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GOP Senator Wants to Compel Reports on Iran-North Korea Ties

Perdue, left, wants to amend a North Korea sanctions bill authored by Gardner. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican senator wants to compel the Obama administration to tell Congress what it knows about ties between North Korea and Iran.  

"It’s undeniable that Iran and North Korea have been cooperating on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development for years now. Iranians have reportedly been present for at least three of North Korea's nuclear tests," Sen. David Perdue said in a statement provided to Roll Call.  

In Shift, Trump Touts 'Great' Relationships With Top Democrats

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is fond of calling U.S. leaders “stupid,” but he's now trumpeting his “great” relationships with them — even name-dropping senior Democrats.  

“I think that I'm going to be able to get along with Pelosi. I think I'm going to be able to — I've always had a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi,” Trump said this week during a television interview , referring to the House Democratic leader from San Francisco. “I always had a decent relationship with [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid.” Reid is retiring at the end of the year, meaning he will not be in a position to negotiate legislation with the next president. There will be a new Senate Democratic leader, and he or she could be majority leader if voters hand Democrats control of the chamber.  

35 Years Later, Former Hostages, Lawmakers Cheer Restitution

Isakson led a bipartisan group of lawmakers working to secure restitution for former Iranian hostages. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In 1979, Johnny Isakson was just one of many Americans tuning in to Ted Koppel's late night reports on the status of Americans taken hostage in Iran — what became the 444 day saga.  

"I was one of the people that was alive when 'Nightline' got started," the Republican senator from Georgia recalled Wednesday. "I took an interest when it happened. Never knew that I would get to the United States Senate, and when I got there on the Foreign Relations Committee, I came to appreciate the work that had been done in the past by people who tried to make compensation happen."  

Democrats Join GOP Warnings On Iran As Sanctions Eased

Obama faces new political fire for Saturday's developments in Iran. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama's legacy became further tied to Tehran on Saturday when Iran released four American prisoners and U.N. inspectors cleared the way for the easing of some painful sanctions on the Middle Eastern power.  

Obama is taking new political fire from Republican presidential hopefuls and lawmakers -- joined by some notable Democrats -- over the nuclear deal his administration and other world powers inked with Iran that made the sanctions lifting possible. Now, he is under new attacks after swapping seven Iranians for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Americans.  

Democrats Want More From Obama on Islamic State

Durbin, right, said the president should have been more forceful. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats on both sides of the Capitol want President Barack Obama to get tougher on the Islamic State, in both words and deeds.  

House Democrats on Thursday expressed frustration with the White House over its messaging on a GOP-crafted bill the chamber passed Thursday, 289-137, that would tighten screening processes for individuals coming from Iraq and Syria. And on the Senate side, some in Obama’s party want a more muscular response to last Friday’s attacks in Paris.  

House Democrats Plan Alternative to Syrian Refugee Bill

Lofgren tried to get changes made to the GOP refugee bill due on the floor Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:15 p.m. | House Democrats will use procedural gambits to get a vote on their proposal aimed at easing concerns about Syrian refugees coming to the United States but without completely blocking their resettlement.  

The partisan maneuvering has the potential to weaken support for a Republican-backed bill set to come to the floor Thursday. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure, but the bill is expected to pass with GOP votes and some from fiscally conservative Democrats.  

House's Muslim Members Brace for Charged Terror Debate

Ellison, in 2011, arrives to testify at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Updated 5:30 p.m. | The two Muslim members of the House share the sentiments of their fellow Democrats: Under no circumstances should the United States block Syrian refugees from this country in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris..  

But for Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and André Carson of Indiana, there's a greater sense of urgency in how Congress responds to the violence at the hands of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, that has a stranglehold in Syria. Ellison and Carson live and work in a political environment where “Islam” is often paired with the phrase “radical,” and many Republicans argue the only way to prevent “Muslim extremists” from coming to the United States is to bar entry of all asylum seekers from Syria.  

Obama Touts Iran Deal 'Adoption Day'

Obama cheered the Iran deal's "adoption day."(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Iran nuclear deal has reached a new milestone — adoption day — and the White House is cheering.  

"Today, Iran begins to take the steps necessary to implement its ... commitments, including removing thousands of centrifuges and associated infrastructure, reducing its enriched uranium stockpile from approximately 12,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms, and removing the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor and filling it with concrete so that it cannot be used again, among other steps," President Barack Obama said in a written statement Sunday afternoon. And Obama is getting ready to live up to his part of the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  

Explaining the Cracks in Ted Cruz's State Department Blockade

Cruz's State Department holds do not apply to career ambassadors. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

"I intend to block all nominees for the Department of State and hold any legislation that reauthorizes funds for the Department of State."  

That quote, from a July 16 letter from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to President Barack Obama sounded pretty straightforward. But, it turns out that career ambassadors are not State Department nominees, at least according to the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful.