Bob Corker

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.

Republican Senator Seeks to Save Obamacare Before Dismantling It
Lamar Alexander advocating for two-step approach to repealing law

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander is advocating short-term market stabilization measures for the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Lamar Alexander has found himself in an uncommon position for most Republicans this year: Trying to save the shaky insurance markets created by the 2010 health care law before attending to a major overhaul of the law.

The opinions of the Tennessee’s senior senator carry significant weight among his colleagues. He is a close confidant of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and also chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Trump Appears to Confirm Report He Gave Russians Classified Info
After partial denials from aides, president claims ‘absolute right’ to share data

President Donald Trump concludes his remarks at the 36th annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the Capitol on Monday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm a report that he discussed highly classified information with senior Russian officials last week, contradicting some of his top aides while claiming an “absolute right” to do so.

Around 7 p.m. Monday, the president dispatched National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to partially deny a Washington Post report that he revealed highly classified information about Islamic State plot involving laptop computers and passenger airliners gleaned by a U.S. ally to senior Russian officials. McMaster told reporters the article “as it came out tonight, is false.” He said no intelligence sources or methods were disclosed — something not alleged in the Post article.

Senators React With Alarm, Caution to Report That Trump Revealed Classified Info
President's top security adviser: ‘I was in the room, it didn’t happen’

A Washington Post report alleges that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT, NIELS LESNIEWSKI and JOE WILLIAMSCQ Roll Call

Some senators expressed shock — while others reacted cautiously  — to a report Monday evening alleging that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State plots gleaned by a U.S. ally to senior Russian officials. 

Trump-Russia Probe — Congress Can Boost Stature or Squander Opportunity
Bipartisan effort could help restore credibility

Reporters question Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr in the Senate subway as he makes his way to the Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An important window of opportunity has been opened for Congress by the firing of James B. Comey as director of the FBI. 

Comey Firing Spurs Calls for Special Prosecutor in Russia Probe
Both Republicans and Democrats criticized timing of termination

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., conducts a news conference in the Capitol on the firing of FBI director James Comey on May 9, 2017. Schumer called for a special prosecutor to look into the relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ Roll Call

The firing of FBI Director James B. Comey brought renewed calls from both House and Senate Democrats for a special prosecutor to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Get Ready for the Senate’s Obamacare Repeal Slog
Unlike the House, the Senate needs to wait for CBO

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says the House-passed bill will likely run afoul of Senate rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY JOE WILLIAMS AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI

Don’t expect quick Senate action on the Republican bill to repeal large portions of the 2010 health law.

With End in Sight for Omnibus, Dissonance Takes Over
Sore feelings take hold even as deal heads to passage

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is among the Republicans who say he will not support the omnibus spending bill when the Senate considers it later this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On a day Congress could have spent singing the praises of a bipartisan agreement to wrap up the long-overdue fiscal 2017 spending process, seemingly everyone — from Capitol Hill to the White House — found a way to hit dissonant notes. 

“They’re walking around acting like they pulled a fast one on the president, and I just won’t stand for it,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday afternoon at the third of three press briefings he conducted in a 24-hour period after congressional Democrats started effusively praising the omnibus spending deal as a win for their priorities.

Senior WH Official: ‘Military Preparations’ Are Underway for N. Korea
U.S. soon will attempt to influence Kim via ‘economic dimension of national power’

A North Korean ballistic missile during a “Victory Day” parade in 2013. A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday alluded to “military preparations” underway to possibly confront the North. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration is preparing a range of options — including plans for military operations — to deal with North Korea and its nuclear arms and missile programs.

National security officials are crafting possible diplomatic, economic and military responses to deal with the Hermit Kingdom, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday at the White House.

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.