Iran

Jimmy Panetta Takes a Hard Line on Military Spending
Son of Defense secretary represents Monterey County

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, left, was sworn in to Congress alongside his father, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, also a former member of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the House approved the $577.9 billion fiscal 2017 defense spending bill on March 8, only 48 members — including four freshmen — voted against it. It’s politically difficult to vote against a measure that pays for the weapons U.S. forces need and supplies the funds for a 2.1 percent pay increase for Americans in uniform.

One of the freshmen was Jimmy Panetta, the youngest of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s three children. He explained that he opposed the bill because it did not spend enough. “It could have done more to help my area on the central coast of California,” Panetta says.

Federal Judges Block Trump’s Modified Travel Ban
President says ruling ‘makes us look weak’

Demonstrators hold signs at Dulles International Airport on Jan. 29 to protest President Donald Trump’s first executive order on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland issued nationwide temporary restraining orders halting President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, with one coming just hours before the executive action was set to go into effect.

A decision Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii was the second such ruling against Trump’s efforts to block temporarily certain immigrants, refugees and travelers from Muslim-majority nations from entering the country. A judge in Washington state blocked the original travel ban, which was broader in scope, shortly after it was signed Jan. 27.

Trump’s Travel Order Opens Door to Targeting More Countries
Order also mandates data collection on honor killings in the U.S.

A passenger from a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah arrives at Dulles International Airport on Jan. 29 to demonstrators protesting President Donald Trump’s first executive order on immigration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool file photo)

President Donald Trump’s modified executive order on travel and refugees creates requirements for a stream of reports that could lead to more countries being targeted for visa restrictions and a new effort to tally the prevalence of honor killings in the United States.

Trump’s order takes effect Thursday and will stop the issuance of new U.S. visas to nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for three months. It also halts the arrival of refugees for four months while the State, Homeland Security and Justice departments review and tighten entry procedures for foreigners.

Think Modern-Day Politics Are a Revival of the Nixon Era? Check It Out
Newly released 1970s Congressional Records document familiar themes

Digitized copies of Congressional Record from the 1970s are now available online for free. (Courtesy U.S. Government Publishing Office)

The president feuds with the media. Congress investigates secret intelligence operations. And tensions simmer between the United States and Iran. 

Welcome to the 1970s.

More States Join Legal Challenge to Trump Travel Ban
Washington joined by Massachusetts, Minnesota New York and Oregon

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday announced the state will fight President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration.  (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

More states are joining the legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s new travel restrictions on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.

Washington, which was the first state to sue over Trump’s original executive order, said it would renew its challenge and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said New York asked to join its effort, The Associated Press reported.

Democrats Have Few Options on Trump Travel Ban
Minority status means they can’t file a lawsuit or force legislation

From left, Reps. Don Beyer,  John Delaney, Gerry Connolly and Jamie Raskin (not pictured here) speak to the press and protesters about possible detention of travelers and legal access at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Protests erupted at airports around the country following Trump’s executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional Democrats were quick to condemn President Donald Trump’s new executive order temporarily barring travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries, but there isn’t much they can do about it.

As the minority party in the House and Senate, they cannot force Congress to take up legislation overturning the ban. And legal and procedural hurdles prevent Democratic lawmakers from taking the order to court themselves. 

Trump Travel Ban Part II Could Put GOP in Tough Spot
Defying polls, president signs second executive order

Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., speaks with an ACLU legal observer during the protest at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Jan. 29. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Trump’s since-frozen executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries; on Monday, he signed a revised version. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump’s second generation travel ban on individuals from several Muslim-majority countries could put his fellow Republicans in a tough spot.

The new order, signed Monday, comes after federal courts blocked an earlier version and despite polls showing most Americans oppose it.

Trump Signs Revised Travel Ban
Iraq removed from Muslim-majority countries affected

President Donald Trump stops and waves to supporters from his vehicle near his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday. Trump spent part of the weekend at his Florida home. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signed a new executive order Monday that restricts U.S. entry of nationals from six Muslim-majority countries for three months and suspends refugees for four months while the Homeland Security, State and Justice departments tighten vetting procedures. 

The new order will go into effect at midnight on March 16 and will apply to nationals of Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen who don’t already have a valid U.S. visa to enter the country.

Trump Travel Ban Crashes Texas Wedding Plans
Texas native with Iranian roots presses lawmakers on executive order

Shervin Taheran is concerned that some of her relatives from Iran would be unable to attend her April wedding in Texas if President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration is reinstated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said his approach to preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil won’t always be tidy. That’s especially true when it affects things like the already delicate task of compiling a wedding guest list. Just ask Shervin Taheran. 

If reinstated by the judicial branch, Trump’s travel ban may prevent many family members and friends from entering the United States to celebrate personal milestones with their loved ones.

Make the U.S.-Israel Alliance Great Again
Meeting between Trump and Netanyahu should reaffirm shared values and interests

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber in 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On Wednesday, Israel’s prime minister will come to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump. The last time Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington, he only spent time at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue — delivering a controversial address to Congress urging it to reject then-President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, a tactic that riled Obama and his aides.

The final year of the Obama presidency included an agreement under which the United States will provide Israel with $38 billion in aid over the next decade. But that was the exception to the rule of Obama placing what he infamously termed “daylight” between his administration and Netanyahu’s Likud government.