John McCain

House Gets to Work on Defense Authorization Bill
GOP to push for more dollars for the Pentagon

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, will begin shepherding the defense authorization bill through that chamber this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Armed Services subcommittees will all meet this week to approve their slices of the annual Pentagon policy bill, the first formal step in the months-long negotiations to move the massive measure through Congress and to the president’s desk. The Senate Armed Services panels will follow suit soon. 

Subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee plan to mark up their portions of the fiscal 2018 defense authorization measure June 21 and 22. Then, on June 28, the full committee will hold its daylong markup. Senate Armed Services plans to hold its mostly closed markups of the bill the last week of June.

Graham ‘All In’ on Trump’s New Afghanistan Strategy
Graham and McCain among lawmakers briefed on way forward on Wednesday

Sens. John McCain, left, and Lindsey Graham have been briefed on the new plan for Afghanistan.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham is elated about President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy.  

Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster briefed Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain and Graham Wednesday on the new plan for the fight in Afghanistan.

Report: Trump to Appoint Cindy McCain to Ambassador Position
Comes despite Sen. John McCain’s frequent criticism of the president

Cindy McCain, wife of  Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is reported to be joining the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is reported to be ready to appoint Republican Sen. John McCain’s wife Cindy McCain to an “ambassador at large” post.

The position will focus on working against human trafficking, refugees and humanitarian aid, the Daily Beast reported.

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.

Say What? Senators' Questions for Comey, a Roll Call Analysis
Trump's attempted influence on FBI investigations topped the list

BY SEAN MCMINN AND RYAN KELLY

Republicans did not shy away from surfacing the issue of the president’s potential obstruction of justice during former FBI Director James B. Comey's appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

A Tale of Becket, McCain and Preet
Comey testimony provides a few moments of drama, bewilderment

Former FBI Director James B. Comey was the center of attention at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, but several other actors and cultural references made their way into the picture as well. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The venue for Thursday’s much-anticipated testimony of James B. Comey left minimal space for disruptions or outbursts, with invited guests and members of the media occupying much of the hearing room.

But the theater of the former FBI director’s appearance did not disappoint. Comey was testifying publicly for the first time about the circumstances of his firing by President Donald Trump.

Opinion: What Exactly Do Republicans Believe in Besides Trump?
Power may be valued more than patriotism

President Donald Trump changes positions and contradicts himself while Republicans scramble to defend him, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

When my parents were good Republicans — my mother a party activist, in fact — the label meant something entirely different than it does today.

It was the party of Lincoln, imagine that, and the GOP tolerated differences with a tent that was indeed big. You could be pro-civil rights and fiscally conservative, a working-class African-American family in Maryland, then, as now, a mostly blue state, and there was someone such as Republican Sen. Charles Mathias. With his streak of independence and loyalty to principle, he could represent you, your party and even those who didn’t vote for him.

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’s ‘Total Authorization’ to Military Gives Some ‘Deep Concerns’
But GOP lawmakers say president remains involved in strategic decisions

President Donald Trump’s deference to military commanders to make “tactical decisions” has been partly attributed to his trust in Defense Secretary James Mattis. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump says he has given U.S. military commanders “total authorization” to make complex combat decisions, a move that alarms some senior Democratic members and national security experts.

The commander in chief revealed a major policy shift from the Obama administration, which was heavily involved in strategic and tactical decisions, on a late Thursday afternoon in mid-April. The news dominated the cable airwaves for a few hours, then was quickly overshadowed by self-inflicted wounds and eventually, an ever-escalating series of bombshells related to possible ties between Moscow and Trump’s campaign and transition teams.

Bill Dauster Caps Decades of Senate Service
Longtime Democratic aide retired last week

Bill Dauster, seen here to the right of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, retired from Senate service last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There aren’t many Senate aides who get multiple floor speeches recognizing their retirement, but then again, there are not many with as much influence on policymaking as Bill Dauster.

With the arrival of Memorial Day recess, Dauster retired after spending the bulk of the past three decades as a top Democratic staffer to senators, committees and leadership.