, 2014, 5:22 p.m.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., hammered her hometown football team Wednesday, saying the San Francisco 49ers should not allow Defensive End Ray McDonald to play following allegations he assaulted his pregnant fiancée in August. “It’s hard for me to understand how people are punching-out their wives at home … but it does happen an it’s and issue we’ve been working on for a very long time,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “Our coach says, ‘innocent until proven guilty, due process,’ all of that, but the fact is he shouldn’t have played.”
Sept. 17, 2014, 2:45 p.m.
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., slammed the State Department during the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s inaugural hearing Wednesday for failing to change its structure on approving temporary facilities abroad, which Roskam said could lead to another Benghazi-like situation. “[When asked], ‘Are there any plans for temporary facilities in the future?’ you were pretty clever in how you responded. You said, ‘We don’t have any plans for it and I’m not likely ... to approve it,'” Roskam said, addressing the State Department’s Gregory B. Starr. “You’re not offering anything as it relates to fundamental change.”
Sept. 17, 2014, 1:16 p.m.
House Democratic leaders aren't whipping votes on the continuing resolution and an amendment to give President Barack Obama authority to arm Syrian rebels against the terrorist group the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. But Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi used her regularly-scheduled Wednesday morning news conference to make an impassioned case for members to support their president. "I don't know how the vote will turn out," the California Democrat said. "It's not a vote we whip. We just don't whip war votes. But I do think that, as members weigh the factors, that they will, I think, give points to the president for all that he has done, diplomatically, politically, humanitarian-wise and ask for this distinct piece."
Sept. 16, 2014, 5:16 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said he would support a stopgap measure to keep the government funded through Dec. 11 while also signaling his support for a separate measure to arm Syrian rebels to combat ISIS.
Sept. 16, 2014, 4:50 p.m.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would not discuss what a Republican-led Senate agenda would look like if the GOP recaptures the majority this November, but said there's "almost no likelihood" Democrats would win the House. "I think the races are yet to be won," McConnell said at his weekly news conference Tuesday. "We're hoping to have a really good year. We're hoping the American people will agree with us that it might be time to try something different after six years in a row of the same old thing."
Sept. 16, 2014, 4:02 p.m.
Majority Leader Harry Reid would not answer hypotheticals about losing control of the Senate this November, instead reasserting the strength of Democratic candidates during his weekly news conference on Tuesday. "All elections are the same in this sense: anything six weeks or two months out from an election is all based upon the candidates, not what's going on nationally," Reid said. "I just think any talk about Republicans taking control of the Senate is really premature and not based upon fact."
Sept. 16, 2014, 3:09 p.m.
A decade ago, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., pushed on the Senate floor for a holiday to celebrate the Constitution, "the document that establishes the duties and rights of citizenship," according to the late senator. During a Sept. 20, 2004, speech on the Senate floor, Byrd detailed his proposal while speaking to the relationship between the president and Congress with respect to war powers. "The framers ensured that the people, through their elected representatives in Congress would control the military so that it could not become a tool of government repression against their own people or a way for presidents to lead the nation into foreign misadventures.”
Sept. 12, 2014, 6:43 p.m.
A shot of the Tamworth hogs at Turner Farm in Maine, courtesy Roll Call's Warren Rojas.
Sept. 12, 2014, 6:39 p.m.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, tells the audience at Turner Farm about the food they will eat.
Sept. 12, 2014, 6:39 p.m.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, tells the audience at Turner Farm about the food they will eat.
Sept. 12, 2014, 5:14 p.m.
The White House is not ducking the word “war.” Press Secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged the United States is “at war with ISIL” during a Friday news conference, but was also insistent in noting it will not be like the previous Iraq War, reiterating no ground forces would be engaged in combat. "In the same way that the United State is as war with al-Qaida and its affiliates around the globe, the United States is at war with ISIL," Earnest said. "This is not a situation of ISIL against the United States. ISIL is waging a war against the broader international community.”
Sept. 12, 2014, 4:10 p.m.
After a five-week recess, members returned to discuss the "crisis with ISIS" and Dick Cheney while reminding C-SPAN viewers to "tweet, tweet, tweet."
Sept. 11, 2014, 3:41 p.m.
If Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is correct, President Barack Obama's delayed executive action on immigration may be coming sooner than expected. During the California Democrat's weekly press conference on Thursday, Pelosi asked for those affected by the immigration issue to be hopeful that "by Thanksgiving or Christmas" there'd be "more security in their lives."
Sept. 11, 2014, 2:10 p.m.
Speaker John A. Boehner forcefully beat the drums of war Thursday, suggesting more action would be needed to defeat Islamic State group terrorists than just U.S. air strikes or the arming of Syrian rebels. “An F-16 is not a strategy,” Boehner said during his weekly news conference. “And airstrikes alone will not accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish.” Boehner said President Barack Obama had made clear that he doesn’t want U.S. boots on the ground. “Well somebody’s boots have to be on the ground,” Boehner said.
Sept. 11, 2014, 10:48 a.m.
On the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Senate remembered those who lost their lives before the start morning business on Thursday.
Sept. 10, 2014, 10:29 p.m.
President Barack Obama wants the approval of Congress as he announces a broad new air war against ISIS, including strikes in Syria, but says he already has the authority he needs. In a speech outlining a new strategy to destroy the group also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, Obama announced an extensive air campaign with no set end date, and plans to rely on others to engage in a ground war — Iraqi forces in Iraq, and Syrian moderates in Syria. “I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven,” Obama said.
Sept. 10, 2014, 4:51 p.m.
The House will postpone its scheduled Thursday vote on a continuing resolution to fund the government past Sept. 30. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., made the announcement during the afternoon vote series on Wednesday, saying the delay was needed to give members time to reach an agreement on whether to include Obama administration-requested language to aid Syrian rebels against terrorist insurgents operating under the name the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. McCarthy said the delay was warranted "given the severity of the situation and the need for all members to properly evaluate" the issues.
Sept. 10, 2014, 4:22 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blamed Obama’s foreign policy for the growth of ISIS and said he wants to president “to lay out a credible plan” to the American people Thursday night. “In my view, we have a duty as a super power, without imperialistic aims, to help maintain international order and balance of power,” McConnell said. “And in my view that international order is maintained by American military might. ... But that is not a view this president seems to share.”
Sept. 10, 2014, 4:15 p.m.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is backing President Barack Obama's renewed push for authority to train and equip Syrian rebels as part of his plan to take on the Islamic State, as the president himself is lobbying lawmakers to act before heading home. Reid also said he believes Obama otherwise already has the authority he needs to take on ISIS, and questioned a push for a new authorization to use military force. “We should be learning from our past mistakes, not repeating them,” Reid said, referring to the invasion of Iraq.
Sept. 9, 2014, 5:59 p.m.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he would “certainly hope” the stopgap spending bill to keep the government operating into December would include funding requested by the administration for border security and the issue of unaccompanied migrant children, in addition to a re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank. "I think the Ex-Im Bank is extremely important," Reid said. "China for example gives more than four times as much as we do in the same type of a program.”
Sept. 9, 2014, 4:59 p.m.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that if a band of Republicans press for language blocking executive actions on immigration, they're inviting a government shutdown. "They have every right to do whatever they want legislatively. If they want to be the lead team of shutting down the government, that's what they're going to have to do," Reid said.
Sept. 7, 2014, 6:03 p.m.
Roll Call reporters and editors explain why the newsroom undertakes the 50 Richest Members of Congress list each year. The project takes weeks and isn't easy — and it can even be agonizing — but they detail why 50 Richest is critically important to understanding Congress. Visit Roll Call's 50 Richest Interactive for more.
Sept. 7, 2014, 5:27 p.m.
Roll Call counts down the 10 "poorest" members of Congress, part of the 50 Richest Members of Congress list. Since 1990, Roll Call has calculated the net worth of every delegate, representative and senator to rank lawmakers by their net worth. Visit Roll Call's 50 Richest Interactive for more.
Sept. 7, 2014, 5:05 p.m.
Roll Call counts down the 10 richest members of Congress, part of the 50 Richest Members of Congress list. Since 1990, Roll Call has calculated the net worth of every delegate, representative and senator to rank lawmakers by their net worth. Visit Roll Call's 50 Richest Interactive for more.
Sept. 7, 2014, 4:48 p.m.
