Foreign Policy

In Tax Return Secrecy, Congress Unites
What some lawmakers said when we asked for copies of their returns

Only 37 of 532 members of Congress responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No matter what their political affiliation, members of Congress have this in common: They don’t like releasing their tax returns. Only 37 of the 532 members of the House and Senate responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns over several weeks, starting in April. Most of them declined to release their tax returns.

Here are some of their responses.

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.

Taiwan Officials Eyeing Republican Plan for Tax Code Overhaul
Changes seen as potential investment boon

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., may have an attentive audience among Taiwanese investors when he’s talking about giving the U.S. tax code a makeover. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan reaffirmed Tuesday Congressional Republicans’ intention to give the U.S. tax code a makeover. Among those listening with keen interest to Ryan’s announcement?

Trump Finds Strange Bedfellows on Cuba Policy
US-Cuba analyst: Given executive powers, president needs little Hill buy-in

Tourists walk near a poster of Cuban President Raul Castro and then-President Barack Obama in Havana last year. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced changes to Cuba policies instituted by Obama. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

By wading into the always-tricky domestic politics of U.S.-Cuba relations, President Donald Trump finds himself working “hand in glove” with some former foes and new allies.

The businessman turned chief executive promised during the campaign to roll back some of President Barack Obama’s policies aimed at warming relations with America’s Caribbean neighbor. In doing so before his 200th day in office, Trump defied the wishes of some lawmakers and corporate titans.

White House Changes Subject to Health Care
Democrats happy to discuss issue they see as winner for them

As Attorney General Jeff Sessions was testifying on the Russia scandal, both the White House and Democrats wanted to talk about health care. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday fanned the flames of the Russia scandal that hangs over Donald Trump’s presidency, the White House appeared eager to change the subject to health care.

And that appears to be just fine with Democrats amid a messaging war over the Republicans’ crafting of a replacement for the 2010 health care law that Trump claims will be “far better” than the Obama-era system.

Sessions Declines to Testify About Any Conversations With Trump About Russia
Says potential exists for an executive privilege claim that has not happened

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.), right, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., before his testimony on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to answer questions Tuesday about conversations with President Donald Trump, citing the potential that the White House could assert executive privilege — which has not yet happened.

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.

The Trump Counterpunch Begins in Earnest
President accuses Comey of lying, says he will go under oath for Mueller

President Donald Trump fired back at James B. Comey, accusing the former FBI director of lying and saying he would speak under oath to special counsel Robert Mueller. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump punched back at James B. Comey on Friday, saying the fired FBI director’s testimony to Congress the previous day showed Comey is “a leaker,” turned Comey’s accusation that the president lied back at him and vowed to testify before the Justice Department’s special counsel investigating Russia’s 2016 election meddling.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that Trump asked him, while he was still FBI director, to “let go” of a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s connection to Russian officials. The former bureau chief said he interpreted that as a direction to drop it, and that he believes he was fired for refusing to do so.

Opinion: How a Textbook in 2067 Might View Donald Trump
Alternate history that the president didn’t make up

Shapiro invites readers to imagine how a history book from 50 years in the future might view President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Perspective is nearly impossible when you are living through tumultuous events on a daily basis. But by slightly bending the space-time continuum, this column has exclusively obtained a copy of a 2067 tenth-grade American history textbook entitled “Many Peoples, Many Voices, Many Perspectives.”Turning to the chapter on America after the 2016 election, it was fascinating to discover with 50 years hindsight how everything turned out. Actually, because of a quirk in quantum physics, three versions of the chapter were provided with radically different outcomes. Some excerpts:

“...President Trump remained defiant throughout the early summer of 2017. He often rallied his supporters through a primitive form of messaging called Twitter (see “obsolete technologies” on Page 821). Republicans in Congress, fearing the wrath of Trump supporters, avoided a public break with the president, although many (see “Profiles in Courage” page 619) grumbled privately.

Take Five: Scott Taylor
Virginia Republican quoted Cypress Hill during a GOP conference meeting with Ryan

Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor recalls almost being put on the no-fly list while serving in Yemen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Rep. Scott Taylor, 37, a Virginia Republican, talks about being a Navy SEAL, getting a strange text in Yemen, and spending time with his son.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?