Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

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December 21, 2015

Graham’s Exit Signals Decline of Military Service in Elections

Graham has a new challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The end of Lindsey Graham’s candidacy means no major candidate for president has military service. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Given his dismally low polling numbers, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s exit from the presidential race was no surprise. But his departure removes one of the most hawkish voices from the Republican race which has largely become about national security. 

In the era of an all-volunteer military when only about 1 percent of the U.S. adult population serves in the armed forces,  Graham removes one of the few candidates in the race who can relate to the shared experience of military service.

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Who Said It: Trump or Not Trump?


Trump’s bluster has changed the tone of the 2016 presidential campaign. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File Photo)

Donald Trump has seized media attention with blunt statements that no other presidential candidate could get away with. And so far, the more brash the statement, the more his poll numbers go up.

But he is by no means the only political figure to use over-the-top rhetoric. Take a look at these quotes and take your best guess whether it was Trump or someone else:

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December 18, 2015

Sanders’ Campaign Takes DNC to Court

Sanders addressed reporters Tuesday in the Ohio Clock Corridor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders’ campaign has been penalized for accessing Clinton’s campaign data. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernard Sanders’ presidential campaign on Friday filed suit against the Democratic National Committee after its access to DNC voter files was suspended because a Sanders campaign staffer accessed files from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

At a news conference on Friday, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the staffer was fired and said they were not aware of any data being exported.

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December 17, 2015

Sanders Scores Progressive and Labor Endorsements Over Clinton

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 12: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., leave the Senate Democrats' policy luncheon on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sanders received the endorsement of Democracy for America, which tried to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bernard Sanders received a big boost to his campaign Thursday with the endorsements of Communications Workers of America and Democracy for America and emphasized the grassroots nature of the endorsements.

At a news conference with Sanders, Chris Shelton, president of the CWA, emphasized that the decision came directly from union members themselves after the union asked if it should endorse in the election, and if so, who should it endorse.

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December 9, 2015

Vulnerable Republicans Choose Words Carefully on Trump Comments

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 8 - Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, takes questions from reporters after the weekly Senate Republicans luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, December 8, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In a statement Tuesday, Portman said he didn’t agree with Trump without using his name. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In the weeks since the Paris attacks, Republicans have been outspoken about the potential security risk posed by refugees from countries where ISIS has established strongholds from coming into the United States.

But when pressed on Donald Trump’s call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” many of this cycle’s most vulnerable senators were slow to respond.

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December 8, 2015

Trump Puts Republican Candidates in a Corner

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference before a public signing for his new book "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," at the Trump Tower Atrium on November 3, 2015 in New York City. According to a new poll, Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, has pulled ahead of Trump with 29% of Republican primary voters.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Trump’s comments about Muslims have the GOP worried. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Republican congressional candidates have been slow to take a position on GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Trump has put Republican Senate candidates into the position of either addressing his comments and alienating Republicans who agree with Trump, or staying silent and hurting themselves with voters in the general election.

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December 3, 2015

GOP Presidential Candidates Make Pitches to Influential Jewish Group

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center December 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. Candidates spoke and took questions from Jewish leaders and activists as they continued to seek for Republican presidential nomination.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump addresses the Republican Jewish Coalition at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Thursday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Each of the 2016 White House hopefuls made their case to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Presidential Forum on Thursday why they’d be the strongest defender of America’s and Israel’s national security against the kind of violence seen in San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday.

Nearly all of the candidates — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was detained by Senate votes and never made it — argued that the incident was an example of the terrorist threat facing America and Israel and proceeded to attack President Barack Obama for not readily using the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” 

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December 1, 2015

Evangelicals Make Environmental Issues About ‘Caring for God’s Creation’

The Evangelical Environmental Network encourage Kirk to vote against a measure to kill Obama's clean power plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Evangelical Environmental Network encourage Kirk to vote against a measure to kill Obama’s clean power plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Evangelical Environmental Network is just what it sounds like: a ministry of evangelicals, mostly Republicans, who believe climate change is dangerous and worth fighting.

“I’m a Republican, and our organization is designed to reach out to evangelicals who are, by and large, conservative politically as well,” Rev. Mitchell Hescox, president of EEN told CQ Roll Call last week.

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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.

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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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