Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 30, 2015

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November 25, 2015

Santorum, Gohmert Stop by ‘Roske on Politics’

Brent Roske points the mic this weekend at former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, as well as radio host Montel Williams and The New York Times’ Mark Leibovich, on the Emmy-nominated “Roske on Politics” airing on Sunday, Nov. 29. Full story

November 23, 2015

Syrian Activist Warns ‘Disgusting Ideas’ About Refugees Will Backfire

Eid  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Eid fears the American response to Syrian refugees will energize terrorists. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Kassem Eid, a Syrian opposition activist, has Washington’s ear.

Since he came to the United States on a tourist visa in March 2014, he’s met with administration and State Department officials. He’s been in touch with Democratic and Republican members of Congress. And he’s appeared before the United Nations Security Council with U.N. ambassador Samantha Power.

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November 18, 2015

Rubio Opponents Say He Prefers Fundraisers Over National Security

Rubio, R-Fla., has been criticized for missing votes to run for president.  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio has been criticized for missing votes to run for president. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has tried to make his name in the Republican presidential field, in part by touting himself as prepared to deal with America’s security challenges.

But on Wednesday, his rivals smelled political blood in the water when the first-term lawmaker who has risen in Republican presidential polls missed another classified briefing for all senators — this time about the American role in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. Full story

November 11, 2015

Winners and Losers in Tuesday’s GOP Debate

Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio (L) and Donald Trump (R) confer during a break in the Republican Presidential Debate hosted by Fox Business and The Wall Street Journal November 10, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AFP PHOTO / JOSHUA LOTT        (Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

Rubio, left. and Trump confer during a break in Tuesday’s debate. (Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images Photo)

Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate was relatively free of the rough and tumble personal attacks of the previous ones but did illuminate some of the deep divides among Republicans over immigration, the economy and national security.

In the end, the debate will do little to shake up the field but it could give change the narrative about one-time front-runner former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush from nervous donors concerned about a campaign on the ropes to one of fighting back.

Full story

November 5, 2015

Ex-Lawmakers Push for Campaign Finance Overhaul

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 17: Former Senator Tom Daschle of the Daschle Group, is photographed in his downtown office, November 17, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Daschle, shown here in his Daschle Group office, is one of several senators on the group. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new caucus of former elected officials — now freed of chasing money to keep their seats — is pushing for a comprehensive campaign finance overhaul.

During an election cycle with an estimated multibillion-dollar price tag, the new “ReFormers Caucus,” launched by campaign finance nonprofit organization Issue One, includes more than 100 ex-lawmakers and other elected officials who are no longer running for office.

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October 27, 2015

Candidates All Face Challenges Heading Into Third GOP Debate

Republican presidential hopefuls  Ben Carson and Donald Trump participate in the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump stepped into a campaign hornet's nest as his rivals collectively turned their sights on the billionaire in the party's second debate of the 2015.  AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Carson has surged past Trump in polls in the early voting state of Iowa. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

The horse race that is the 2016 presidential campaign remains a long one. But Republican strategists maintain that several White House hopefuls have serious ground to cover in Wednesday’s third GOP debate lest they get left behind in the dust.

Virtually all the Republican strategists and consultants surveyed by CQ Roll Call had an opinion about what front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson could do to distance themselves from the rest of the field. Few seemed invested in what, if anything, those stuck at the “kids table” — that means you, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and one-time Iowa caucus-winner Rick Santorum — could do to salvage their campaigns.

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Ryan Is a Boehner ‘Mini-Me’ to Some Conservatives

Ryan and Boehner, seen here in 2012, are facing similar attacks from tea-party outlets that once tolerated them. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan, left, and Boehner are facing similar attacks from tea party outlets that once tolerated them. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just weeks after Republicans won control of the House in 2010, John A. Boehner celebrated his 61st birthday with a cake with green frosting.

It was actually a double celebration. That same day, Nov. 17, 2010, he was elected speaker-designate by the Republican conference with unanimous support — a present he never enjoyed again.

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October 26, 2015

Raskin Hopes Grass Roots Will Grow to Maryland House Win

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, speaks at a news conference in Annapolis, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013, after the Maryland General Assembly approved a measure to ban capital punishment. Also pictured from left is Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, NAACP President Ben Jealous, Maryland State Conference NAACP President Gerald Stansbury and Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery County. The bill now goes to O'Malley, who is expected to sign it. Maryland would become the 18th state to abolish the death penalty. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Raskin, far right, listens as then-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley speaks at a news conference in Annapolis after the Maryland General Assembly approved a measure to ban capital punishment in March 2013. (Patrick Semansky/AP File Photo)

Jamie Raskin defeated a 32-year incumbent in his first race for the Maryland state Senate in 2006. Now he faces the same tall odds as one of eight candidates running to succeed Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who’s giving up his 8th District seat to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Mikulski.

