politics

Esper, Milley nominations head to floor; Hyten‘s fate unclear
McConnell lined up Monday cloture vote, which Esper is expected to clear easily, and a final confirmation vote by Wednesday

Secretary of Defense nominee Mark Esper prepares to testify during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday advanced to the floor the nominations for Mark Esper to be Defense secretary and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promptly filed cloture on the nomination, lining up a Monday cloture vote, which Esper is expected to clear easily, and a final confirmation vote by Wednesday.

Senate schedules debate on 9/11 victims compensation bill
The bill sailed through the House last week, but Senate fiscal hawks worried about price tag

Comedian and advocate Jon Stewart along with 9/11 responders are seen on the Speaker’s balcony after a meeting in the Capitol with Speaker Nancy Pelosi about funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate leaders have agreed to take up a bill Tuesday that would extend a financial lifeline to thousands of victims suffering health problems from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The bill sailed through the House last week on a 402-12 vote, but has faced resistance in the Senate from fiscal hawks worried about its price tag. The measure would effectively make permanent a special compensation fund for first responders and other victims of the 2001 attacks, while providing however much money is needed to pay all eligible claims.

President Trump can’t stop slamming his reelection campaign team
Stump speech’s syrupy ending is ‘getting a little obsolete,’ gripes candidate in chief

President Donald Trump concludes a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. At its still-sunny start, he questioned why his staff had the stage lights turned to such a bright setting - and he just keeps publicly bashing them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — First, it was the lights. Next, it was the price of — perceived — bad advice. And Wednesday night, it was the months-old end to his canned campaign stump speech.

President Donald Trump, the New York-based real estate executive whose penchant for delegating has faded since taking office, isn’t exactly hiding his annoyance with his reelection campaign advisers.

Trump backs away from ‘send her back’ chant after rally
‘I was not happy with it,’ the president claimed, ‘I disagree with it’

President Donald Trump takes the podium before speaking during a Keep America Great rally on July 17, 2019, in Greenville, North Carolina. Trump attempted to distance himself from a crowd’s chant of “send her back” after he criticized Ilhan Omar. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday, in a rare move, broke with his supporters one day removed from a Greenville, N.C., crowd chanted “Send her back!” after he criticized Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Trump had whipped the Pitt County crowd into a frenzy by calling Democrats “socialists” and accusing Omar of “vicious, anti-Semitic screeds.”

GOP campaign chairman: There's ‘no place’ for ‘send her back’ chant
Tom Emmer slams ‘the squad’ as socialists, but says ‘send her back’ chant at Trump rally went too far

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., leads the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee chairman said it was not acceptable that the crowd at President Donald Trump’s rally Wednesday chanted “send her back” about a Muslim congresswoman who was born in Somalia.

But Rep. Tom Emmer declined on Thursday to say whether Trump’s rhetoric could damage GOP efforts to win back the House next year. He also said Republicans were unprepared for health care attacks last year, but next year will be focus on the impact of Democrats’ calls to expand Medicare to cover more people.

Catholic nuns, priests protesting migrant child treatment arrested on Capitol Hill
The protest was organized by several faith-based organizations to condemn treatment of migrant children at U.S.-Mexico border

Capitol Police arrest protesters participating in civil disobedience in the Russell Rotunda at the Capitol on Thursday, July 19, 2019. A coalition of Catholic activists organized the protest to pressure the Trump administration and Congress to end the practice of detaining immigrant children. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seventy demonstrators from a Catholic coalition were arrested Thursday in the Russell Senate Office Building as they protested the conditions migrants are being held in at detention facilities abutting the U.S. southern border.

The protest was organized by several faith-based organizations, including Faith in Public Life, Faith in Action and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Catholic priests, nuns, and lay members converged on Capitol Hill to put pressure on Trump administration and lawmakers in Congress to end “the immoral and inhumane practice of detaining immigrant children.” 

House votes to raise federal minimum wage
Issue exposed rifts among Democrats. Legislation stalled in Senate

The House voted on Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 12:46 p.m. | The House voted 231-199 Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour incrementally over six years, but the Democratic effort was almost derailed by divisions between progressives and moderates.

Progressives on Wednesday had issued a last-minute warning to their moderate colleagues not to help Republicans make any last-minute changes to the bill through the procedural maneuver known as a motion to recommit, or MTR. If moderate Democrats helped the GOP add what the progressives considered poison pill language to the measure, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were prepared to vote against it, the group’s co-chairs, Reps. Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, said. 

Armed Services panel to huddle on three top Pentagon nominees
Joint Chiefs vice chairman nominee faces stiff headwinds

The committee will probably vote overwhelmingly to give its consent to Army Secretary Mark Esper becoming the next Pentagon chief. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Armed Services Committee, in a closed-door meeting Thursday, is expected to approve the president’s choice for Defense secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and to discuss the embattled nomination of the Air Force general tapped to be the military’s No. 2 general, committee members and staff said Wednesday.

The committee will probably vote overwhelmingly to give its consent to Army Secretary Mark Esper becoming the next Pentagon chief, clearing the way for a Senate vote in the coming days to confirm him. The panel is also expected to send to the floor the nomination of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to be the next Joint Chiefs chairman.

'Send her back' chant chills Washington
Some Republicans criticize crowd at Trump rally; McConnell says Trump is ‘onto something’ with attacks on progressive ‘squad’

President Donald Trump speaks during his “Keep America Great” rally Wednesday in Greenville, North Carolina, where a chant of “Send her back” broke out about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The words “send her back” briefly drowned out the President Donald Trump’s speech in Greenville, North Carolina, last night, and quickly sent chills through Washington.

Trump carried his screed against Rep. Ilhan Omar from Twitter on to the stage of a campaign stop Wednesday night, prompting supporters to respond that he should “send her back” to the country she emigrated from as a child. The moment stoked fear about both the safety of the congresswoman and about the ramifications of the nation’s most powerful politician inflaming racial and religious hatred.

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