CQ Roll Call's Jay Hunter describes the methodology for the 50 Richest Members of Congress list. Since 1990, Roll Call has calculated the net worth of every delegate, representative and senator to rank lawmakers by their net worth. Visit Roll Call's 50 Richest Interactive for more.
Sept. 5, 2014, 11:47 a.m.
Heard on the Hill concludes its August recess flashback with a look at the relationship between lawmakers and their microphones — from the fumbling to the malfunctions, to members who just can't resist the urge to say more.
Sept. 3, 2014, 7:44 p.m.
Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that Congress shouldn't leave Washington for the mid-term election break until authorizing the use of force against ISIS. Speaking with reporters after a campaign event for GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie at a VFW hall, the Arizonan dismissed the idea that the Senate is only scheduled to be in session for two weeks in September, where advancing a continuing resolution to keep the government running will highlight the agenda.
Sept. 3, 2014, 3:49 p.m.
The businessman who is running for the open seat in Arkansas' 2nd District visited Roll Call on June 24.
Aug. 28, 2014, 7:25 p.m.
President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment Thursday to act unilaterally to change the nation's immigration laws before the end of the summer, nearly two months since announcing his plan in a Rose Garden speech. "I've been very clear about the fact that our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed," Obama said. "My preference continues to be that Congress act. I don't think anybody thinks that Congress is going to act in the short term, but hope springs eternal that after the midterm elections they may act."
Aug. 28, 2014, 7:04 p.m.
President Barack Obama on Thursday dismissed any suggestion of military intervention to address Russia’s further incursion into Ukrainian territory, as Republican lawmakers renewed calls for stronger action. “We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem. What we’re doing is to mobilize the international community to apply pressure on Russia,” Obama said. “But I think it is very important to recognize that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming.”
Aug. 28, 2014, 6:39 p.m.
President Barack Obama said Thursday it's premature to go to Congress to authorize a strategy to defeat ISIS — because he doesn't have one yet. "We don't have a strategy yet," Obama told reporters after being asked about striking ISIS in Syria, saying he didn't want to "put the cart before the horse." The line — sure to be repeated often by his critics — came as Republicans have been repeatedly demanding a strategy to defeat ISIS. Obama said he's asked the military for options to take on ISIS, but a decision to expand strikes into Syria isn't imminent and he suggested it would not happen before Congress returns from recess.
Aug. 28, 2014, 4:54 p.m.
Speaker John A. Boehner reminds us of his love for tans, long hair and monkeys as Heard on the Hill concludes its 2014 look back.
Aug. 28, 2014, 10:41 a.m.
Immigration protesters ambushed Rep. Paul D. Ryan Thursday at a book signing in Thornton, Colo., asking about the lack of congressional action on immigration. Ryan was confronted by Greisa Martinez, a national organizer with United We Dream. “I do not understand why you want to deport me and my mother? Why didn’t your party pass immigration reform when you had the opportunity,” she loudly questioned, mentioning the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. “Rep. Ryan, My name is Greisa Martinez I am DACA-mented and I am hear to stay!”
Aug. 27, 2014, 3:48 p.m.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday President Barack Obama will act unilaterally on immigration, despite new speculation that Republican lawmakers may shut down the government to block executive actions Obama plans to announce by the end of the summer. "It certainly was a shame when Republicans engaged in a strategy to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act," Earnest said. "We would hope that Republicans wouldn't do the same thing again ... over a common sense, bipartisan effort to try to mitigate at least some of the worst problems that are caused by our broken immigration system." To avoid a shutdown, lawmakers must pass legislation to fund the government before the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year.
Aug. 27, 2014, 12:13 p.m.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., a vocal critic of the federal government's role in education, sued the Obama administration Wednesday over its implementation of the Common Core in Louisiana. "Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C. in control of everything," Jindal said in a statement. During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March, Jindal slammed the administration, calling its education policies "cynical, immoral and hypocritical.”
Aug. 26, 2014, 12:47 p.m.
The mayor of Redlands, Calif., who is running for the open seat in California's 31st District, visited Roll Call on July 16.
Aug. 21, 2014, 10:22 p.m.
As Heard on the Hill's look back at 2014 rolls on, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid organizes his calendar, greases pigs and pays tribute to his favorite Americans, the Koch brothers.
