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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:

Still Waiting for Obama's Strategy to Fight ISIS in Syria

Sept. 2, 2014

As news broke Tuesday that the Islamic State had posted a video claiming to show the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, the White House still hasnt figured out how to take on the group in Syria.

Obama Approves New Strikes in Iraq

Aug. 30, 2014

President Barack Obama may not have a strategy yet for striking ISIS in Syria, but hes widening his campaign against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq.

Obama on ISIS: 'We Don't Have a Strategy'

Aug. 28, 2014

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.

Russian Stock Market Up Despite Jay Carney 'Short' Talk

Aug. 28, 2014

Its been more than five months since CQ Roll Call asked Jay Carney about the stock market in Russia and he talked about shorting it. Youd have lost a bundle if you followed that advice.

Obama on ISIS: 'We Don't Have a Strategy' (Updated) (Video)

Aug. 28, 2014

Updated 6:26 p.m. | President Barack Obama said Thursday its premature to go to Congress to authorize a strategy to defeat ISIS because he doesnt have one yet.

White House: Government Shutdown Threat Won't Change Our Immigration Plans (Video)

Aug. 27, 2014

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest warned Republicans against trying to defund the presidents coming executive actions granting deportation relief to illegal immigrants.

Guilty Plea: Iowa State Senator Paid for Ron Paul Switch

Aug. 27, 2014

A former Iowa state senator pleaded guilty to concealing payments he received from former Rep. Ron Pauls presidential campaign to switch his support from Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Former Fattah Aide Pleads Guilty in Campaign Fraud (Updated)

Aug. 27, 2014

Updated 5:27 p.m. | A longtime former aide and political consultant for Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has pleaded guilty to a number of federal charges in campaign finance fraud schemes.

Obama Authorizes Airstrikes Against ISIL in Iraq

Aug. 7, 2014

President Barack Obama has authorized airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel in Erbil and to shield about 40,000 people trapped on Sinjar Mountain from genocide.

Obama Signs VA Overhaul

Aug. 7, 2014

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.

President Defends Executive Action Post-GOP Lawsuit

Aug. 6, 2014

President Barack Obama pushed back on the idea that hes an imperial president Wednesday, saying that while he is considering additional executive orders on immigration and in other areas, he is bound by the Constitution.

Boehner: Time for Obama to Reassess Afghanistan Withdrawal Strategy

Aug. 5, 2014

Speaker John A. Boehner says its time for President Barack Obama to reassess his strategy for withdrawing from Afghanistan after an attack left a general dead.

Michele Bachmann: 'Handcuff' the 'Lawless President's Hands'

Aug. 2, 2014

Tea party firebrand Michele Bachmann suggested late Friday on the House floor that Congress should put handcuffs on the "lawless president's hands" a remark that brought a rebuke from the chair and appears to violate House rules.

The Minnesota Republican made the figurative remark while speaking on the floor during debate on legislation ending the president's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program granting deportation relief and work permits to some children brought to the United States illegally by their parents. The legislation also would prohibit President Barack Obama from expanding the program to other illegal immigrants as the president reportedly is considering whether to expand the program to as many as 5 million people.

Bachmann said House passage of the bill would "put a handcuff on one of the president's hands" and said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., should bring the Senate back and pass the bill.

Michele Bachmann: 'Handcuff' the 'Lawless President's Hands' (Video)

Aug. 2, 2014

Tea party firebrand Michele Bachmann suggested late Friday on the House floor that Congress should put handcuffs on the lawless presidents hands a remark that brought a rebuke from the chair and appears to violate House rules.

Senate Passes Funding for Israel's Iron Dome

Aug. 1, 2014

The Senate passed a supplemental spending bill for Israels Iron Dome air defense system Friday, after most senators had gone home for the August recess.

Senate Sends Highway Patch to the President, Heads for August Recess

July 31, 2014

Updated 9:25 a.m. | The Senate cleared a $10.8 billion House bill patching the Highway Trust Fund to the presidents desk Thursday in its last legislative vote before heading out of town for the August recess.

Cantor to Resign From Congress (Updated)

July 31, 2014

Updated 8:54 a.m. | Rep. Eric Cantor will resign from Congress effective Aug. 18, he said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch posted at midnight.

Boehner: I Will Not 'Accept Responsibility' for Senate Inaction

July 31, 2014

Speaker John A. Boehner pinned the blame for the child migrant crisis at the Southern border on President Barack Obama Thursday, hours before House GOP leaders ditched their plans to vote on a border supplemental after failing to secure the votes to pass it.

"Where's the president's proposal?" Boehner asked, responding to a question about whether Obama should act unilaterally to address the influx of child migrants. "The president says, give me $3.7 billion, but don't do anything to address the real problem on the border. ... I think that's totatly irresponsible."

House Republicans called an emergency 3 p.m. meeting and said votes are still possible before jetting out of town for the August recess.

Pelosi: House Floor a 'Mess'

July 31, 2014

As House GOP leaders scrambled to whip votes on a border supplemental bill Thursday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the closing hours before the August recess a "mess" on the House floor.

"The Republicans do not have time to raise the minimum wage, but they have time to sue the president of the United States. They do not have money to feed the children, help the American people, but they want a blank check to sue the president," Pelosi said at her Thursday news conference. "They've lost moral standing in what's happening on the border, and they have no standing in suing the president."

Earlier, chaos reigned as the House GOP leaders carefully crafted gambit to win conservative votes fell apart before calling a 3 p.m. meeting to discuss emergency funding to address the child migrant crisis.

House Leaders Postpone Border Supplemental, Delay Recess, Blame Obama (Updated) (Video)

July 31, 2014

Updated 4:52 p.m. | House GOP leaders ditched their plans to vote on a border supplemental Thursday after failing to secure the votes to pass it but plan to try again Friday before jetting out of town for the August recess.

White House Excoriates Republican Deportation Demands

July 31, 2014

The White House torched House Republicans plan to vote to block President Barack Obama from granting deportation relief to any new people in the country illegally.

Unemployment Extension: Still Dead

July 31, 2014

Long-term unemployed people still wondering if Congress will act on an unemployment extension restoring benefits for millions before going home for the August recess are going to be disappointed again.

Dysfunctional Congress Sprints to Chaotic Finish

July 29, 2014

A Congress known for its dysfunction and acrimony may be on the verge of a rare triple combo passing major bills addressing the border crisis, the Veterans Affairs scandal and the Highway Trust Fund in one week. But if it happens, its going to be like the rest of the 113th: ugly.

Reid: House Border Funding Bill an Opportunity to Conference on Immigration Overhaul

July 29, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday that if House Republicans pass a proposed $659 million emergency funding bill to address the child migrant crisis at the Southern border, it could serve as a chance to go to a conference committee on the Senate's 2013 immigration overhaul legislation.

"Well, if they pass that, maybe it's an opening for us to have a conference on our comprehensive immigration reform," Reid said at his weekly news conference. "They're finally sending us something on immigration, maybe we can do that."

Speaker John A. Boehner blasted Reid's comments, saying the majority leader "is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the Houses common-sense solution.

Pelosi: GOP Border Bill 'Unjust and Inhumane'

July 29, 2014

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blistered the GOPs border bill as unjust and inhumane in a statement Tuesday.

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