Delaware

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.

Who’s Playing in Tonight’s Congressional Softball Game
The ninth annual game pits members of Congress against the media to raise money

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., celebrates with teammates after members defeated the media team, 10-5, in the 2014 Congressional Softball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress team up with the Washington press corps in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game Wednesday night to raise money for breast cancer.

This year’s game has seen interest and ticket sales soar after the shooting at last week’s Republican team practice before the Congressional Baseball Game, which set a record for attendance.

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.

Isakson’s Senate Barbecue Serves as Congressional Baseball Appetizer
Ninth annual bipartisan Georgia feast

Senators, including, from left, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Tim Kaine of Virginia, feasted on barbecue at the annual event sponsored by Georgia’s Johnny Isakson. (Courtesy Isakson’s office)

What goes better with baseball than barbecue?

By luck of the calendar — and the timing of a Nationals road trip — Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game coincides with the Senate’s tradition of a bipartisan summer barbecue.

Corn State Lawmakers Get Ethanol Hearing

Sen. Deb Fischer’s legislation would ease restrictions on the sale of ethanol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bowing to pressure from corn state lawmakers, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso allowed a hearing on legislation that would ease restrictions on the sale of gasoline blended with at least 15 percent ethanol, a measure he opposes.

The bill (S 517) sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., would order the EPA to waive its rule prohibiting the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent corn-based ethanol, also known as E15, during the summer months. The prohibition was based on findings that tied the mixture to smog-causing emissions during warm weather.

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.

Word on the Hill: Watergate Anniversary
Harris to be recognized

From left, Connecticut Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., Florida Sen. Edward J. Gurney, Chief minority counsel (and later senator) Fred Thompson, Tennessee Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., North Carolina Sen. Sam J. Ervin Jr., Chief counsel Samuel Dash, Georgia Sen. Herman E. Talmadge, Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, and New Mexico Sen. Joseph M. Montoya during the Senate Watergate hearings. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s been 45 years since Watergate and the landmark hotel where it all began wants to talk about how the scandal reverberates today.

Rakel Cohen, co-owner of the hotel, is hosting a “Watergate Chat” Wednesday evening with The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons to discuss the break-in and how it relates to current politics. 5 p.m. at The Watergate Hotel (2650 Virginia Ave. NW)

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.

The Levin Legacy: Next-Gen Congressional Oversight
Retired Michigan Democrat’s center trains staffers on effective oversight

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin built a legacy of tough oversight as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 100 congressional staffers have now completed boot camps designed to boost the investigative skills of House and Senate staff, thanks in part to the retirement work of former Sen. Carl Levin.

The Michigan Democrat had a particular interest in oversight, wielding the gavel of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations through hearings on topics from the 2008 financial crisis, to oil and gas speculation, to “dirty bomb” vulnerabilities, and issues within the United Nations Development Program.

D.C. Mayor Reaffirms Support for Paris Climate Agreement
Mayor Muriel Bowser says city will uphold the agreement’s goals

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has signed an executive order reaffirming the city’s support for the Paris climate agreement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Washington D.C.’s mayor has announced that the city will continue to uphold the guidelines in the Paris climate agreement, just days after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from it. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser signed an executive order Monday morning reaffirming the city’s support for the climate agreement, surrounded by local officials, federal partners and environmental stakeholders.