Jeff Flake

Trump Sets Notably Low Bar for Putin Summit
President also calls European Union a ‘foe’ on trade matters

President Donald Trump waves while playing a round of golf on Sunday at Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort in Turnberry, Scotland, during his first official visit to the United Kingdom. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Updated 10:43 a.m. | President Donald Trump has a message for his critics about his upcoming meeting with Vladimir Putin: Don’t worry, it’ll be fine — just trust me. And, in a stunning remark, he called the European Union a “foe” of the United States on trade matters.

Trump continues to set low expectations for Monday’s summit with Putin amid concerns he could give into the Russian leader’s demands while getting little — if anything — in return. 

Republicans Back From Russia Have Advice for Trump Before Putin Summit
President needs to be prepared and perhaps not alone

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., led a congressional delegation to Russia recently, and he and his colleagues have some serious concerns about how the Russians will approach the upcoming summit with Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators who recently returned from Moscow have some advice for President Donald Trump ahead of his meeting Monday in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin: Be prepared, be careful and try not to be alone.

“He better know the right Russian psyche,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby. “All he’s got to do is start with Stalin and come on up and see what’s changed.”

Trump’s Trade Policies Get a Senate Slapdown
Lawmakers support congressional authority over tariff decisions

President Donald Trump trade policies aren’t feeling the love from Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators delivered a bipartisan, if nonbinding, rebuke to President Donald Trump’s trade policies on the floor Wednesday, voting 88-11 to express support for congressional authority over presidential decisions to impose tariffs for national security reasons.

The motion, offered by GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, would instruct conferees on an unrelated $147 billion spending bill covering the Departments of Energy, Veterans Affairs, Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to “include language providing a role for Congress in making a determination” under a law enabling presidents to impose trade restrictions on security grounds.

Senate Delivers Mild Rebuke to Trump on Trade
Sen. Corker secured the vote as a non-binding motion

Sen. Bob Corker offered the motion regarding trade policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Corker has finally got his colleagues on the record in support of Congress playing a role in national security-related trade decisions like those made recently under President Donald Trump.

The Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee secured the vote on a motion to instruct conferees on the pending package of three spending bills, which does not have a binding effect on the members of the Appropriations Committee who will be serving on the conference committee to resolve differences with the House.

Brett Kavanaugh Must Make His Case, Senate Democrats Say
Minority cites standards GOP used for previous nominees like Elena Kagan

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, center, walks up the Capitol's Senate steps with Vice President Mike Pence for a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on July 10, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made his first appearances Tuesday on Capitol Hill, several Senate Democrats said the judge had to make his case for their support.

For instance, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont is a senior member of the Judiciary Committee that will oversee Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. He pressed Republicans to use their own standard for Elena Kagan, now a Supreme Court Justice nominated by former President Barack Obama.

Former Sen. Jon Kyl to Guide Supreme Court Nominee Through Confirmation
Arizona Republican was senior member of leadership in the Senate

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will shepherd the forthcoming Supreme Court nominee through the confirmation process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Arizona GOP Sen. Jon Kyl, a former senior member of Senate leadership, will help guide President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court pick through the chamber’s confirmation process.

“Former Sen. Jon Kyl has agreed to serve as the sherpa for the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court,” Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, said Monday.

Mitt Romney: Future Force in the Senate or Just Another Freshman?
GOP senators expect Romney to enter the Senate with influence

Romney won the GOP primary on Tuesday for the Utah Senate race, and is favored to win the general election in November. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It is not every day that voters have the chance to elect a freshman senator with an outsize national profile like that of Mitt Romney.

In fact, you might have to go back to the year 2000, when first lady Hillary Clinton was first running for Senate in New York.

Democrats Search for a Winning Campaign Strategy on Immigration
Republicans have a well-rehearsed message. Will Democrats get rolled?

From left, Reps. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Luis V. Gutierrez, R-Ill., John Lewis, D-Ga., Al Green, D-Texas, Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., sit outside Customs and Border Protection on June 13 to protest of the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children at the border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In Donald Trump’s America, the immigration debate has grown ugly.

Images of undocumented children, separated from their parents at the border and held in cages inside a former Walmart, dominate the news cycle, leading Trump’s critics to invoke the horrors of Nazi Germany. And Trump’s rhetoric has only intensified, as he warns of subhuman immigrants transforming American neighborhoods from Long Island to California into “blood-stained killing fields.”

Romney, Thorn in Trump’s Side, Wins GOP Senate Nod in Utah
Some Republicans already envision him creating a new ‘power center’ in chamber

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, shown here in 2012, is poised for a political comeback after winning the GOP primary for Senate in Utah. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is poised for a political comeback, winning Tuesday’s GOP Senate primary in Utah.

With 56 percent of precincts reporting, Romney led state Rep. Mike Kennedy, 76 percent to 24 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. Kennedy had narrowly defeated Romney at the GOP convention in April.

Jeff Flake’s Move to Counter Trump a Lonely Affair
Even critics of Trump trade agenda not on board with holding up judge

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has stalled consideration of a judicial nominee over his concerns about the administration's trade agenda. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As if to answer critics questioning whether he would ever take concrete steps to stand up to President Donald Trump, retiring Sen. Jeff Flake is attempting to force action to counter the administration’s actions on tariffs. But the Arizona Republican may be standing alone.

“I do think that unless we can actually do something other than just approving the president’s executive calendar, his nominees, judges, that we have no reason to be there,” Flake said Sunday. “So I think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say let’s not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs.”