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Steven T. Dennis


Steven T. Dennis has been CQ Roll Calls White House correspondent since 2011. He also serves as Roll Calls Senate leadership editor and edits the WGDB blog. Previously, he worked stints as congressional leadership editor, Senate leadership reporter and a House leadership reporter at Roll Call starting in 2007. He first started covering Congress for CQ as a budget reporter in 2005. Before that, he worked as the State House bureau chief for The Gazette Newspapers in Annapolis, as the Montgomery County government reporter for The Montgomery Gazette, and as a reporter and copy editor at The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Md. He first covered Congress while a student at the University of Maryland in 1993 for the College of Journalism's Capital News Service wire.

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Stories by Steven T. Dennis:

Senate Dems Delay Push for Iran Sanctions

Jan. 27, 2015

Make that one more veto threat President Barack Obama probably wont have to carry out: Senate Democrats are abandoning efforts to pass an Iran sanctions bill over its nuclear program while talks continue, at least until March 24.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey announced during a Senate hearing Tuesday that he and other Senate Democrats would not support bringing the sanctions bill he co-sponsored to the floor until that date.

It comes after Menendez, in particular, has been harshly critical of the White House and the president over the handling of the Iran talks, and amid a brouhaha over the decision by Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, to snub the president and invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to the Congress without prior notification to the White House.

Score One for Norquist, GOP on 529 College Savings Accounts

Jan. 27, 2015

Somewhere, Grover Norquist is happily tweeting over his latest victory.

An Off-Ramp in Immigration Showdown

Jan. 27, 2015

Republican leaders may have found the eventual off-ramp in their showdown with the White House over immigration.

Harry Reid 'Intending to Run,' Expects Swift Recovery

Jan. 22, 2015

The venue was different, and his face was bruised and bandaged, but Harry Reid was still Harry Reid.

With an American and Nevada flag in the background, along with a bald eagle and a box of "Search Light" matches on the wall over his shoulder, Reid held court with reporters in a meeting room in his Capitol office suite for a news conference that could've taken place any Tuesday afternoon near the Senate's iconic Ohio Clock.

Of course, many of the questions were about the minority leader's medical prognosis and any effect it might have on his decision about making a run for another six years in the Senate in 2016.

The Nevada Democrat expects to be back to full-time work soon, and intends to run for re-election.

#SOTU Pumps Up Democrats, Post-'Shellacking II'

Jan. 21, 2015

Barack Obamas Back. That was the three-word verdict from Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., after Tuesdays State of the Union address.

Obama Challenges New GOP Congress in State of the Union (Updated)

Jan. 20, 2015

Updated 11:59 p.m. | A president energized by an improving economy challenged the new Republican Congress in his 2015 State of the Union address to focus on the middle class and find a bipartisan path forward while vowing to veto efforts to undo his actions on immigration, climate or health care.

Obama's State of the Union Speech Text as Prepared for Delivery

Jan. 20, 2015

The White House has released the 2015 State of the Union speech text as prepared for delivery, exceeding 6,700 words.

White House Throws Scalise an Anchor

Jan. 5, 2015

Democrats from the White House on down are ganging up on Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

GOP: What About Robert Byrd?

Jan. 5, 2015

The GOP is pointing to the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd to counter the White Houses dig at Republicans for keeping Rep. Steve Scalise in leadership.

Paul Challenges Rubio Over Obama's Cuba Plan

Dec. 19, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky trolled Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, his potential rival for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, on Twitter Friday over Rubios opposition to President Obamas plan to normalize relations with Cuba.

Obama Rattles Veto Pen but Hopes for Productive Congress

Dec. 19, 2014

President Barack Obama said Friday he hopes to work with the new Republican Congress on tax changes, rebuilding roads and bridges and trade, but warned hes prepared to use his veto pen something he hasnt done since 2010.

White House Releases Cuba Deal Fact Sheet

Dec. 17, 2014

The White House has released a fact sheet on President Barack Obamas sweeping new deal to open up Cuba, which has sharply split Congress.

