Bob Corker

Instead of Oversight, This Congress Believes in Under-Sight
Omarosa saga reminds us that no Trump offense is so big that the GOP can’t ignore it

President Donald Trump talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip John Cornyn after his State of the Union address in January. No offense by the president and his administration is so big that it can’t be ignored by Republicans on the Hill, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In “Dr. Strangelove,” Stanley Kubrick’s scabrously funny 1964 sendup of nuclear war, a fanatical anti-Communist general starts pummeling the Russian ambassador for taking photographs in the inner sanctum of the Pentagon. The hapless president breaks up the scuffle by saying in an outraged tone, “Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!”

If only Kubrick were still around to do justice to Omarosa Manigault Newman taping her own firing by John Kelly in the White House Situation Room. Even the fanatical Gen. Jack D. Ripper couldn’t match the deranged fury of Donald Trump’s Tuesday tweet calling Omarosa “a crazed, crying lowlife” and viciously likening her to a “dog.”

McConnell Casts Doubt on Legislation to Restrict Trump’s Trade Authority
Kentucky Republican talked taxes and trade Friday in Louisville

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was talking taxes and trade in his hometown on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped at a water tank manufacturing company Friday in Louisville, Kentucky, to tout the benefits of the Republican tax overhaul, but the conversation not surprisingly turned to trade.

The Kentucky Republican said it was unlikely Congress could enact restrictions on President Donald Trump’s trade authority, despite some GOP senators’ efforts to reign in the president’s actions.

Why Democrats Need the ‘Dannycrats’ in Ohio’s 12th and Beyond
They have a chance to be the “adults in the room” who value diverse views

Ohio Democrat Danny O’Connor’s only path to victory in the 12th District is by winning over enough “Dannycrats,” some of whom backed the president in 2016, Murphy writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

OPINION — Do you know what a “Dannycrat” is? Spenser Stafford does. That’s because she’s a registered Republican who is planning to vote for Danny O’Connor, the 31-year old Democrat running in Tuesday’s special election in Ohio’s 12th District. Also, she is engaged to marry O’Connor after the election.

“Somebody said, ‘Oh, are you a Democrat now?’” Stafford told CNN. “And I was like, no, I cannot identify as a Democrat. I’m a Dannycrat!”

Trump’s Golf Game With Congress Still Stuck in a Sandtrap
Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s few golf partners on the Hill, played a round with the President Sunday

President Donald Trump, shown arriving at the 2015 Iowa State Fair in a golf cart, has found few golf partners in Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Trump on Sunday capitalized on the alignment of his reported two-week golf-club stay with the Senate’s abbreviated recess, making a rare announcement of a tee time with Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.

But don’t count on too many more presidential swings at coalition building with influential lawmakers during his trip to Bedminster, New Jersey.  The White House keeps most records of Trump’s golf outings secret, but media reports indicate he has spent only a fraction of his golfing time with members of Congress.

Trump’s Threat to Leave the WTO Alarms Many, Even in Congress
And it might be a tipping point for Republicans on the Hill

President Donald Trump, here at the Capitol in June, says World Trade Organization members are not playing fair with America. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The United States once viewed the World Trade Organization as the wave of the future, an improvement over the aging General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade system and a hub of rules-based stability for countries — rich and poor, democratic and nondemocratic — engaged in the international buying and selling of goods and services.

Now President Donald Trump is eyeing the exit door from the WTO, a Geneva-based body the U.S. helped to create in 1995 to negotiate trade standards among its 164-member nations and to referee disputes among them using a playbook of agreed upon rules.

Senate Passes Spending Package, Rejects Trump’s Proposed Cuts
Chamber has now passed seven of the 12 annual spending bills

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., has shepherded a largely bipartisan appropriations process, pushing forward a four-package spending measure on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate approved a $154.2 billion, four-bill fiscal 2019 spending package Wednesday as a continuing bipartisan effort in the chamber pushed it ahead of the House in the appropriations process.

The vote was 92-6. Republicans cast the opposing votes: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.

United States Will Not Recognize Crimea as Part of Russia, Pompeo Asserts
Secretary of state outlines position as he testifies before Senate Foreign Relations panel

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, arrives to testify at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The United States will not recognize Crimea as part of Russia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted on Wednesday, unveiling an eagerly awaited hard position from the United States at a time of heightened tensions between the two superpowers. 

“The United States calls on Russia to respect the principles to which it has long claimed to adhere and to end its occupation of Crimea,” Pompeo said in a statement issued on the day he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Campaign Committee Chairmen Collaborating on Election Security
Concern about Russian interference makes allies out of traditional foes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued a warning to Russian interests seeking to influence the election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The chairmen of the Senate Republican and Democratic campaign committees have spoken at length about election security and the potential for Russian active measures against the 2018 midterms.

“In terms of meddling with the election ... I’ve had long conversations with Chris Van Hollen about this. This is an unacceptable activity by the Russians — or anyone, for that matter — but we certainly want to do everything we can to protect the elections of integrity coming up in 2018,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner of Colorado said. “This is not a partisan issue.”

Senators Plot New Russia Sanctions as Committee Leaders Plan Hearings
Russian election interference efforts could find time on August agenda

Sen. Lindsey Graham is among the lawmakers crafting new Russia sanctions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two of the Senate’s many Russia hawks outlined plans to draft new sanctions against the country, just as leaders of the committees of jurisdictions unveiled plans for hearings.

“Just as Vladimir Putin has made clear his intention to challenge American power, influence, and security interests at home and abroad, the United States must make it abundantly clear that we will defend our nation and not waver in our rejection of his effort to erode western democracy as a strategic imperative for Russia’s future,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Brings Banking Panel to Boiling Point
Nomination of Kathy Kraninger strains previously buddy-buddy relationship

Senate Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, left, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, normally have a smooth working relationship that could be strained by debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kathy Kraninger’s confirmation hearing was as politically contentious as it’s gotten in the last year and a half on what has otherwise been a very senatorial Senate Banking Committee.

The partisan fight even appeared to consume the always amiable relations between Chairman Michael D. Crapo of Idaho and ranking member Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both of whom expressed regrets at the dust-up over Kraninger’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.