Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 28, 2015

Posts by Alexis Levinson

235 Posts

April 27, 2015

‘Mistake’ to Oust Hussein, Paul Says in Brooklyn

Mistake to Oust Hussein, Paul Says in Brooklyn

The senator had a chance to showcase the Paul foreign policy platform. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BROOKLYN — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told a group of Jewish community leaders here Monday he thinks the United States made an error ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

While insisting he is not an isolationist, Paul said, “I think it was a mistake to topple Hussein. Hussein was the bulwark against Iran.” He told the group assembled here at the headquarters of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools that now, “Iraq is a vassal state for Iran.”

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April 23, 2015

Freshman’s Campaign Issue Gets D.C. Attention

Freshmans Campaign Issue Gets D.C. Attention

McSally, a former A-10 fighter pilot who championed the issue, is considered a vulnerable Republican in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally’s top local campaign issue will get legislative play on Capitol Hill, just a few months into the vulnerable Republican’s first term in Congress.

McSally wants to preserve funding in the defense budget for the Air Force’s A-10 Warthog fleet, the very planes she commanded as the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, a primary training facility for A-10s, sits squarely in the borders of Arizona’s 2nd District and is a crucial part of her community’s economy.

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April 21, 2015

Special-Election Candidate Gets Unlikely Donation

Special Election Candidate Gets Unlikely Donation

More than a dozen candidates are vying in the Mississippi special election to succeed the late Republican congressman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the candidates running for the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s Mississippi seat got some help from beyond the grave last month.

Trent Kelly, the district attorney for the First Circuit Court District, received a $4,000 donation from Nunnelee for Congress. Consultants for the late congressman — including one now working for Kelly — told CQ Roll Call the March 27 donation was made at the behest of Nunnelee’s widow, Tori.

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April 16, 2015

The 7 Most Interesting First-Quarter Fundraising Facts

The 7 Most Interesting First Quarter Fundraising Facts

Burr stepped up his fundraising game in the first quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated April 17, 10:30 a.m. | With roughly a year to go before the first primaries of 2016, fundraising numbers are among the few benchmarks to assess candidate strength.

A look at first-quarter reports — which were due to the Federal Election Commission Wednesday — shows which members are taking re-election bids seriously and also reveals weaknesses.

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April 15, 2015

Democratic Candidates Are Ready for Hillary Clinton

Democratic Candidates Are Ready for Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s candidacy is a boon to Democratic recruiting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy for president became official Sunday, but Democrats already see the down-ballot benefits she brings as the presumptive nominee.

Staring down Republican majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats have secured recruits in five top Senate contests. At the House level, where the process gets cranking later in the cycle, the party has landed its preferred candidates in a handful of targeted races. Full story

April 13, 2015

Marco Rubio’s Presidential Bid Creates Open-Seat Scrum (Updated)

Marco Rubios Presidential Bid Creates Open Seat Scrum (Updated)

Rubio is running for president in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:19 p.m. | Marco Rubio on Monday became the third Republican senator to announce a bid for president and the first of the group to leave behind a competitive seat.

Rubio vacating his seat in Florida in favor of national ambition gives the GOP another potentially strong White House contender. But it presents new challenges for Senate Republicans pushing to hold their newly acquired majority by leaving an expensive open seat in a state at the heart of the presidential election.

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April 9, 2015

Moving Parts Complicate Democratic Challenge to McCain (Updated)

Moving Parts Complicate Democratic Challenge to McCain (Updated)

McCain will run for re-election, he announced Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:57 a.m. | Arizona Sen. John McCain’s re-election campaign announcement Tuesday was just one of a handful of moving parts that will determine whether Democrats can make this race competitive.