New Governing Coalition Emerges

Dec. 15, 2014

In the wake of the cromnibus, a new governing coalition may have emerged in Washington.

How Big Is the Ted Cruz Caucus?

Dec. 14, 2014

Its a question that will prove crucial next year when Mitch McConnell takes the reins of a new Senate: Just how big is the Ted Cruz caucus?

John Dingell Fractures Hip

Dec. 13, 2014

The Dean of the House, retiring Rep. John Dingell, fractured his hip and will not be able to travel for weeks, according to his wife Debbie.

White House Thinks GOP Will Blink on Immigration Action

Dec. 10, 2014

The White House sounds ready to call the GOPs bluff on President Barack Obamas immigration action.

Feinstein Explains Why CIA Was Not Interviewed for Torture Report

Dec. 9, 2014

Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein faced criticism Tuesday from CIA Director John O. Brennan for not interviewing CIA officers before the release of the committee's CIA torture report, which Brennan said "would have provided members with valuable context."

Feinstein pushed back on this assertion during an hour-long floor speech, saying she was "confident" in the accuracy of the committee report while citing a 2009 Justice Department review of the interrogation techniques used during the George W. Bush administration, which Feinstein said deterred CIA employees from speaking with the committee.

Feinstein on Senate CIA Torture Report: 'Never Again'

Dec. 9, 2014

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein unveiled the executive summary of her committee's much-anticipated report on acts of torture used by the CIA Tuesday.

"This document examines the CIA's secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques in some cases amounting to torture," the California Democrat said in a statement announcing the release.

Feinstein said on the Senate floor there might never be a good time to release the report, but it is important to do so. The release of the report, Feinstein said, must change how the CIA works and prevent any future use of torture.

The release of the report, Feinstein said, must change how the CIA works and prevent any future use of torture.

"Never again," she said.

Reid on Senate CIA Report: Torture 'Got Us Nothing'

Dec. 9, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid discussed the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture used by the CIA on the floor Tuesday, saying torture had no benefits and likening the report to the release of the Pentagon Papers and reports on Abu Ghraib and the Iran-Contra affair.

"It got us nothing but a bad name," Reid said. "What took place, the torture program, was not in keeping with our country.

Ashton Carter Has Tall Order at Defense (Video)

Dec. 5, 2014

Ashton Carter will be nominated by President Barack Obama this morning and will almost certainly be confirmed by the Senate. But he will face a very full plate on a job with only two years to do it.

Rahm Emanuel Doesn't Miss Washington

Dec. 4, 2014

Rahm Emanuel isnt longing for a return to Washington anytime soon.

'Looser' Obama Riffs on Taxes, Trade, Regulations, Immigration, GOP

Dec. 3, 2014

President Barack Obama is starting to open up, six years into the job.

Senator on ISIS War: Congress 'Giving Away' Constitutional Authority to the President

Dec. 3, 2014

As the House finalizes funding for anti-Islamic State operations, Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Angus King, I-Maine, hammered the administration on the Senate floor Wednesday for failing to seek a new war authorization, while calling on Congress to debate an authorization before recessing for the holidays.

Kaine, who has previously criticized President Barack Obama's unilateral action against the group also known as ISIS or ISIL, said failing to debate a measure would be "disrespectful of the troops," while King said it would be "one more giving away of our constitutional authority to the executive."

"Giving this president giving any president a green light to wage unilateral war for five or six months without any meaningful debate or authorization would be deeply destructive of the legitimacy of the legislative branch of our government, it would be deeply disrespectful of our citizens and it would be especially disrespectful of the troops," Kaine said.

Obama Ready to Cave on Guantnamo Again

Dec. 2, 2014

President Barack Obama told someone at a bookstore over the weekend he was working on closing the detention facility at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, but he appears to be getting ready for what has become a traditional year-end cave on the issue.

Obama Would Veto Corporate Tax Cut Bill (Updated)

Nov. 25, 2014

Updated 5:37 p.m. | President Barack Obama would veto an emerging $450 billion tax cut deal coming together in the Senate because it doesnt do enough for the middle class, according to the White House.

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