Behind the scenes of a dramatic debt vote

Behind the scenes of a dramatic debt vote

By: Manu Raju and Burgess Everett
February 12, 2014 06:57 PM EST

Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are pictured. | John Shinkle/POLITICOSen. Ted Cruz and the GOP rank and file ultimately backed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip John Cornyn into a corner on the debt ceiling increase.

The leaders had wanted to allow the toxic measure to pass with just 51 votes so all 45 Republicans could vote against it. But Cruz, the Texas tea party freshman, demanded approval by a 60-vote threshold.

So McConnell and Cornyn tried to persuade more than five Republicans in safe seats to support the effort, but they were met with stiff resistance. No Republican wanted to be vote No. 60 to advance a bill to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts, forcing the GOP leaders to secure a comfortable margin of victory or risk being blamed for a historic debt default.

(Also on POLITICO: Senate passes debt ceiling bill)

Miffed that they have long been asked to take tough votes when the GOP leaders voted “no,” Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski, privately pressured McConnell and Cornyn to vote to break the filibuster, sources said. Murkowski resisted voting for the measure without the support of her leadership team. Continue reading “Behind the scenes of a dramatic debt vote”

Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

NJ Daily

Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

 

(Chet Susslin)

By , and December 10, 2013

After weeks of closed-door talks, House and Senate negotiators finally unveiled a two-year budget deal Tuesday that attempts to calm the long-fought feud over spending on Capitol Hill. But the question remains whether they can sell it to rank-and-file lawmakers.

The deal is far from a grand bargain. But if approved by the House and Senate, the compromise would not only keep government funded and open beyond Jan. 15, but also would provide $63 billion in sequester relief over two years—all without new tax revenue.

“This is the first divided-government budget agreement since 1986,” said House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, the chief Republican negotiator. Continue reading “Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?”

Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo

Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Monday that it would be “premature” to consider a back pay bill.
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Monday that it would be “premature” to consider a back pay bill. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

This story has been updated.

The Senate hasn’t taken any action yet on legislation that would give back pay to federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown.

While the bill enjoys broad support in the upper chamber, several Republicans reportedly oppose the legislation’s swift passage through procedural shortcuts, such as a voice vote or unanimous consent agreement, and want the opportunity to offer amendments.

The House on Saturday unanimously passed a bill that would grant retroactive pay to employees forced to take unpaid leave during the government shutdown, now in its eighth day. President Obama has said he would sign the legislation into law if Congress approves it. Continue reading “Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo”

Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo

Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Monday that it would be “premature” to consider a back pay bill.
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Monday that it would be “premature” to consider a back pay bill. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

This story has been updated.

The Senate hasn’t taken any action yet on legislation that would give back pay to federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown.

While the bill enjoys broad support in the upper chamber, several Republicans reportedly oppose the legislation’s swift passage through procedural shortcuts, such as a voice vote or unanimous consent agreement, and want the opportunity to offer amendments.

The House on Saturday unanimously passed a bill that would grant retroactive pay to employees forced to take unpaid leave during the government shutdown, now in its eighth day. President Obama has said he would sign the legislation into law if Congress approves it. Continue reading “Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo”

Cornyn slams door on Mo. Senate race

The Hill Newspaper

Cornyn slams door on Mo. Senate race

By Alexander Bolton – 09/28/12 11:31 AM ET

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) has slammed the door on helping Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) as the gaffe-prone candidate stumbled again.

A day after the executive director of the NRSC issued a statement that appeared to open up the possibility of spending money to help the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, Cornyn bluntly declared the race “unwinnable.”

Cornyn, who’s in charge of winning a GOP majority for the upper chamber, said the committee would not put any money in the race against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who was considered the most vulnerable incumbent in the chamber just a few months ago. Continue reading “Cornyn slams door on Mo. Senate race”