Patrick J Leahy

Analysis: Senators Writing Placeholder Defense Money Bill
Figure will be lower than House, in prelude to likely deal

Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran predicts Congress and the administration will eventually make a deal on raising the budget caps on defense accounts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators’ forthcoming Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2018, which will contain tens of billions of dollars less than the House’s measure, should be taken seriously, but not literally.

The Senate spending panel’s defense funding proposal is likely to grow, assuming — as is likely — that an agreement to slightly raise the budget caps is reached, as it has been for every year since the caps called for by the sequester were enacted in 2011.

FBI Nominee Faces Judiciary Committee Grilling

Wray Pledges Impartiality as FBI Director
‘I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts‘

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray is sworn in for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:09 p.m. | Amid a deepening federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s contact with Russian operatives, Christopher Wray assured senators Wednesday he would remain independent as FBI director and adhere to the rule of law “no matter the test.”

“If I am given the honor of leading this agency, I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearing. “Period. Full stop.”

Senators to Grill FBI Pick Wray on Independence, Terrorism
‘I say this without hesitation — Chris simply does not make mistakes’

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray’s confirmation hearing on Wednesday comes at a tumultuous time for the bureau and the presidency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Christopher Wray won’t be able to escape questions about President Donald Trump at his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to be the next FBI director, but he’ll draw on his reputation and experience to make his case.

Wray’s nomination comes at a tumultuous time for the bureau and the presidency. Trump abruptly fired FBI director James B. Comey in May amid the bureau’s probe into connections between the president’s campaign and Russian operatives during the 2016 election.

Bipartisan Ayes for Judge David Nye
Senate set to confirm former Obama nominee

Judge David Nye looks set to be confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, having already received bipartisan support. (iStock)

The Supreme Court gets all the attention, but President Donald Trump could make lasting changes to the judicial branch in trying to fill the more than 100 U.S. District Court vacancies. The next judicial nomination up for consideration on the Senate floor would fill a spot in Idaho that has been open for some time, and the nominee has some bipartisan support as he has also been previously nominated by a Democratic president.

Before the recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lined up consideration of David Nye to be U.S. district judge for the District of Idaho. This isn’t his first trip through the nomination machine, as he was put forward last year by President Barack Obama for the same position.

What the Last of the ‘Watergate Babies’ Can Teach Democrats About Trump
Being anti-Trump isn't enough

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is one of two remaining “Watergate Babies” in Congress — freshman Democrats elected in 1974 after the resignation of President Richard Nixon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By now, comparisons between Watergate and Richard Nixon and the Russia investigation and Donald Trump have become stale.

Soon after Trump entered the White House, his national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after getting caught up in the investigation into Russian meddling in the last year’s election.

A Long History of Attacks on Members of Congress
A member and aides were shot Wednesday at a baseball practice

The Republican’ congressional baseball team’s practice Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, was the scene of the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Four others were wounded.  The suspected shooter was killed from the injuries he sustained during gunfire exchanged with Capitol Police officers.

This isn’t the first time members of Congress have been targeted. In fact, there have been more than 20 serious incidents since the late 1800s.

Sessions Declines to Testify About Any Conversations With Trump About Russia
Says potential exists for an executive privilege claim that has not happened

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.), right, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., before his testimony on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to answer questions Tuesday about conversations with President Donald Trump, citing the potential that the White House could assert executive privilege — which has not yet happened.

Sessions to Testify in Public Hearing on Tuesday
Attorney general follows explosive Comey testimony before Intelligence panel

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation into possible ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify Tuesday in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee for its ongoing probe into Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election.

The public hearing was announced Monday by Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner.

Comey Set to Testify Next Week After Being Fired By Trump
Ex-FBI director was reportedly pressured by president to drop Flynn inquiry

Former FBI Director James B. Comey is expected to be back on the Hill next week to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All eyes will be on a Senate hearing room next Thursday when James B. Comey makes his much-anticipated return to the witness table.

The former FBI director, who was fired by President Donald Trump in a surprise announcement last month, is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, in both open and classified settings.