Democrats trying to game out the Senate race are facing a dizzying number of variables: a pending Supreme Court decision that could result in the redrawing of congressional district lines, the potential for a nasty Republican primary, whether Hillary Rodham Clinton will make a play for Arizona in the presidential race and whether Democratic outside groups would devote resources to a state where the party hasn’t won a Senate seat since 1988. Full story

April 8, 2015

Catherine Cortez Masto Running for Harry Reid’s Seat

Catherine Cortez Masto Running for Harry Reids Seat

Cortez Masto has been endorsed by Reid. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images File Photo)

Updated 4:47 p.m. | Catherine Cortez Masto, the preferred Democratic successor of retiring Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, will run for the minority leader’s seat.

“Catherine Cortez Masto fights to protect Nevada’s seniors, children, women, consumers, and homeowners,” her new Senate website states. “She did it as a prosecutor. She did it as Nevada’s Attorney General. Now she wants to bring her fight to the U.S. Senate.” Full story

April 7, 2015

Rand Paul 2016 Getting Started in Louisville

Rand Paul 2016 Getting Started in Louisville

Paul is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is making it official Tuesday: He will seek the Republican nomination for president.

Paul will announce his candidacy to a crowd at the Galt House in Louisville. He’ll follow his announcement with a tour through the early presidential primary and caucus states — New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada — over the remainder of the congressional recess week.

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April 2, 2015

Two Former Members Announce Comeback Bids

Two Former Members Announce Comeback Bids

Schneider is one of two former House Democrats to announce a comeback bid on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two former House Democrats ousted in 2014 announced Friday they’re giving it another go.

Former Reps. Pete Gallego of Texas and Brad Schneider of Illinois released statements within minutes of each other confirming they will challenge the freshman Republicans who defeated them in the midterms. Full story

Grassley Strives for Seventh Term, Always Wanting More

Grassley Strives for Seventh Term, Always Wanting More

Grassley does a 99-county tour every year in Iowa. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:35 a.m. | He has never won re-election with less than 64 percent of the vote. His approval rating is 67 percent.

This is not some senator from a deep red or deep blue state. He is, in fact, a Republican representing a swing state in a presidential year, and Democrats would quite like to unseat him.

So why does Sen. Charles E. Grassley seem almost politically invincible?

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March 31, 2015

Bill Clinton Endorses Strickland in Ohio

Bill Clinton Endorses Strickland in Ohio

Clinton endorsed Strickland for Senate in Ohio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former President Bill Clinton made his first endorsement of the 2016 cycle Tuesday, backing former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in his bid for Senate.

Strickland is the front-runner for the nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Rob Portman. One other Democrat is also running — Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.

Full story

March 30, 2015

Titus Senate Bid Could Shake Up Nevada Races

Titus Senate Bid Could Shake Up Nevada Races

Titus is considering a bid for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:38 p.m. | If Nevada’s lone Democratic House member decides to run for Senate, she could scramble the state’s Democratic field up and down the ballot.

Rep. Dina Titus is considering a bid to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who made a surprise announcement Friday he is not seeking re-election.

“This is a decision I will make carefully after talking with family and close friends to ensure it is in the best interest of District One and the people of Nevada,” she said in a statement.  Full story

March 27, 2015

Reid Plans Senate Exit: Not Running for Re-Election (Video)

Reid Plans Senate Exit: Not Running for Re Election (Video)

Reid is retiring. He’s been in the Senate since 1987. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Longtime Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not seek re-election, he said Friday.

Reid, who sustained face and rib injuries earlier this year in an exercise accident, made the announcement in a video to supporters.

Full story

March 26, 2015

Vulnerable Senators Switch Votes on Paid Sick Leave (Updated)

Vulnerable Senators Switch Votes on Paid Sick Leave (Updated)

Toomey voted in favor of a fund for paid sick leave. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:20 p.m. | Two of the most vulnerable Republican senators, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, switched their votes Thursday on an amendment that would allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid sick time annually.

A “no” vote on the amendment would have likely drawn criticism from Democrats, who have, in the past, attacked Republicans as being unconcerned about pocketbook issues such as paid leave, minimum wage and equal pay.

Full story

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