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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:

Freshman Senator: Pay for Obamacare Replacement With ... Obamacare

March 26, 2015

Bill Cassidy, the freshman senator from Louisiana and a doctor, has been pushing fellow Republicans in his first few months in the Senate to embrace an alternative to Obamacare — one he predicts will insure more people without mandates.

Same-Sex Marriage Benefits Endorsed on Senate Floor (Updated)

March 26, 2015

Updated 12:22 a.m. | The Senate endorsed Social Security and veterans benefits for married gay couples Thursday night in a 57-43 vote, with 11 Republicans joining every Democrat.

Vote-a-Rama Minute-by-Minute

March 26, 2015

The moment you’ve been waiting for — the (sort of) annual Senate vote-a-rama — is here. A whole host of CQ Roll Call reporters and editors are tweeting out details during the marathon voting session, which you can read below. Scores of amendments are expected to get votes, with final adoption of the Senate GOP’s budget expected early Friday morning.

Obama 'Ready to Sign' Bipartisan Doc Fix (Updated)

March 25, 2015

Updated 11:30 p.m. | President Barack Obama pronounced himself “ready to sign” a bipartisan “doc fix” Wednesday.

Overheard: The Ghosts of GOP Past

March 24, 2015

“I decided in my old age I’m going to haunt the Senate, so here I am.”

Obama Waves Off Third Term

March 21, 2015

President Barack Obama won’t serve a third term. That’s one takeaway from his visit Saturday to cheer his niece’s basketball team to victory in the NCAA tournament in College Park, Md., although Leslie Robinson didn’t actually see playing time in Princeton’s 80-70 victory over Green Bay.

ATF Chief Announces Resignation (Updated)

March 20, 2015

Updated 12:27 p.m. | B. Todd Jones is resigning as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives weeks after the agency abandoned a plan to ban some bullets.

Boehner, House Delegation to Meet Netanyahu in Israel (Updated)

March 20, 2015

Updated 1:53 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner will lead a House delegation to Israel later this month to meet with newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

GOP Defense Angst Revives White House Budget Leverage

March 19, 2015

Updated 3:48 p.m., March 20 | The great Republican budget crack-up may have finally arrived. The White House just hoped it would have happened a few years ago.

Obama Backs Marijuana Decriminalization, With Caveats (Updated) (Video)

March 16, 2015

Updated 6:35 p.m. | President Barack Obama appeared to come closer than ever to endorsing legal marijuana in an interview posted Monday by VICE News.

White House Slams McConnell on Lynch, Trafficking Bill (Video)

March 16, 2015

So much for the Bourbon Summit.

Portman: Tom Cotton Letter Should Yield Better Iran Deal

March 12, 2015

The controversial letter signed by 47 Republicans to Iran’s leaders authored by Sen. Tom Cotton should yield a better agreement if used properly by the Obama administration, Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday.

White House Calls Out GOP on War With Iran (Video)

March 9, 2015

Congressional Republicans are in “a rush to war” with Iran, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

Earnest: GOP in 'Rush to War' With Iran

March 9, 2015

Congressional Republicans are in “a rush to war” with Iran, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

But after using the phrase “rush to war,” Earnest caught himself.

“The rush to war, or at least the rush to the military option, that many Republicans are advocating is not at all in the best interest of the United States,” Earnest said as he blasted the latest move by Senate Republicans to interject themselves into the critical talks with Iran about its nuclear program by sending an open letter to the regime.

Boehner to Allow Clean Homeland Security Vote (Updated)

March 3, 2015

Updated 11:04 a.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner told his restive flock Tuesday he would allow a vote on a clean Homeland Security spending bill later in the day, citing concerns about terrorism and pinning blame on the Senate for failing to pass limits on President Barack Obama’s immigration actions.

3 Republicans Defy Ted Cruz, Back Loretta Lynch (Updated)

Feb. 26, 2015

Updated 1:36 p.m. | It’s starting to look like yet another loss under the Dome for Ted Cruz.

Obama Reiterates Immigration Veto Threat in Telemundo Town Hall (Updated)

Feb. 25, 2015

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.

Ted Cruz Learns When to Fold

Feb. 25, 2015

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.

Reid Waits on Boehner Before Committing to DHS Funding Bill

Feb. 24, 2015

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.”

McConnell Throws in Towel on DHS Fight, but Reid Is Waiting for Boehner to Cave (Updated)

Feb. 24, 2015

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.”

DOJ to Appeal Immigration Ruling

Feb. 20, 2015

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.

White House Makes Economic Pitch

Feb. 19, 2015

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.

Immigration Ruling Casts Shadow on Obama's Legacy (Updated)

Feb. 17, 2015

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.

Congress Gets to Dust Off Its War Voting Powers

Feb. 11, 2015

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: ISIS AUMF 'Intentionally' Broad

Feb. 11, 2015

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.

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