mitch-mcconnell

White House Seeks Emergency Funds to Fight Zika

The White House initiative would support research and diagnostics. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration will ask Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to combat the Zika virus -- a disease the president says is a cause for concern but not panic.  

The White House announced the request to cover research and planning in the United States and abroad minutes after CBS aired an interview with President Barack Obama during which he said “there shouldn't be panic on this -- this is not something where people are going to die from.”  

Marlow Cook: Mitch McConnell's Political Pathfinder

Cook, who was elected in 1968, provided the electoral template for McConnell's path to the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Shortly after he got the news that former Sen. Marlow Cook, R-Ky., had died, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the floor about the man who showed him the political blueprint to success in Washington.  

"Marlow Cook gave me my first real opportunity in politics, gave me a chance to be a state youth chairman in his successful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1968," McConnell said. "He also gave me an important opportunity in government. He won his election, and I came to Washington with him, and I was what they called the chief legislative assistant. I think the term we use now is legislative director."  

Criminal Justice Debate Turns to 'How Much' Is Possible

   

Debate about a sweeping criminal justice overhaul bill favored by Republicans and Democrats is now focused on the size and scope of potential changes, but there are reasons to doubt its passage this year.  

Ryan, McConnell Find Little 'Common Ground' at White House

Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walk to the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Nov. 3. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama's private meetings with congressional Republican leaders appeared to do very little to  break the legislative impasse that largely has defined his tenure.  

Descriptions of the meeting from both ends of Pennsylvania Ave. were clinical at best. Notably missing were usual Washington declarations that a high-level meeting was “productive” or “constructive.” Asked about that omission, an aide to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., called the speaker’s time on Tuesday with Obama “cordial.”

Obama, Ryan to Lunch Tuesday at White House

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as he arrives to deliver his final State of the Union address. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House expects President Barack Obama and the Republican House and Senate leaders on Tuesday to discuss issues ranging from taxes to criminal justice to national security.  

Obama is scheduled to meet privately with Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Later, he and Ryan will have a one-on-one lunch meeting. It will be Obama’s first private meeting with Ryan since the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee became speaker in late October. Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters the trio should discuss several matters on which they appear to agree. That list includes a sweeping trade pact Obama’s administration negotiated with Asian countries, battling the heroin epidemic, and authorizing the fight against the Islamic State.  

Obama to Meet With Ryan, McConnell on Tuesday

Ryan and Obama will meet Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., next week to discuss legislative priorities and potential areas of common ground in 2016.  

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest informed reporters at his weekly briefing that the president would meet with the Republican leaders on Tuesday, one day after the Iowa Caucuses.  

McConnell Counts Down Days Until Obama Leaves
Obama and the Mythical Arab Ground Force

Pro-Iraqi government forces wait next to armored vehicles on Tuesday in the al-Aramil area before pushing into Anbar province's capital Ramadi. (AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on at least one foreign policy issue, calling for Arab countries to do more against the Islamic State. But there are reasons aplenty to see holes in what is a key part of their strategies for defeating the violent extremist group.  

Despite a new Saudi Arabian-led coalition to fight ISIS, the U.S. has gotten little in return from bipartisan calls for its friends in the Middle East to help raise an Arab ground force. And some experts and lawmakers doubt that will dramatically change, further giving the 2016 election the look of a national security referendum. Earnest: Saudi Arabia Human Rights a 'Significant Concern' 

Senate Leaders Look Ahead to 2016

McConnell, left, and Reid, right, claimed victory in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate leaders spent Friday afternoon claiming victory on the spending and tax bills that passed before lawmakers left town, and said they are now looking to highlight differences between the two parties heading into the election year.  

Democrats and Republicans held back-to-back news conferences after the final votes of the year, each saying the Senate is functioning again, and they're the reason why.  

Senate Republicans Tout Victories in New Video

Republicans tout accomplishments in new video. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans are taking a victory lap as 2015 comes to a close, highlighting their accomplishments in a new video.  

The video, titled "A New Approach," was released by the Senate Republican Conference Friday morning and features more than a dozen senators listing a number of accomplishments from the past year.