Robert Menendez

House-Passed Immigration Bills Have Murky Future in Senate
60-vote threshold puts passage in doubt

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, left, and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly arrive to address immigration legislation at a news conference in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A pair of enforcement bills targeting “sanctuary” cities and undocumented immigrants with prior deportations easily passed the House on Thursday, but they face an uphill climb in the Senate.

The bills are the first major pieces of immigration legislation taken up by the Republican-led Congress since President Donald Trump took office. Unlike former President Barack Obama, who had threatened to veto such measures, Trump has said he would sign both bills.

What Portman and Capito Want in Obamacare Repeal Debate
Concerns about Medicaid appear to go beyond funding for the opioid crisis

Sen. Rob Portman has been seeking additional funding to fight opioid abuse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Did two Republicans from states with populations hit particularly hard by the opioid abuse epidemic raise their asking price for supporting the GOP health care reconciliation draft?

Regardless of the answer to the question, Senate GOP leaders now have to address concerns about Medicaid expansion being rolled back far beyond the estimated cost of drug treatment.

Trump Finds Strange Bedfellows on Cuba Policy
US-Cuba analyst: Given executive powers, president needs little Hill buy-in

Tourists walk near a poster of Cuban President Raul Castro and then-President Barack Obama in Havana last year. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced changes to Cuba policies instituted by Obama. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

By wading into the always-tricky domestic politics of U.S.-Cuba relations, President Donald Trump finds himself working “hand in glove” with some former foes and new allies.

The businessman turned chief executive promised during the campaign to roll back some of President Barack Obama’s policies aimed at warming relations with America’s Caribbean neighbor. In doing so before his 200th day in office, Trump defied the wishes of some lawmakers and corporate titans.

Hurricane Prep Tour Arrives Before FEMA Administrator Does
Trump wants a former Alabama emergency manager in the post

Bob Fenton is the acting FEMA administrator. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

ARLINGTON, Va. — When the hurricane hunters and other federal officials came together Tuesday to promote emergency preparedness, there was no Senate-confirmed director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be found.

The acting administrator is Bob Fenton, a longtime FEMA official who has been running the show since January and is the regional administrator for Region IX, based in the West.

Eye Doctor Tied to Robert Menendez Convicted of Fraud
The two men face separate corruption charges in New Jersey

Sen. Robert Menendez is facing a federal trial on corruption charges. With his prominent donor Salomon Melgen convicted in a separate case on Friday, Melgen might face pressure to testify against Menendez. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Robert Menendez is facing a federal trial on corruption charges. With his prominent donor Salomon Melgen convicted in a separate case on Friday, Melgen might face pressure to testify against Menendez.

Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, a prominent donor to Sen. Robert Menendez, was found guilty Friday by a South Florida jury on 67 counts of fraud. 

Gardner Sees ‘Refreshing’ New Focus on North Korea
Senators will be briefed on North Korea threat at the White House Wednesday

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has been a leading voice in the Republican caucus on North Korea since he entered the Senate in 2015 after serving two terms in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators will be bused to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on North Korea, and one Republican senator says attention on the threat is long overdue.

Sen. Cory Gardner has been among the lawmakers calling on the Trump administration to prioritize addressing the threat of North Korea launching nuclear weapons, and the Colorado Republican said it is “refreshing” to see some action.

The Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate History
Lack of Senate retirements could be unprecedented

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appears more likely to run for a fifth full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all of the moaning and groaning about Washington being dysfunctional, members of Congress aren’t exactly tripping over each other to get out of town.

So far, all of the Republican and Democratic senators up for re-election this cycle seem intent on seeking another term. And if that trend continues, it would be historic. 

Senate Democrats Vow to Block Border Wall Funds
Schumer ‘prepared to fight this all the way’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants to block President Donald Trump’s budget proposals on immigration and the border wall project. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Tuesday said Democrats will block President Donald Trump’s budget proposals on expanding federal immigration forces and starting the border wall project.

“Senate Democrats are prepared to fight this all the way,” the New York Democrat said at an event organized by the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights advocacy group. “Instead of spending taxpayer dollars on a pointless wall, we should be investing in creating jobs and fixing our infrastructure.”

‘Gang of Eight’ Revival Unlikely on Immigration Overhaul

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., talks with reporters before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol, January 31, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY DEAN DeCHIARO AND BRIDGET BOWMAN, CQ ROLL CALL

President Donald Trump may want senators to re-form a “Gang of Eight”-style group focused on passing comprehensive immigration legislation. But a hyper-partisan atmosphere in Congress combined with the bitter legacy of the last failed overhaul means Trump’s wish will likely go unfulfilled.

Senators Warn Tillerson About Backing New Russia Sanctions
Secretary of State nominee will face questions about Russian hacking Wednesday

Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin, John McCain and Lindsey Graham attended a news conference in the Capitol to introduce a bipartisan bill increasing sanctions on Russia.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson might face hurdles to getting confirmed if he does not back a bipartisan plan to impose new sanctions on the Russian Federation.

Foreign Relations Ranking Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland led a bipartisan group of 10 senators in introducing expanded Russian sanctions legislation Tuesday in response to what the intelligence community has concluded was Kremlin hacking of the Democratic National Committee and military actions including the incursion into Ukraine.