Bob Corker

Clerks for New Supreme Court Justice Know Capitol Hill
Gorsuch picks also have White House and justice department experience

Clerks for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch have experience in the White House, the justice department and on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The clerks Justice Neil Gorsuch hired to help launch his Supreme Court career bring a wealth of experience from the political branches of government, including work on Capitol Hill, at the Justice Department and the White House.

That, in turn, could help guide Gorsuch on legal issues this term dealing with cases about the inner workings of Congress or politics. While Gorsuch worked for the Justice Department before becoming a federal judge, Justice Stephen G. Breyer is the only justice with experience working for the legislative branch  — as Senate Judiciary Committee counsel in 1979-80 for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

Senate Democrats Look to Make Their Mark on Foreign Policy
With Obama no longer in the White House, minority party is stepping up

Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardinsays there’s no shortage of foreign policy leaders among Senate Democrats. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are not shying away from criticizing the Trump administration when it comes to foreign policy.

It’s a new and potentially adversarial role: being in the minority while explosive headlines from conflicts abroad dominate the news.

Syria, Trump and Congress’ Ever-Eroding War Powers
Lawmakers lukewarm to a force-authorization measure for U.S. missile strike

President Donald Trump and his national security team receive a briefing on April 6 about an air strike he ordered on a Syrian air base. (White House photo)

President Donald Trump has gone to great lengths to break from the policies and approaches of his predecessor. Yet, when it came to justifying a round of U.S. military missile strikes in Syria, the new commander in chief dusted off a legal rationale crafted by Barack Obama’s administration.

Like the 44th president, Trump contended that the Constitution vests in the office of the presidency enough war powers to carry out some isolated military operations without lawmakers’ approval.

Word on the Hill: Toomey Checks Out New American Revolution Museum
Lawmakers celebrate National Park Week

Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey got an early look at a new museum in Philadelphia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., recently got a sneak peak at the Museum of theAmerican Revolution in Philadelphia, which is set to open to the public on Wednesday.

It is the first national museum that tells the entire story of the American Revolution and has more than 3,000 items in its collection, CBS reported.

Corker Gets First Democratic Challenger for 2018
James Mackler is an Iraq veteran and Nashville attorney

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., easily won re-election in 2012 with about two-thirds of the vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nashville attorney and Iraq war veteran James Mackler is the first Democrat to announce a challenge to Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker for 2018.

Mackler told the Tennessean that he is “running to restore respect, honesty, and most importantly, integrity in Washington.”

Senators Look to Move Past Nuclear Option
Bipartisanship touted when they return from recess

Maine Sen. Susan Collins said lawmakers should move on to an issue with bipartisan support, such as improving infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators are getting some time away from the nation’s capital for the next week and half, following a tense battle over the Supreme Court. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the so-called nuclear option last Thursday to effectively change the Senate rules and lower the threshold for ending debate on high court nominees. While the move raised questions about whether the chamber had reached a partisan point of no return, senators were hopeful they could still come together on other issues.

Hill Frustrated by Trump Administration’s Lack of Long-Term Syria Plan
Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker: ‘I wish we were further along’

Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, an Armed Services member, said Friday he wishes the Trump administration was closer to having a long-term Syria plan after launching an airstrike there Thursday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senior Trump administration officials did not disclose to lawmakers any long-term plans for dealing with Syrian strongman Bashar Assad or the years-old conflict in his country, further complicating President Donald Trump’s relationship with Congress.

Republican and Democratic senators expressed surprise and frustration, after a classified briefing Friday, that the new president and his team have no strategy for what comes next, following a Trump-ordered Tomahawk missile strike on a Syrian air base in response to a reported Assad government chemical attack that killed dozens of the country’s own civilians.

Don’t Expect Military Force Authorization for Syria Soon
Lawmakers want a plan from the president

Kaine said the strikes in Syria were unlawful, and has argued that military force be approved by Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin walked into the closed-door briefing on military strikes in Syria, with a joint resolution in his hand.

“I’m going to see what part of this still applies, and I think a lot of it still does,” the Illinois Democrat said as he entered the secure briefing room in the Capitol on Friday where Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was addressing senators.

Sens. Corker, Cardin: Trump Has No Long-Term Syria Plan
‘They took an appropriate reaction based on what they saw,’ Corker says

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, left, and ranking Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin want to know the White House’s Syria strategy on what comes next. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House has no long-term plans to deal with the situation in Syria beyond the air strike President Donald Trump ordered Thursday evening, according to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Just hours after Trump greenlighted the firing of 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack, senators from both parties told reporters that they support the strike but want to know the White House’s strategy on what comes next.

Congress Wants to Hear Trump’s Syria Policy — and Fast
Members say Trump needs to consult them before taking any more action

The top Democrats on Capitol Hill, Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, both advocate a role for Congress in future actions in Syria by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle say they are waiting to hear President Donald Trump’s plan for his next step in Syria.

Many lawmakers — including some of Trump’s most vocal critics — offered support in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase Thursday night. But they said Trump needs to consult Congress before he takes any more steps.