Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Posts by Niels Lesniewski

142 Posts

February 4, 2016

Tim Scott Hits South Carolina Airwaves for Marco Rubio

Just days after endorsing Sen. Marco Rubio for president, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is hitting the airwaves back home for his GOP colleague from Florida.

The ad, obtained ahead of release by Roll Call, appears to be from the same video shoot as the endorsement video, as Scott’s shown by his childhood home.

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February 1, 2016

Ad Politicizing Violence Against Women Law is Pulled


Kasich is focusing his attention on the Grantie State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kasich is focusing his attention on the Grantie State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An ad criticizing presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio for voting against the Violence Against Women Act will not be making it to the airwaves in New Hampshire, after the state’s GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte objected strenuously.

The ad, created by a presidential Super PAC supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich, featured Ayotte’s support for reauthorizing the law, which became contentious and political in 2012 and 2013. The Senate GOP split on the question, with Ayotte among the vocal supporters. Rubio, a Florida Republican, opposed it.

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January 14, 2016

Wicker: Security Threats Key for Republicans in 2016

Wicker is chairman of the NRSC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wicker said the focus on threats, “helps us everywhere whether it’s the Northeast or the Southwest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BALTIMORE — The man in charge of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm thinks national security will help turn the tide in his party’s favor in November.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Roger Wicker said in an interview with Roll Call at the annual Republican policy retreat that the “umbrella of security” and international unrest could help Republican incumbents in contested races.

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January 7, 2016

Rubio Taps Former Romney Aide As Press Advance Chief


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign is poaching a former Mitt Romney staffer from the Senate.

Kristine Michalson, who has worked as press secretary for Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and the Joint Economic Committee, will be the director of press advance for the Rubio campaign, she confirmed to Roll Call.

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December 8, 2015

RNC Scraps New York City Fundraising Dinner After Ryan Can’t Attend

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 8: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters with House Republican leaders following the House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan’s political operation said late Tuesday that he wouldn’t be able to attend the Wednesday dinner. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A big-ticket fundraiser benefiting the Republican National Committee is being called off because of the House schedule.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., had committed to be the headliner at the RNC Presidential Trust Dinner in New York City Wednesday evening, in a last major role as chairman of the trust, which is effectively the party’s conduit for fundraising that benefits the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

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December 2, 2015

McCain Outlines GOP Risk in 2016

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 10: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks with reporters after the Senate luncheons in the Capitol, November 10, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks with reporters after the Senate luncheons in the Capitol on Nov. 10. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain is standing by his man in the GOP presidential race, but that isn’t keeping him from weighing in on other senators in the running.

“I’m one of those old-fashioned people that believe in loyalty, and I’ll stay with Lindsey Graham until he either succeeds or fails,” McCain told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. “That’s what my life has been all about.”

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November 20, 2015

NRCC Posts Strong October Fundraising After Boehner Steps Down

Boehner announced his retirement on Sept. 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner announced his retirement on Sept. 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite initial concerns that former Speaker John A. Boehner’s departure would affect fundraising, the National Republican Congressional Committee raised $5.1 million in the first month after he announced his retirement.

Although Boehner didn’t actually hand over the gavel until the end of the month, October represented the transition period between him and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, and marked the strongest off-year October of revenue ever for the NRCC, leaving it with $22.9 million in the bank.

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November 18, 2015

Steve King Helps Ted Cruz Make Pitch to House Conservatives

steve king

King talks with reporters after a House GOP conference meeting last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two days after endorsing Ted Cruz for president, Iowa Rep. Steve King stepped into the role of active surrogate Wednesday morning in a meeting with conservative House members.

“A group of especially House conservatives, but House Republicans of all stripes, met this morning and had an in-depth look at the Cruz campaign, and had an opportunity to ask any kind of questions they wanted to ask in a closed-door session with Sen. Cruz,” King said outside the Capitol Hill Club.

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November 4, 2015

McConnell on GOP Gains in Kentucky: Thanks, Obama


McConnell said Kentucky’s 2015 races were a referendum on Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats might disagree, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks the GOP electoral wave in his home state Tuesday was about President Barack Obama.

The Kentucky Republican told CQ Roll Call that he viewed the election returns Tuesday in his home commonwealth as a strike against the Obama administration’s agenda — particularly the Affordable Care Act.

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October 28, 2015

Biden’s Not Running, But Reid’s Still Not Endorsing


Reid said he’ll be watching the World Series on Wednesday instead of the Republican presidential debate. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The decision by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., to forgo a White House bid has not changed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s mind about an endorsement.

The Nevada Democrat told CQ Roll Call that it was most important to him that the Silver State have a competitive nominating process in February 2016.

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October 13, 2015

Schumer and Reid Like the Lay of the Land in Senate Races

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 06: Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is interviewed by CQ Roll Call in his Hart Building office, October 6, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Schumer highlighted recruiting successes for Democrats in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democratic leaders are not being shy about their chances to move a handful of desks across the aisle and take back the chamber’s majority.

“The map looks very good,” New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer told CQ Roll Call last week. “First, the map itself is good. We have two Democratic, you know, seats that are in some degree of jeopardy. They have a much larger number.”

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October 9, 2015

Judge Drops Multiple Charges Against Jesse Benton

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 26:  Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, addresses a crowd of supporters at the University of South Florida Sun .Dome in Tampa, before the start of the Republican National Convention.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Paul addresses a crowd of supporters at the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa, before the start of the 2012 Republican National Convention. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A federal judge in Iowa has tossed most of the charges against longtime Paul family advisers Jesse Benton and John Tate.

The case involves alleged misconduct in which associates of 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas were said to have made improper payments to Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson, who switched his endorsement from then-Paul rival Rep. Michele Bachmann.

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August 30, 2015

Larry Kudlow Says He Would Challenge Blumenthal Over Iran Deal

Blumenthal remained undecided on the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Blumenthal is undecided on the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conservative economist and media figure Larry Kudlow says he’s talked to national Republicans about running for Senate in Connecticut.

During an interview on his radio program with Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., over the weekend, Kudlow said he would mount a challenge to incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal if the Democrat supports the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.

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August 18, 2015

Ahead of Obamacare Repeal Rollout, Walker Stocks Up On Advisers Familiar With Capitol Hill

Walker greets a worker at the Iowa Pork Producers Association site at the Iowa State Fair. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Walker greets a worker at the Iowa Pork Producers Association site at the Iowa State Fair. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

As Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker sets out to unveil his proposal to replace Obamacare, he’s been staffing up from Capitol Hill.

The Wisconsin governor has brought on Andrew Shaw as domestic policy director, the campaign told CQ Roll Call. Shaw has worked since January as the policy director of the conservative Republican Study Committee in the House, where he was involved in efforts by Chairman Bill Flores, R-Texas, and the RSC members to repeal the 2010 health care overhaul law.

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August 14, 2015

Graham Looks at Early States as ‘the Way Forward’

GREENVILLE, S.C. At a Republican primary debate watch party in suburban Charleston last week, there was something missing: any sign of support for home-state Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham, the well-known national security hawk, was relegated to an earlier panel for lower-profile presidential candidates that he came to call the “happy hour” debate” by the rules set by Fox News, so perhaps the absence of supporters with buttons and bumper stickers was not surprising.

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