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.
Updated 1:36 p.m. | It’s starting to look like yet another loss under the Dome for Ted Cruz.
Updated 7:31 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s town hall airing now on Telemundo included a vow to veto any efforts to roll back his immigration executive actions — and warned of consequences for immigration agents who don’t follow his new directives.
Sen. Ted Cruz apparently isn’t up for fighting just for the sake of fighting when it comes to funding the Department of Homeland Security.
In an extraordinary sequence of events, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered Democrats exactly what they have been asking for Tuesday — “clean” full-year funding for the Department of Homeland Security. And Minority Leader Harry Reid said "no" — or at least, "not yet."
McConnell’s offer of passing a clean full-year Homeland Security bill through the Senate shorn of immigration provisions — which he said could happen quickly with Democratic cooperation — was put on hold by Reid, who told reporters he was waiting to hear Speaker John A. Boehner agree to pass it through the House first.
“We have to make sure that we get a bill to the president,” Reid said. “Unless Boehner’s in on the deal, it won’t happen.”
Updated 5:20 p.m. | In an extraordinary sequence of events, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered Democrats exactly what they have been asking for Tuesday — “clean” full-year funding for the Department of Homeland Security. And Minority Leader Harry Reid said “no” — or at least, “not yet.”
The Department of Justice will file for a stay of a District Court ruling blocking President Barack Obama’s immigration actions by Feb. 23, Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday.
The latest economic report from the White House is part victory lap, part pitch for enacting what President Barack Obama calls his “middle-class” agenda — including new trade deals with Europe and Asia and the president’s budget.
Updated 5:28 p.m. | The third branch of government has entered the immigration debate with a bang — with potentially profound impacts on President Barack Obama’s legacy, the lives of millions and the rest of this Congress.
For the first time this decade, Congress is set to have a full-fledged war debate. The White House wants pure kabuki with no practical effect; lawmakers, most of whom have never voted to send men and women into harm’s way, will have to choose whether to go along.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday that “fuzzy” language in the administration's draft Authorization for Use of Military Force was “intentionally” crafted to give President Barack Obama flexibility to combat the Islamic State.
“We believe it’s important that they’re aren’t overly burdensome constraints that are placed on the commander in chief, who needs the flexibility to be able to respond to contingencies that emerge in a chaotic military conflict like this,” Earnest said.
President Barack Obama repeatedly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran and his scheduled congressional address in March at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.
In addition to implying Netanyahu might be seeking political advantage speaking to a joint session of Congress, Obama took issue with Netanyahu’s policy views, particularly over whether to impose new sanctions now on Iran.
“It does not make sense to sour the negotiations a month or two before they are about to be complete,” Obama said. “What’s the rush? Unless your view is it’s not possible to get a deal with Iran. … That I cannot agree with."
Updated 2:04 p.m. | President Barack Obama zinged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday.
For years, President Barack Obama has made a demand Republican leaders would not accept: He would only replace automatic spending cuts with a package that included a tax increase.
President Barack Obama’s opening salvo in this year’s budget wars with the new Republican Congress aims to shift the conversation away from four years of austerity. He received a predictably frosty reception.
Obama’s $4.066 trillion budget would unshackle discretionary spending from the legislative tourniquet known as the sequester. That allows about a 7 percent increase in defense and domestic discretionary programs — or $74 billion.
“I want to work with Congress to replace mindless austerity with smart investments,” Obama said Monday at the Department of Homeland Security as he announced his fiscal 2016 budget. “I’m not going to accept a budget that locks in sequestration going forward. It would be bad for our security and bad for our growth."
Updated 12:55 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s opening salvo in this year’s budget wars with the new Republican Congress aims to shift the conversation away from four years of austerity. He received a predictably frosty reception.
Updated 12:48 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s budget will increase spending on domestic and defense programs by $74 billion, he plans to tell House Democrats Thursday at their retreat in Philadelphia.
Somewhere, Grover Norquist is happily tweeting over his latest victory.
Republican leaders may have found the eventual off-ramp in their showdown with the White House over immigration.
Make that one more veto threat President Barack Obama probably won’t 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.
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.
“Barack Obama’s Back.” That was the three-word verdict from Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., after Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
The White House has released the 2015 State of the Union speech text as prepared for delivery, exceeding 6,700 words.
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.
The GOP is pointing to the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd to counter the White House’s dig at Republicans for keeping Rep. Steve Scalise in leadership.
Democrats from the White House on down are ganging up on Majority Whip Steve Scalise.