Idaho

US could be at war by the time Congress returns from recess, Udall says
Democrats force votes on approving war with Iran, but come up short in the Senate

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is worried that the United States may be at war with Iran by the time Congress returns from recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats on both sides of Capitol Hill have been forcing votes on President Donald Trump’s military powers this week amid the ratcheting up of tensions with Iran, getting predictably disparate results.

In the latest test, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday turned back a Democrat-led effort to move legislation designed to thwart preemptive military action against Iran.

Iran escalations bring war powers debates back to the Capitol
Sen. Tim Kaine expects debate behind closed doors at the Armed Services Committee

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch says President Donald Trump “doesn’t need any more authority than what he’s got” to respond to a potential attack. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)k

A Senate briefing by the Trump administration Tuesday about the escalation in tensions with Iran appears certain to kick off another round of sparring over the president’s war powers.

When asked last week whether President Donald Trump could strike Iran using existing authorities from the authorization for use of military force that was enacted after 9/11, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reflected on the history of disputes between the executive and legislative branches.

FHFA head sees plan this year to change Fannie, Freddie status
Mark Calabria also wants Congress to act

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been under federal control since they accepted bailouts in 2008 during the housing market collapse. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said he hopes to have a roadmap for ending the federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the end of the year.

Speaking at a National Association of Realtors event Tuesday, Calabria said it was his job as FHFA director to develop a plan for recapitalizing and releasing the government-sponsored entities, or GSEs. The two mortgage giants have been under federal control since they accepted bailouts in 2008 in the wake of the housing market collapse.

‘Grimmer by the day’ — Farmers’ love for Trump in peril
President’s trade actions are testing farmers in ways they never imagined

President Donald Trump’s trade actions are testing American farmers in ways they never imagined, Murphy writes, even though that’s exactly what he campaigned on. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — The love affair between President Donald Trump and rural America has always made sense to me.

When I covered the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump often went to remote farm communities where Democrats, and even other Republican candidates, never bothered.

3 things to watch when Trump, GOP senators discuss immigration
Jared Kushner has been WH point person — but Stephen Miller has been Trump’s voice

Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., will meet with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to discuss immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Perhaps sensing momentum in the post-Mueller report realm, President Donald Trump has summoned a group of Senate Republicans to the White House to talk about overhauling the immigration system.

A small group of GOP senators will meet Tuesday afternoon with Trump and senior White House aides to hear details of a plan administration officials have been cobbling together. Presidential son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has been the point person in crafting the proposal.

Photos of the Week: Congress is back from recess, and we’ve got photos to prove it
The week of May 3 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A poster of President Donald Trump and the wax figure of singer Whitney Houston are on display as a window washer cleans the windows at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Washington on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is back from recess, and we have the photos to prove it.

Senate vote upholds Trump veto of Yemen resolution
The vote didn't reach the two-thirds majority needed to overturn President Donald Trump’s veto last month

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, center, Tim Scott, R-S.C., left, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, conduct a news conference in the Capitol on December 19, 2018. Lee was one of several lawmakers who gave impassioned pleas to override a veto by President Donald Trump on a resolution to end U.S. military participation in the Yemen civil war. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Thursday voted to uphold a presidential veto of a resolution that would have ordered an end to U.S. military participation in the civil war in Yemen.

The vote came despite impassioned bipartisan pleas from lawmakers like Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who argued Saudi Arabia does not deserve “unflinching, unwavering, unquestioning” U.S. support for its involvement in the war.

Ben Stiller gets personal with Congress on Syrian humanitarian crisis
Actor and director has traveled to Guatemala, Lebanon, Germany, and Jordan to meet with refugees

Ben Stiller, left, goodwill ambassador for United Nations Human Rights Council, and Chairman James Risch, R-Idaho, walk toward a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the humanitarian crisis in Syria on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There hasn’t been enough Hollywood on Capitol Hill this week so we’re gonna throw one more celebrity at you: the Focker himself, Ben Stiller.

The award-winning actor and director, best known for his role in, well, where do we even start — “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers,” “Dodgeball,” “Zoolander,” “There’s Something about Mary,” “Along Came Polly,” among many, many more — took his klout to the Capitol today to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Can across-the-aisle friendships survive the Trump era?
Aides see partisan tensions encroaching on typically neutral ground

The Capitol Lounge has long been a popular hangout for congressional staffers. Can aides from the different parties keep breaking bread together in the Trump era? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For decades, at the end of a long day, it wasn’t unusual for Republican and Democratic congressional staffers to leave their differences at the negotiating table and head to the bar to hang out.

But as the pre-2016 crowd moves into more senior positions — or says “See ya” to the Hill for gigs on K Street — many veteran staffers fret that the 20-somethings taking their places are not making as many strong friendships across the aisle.

Marijuana bill could help Cory Gardner’s re-election chances. Will Senate GOP leaders get behind it?
Bipartisan measure would end federal interference in states that have legalized cannabis

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, center, says the STATES Act would pass if it got to the House and Senate floors, though the latter may be harder to accomplish. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday to clear away some of the weedier legal issues between federal marijuana law and states that have legalized cannabis.

The bill, co-sponsored in the Senate by Colorado Republican Cory Gardner and Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and in the House by Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer and Ohio Repbublican David Joyce, would amend the federal drug law so its marijuana provisions no longer apply to individuals acting in compliance with state or tribal laws.