 “I go in with great optimism of the will,” Raskin, the state Senate majority whip, told CQ Roll Call recently.

Full story

October 23, 2015

Vitter Expected to Reach Runoff in Louisiana Gubernatorial Race

Despite troubles, Vitter poised to emerge in run-off after Saturday's election.  (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Despite troubles, Vitter poised to emerge in run-off after Saturday’s election. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A week that began with the new allegations involving a former New Orleans escort against Sen. David Vitter will end with the Republican’s appearance on the ballot Saturday in Louisiana’s heated contest to replace the state’s term-limited governor, Republican Bobby Jindal.

But despite the intense focus on Vitter’s personal woes by his opponents and outside groups, he is on the cusp of weathering the storm yet again. At least until a runoff next month.

Full story

Chamber’s Donohue ‘Doubling Down’ for 2016


Donohue said the tea party started with principles of sound economics but has “lost sight of what the fundamental reality is.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pledged Friday to “double down” on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail against the ultra-conservative forces that threaten the business community’s agenda.

Those forces, which have helped buoy outsider presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, represent “an articulation of frustration” from the American people, Donohue said. Hard-line conservatives also helped wrest the gavel from chamber ally Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio.

Full story

October 14, 2015

Analysts: Clinton Commanding in First Democratic Debate

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13:  (L-R) Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Clinton answers a question while Sanders, left, and O’Malley listen. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tuesday night’s Democratic debate showed that 2008 helped Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2015.

The experience the former first lady, senator and secretary of State gained debating Barack Obama in their race then gave her a command of the stage Tuesday her four opponents couldn’t match. Full story

October 6, 2015

Kirk to Illinois Democrats: I Already Took Care of That

UNITED STATES - JULY 15: Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., questions Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray during the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the CFPB's semi-annual report to Congress on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kirk says the investigation that Democrats highlighted last week has long been known. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk is in a dispute with Illinois Democrats — one of whom is running to replace him — over who has done more to prevent incidents such as the September 2014 fire at an air traffic control facility near Chicago.

Last week, members of the Illinois Democratic delegation announced the results of a Department of Transportation Inspector General audit report that made 42 recommendations to improve security and contingency plans as a result of the Sept. 26, 2014, fire at the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, Ill.

Full story

October 5, 2015

N.C. Is Lukewarm on Burr, But Lukewarm Might be Enough

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Burr says his re-election bid is in better shape than polls or news coverage would indicate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Richard M. Burr’s low-key, no-frills approach to politicking won him two Senate elections in North Carolina. Whether that carries him to a third term is up in the air.

The Republican heads into 2016 with an anemic 29 percent approval rating, according to recent polls. Still, that might be enough to hand the former businessman another six years — especially in a state rated Leans Republican by The Rothenberg-Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call and where Democrats can’t find a big-name opponent.

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September 30, 2015

GOP’s Preferred Candidate Passes on Colorado Senate Run

Bennet is still without a top GOP challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bennet is still without a top GOP challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a surprise announcement, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, the Republican whom Colorado and national party leaders had been counting on to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, said Wednesday that he will instead run for re-election, according to reports from Colorado’s 9News.

“There were serious family health issues that just recently came up,” a GOP operative told CQ Roll Call.

Full story

September 10, 2015

LaHood Is a Link to a Bygone House

State Sen. Darin LaHood smiles after he won the GOP nod in the primary to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock on Tuesday, July 7, 2105, in Peoria, Ill. LaHood heads into the Sept. 10 special general election. (Ron Johnson/Journal Star via AP)

LaHood won a special election on Thursday to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, who resigned in March. (Ron Johnson/Journal Star File Photo via AP)

The newest member of the House, Illinois Republican Darin LaHood, who will succeed Aaron Schock, has connections to Congress that go back more than 25 years to when his father, Ray LaHood, was a staff member for Robert H. Michel, the House minority leader at the time.

When Michel retired, Ray LaHood won his Illinois district in 1994 which he represented until becoming Transportation secretary in 2009.

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