rhode island

Trump Defense Boost Would Mean Big Gains for Some States
Democrats likely to hold line for parity with nondefense programs

Brian Schatz, whose state of Hawaii is the No. 3 recipient of per-capita defense spending, says there must be parity in domestic spending to go with any boost to national security programs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A request from the Trump administration for a double-digit increase in defense spending could be largely decided by lawmakers whose states are far from equal players when it comes to the benefits of a bigger military budget.

That’s long been the case, as geographic, historic and strategic differences across the country result in more of an economic boost in certain states. But the differences are even more starkly displayed in a new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis that shows the funding split across all 50 states and the District of Columbia on a per-capita basis.

Yesterday’s US Attorneys May Be Tomorrow’s Congressional Candidates
Abrupt ouster by Trump administration provides incentive

Dana Boente could be a plausible challenger to Republican Scott Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd District. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s abrupt ouster of almost half the country’s U.S. attorneys has done more than create yet another tempest for his nascent administration. It’s also created a new and potentially potent Democratic political class.

Campaign consultants in both parties have long identified prosecutors — especially those confirmed by the Senate to act as the chief federal law enforcement officers in the nation’s 93 judicial districts — as top-flight congressional recruiting opportunities. But, for reasons that aren’t all that obvious, the Republicans have propelled many more crime busters onto Capitol Hill than the Democrats in recent years.

Fears Surface of Russian Hack of Congress IT System
Subcommittee told legislative branch is highly vulnerable

Sasse asked about the likelihood of a Russian incursion. Witnesses said it was likely. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators’ examination of Russian efforts to undermine democracies took a turn that hit close to home on Wednesday, when witnesses openly speculated to the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism that Congress itself was likely the victim of nefarious hacking.

When Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., asked experts testifying about the likelihood of such an incursion, former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves offered it was “almost certain” congressional IT systems have been infiltrated by Russia’s security services, particularly if two-factor security is not deployed.

Liberals Put Political Money in Spotlight of Gorsuch Fight
Senate Democrats urged to probe nominee’s views on campaign finance law

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, seen here meeting with Judge Neil Gorsuch last month, is facing pressure from liberals and conservatives ahead of the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation hearings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers and liberal interest groups are intensifying their pressure on senators to probe Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s views on campaign finance law during his confirmation hearings next week.

“He does not come into this with the benefit of the doubt in his favor,” said Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Judiciary Committee member. The panel is scheduled to begin the Colorado judge’s hearings at 11 a.m. Monday.

Trump Will Need Democratic Cooperation to Replace US Attorneys
Judiciary Committee process, plus scarce floor time, could leave career lawyers in charge

Preet Bharara is one of 46 former U.S. attorneys whose posts the Trump administration now has to fill. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Under normal circumstances, senators might act quickly to advance and confirm a president’s nominees to be U.S. attorneys across the country.

But with President Donald Trump in office, nothing is proving to be ordinary.

Liberal Groups Warn Democratic Senators Over Gorsuch
Votes on SCOTUS nominee could ‘haunt them for the rest of their careers’

Liberals are pushing for Democrats such as Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin to oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Liberal groups are pushing for Democratic senators to block Judge Neil Gorsuch from the Supreme Court and say the lawmakers could pay a price if they don’t vote against him.

The groups announced the launch of a campaign called “The People’s Defense” led NARAL Pro-Choice America, MoveOn.org, CREDO, Indivisible, and the American Federation of Teachers.

Word on the Hill: Carlson to Push Forced Arbitration Clauses
New military families program

Gretchen Carlson, seen here in 2013 when she was still on “Fox & Friends” with co-hosts Steve Doocy, left, and Brian Kilmeade. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images file photo)

Journalist Gretchen Carlson is on Capitol Hill today to push for legislation to stop the use of unfair forced arbitration clauses.

The former Fox News anchor is teaming up with Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., as well as three Democratic congressmen.

Democrats Ask Secret Service About Background Checks at Mar-a-Lago
Also want president to release White House visitor logs

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and seven other Senate Democrats say President Donald Trump’s conduct of official business at his private properties “appears to be unprecedented in recent times.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Several Senate Democrats want to know if the Secret Service is running background checks on visitors to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

The eight Democrats led by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are asking Secret Service Deputy Director William J. Callahan about the procedures in place at Trump properties when the president is there and apparently conducting business.

Trump: Massive Funding Hike Would Help Military Get ‘Best Deals’
Foes ‘in big, big trouble’ if I have to use military force, president says

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the U.S. Navy and shipyard workers on Thursday, onboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, an aircraft carrier that is being built in Newport News, Virginia. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday, surrounded by U.S. Navy personnel aboard a massive aircraft carrier, again promised the largest military buildup in some time — but he faces an uphill fight to garner ample congressional support. 

Trump used the USS Gerald R. Ford, a not-yet-active Navy warship docked at a shipyard in southeastern Virginia, as the stage for his first major national security speech since becoming the commander in chief. He described the U.S. military as a depleted force, and again said his coming fiscal 2018 budget plan will propose more Pentagon spending to begin buying new combat platforms.

Graham, Whitehouse Meet With Comey on Russia Query
S.C. Republican says he’s ‘tired’ of innuendo: ‘Somebody is leaking this crap’

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham will meet with FBI Director James B. Comey to ask about inappropriate contact between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia officials. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:40 p.m. | Sens. Lindsey Graham and Sheldon Whitehouse met Thursday with FBI Director James B. Comey as part of launching their own investigation into Russian election interference.

"Senators Graham and Whitehouse look forward to using their Subcommittee to inform the public of the toolbox of tactics used by Russia to undermine democracy, and working with the FBI to ensure that the FBI’s work is free of all political influence," said a statement issued by the two lawmakers.