Iran

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

Russia and Iran Sanctions Effort Hits Constitutional Snag
House will not take up Senate bill as written

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says there is a procedural issue with the Senate’s sanctions bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY NIELS LESNIEWSKI and LINDSEY McPHERSON, CQ ROLL CALL

What may be a small procedural obstacle has some senior Democrats crying foul over the House’s plans for new sanctions against Iran and Russia.

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.

Muslims in Georgia 6th Worry About Baiting by GOP
Ads criticizing Ossoff on terrorism recall infamous Max Cleland ad

An ad from the NRCC shows Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff juxtaposed with an image of an Islamic State militant behind him (Screenshot)

Ads criticizing Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff over terrorism have some Muslims in Georgia’s 6th District concerned they are being used as a rallying point for Republicans.

The National Republican Congressional Committee recently released an ad that says the Islamic State terrorist group is “infiltrating America and using Syrians to do it” and criticizes Democrats for allowing refugees into the United States.

Travelers From Six Muslim Countries Drop Without Travel Ban
U.S. also sees marked decline in admission of Syrian refugees

Demonstrators rally in Los Angeles on Feb. 4 in support of a judge’s restraining order against President Donald Trump’s first temporary travel ban. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

Even though President Donald Trump’s travel ban has run afoul of the courts, the number of visas issued to people from six majority-Muslim countries targeted by the executive order appears to be slowing down dramatically.

Separately, refugee resettlement in the U.S. from February through May has also plummeted, according to CQ Roll Call’s review of data released by the State Department.

As Comey Testifies, Trump’s Presidency Hangs in Balance
White House looks to Senate Intel Republicans for cover

Former FBI Director James B. Comey returns to Capitol Hill on Thursday for perhaps the most-anticipated congressional hearing since the Iran-Contra and Watergate scandals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Cal file photo)

It has been decades since Washington has seen anything like the maelstrom that will consume the capital city — and, perhaps, Donald Trump’s presidency — on Thursday when James B. Comey appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The testimony of the former FBI director, whom Trump fired after allegedly asking him to drop a federal investigation of his first national security adviser, will be watched around the world. Not since the 1987 Iran-Contra and 1973 Watergate hearings will so much attention be on Republican and Democratic members as they question — and criticize — a witness.

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.

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.

Trump Takes Travel Ban Fight to Supreme Court
The DOJ asked the justices to consider its application faster than usual

Members of the US Supreme Court are photographed on Thursday. (Rex Features via AP Images)

The Trump administration turned to the Supreme Court late Thursday in its effort to implement its revised travel ban, asking the justices to quickly reverse an appeals court ruling that is “wrong” to conclude the national security policy move was likely unconstitutional in how it treats Muslims.

The Justice Department requested that the justices consider the Trump administration's application faster than is typical — before the Supreme Court takes a three-month summer recess starting at the end of June. Five of the nine justices would have to vote to grant the request and lift the stay immediately, which would be without oral arguments and out of the view of the public.

Senators Make Another Bid to Authorize War Against ISIS
Flake and Kaine have tried before

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is introducing another proposal for authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“When I voted in 2001 to authorize military force against the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks, I had no idea I would be authorizing armed conflict for more than fifteen years, and counting.”

That’s what Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday. The Arizona Republican was announcing yet another effort with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, to get Congress to go on record to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State and other terror groups.