Richard C Shelby

Word on the Hill: Ashton Kutcher Meets Bob Corker
Save the date for black history in D.C.

Chairman Bob Corker and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hear testimony from a celebrity today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will welcome actor Ashton Kutcher to Capitol Hill today to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about U.S. efforts to end modern slavery.

The “That ’70s Show” star is a co-founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, an organization that works to combat human trafficking. The hearing precedes the END IT Movement’s fifth annual “Shine a Light on Slavery” day on Feb. 23.

Trump Hill Backers Provide Cover After Flynn Departure
Republicans say there's no reason to question president's judgement

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is interviewed by a television crew in the Cannon rotunda. He defended President Trump on Tuesday after his national security adviser resigned. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Some of President Donald Trump’s earliest and most vocal congressional supporters offered him political cover Tuesday, chalking up the first-month dismissal of his national security adviser as merely an inevitable early stumble.

GOP Rep. Chris Collins of New York, an early Trump supporter who was his transition team’s congressional liaison, was quick to protect the president’s flank after Michael Flynn resigned on Monday night. But few other Republican members flocked to television cameras on Trump’s behalf.

44 Sitting Members of Congress Have Accepted Donations From Trump
Group includes prominent lawmakers from both parties

Arizona Sen. John McCain, whom President-elect Donald Trump once criticized, has received the most donations of any current lawmaker from Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much has been said about how Vice President-elect Mike Pence, with his 12 years as a congressman, could be incoming President Donald Trump’s bridge to Congress. But Trump has his own ties to the Hill, in the form of nearly two decades worth of political contributions to sitting members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle.

Trump has donated to the campaigns of 44 current members of Congress, according to a Roll Call review of Federal Election Commission electronic records that are available since 1997. Nineteen of those members are in the Senate, and 25 are in the House.

AG Pick Sessions Defends Record at Contentious Hearing
Alabama Republican argues he’s strong on civil rights

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, is sworn in on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:42 p.m. | Sen. Jeff Sessions made his case to be attorney general Tuesday, in a confirmation hearing punctuated by racially charged protesters and warnings from Democrats that minorities fear he wouldn’t protect their rights as the Justice Department leader.

The Alabama Republican decried accusations of racial insensitivity that sunk his 1986 nomination to be a federal judge as “damnably false,” and appealed to his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to study his record of 20 years working beside them in the Senate.

Booker Breaks Precedent by Testifying Against Sessions
Says AG designee’s record is ’concerning in a number of ways’

Booker will testify against his colleague. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Cory Booker will on Wednesday take the apparently unprecedented step of testifying against the confirmation of fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general, a move that could firm up Booker’s progressive bona fides ahead of a possible 2020 presidential bid.

“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague,” Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said in a statement. “But the immense powers of the attorney general, combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience.”

Atomic Arsenal Costs Ballooning by Billions of Dollars

California’s Dianne Feinstein, ranking Senate Democrat on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, talks with a reporter in Senate subway before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol, September 13, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

America’s nuclear arsenal is getting billions of dollars more expensive with each passing year, the Obama administration said in a recent report to Congress obtained by CQ.

The report shows how nuclear weapons costs are beginning to crest as the Pentagon and the Energy Department move into a $1 trillion modernization effort over the next three decades. It is the biggest looming issue in the defense budget.

Sessions Is Trump’s Pick for Attorney General
Alabama Republican was the first incumbent senator to back president-elect

Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, right, was an early backer of Donald Trump (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Updated as of 10:33 a.m.

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions has been tapped as President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Trump’s transition team announced Friday.

GOP Opposition to Trump Could Spark 2018 Primary Challenges
Conservative Trump supporters have already targeted Martha Roby and Jeff Flake

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby won her safe GOP seat by just 9 points in large part because of a write-in campaign inspired by her opposition to Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alabama Rep. Martha Roby was projected to easily win a fourth term in her safe Republican district Tuesday. She did win — and comfortably. Just not by Alabama standards. 

Roby carried less than 50 percent of the vote in the state’s 2nd District, defeating Democratic state Rep. Nathan Mathis by just 9 points. All the other Republican members of the Alabama delegation either won their districts by more than 30 points or ran uncontested. Both Sen. Richard C. Shelby and President-elect Donald Trump carried the state by nearly 30 points. 

Wells Fargo CEO Apologizes for Sales Practices
Senate Banking chairman places some blame on regulators

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, center, prepares to testify at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, about the company's unauthorized accounts opened under customers' names. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said Tuesday he was “deeply sorry” about the bank’s creation of more than 1.5 million bank accounts without customer authorization and added that the bank holding company’s board “has the tools to hold senior leadership accountable, including me and Carrie Tolstedt.”

Tolstedt and her planned departure from the bank with well over $100 million in stock and options has been the focus of ire by Democrats and consumer advocates. She was the head of Wells Fargo’s community banking division where the alleged wrongdoing occurred.

GOP Mostly Powerless in Stopping Obama 'Midnight' Regulations
Cornyn says president is in a "frenzy mode" as the clock ticks toward Jan. 20

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said President Barack Obama is in a "frenzy mode on his way out the door" when it comes to new regulations and federalizing swaths of land. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican lawmakers are bracing for a slew of last-minute rules and regulations, as well as more executive actions to place swaths of land under federal protection, during President Barack Obama's final months in office.

“Midnight regulations” are a feature of any lame-duck administration and represent a president's last opportunity to lock in rules on legacy issues. In many instances, GOP members acknowledge they are powerless to stop him.