Robert Menendez

‘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.

House Republicans Entrust Majority to Rogers at NRCC
New York native begins fourth cycle at committee, but first as executive director

John Rogers was part of the National Republican Congressional Committee team that limited the party’s losses in the House to a net of just six seats in last year’s election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Midterm elections are supposed to be trouble for the president’s party, but House Republicans are confident that if they have a problem, John Rogers can solve it.

Rogers was born in Amsterdam, New York, a small-town about a half-hour west of Albany, but Republican friends know him best for once identifying an unlikely takeover opportunity three hours south in New York City.

Senate Democrats Use the Floor and Facebook to Protest Obamacare Repeal
Democrats launched a coordinated push to speak out against GOP effort

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer used his leadership office to send the party message on Facebook. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats launched the first of what will likely be numerous efforts to derail Republican plans to repeal the 2010 health care law, taking to the Senate floor and social media Monday night in a talk-a-thon to portray the move as reckless and chaotic for the health care system.

“I think the point is to send a clear message to the country, to the American people that, No. 1, we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Senate Republicans from destroying the Affordable Care Act,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said. “We’re focused on making sure that we get on the Senate floor and talk about the damaging consequences and the chaos that’s going to be created throughout the health care system.”

New Jersey Democrats Aren’t Worried About Menendez in 2018
Despite facing corruption charges, senator has party’s support

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey maintains the support of Democratic leaders in the state as Washington looks ahead to the 2018 elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Democratic leaders support Sen. Robert Menendez for re-election in 2018 despite the federal corruption charges he faces, The Record of Bergen County reported.

Menendez was originally indicted in April 2015 on 14 counts related to conspiracy, bribery, fraud, and making false statements. Prosecutors alleged that he sold his office to a top contributor in exchange for luxury travel and political contributions, and also tried to pressure federal officials to boost the business interests of eye doctor and co-defendant Salomon Melgen.

‘A Tyrant is Dead’ — Congress Reacts to the Death of Fidel Castro
Longtime Cuban dictator died Friday night at age 90

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro died Friday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even in the middle of the night, the reaction to the death of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was swift from South Florida lawmakers and those with Cuban-American ties.

“The day that the people, both inside the island and out, have waited for has arrived: A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western Hemisphere,” Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Havana, said in a statement.

When Orientation Is a ‘Miserable Experience’
Down, but not officially out, Mike Feeley came to orientation and dreaded every moment

Colorado Democrat Mike Feeley during a break in the new-member orientation in 2002. Feeley eventually lost his race by 121 votes and never made it to Congress. (Scott J. Farrell/ CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It might sound like fun for Republican Scott Jones and Democrat Doug Applegate to come to Washington and attend new member orientation even though they are trailing in their respective California congressional races.

But one Colorado Democrat still remembers being in that same situation over a dozen years ago, and it wasn’t good.

New Jersey Senator's Bribery Appeal Denied

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, arrives in the Capitol for a vote on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A federal appeals court has denied a request by Sen. Robert Menendez to throw out bribery charges against him, ruling that his purported legislative acts are not protected by the Speech and Debate clause.

The New Jersey Democrat has been charged with accepting gifts from Florida-based eye doctor Salomon Melgen that included chartered flights to Paris and the Dominican Republic, which he allegedly did not disclose on Senate financial reports.

Corrine Brown Steps Down as Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member
Move follows her indictment in charity fraud scheme

Florida Rep. Corrine Brown touted her work on the Veterans' Affairs committee in a statement following her indictment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Following the news of her indictment on fraud charges, Florida Democrat Corrine Brown announced she is temporarily stepping down as the ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  

“I am innocent of the charges announced today, and intend to vigorously defend myself in court against these politically motivated allegations,” the congresswoman said in a statement Friday.  

Rep. Corrine Brown Indicted In Charity Fraud Scheme
Along with chief of staff, Florida Democrat charged with 24 counts

Florida Rep. Corrine Brown faces 24 counts in a federal indictment announced Friday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Corrine Brown and her chief of staff were indicted for their involvement in "a conspiracy and fraud scheme" that involved an education charity, the Justice Department announced Friday.  

The Florida Democrat and Elias "Ronnie" Simmons were charged with 24 counts, among them mail and wire fraud, theft of government property, and filing false tax returns.