Chris Coons

Trump Considering Vetoing Bipartisan Sanctions Bill, Scaramucci Says
Spokesman says president might negotiate ‘a tougher deal’ against Moscow

Incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday that President Donald Trump might veto a Russia-Iran-North Korea sanctions bill that got 419 votes in the House. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump might veto a House-passed measure that would slap new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea so he can “negotiate” tougher penalties against Moscow, says incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

In an unscheduled and combative phone call to CNN’s “New Day” morning show, which Scaramucci said came after a 15-minute talk with Trump, the former Wall Street financier made clear the president has not ruled out rejecting a bill that got 419 Republican and Democratic votes, with only 19 members in the 435-seat body voting against it.

Coons: Senate Can Reassert Foreign Policy Clout
Chance to ‘make the Senate great again’

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., suggests that the Trump Administration’s conflicting statements provide the Senate with an opportunity to reassert its clout on foreign policy matters.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration’s often conflicting statements regarding foreign affairs have provided the Senate an opportunity to reassert its clout in directing U.S. foreign policy, Sen. Chris Coons suggests. 

In a public sit-down conversation with former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright on U.S. global leadership this week, the Delaware Democrat said that “one unexpected outcome of the Trump administration may be to make the Senate great again” by forcing the chamber to draft bipartisan legislation to fill the gaps the Trump administration leaves.

Senators Look for Path on New War Authorization
Current authorization dates to 9/11 attacks

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he would only pursue a new war authorization if it had bipartisan consensus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators on Tuesday gamely struggled to see if there was a way to set aside longstanding partisan differences over a new authorization for use of military force amid expanding military campaigns in Syria and Iraq, and under a new president who has delegated significant tactical authority to his commanders.

The Trump administration is waging its anti-ISIS campaign under the authority of the 2001 AUMF, which Congress passed shortly after the September 11 attacks. Sixteen years later, experts on both sides of the aisle increasingly agree the authorization (PL 107-40) has been stretched beyond almost all legal recognition to justify the occasional air strike on Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria and even far-flung groups like Al-Shabab in East Africa.

Senators Worry US Standing Abroad Is at Risk
Trump early actions draw resistance from both sides of the aisle

Arizona Sen. John McCain is among the senators concerned about the effect of President Donald Trump’s positions on foreign policy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators on both sides of the aisle are raising alarms about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy and questioning whether the administration’s actions threaten the United States’ position as a global leader.

Trump has rattled the international community and lawmakers say it has left U.S. allies scrambling for certainty from an administration that often sends conflicting messages about its positions on major diplomatic issues.

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.

White House Turmoil Ramps Pressure on Vulnerable Republicans
Some are speaking out, others still waiting for more facts

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, said she cannot defend the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

No matter what he did or how much he tweeted during his first four months in office, President Donald Trump has mostly held on to the loyalty of congressional Republicans — even those who might have the most to lose at the ballot box next year. 

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. 

Comey Defends Pre-Election Actions on Clinton Investigation
But FBI director says he wouldn’t change decision to release info

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

FBI Director James B. Comey vigorously defended his actions ahead of the 2016 presidential election when it came to criminal investigations about candidates, as senators from both political parties warned him at a hearing Wednesday that the agency’s reputation was on the line.

Comey testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee the day after Hillary Clinton blamed him in part for her election loss, since he told Congress just 11 days before the election that the agency was reopening a criminal probe into her use of personal email to improperly send classified information when she was secretary of State.

Five Questions Key to Passage of the GOP’s Tax Overhaul
White House tax plan vies with House and Senate proposals

President Donald Trump’s tax plan released Wednesday offered few details on how it would not increase the deficit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump put the pressure on congressional Republicans last week to fall in line or advance an alternative on a tax overhaul by releasing a list of his tax principles.

As lawmakers scramble to respond, they will need to find answers to five big questions dealing with issues such as revenue and deductions that could hold the key to completion of major tax legislation that’s long been the goal of Republicans.

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.