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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:

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 on Immigration: 'I Just Took an Action to Change the Law'

Nov. 25, 2014

President Barack Obamas big immigration speech in Chicago Tuesday included a stunning aside as he talked down hecklers upset at his deportation record.

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.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Fires Head of Phoenix System Sharon Helman

Nov. 24, 2014

The Department of Veterans Affairs has fired Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix VA Healthcare System.

Chuck Hagel Out at DOD; Jack Reed, Michele Flournoy, Ashton Carter on Short List (Updated) (Video)

Nov. 24, 2014

Updated 12:23 p.m. | President Barack Obama is getting a new Defense secretary.

Obama Wants Middle Class Aid Before Corporate Tax Breaks (Updated)

Nov. 24, 2014

Updated 5:10 p.m. | Corporate tax lobbyists hoping for a holiday treat from Congress may get a lump of coal from President Barack Obama.

Obama Announces Resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Nov. 24, 2014

President Barack Obama announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel from the East Room of the White House Monday morning.

Obama thanked Hagel, the first former enlisted man and the first Vietnam veteran to serve as Defense secretary, whom Obama called an "exemplary defense secretary."

"When I nominated you for this position, you said that you'd always give me your honest advice and informed counsel; you have," Obama said, directing his comments at Hagel. "When it's mattered most, behind closed doors in the Oval Office, you've always given it to me straight, and for that I will always be grateful."

The event, which included Obama, Hagel and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., lasted nearly 15 minutes. Obama said Hagel would stay on the job until a new defense secretary was confirmed by the Senate.

Obama Announces Executive Actions on Immigration

Nov. 20, 2014

President Barack Obama outlined executive actions to fix existing immigration laws Thursday night during a nearly 15-minute speech from the East Room of the White House.

The executive actions themselves are numerous and sweeping, and in many ways go far beyond the more than 4 million people who officially will be eligible for work permits and protected from deportation.

Obamas administration will order immigration agents to prioritize deportations of criminals and recent arrivals and let people who are not on that priority list go free.

Officials acknowledged though that Illegal immigrants without records would be less likely to encounter immigration enforcement.

Obama to Republicans: Don't Shut Down the Government Again (Video)

Nov. 20, 2014

President Barack Obamas forceful, emotional speech announcing his immigration executive action had a not-so-subtle message to Republicans: Dont try and stop me.

Obama's Own Words on Immigration Are Republicans' Best Ammo

Nov. 20, 2014

President Barack Obama spoke so many times against taking broad executive action to end deportations that hes left Republicans with an arsenal of ammo to use against him.

Obama Would Veto Any Bill Undoing Immigration Executive Action (Updated) (Video)

Nov. 20, 2014

Updated 6:52 p.m. | President Barack Obama would veto any legislation hatched by Republicans to undo his immigration executive action granting relief to millions, according to a senior administration official.

Obama Previews Primetime Immigration Address

Nov. 19, 2014

In a video posted to Facebook, President Barack Obama said he will announce his immigration executive actions Thursday night and speak again in Las Vegas on Friday at Del Sol High School.

Obama says in the video he will lay out what he can do with his "lawful authority" as president while still working with Congress on an immigration overhaul.

Speaker John A. Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel, however, said taking action on his own would "ruin" chances of getting anything done.

'Emperor Obama' Warned Against Immigration Executive 'Amnesty'

Nov. 19, 2014

With the White House appearing near to announcing a broad executive amnesty in the coming days, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, warned of blowback.

Obama Will Announce Immigration Action in Primetime (Video)

Nov. 19, 2014

In a video posted to Facebook, President Barack Obama said he will announce his immigration executive actions Thursday night and speak again in Las Vegas on Friday at Del Sol High School.

Obama Full Speed Ahead on EPA Climate Regulations; Your Move, McConnell

Nov. 17, 2014

President Barack Obamas administration is dismissing incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnells vow to target the EPAs efforts to cap carbon emissions and what he calls the War on Coal.

Boehner: GOP Will Fight Obama 'Tooth and Nail' on Immigration

Nov. 13, 2014

Speaker John A. Boehner said Republicans will fight "tooth and nail" against President Barack Obama's plans to act on immigration by himself, and didn't rule out a government shutdown.

"We're going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path," the Ohio Republican said at a press conference introducing the new GOP leadership team. "This is the wrong way to govern. This is exactly what the American people said on Election Day they didn't want. And so, all the options are on the table."

Boehner is facing pressure from conservatives to pre-emptively defund any amnesty, but that could lead to a shutdown fight.

"We're going to have conversations with our members and when we have a decision, we'll let you know. ... Our goal here is to stop the president from violating his oath of office and violating the Constitution. It's not to shut down the government."

Claire McCaskill Opposes Reid Staying as Leader

Nov. 13, 2014

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri told reporters Thursday she would not vote for Sen. Harry Reid as the Democratic leader as the party heads into the minority.

Boehner Will Fight 'Tooth and Nail' Against Obama's Executive Amnesty, Doesn't Rule Out Shutdown (Updated) (Video)

Nov. 13, 2014

Updated 5:58 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner said Republicans will fight tooth and nail against President Barack Obamas plans to act on immigration by himself, and didnt rule out a government shutdown.

Mitch McConnell Unanimously Elected Majority Leader by GOP (Updated) (Video)

Nov. 13, 2014

Updated 6:10 pm. | Senate Republicans have unanimously elected Mitch McConnell to be majority leader.

White House: Obama Hasn't Decided on Immigration Specifics

Nov. 12, 2014

While Fox News has obtained documents purporting to show a possible 10-point plan for executive action on immigration by President Barack Obama, the White House says the president hasnt made a final decision on specifics yet.

Schumer Expects Loretta Lynch Confirmation Will Be Delayed

Nov. 12, 2014

Senate Democrats wont likely step on the gas to ensure the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as President Barack Obamas attorney general pick, according to No. 3 Democrat Charles E. Schumer.

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