Dec. 18, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
Download CQ Roll Call's Definitive Guide to the 114th Congress | Sign Up for Roll Call Newsletters | Get the Latest on the Roll Call App

Obama’s ‘To-Do’ List Finds Few Takers

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Several Democratic Senators, including Sen. Mary Landrieu, were unaware of which items are on the president's to-do list and expressed little interest in tackling them in the near future.

It fits on a Post-it note, but some lawmakers are still confused by whats on President Barack Obamas to-do list and so far, neither chamber has scheduled a vote on any of the five items the president has urged them to tackle right now.

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) outlined his agenda for the June work period this week, only one item from Obamas to-do list made the cut a business tax cut package. Thats the item most likely to win GOP support, given that Democrats at this point plan to follow the lead of House Republicans and simply borrow the money to pay for it.

Reid also mentioned a half a dozen items that arent on Obamas list, although one preventing the doubling of interest rates on student loans is a separate White House priority.

Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has championed the tax cut measure, said he hopes they can take it up soon, provided they can find the time to do it.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also released a summer agenda memo Friday and, not surprisingly, the presidents to-do list was nowhere to be found.

Senate Democratic aides tried to minimize any talk of a rift with the White House, suggesting that they will eventually get to the to-do list. And the White House says its working to get votes.

But the biggest problem for the presidents agenda isnt the usual partisan gridlock its an unexpected surge in cooperation on a series of less-than-sexy bills, such as a Food and Drug Administration authorization package and postal reform. Rather than taking their cues from the White House, Senators in both parties have been pushing other priorities to the top of Reids agenda whether it be a farm bill, garden-variety appropriations or renewing the flood insurance program.

In the meantime, several Senators confessed to Roll Call that they dont know what is on the to-do list anyway, despite several speeches in which Obama has urged his followers to tweet, call, write and email lawmakers urging them to take it up.

Didnt we do some things he wanted us to do? asked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). [Export-Import] Bank, that doesnt count? That wasnt on the to-do list?

No. The president wanted that, too, but its not on the list.

Do you have a copy of the to-do list? Landrieu asked.

After a reporter told her what was on the list, she quipped, Were adding to that list by doing some great things.

comments powered by Disqus

SIGN IN




OR

SUBSCRIBE

Want Roll Call on your doorstep?