Richard J Durbin

Lawmakers Unhappy With Pompeo’s Lowered Cap on Refugees
New cap of 30,000 is a historic low

Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Menendez called the Trump administration’s decision to lower the annual refugee cap “truly repugnant.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers of both parties are criticizing the Trump administration’s decision to lower the annual refugee cap to 30,000 people for fiscal 2019 — a sharp decrease from the 45,000 cap set for fiscal 2018, and also a historic low.

“At a time when we should be defending our values and ideals as Americans and working to alleviate the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, it is truly repugnant to see the Trump administration double down on its efforts to reject our foundational values and humanitarian duty of providing those escaping persecution the opportunity to seek protection and safe haven,” Sen. Robert Menendez, the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement Monday.

Kavanaugh Accuser Would Testify Publicly, Attorney Says
White House issues new statement standing by Supreme Court nominee

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, testifies before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 6. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

A California professor who claims a “stumbling drunk” Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school would testify publicly if asked by Senate Judiciary Committee leaders, her attorney said Monday.

Christine Blasey Ford, 51, says she instantly thought Kavanaugh might “inadvertently kill” her during a party in the early 1980s after he and a friend corralled her in a bedroom and the Supreme Court nominee pinned her to a bed and groped her over a one-piece bathing suit. Kavanaugh denies the allegation.

Chuck Schumer Navigates the Resistance
The Senate’s Democratic leader wants to get along with everyone. Now he finds himself between Scylla and Charybdis

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer waves an American flag after unveiling the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal for Our Democracy’ platform in May. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Back when he was policy director for Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Jim Kessler had a conversation with his boss about working with a high-profile Republican. This is how it went, according to Kessler.

Schumer: I can call Newt, he likes me.

Manafort Memos Reveal Influence Campaign
Former Trump campaign manager to cooperate with Mueller investigation

President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

In 2012, Paul Manafort thought he had done what he needed to defeat a Senate resolution to condemn the prosecution of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and call for her release.

But the international political operator couldn’t outmaneuver veteran lawmaker Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., according to a document filed by federal prosecutors Friday in a criminal indictment of Manafort.

Trump: Jamie Dimon Doesn’t Have the ‘Smarts’ to Be President, PR Hurricane Death Toll Inflated
President contends Democrats inflated Puerto Rico numbers

President Donald Trump walks from the South Lawn to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews on July 27. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:43 a.m. | President Donald Trump warned those in Hurricane Florence’s path of the storm’s power, but then returned to attacking his foes and painting himself as the victim of an internal FBI scheme to damage him politically. And he essentially accused Puerto Rican officials and Democrats of lying about how many people died there after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island.

“That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know why he’d say that,” Florida GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo told reporters when informed of the president’s tweet saying the death toll from Hurricane Maria was a ploy by Democrats.

FDA Threatens to Stop Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes
Agency gives companies 60 days to present strategy to curb youth use

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced it may force e-cigarette manufacturers to stop selling flavored products, citing what Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called an “epidemic” of youth use.

Five companies, including JUUL Labs, Inc., maker of the popular, USB-drive shaped device with nicotine flavors, will have 60 days to give the FDA a strategy on how they will curb youth use — “or face regulatory consequences,” Gottlieb said.

Trump Again Defends Puerto Rico Response as Hurricane Florence Nears
President blames ‘totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan’ for problems after Maria

Hurricane Florence rainfall predictions as the storm heads for the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the National Hurricane Center. (NOAA)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned Hurricane Florence could prove “bigger than anticipated” as it barrels toward the Carolinas and sharply blamed a Puerto Rican mayor for the widely panned federal response to a storm there last year.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long on Tuesday warned Florence has “an opportunity of being a very devastating storm,” adding “the power is going to be off for weeks.” He predicts the storm will be a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall this weekend. And Trump told reporters after being briefed by Long and Homeland Security officials that Florence will be “tremendously big and tremendously wet” with “tremendous amounts of water.”

3 Takeaways From Brett Kavanaugh’s Testimony
Americans ‘rightly’ will have ‘dimmer view of the Senate,’ Graham says

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Wednesday before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent two days jousting with Senate Democrats over his views on executive power and abortion rights. But he appeared mindful that his top job was to keep all 51 Republican senators firmly in his corner.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee rarely flustered the 12-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and by midday Thursday several complimented his knowledge of the law and character. Republican Judiciary members began Thursday in a huddle called by Chairman Charles E. Grassley and spent the second day of questioning refuting Democrats’ criticisms of the nominee and defending him.

Kavanaugh: Presidents Must Comply with Court Orders, Subpoenas
Democrats still have doubts about his loyalty to Trump

Brett Kavanaugh, nominee to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, testifies before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second Supreme Court pick, told senators Thursday a sitting president must comply with a judge’s orders.

Democratic senators have peppered him for hours this week with questions related to what they see as Trump’s desire to ignore any coming subpoenas or court orders. Both could come as the result of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia election meddling probe or criminal cases in federal or state court.

4 Things Democrats Will Grill Kavanaugh About on Day 2