Aug. 21, 2014, 2:31 p.m.
The former member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors who is running for the open seat in Arizona's 7th District, visited Roll Call on July 24.
Aug. 15, 2014, 11:13 a.m.
Heard on the Hill continues its look back at the best Hits and Misses moments from 2014, this week focusing on Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's love for children, baseball and fist pumps.
Aug. 14, 2014, 11:22 a.m.
The Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t just for late-night funnymen and down-for-whatever daytime news anchors anymore. Lawmakers have caught the water hurling-bug and Roll Call has compiled the best of the best into two minutes of glory. Party on, congressional splash dancers!
Aug. 8, 2014, 5:04 p.m.
The former congressional representative who is challenging Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., visited Roll Call on Tuesday, July 22.
Aug. 8, 2014, 11:13 a.m.
With the August recess underway, Heard on the Hill is looking back at the best Hits and Misses moments you may have missed — or just need to watch again. This week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell focuses on nodding, smiling and clearing his throat.
Aug. 7, 2014, 6:37 p.m.
President Barack Obama signed the overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs Thursday at Fort Belvoir in Virginia — but not before dinging the Senate for failing to confirm more of his nominees for senior VA jobs. Several members of Congress received shoutouts from the president: Sens. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., and Reps. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Michael H. Michaud, D-Maine. Obama called the long wait times "outrageous" and suggested the bill would help newly appointed VA Secretary Robert McDonald get rid of employees who have engaged in misconduct.
Aug. 7, 2014, 5:27 p.m.
MTV admirably took a break from showcasing Teen Moms and Teen Wolves to advertise the Instagram account belonging to the US Interior Department. The only problem? The department was completely in the dark about the commercial, until HOH tipped them off. “You saw our Instagram on a commercial? We are not running TV ads anywhere in the US to our knowledge. Do you have more info?” the Interior Department tweeted. The brief commercial — which flashes serene nature shots plucked from Interior’s Instagram account while featuring a soothing, female voice — appears to have been created by MTV, since it ends with the station’s logo in the corner. “Did you know the US Interior Department has an Instagram account?” the commercial begins. It continues: “So pretty, oh yea, right there, beautiful. Thanks America.”
Aug. 5, 2014, 2:25 p.m.
Prior to effectively adjourning for five weeks, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., used Tuesday's Senate session to hammer President Barack Obama for proposing changes to immigration laws at the end of the summer without consent from Congress. The administration is reportedly considering an executive order to provide legal status and work authorization cards to 5 million to 6 million of the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, which Sessions called 'unlawful.' "I've urged the president to reconsider this plan and to adhere to his plain statements where he has expressely stated he did not have the power to do what he now, in a complete reversal, states that he will do," Sessions said during a nearly 30-minute floor speech. "It is important for the Congress to stand up and resist the complete errosion of its powers. If these actions are taken, we will have effectively opened the borders of America. We are nearly there already." Following a pro forma session Friday, the Senate will reconvene for legislative business at 2 p.m. on Sept. 8.
Aug. 4, 2014, 3:54 p.m.
The District of Columbia's "No Taxation Without Representation" license places can apparently be quite jolting to tourists, but perhaps not in the way advocates hope. An Oklahoma woman who identified herself as "Donna" called into C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program on Aug. 1, griping about a three-day family vacation to the District and the many things that "appalled" her family, including the license plates. Donna told Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., that she saw alcoholics and people sleeping on the streets and said her family "couldn't find a park bench to sit on" because of the large homeless population. Norton, a lawyer and civil rights activist in her 12th term representing the District, had a long list of positives about her hometown to rebuff the caller's claims.
Aug. 4, 2014, 1:46 p.m.
As cell phones, rhetorical questions and Chinese drywall graced the House and Senate floor, some members prepped for "summer vacation" while others just could not wait to get to Waffle House.
Aug. 3, 2014, 7:13 p.m.
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., a vocal advocate of overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, delivered a blistering floor speech Friday night before the House voted to effectively end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. “Only cowards scapegoat children, and only those who are ashamed of themselves do it in the night on a Friday,” Gutiérrez said to House Republicans. “In January you were saying that all of the Dreamers should get green cards and citizenship … Now, Steve King, Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz are literally writing the immigration script for the Republican Party.”