Benjamin L Cardin

Timing Issues Complicate North Korea Sanctions
Adding language to Russia sanctions bill could delay Senate consideration

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is working with House lawmakers on potentially adding North Korea sanctions to legislation imposing new sanctions on Iran and Russia. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and REMA RAHMAN, Roll Call

House and Senate lawmakers have run into timing issues in trying to add language imposing new sanctions on North Korea to a bill already passed by the Senate that would place new sanctions on Iran and Russia.

EPA Inhofe Alumni Group Closer to Expanding

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has seen a number of former staffers head to the EPA. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s nominations for an assistant EPA administrator and two members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission were advanced Wednesday by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Lawmakers on the panel voted, 11-10, to move forward with the nomination of Susan Bodine to become the EPA’s assistant administrator of enforcement and compliance assurance. The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance enforces EPA’s rules and oversees the agency’s environmental justice and compliance.

Democrats Propose Topics for Trump-Putin Meeting
Don’t let Putin make 2018 campaign his playground, senators say

Sens. Mark Warner, Charles E. Schumer and Benjamin L. Cardin were among the signatories on a new letter to President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats have some friendly suggestions for topics that President Donald Trump should discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Germany, scheduled for Friday.

In a letter sent to Trump just as he landed in Hamburg, Germany, on Thursday, five senior Democrats make the case that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election should be at the top of the agenda.

Russia and Iran Sanctions Effort Hits Constitutional Snag
House will not take up Senate bill as written

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says there is a procedural issue with the Senate’s sanctions bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY NIELS LESNIEWSKI and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

What may be a small procedural obstacle has some senior Democrats crying foul over the House’s plans for new sanctions against Iran and Russia.

Harriet Tubman Statue May Come to Capitol
Maryland wants to add abolitionist to the halls of Congress

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen is working to place a statue of Harriet Tubman in the Capitol (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The state of Maryland is moving closer to having a statue of abolitionist Harriet Tubman built for display in the United States Capitol.

The state’s junior senator, Democrat Chris Van Hollen, said at a recent hearing that his staff has been working with the Architect of the Capitol to plan for the creation and donation of the sculpture.

Tillerson Says He Still Believes in Paris Pact, But Backs Trump
‘My views were heard out. I respect that the president heard my views.’

Secretary of State nominee Rex Wayne Tillerson testifies during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has previously backed the U.S. staying in the Paris climate agreement, told lawmakers on Tuesday that his views have “never changed” but that he respects President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the international accord aimed at slowing global warming.

Tillerson was speaking at a budget hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the panel’s top Democrat, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, asked if he had changed his position on the agreement ahead of the president’s decision or whether the move was “just a political decision” by the administration.

Democrats Eye Iran Debate for Vote on Russia Sanctions
Iran sanctions measure could get bogged down

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker could move to head off Democrats' attempts to force a vote on Russia sanctions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats may use floor debate this week on an Iran sanctions measure to try to force a vote on legislation that would impose harsh sanctions on Moscow as punishment for its alleged interference in last year’s presidential elections.

Democrats’ exact strategy for securing a Russia sanctions vote was still developing Tuesday, with Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker trying to forestall them a little longer.

Republican Moderates Jeer Paris Accord Withdrawal
In rare statement, Obama joins Democrats in criticizing U.S. removal from pact

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo panned President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some moderate Republicans in Congress have come out against President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, saying it would lessen the country’s leadership role internationally.

They were joined by the former Democratic president who helped seal the deal: Barack Obama.

Trump Withdraws US From Paris Climate Agreement
President says country could re-enter accord under a ‘deal that’s fair’

President Donald Trump will announce his decision on the Paris Agreement on Thursday afternoon. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

BY ELVINA NAWAGUNA AND JOHN T. BENNETTUpdated 4:26 p.m. | President Donald Trump said the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, fulfilling a campaign promise and handing victory to Republican lawmakers who had pushed for an exit from what they termed a bad deal that would put a drag on the U.S. economy.

Trump left open the possibility of re-entering the accord after renegotiating a “deal that’s fair.”

Senators Make Another Bid to Authorize War Against ISIS
Flake and Kaine have tried before

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is introducing another proposal for authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“When I voted in 2001 to authorize military force against the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks, I had no idea I would be authorizing armed conflict for more than fifteen years, and counting.”

That’s what Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday. The Arizona Republican was announcing yet another effort with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, to get Congress to go on record to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State and other terror groups.