Steven T. Dennis has been CQ Roll Call¹s White House correspondent since 2011. He also serves as Roll Call¹s 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.
The Senate passed a supplemental spending bill for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system Friday, after most senators had gone home for the August recess.
Updated 9:25 a.m. | The Senate cleared a $10.8 billion House bill patching the Highway Trust Fund to the president’s desk Thursday in its last legislative vote before heading out of town for the August recess.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, it’s going to be like the rest of the 113th: ugly.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blistered the GOP’s border bill as “unjust and inhumane” in a statement Tuesday.
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 House’s common-sense solution.”
The Senate confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new secretary of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday, with a $17 billion deal to slash VA wait times expected to pass later this week.
Speaker John A. Boehner vowed the House would not allow the Senate to add any “comprehensive immigration reform bill or anything like it, including the DREAM Act” to the House’s $659 million border bill Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest slammed the House GOP’s $659 million border crisis package Tuesday as too skimpy to address the crisis and containing partisan provisions that could prove unworkable, although he stopped short of a veto threat.
Updated 1:56 p.m. | An agitated Speaker John A. Boehner charged the White House with concocting impeachment talk for political gain Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pronounced himself a cynic when it comes to chances the House will act to pass an emergency border supplemental before going home for the August recess.
Top White House political adviser David Simas refused again Friday to honor a congressional subpoena, prompting Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to vote to rebuke the administration.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 19-14 to reject the White House’s claim that Simas has absolute immunity from a subpoena from Congress.
Updated 3:53 p.m. | A spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner is dismissing Friday comments from senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer about the White House taking the threat of impeachment “very seriously.”
Updated 12:27 p.m. | Top White House political adviser David Simas refused again Friday to honor a congressional subpoena, prompting Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to vote to rebuke the administration.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa is offering to allow top White House political adviser David Simas to testify via deposition instead of in a congressional hearing.
Updated 3:21 p.m. | House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., took issue with charges from Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that Miller was seeking to ram through a GOP plan to reduce wait times for medical care at the Veterans Administration.
Just when the president and his allies on Capitol Hill were starting to feel like the Obamacare troubles were mostly behind them, an appeals court decision brought another political and legal headache and new uncertainty about the law’s future Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest expressed confidence that the courts would ultimately uphold Obamacare’s subsidies, despite an appeals court ruling Tuesday.
The White House doubled-down on its support for the 2010 health care law Tuesday, following a federal appeals court ruling that some say could derail the law's success.
"You don't need a fancy legal degree to understand that Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits that would lower their health care costs, regardless of whether it was state officials or federal officials who were running the marketplace," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. "This will work its way through the legal process and we are confident in the legal case that the Department of Justice will be making.”
The flood of unaccompanied child migrants crossing the Southwest border has slowed this month to about 150 a day, but a $3.7 billion border supplemental remains “critical,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.