Defense

Trump Signs Action Expediting Foreign Steel Prices Investigation
National security concerns cited

U.S. President Donald Trump departs the White House on his way to a waiting Marine One helicopter April 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump spoke a Snap-On tool factory during the trip. (McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday, citing national security concerns, signed an executive action expediting a Commerce Department probe examining whether manipulated foreign steel prices could hinder his envisioned military buildup.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters that the investigation was formally launched on Wednesday evening over concerns that the U.S. steel industry would be unable to keep up with demand of the Trump administration’s planned military buildup. Contracts for major Pentagon weapons programs typically are accompanied by stipulations that combat gear must be built using American steel.

How Trump and Hill GOP Could Fill the Looming Legislative Void
Bipartisan deal to ease spending curbs would give Congress ways to seem productive

President Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders may have to move relatively quickly to secure some serious help from the Democrats to avoid budgetary gridlock, Hawkings writes. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Forget the fake news folderol about another shutdown showdown at the end of next week, because just over the horizon looms the year’s really big fiscal morass. 

It’s highly likely that the first order of business when Congress comes back, keeping the bureaucracy humming for just five months, will prove to be the policymaking equivalent of an empty net goal.

Wittman Answers Questions at Public Forum, Constituents Hold Mock Town Hall
Republican congressman says he favors smaller-scale meetings over massive town halls

Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., leaves a meeting of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in Stafford, Va., on April 18, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

STAFFORD, Va. — Rep. Rob Wittman provided an update on congressional affairs to the local governing body here Tuesday evening. It was his fifth constituent meeting of the day.

Meanwhile, just over 30 miles northwest in Nokesville, Virginia, citizens held a mock town hall to discuss the congressman’s voting record.

Poll: Border Wall Fight Should Not Prompt Government Shutdown
Majority say it’s more important to keep the government running

A view of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana, Mexico, in January. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images file photo)

A new Economist Group/YouGov poll found that a majority of Americans think it’s most important for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, even if it means leaving behind a proposal to start construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The opt-in, online poll found that 19 percent of those surveyed want Congress to come up with the $3 billion requested by President Donald Trump for a border wall, even if it prompts a government shutdown. But 60 percent think it’s more important to keep the government running past an April 28 deadline when a continuing resolution runs out. Another 22 percent are unsure.

DHS Chief Kelly to Congress: ‘Shut Up’ or Change Law
Retired general blames low morale on political meddling

Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly challenged lawmakers who don’t like his agency’s enforcement actions “shut up” or change law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly offered a strong defense Tuesday of the Trump administration’s actions falling under the department’s umbrella, challenging lawmakers who don’t like its enforcement actions to “shut up” or change the law.

Opinion: Trump Must Resist His Inner MacArthur on Korea
A miscalculation could be very costly

A propaganda mural painting outside the People’s Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, North Korea. The country has bedeviled American policymakers for nearly seven decades, Shapiro writes. (Feng Li/Getty Images file photo)

Melissa McCarthy ended her latest impersonation of Sean Spicer — delivered in Easter garb on “Saturday Night Live” — by offhandedly mentioning, “And, by the way, the president's probably going to bomb North Korea tonight.”

Beyond the incongruity of a presidential press secretary announcing impending war while wearing a bunny suit, what made this moment funny was its small glimmer of plausibility.

Lee, Thompson and Fudge on Former Rep. Brown’s Witness List
Former congresswoman’s trial scheduled to begin April 24

Former Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., is charged with using funds from a non-profit on herself. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Bennie Thompson, Marcia Fudge and Sheila Jackson Lee are potential witnesses in the corruption case of former Florida Rep. Corrine Brown. 

An attorney for Brown listed Thompson, D-Miss., Fudge, D-Ohio, and Lee, D-Texas, are on the witness list for Brown’s corruption trial, which begins with jury selection on April 24, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Funding Deadline Tests GOP Strategy
Republicans hoped for more under Trump, but still need Democrats’ help

From left, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan meet for a working lunch at the White House on March 1. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

When Republicans kicked the fiscal 2017 spending deadline into April last December, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said they’d rather negotiate with incoming GOP President Donald Trump than the outgoing Democratic one.

But now, congressional Republicans are talking about largely ignoring requests from the White House as they negotiate with Democrats over a spending bill to take the government off autopilot for the remaining five months of the fiscal year.

Rising Stars 2017: Members of Congress
Four lawmakers to watch

CQ Roll Call’s Rising Stars of 2017 include four members of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Washington has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump, but there are many in this city who will now wield power and influence either through their wits, careful planning or just dumb luck. 

CQ Roll Call has identified 17 of these people to watch in 2017. Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. 

To Save Millions, Military Grounds Planes Worth Billions
Economics ‘upside down’, expert says

The Air Force has grounded part of its fleet of C-5 Galaxy transport planes. (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

The Air Force has grounded a big portion of its newly refurbished, multibillion-dollar fleet of C-5 Galaxy transport planes, just to avoid spending the relatively small amount of money it costs to fly them. 

In order to save $60 million in annual operating costs, the Air Force has since fiscal 2015 placed eight of its top-of-the-line C-5s in “backup aircraft inventory” status, even though they are needed to ferry troops and gear around the world, said Gen. Carlton Everhart, the four-star chief of Air Mobility Command.