Oct. 13, 2015

Steven T. Dennis


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.

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Stories by Steven T. Dennis:

Darrell Issa Considering Speaker Run, Disses Chaffetz

Oct. 9, 2015

Rep. Darrell Issa said Friday morning he might become a candidate for speaker and sharply criticized the performance of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, his successor as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Walter Jones Says Rumors Helped Prompt Letter

Oct. 9, 2015

Rep. Walter B. Jones acknowledged to CQ Roll Call Friday that he wrote a letter asking leaders to attest they had not committed any embarrassing misdeeds in part because he had seen rumors published of an affair between fellow North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.

Westmoreland Considers Long-Shot Bid for Speaker

Oct. 8, 2015

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland is the latest to float himself as a possible speaker of the House — a long-shot bid that the Georgia Republican seemed to acknowledge.

After McCarthy's Stunner, Republicans Who Could Be Speaker (Video)

Oct. 8, 2015

Updated 5:26 p.m. Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s stunning decision to withdraw his name from the race for the speaker’s gavel has set off chaos in the Republican conference, with all sorts of names being floated of people who could potentially be the next speaker.

McCarthy's Benghazi Gaffe Becomes All-Purpose White House, Hillary Clinton Defense

Oct. 7, 2015

When in doubt, talk up Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s epic Benghazi gaffe. That’s the plan of attack from the White House, the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who clearly hope his remark will be the gift that keeps on giving.

Hillary Clinton Opposes TPP 'as of Today' (Video) (Updated)

Oct. 7, 2015

Updated 4:31 p.m. | In a major break with President Barack Obama and her own past record, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she doesn’t support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

White House Offers RX for Gun Problem: Obamacare (Video)

Oct. 6, 2015

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest offered advice to Republican presidential candidates advocating more focus on mental health to stop gun crimes: Embrace Obamacare.

John Dingell in Hospital: 'Being Old Sucks'

Oct. 6, 2015

John D. Dingell is back in the hospital and will undergo a heart procedure.

White House's TPP Hurdles: Tobacco, Hillary, Time (Video)

Oct. 5, 2015

President Barack Obama faces a gauntlet with little room for error as he tries to get Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership, dodging potshots from his would-be successors, parochial concerns from tobacco-state lawmakers and a shrinking window before he leaves office.

Ben Sasse Pitches Arthur Brooks for Speaker

Oct. 4, 2015

In an extraordinary flurry of tweets Sunday night, freshman Sen. Ben Sasse proposed drafting Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, as the next speaker of the House.

Obama Says Syria Critics Offering 'Half-Baked' 'Mumbo-Jumbo'

Oct. 2, 2015

“Half-baked” and “mumbo jumbo” aren’t your usual presidential words used to discuss foreign policy, but a clearly frustrated President Barack Obama lashed out Friday at critics who have sharply criticized his restrained approach to the war in Syria.

Senate Economist Warns Debt Limit Fight Could Raise Interest Rates

Oct. 2, 2015

The White House push for a debt limit hike got some ammunition Friday from the chief economist for the Senate Budget Committee, who warned failure to increase the limit soon could cause interest rates to rise on newly issued federal debt.

Rules Could Complicate Leadership Fight (Updated)

Sept. 30, 2015

Updated 9:26 p.m. | A rules fight could determine who holds power in the House Republican Conference under a new speaker when the elections are held on Oct. 8.

McCarthy Spokesman: Benghazi Investigation Isn't About Politics

Sept. 30, 2015

A day after Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., boasted that the Select Committee on Benghazi’s investigation helped tank Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll numbers, the majority leader’s spokesman insisted the investigations into Clinton “have nothing to do with politics.”

Earnest: Obama Will Veto Defense Authorization (Video)

Sept. 30, 2015

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday the president will veto the defense authorization conference report because of the use of war savings to increase spending.

McCarthy's Benghazi Committee Brag Brings Rebuke From Clinton Campaign (Video)

Sept. 30, 2015

Kevin McCarthy’s boast Tuesday night that the Select Committee on Benghazi had succeeded in tanking Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll ratings has brought a rebuke from her campaign and congressional Democrats, who have long insisted the panel was set up for political gain.

Kevin McCarthy Gives Boehner B-, Credits Benghazi Committee for Hurting Hillary Clinton's Poll Numbers

Sept. 29, 2015

In an extraordinary interview on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Tuesday, Kevin McCarthy gave the man he hopes to replace as speaker a B- grade — and touted the Benghazi Committee’s dinging Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers as an example of the kind of leadership he’ll provide.

Deal-Hungry Senate Eager for Boehner's Halloween Treats (Video)

Sept. 29, 2015

Senators from both parties want outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, no longer handcuffed by hardliners in his conference, to send over as many treats as he can — with a minimum of tricks — before retiring around Halloween.

Obama's Global Warming, Syria Push at United Nations Skips Congress

Sept. 28, 2015

At the United Nations Monday, President Barack Obama touted what are probably the two biggest items left on his to-do list before leaving office — a global warming agreement later this year in Paris and a settlement to the Syria conflict. Congress barely got a mention.

The Boehner-Obama Relationship: Big Dreams Unfulfilled (Video)

Sept. 25, 2015

Speaker John A. Boehner’s legacy falls short of what he hoped when he took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi, at a time when talk of grand bargains abounded and a host of long-festering issues seemed ripe for action.

Obama Praises Boehner, Hopes Republicans Learn Lesson (Video)

Sept. 25, 2015

President Barack Obama praised Speaker John A. Boehner as a patriot Friday and said he hoped his successor realizes they shouldn’t shut down the government or risk a financial crisis.

Golden Rule Doesn't Justify Illegal Immigration, Sessions Says

Sept. 24, 2015

Pope Francis’ call for lawmakers to follow the Golden Rule on immigration and other matters has its limits, according to one conservative senator.

Pope Challenges Congress to Act on Climate, Immigration, Economy (Updated)

Sept. 24, 2015

Updated 11:44 a.m. | Pope Francis called American lawmakers to their better angels Thursday in a speech challenging members of Congress to renew a sense of cooperation to tackle climate, immigration, poverty, the death penalty and more.

Scott Walker Drops Out, Wants to Defeat Trump (Updated)

Sept. 21, 2015

Updated 6:20 p.m. | Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker exited from the presidential race Monday evening after one of the more stunning falls in recent American politics — from a perch atop the Iowa polls before the Summer of Trump left him as roadkill.

Reforming the Earned Income Tax Credit: A Fairer Way Forward

Sept. 21, 2015

The Earned Income Tax Credit has provided tax relief and assistance for working families since being signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1975 with bipartisan support in Congress. A decade later, with support from Democrats in Congress, President Ronald Reagan significantly expanded the program, calling it “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”  The Clinton Administration worked to further refine the initiative as well.

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