Ron Wyden

Democratic Senators Rethink Bill Criminalizing Support for Israel Boycott
Israel Anti-Boycott Act could impose $1 million in penalties and 20 years in prison

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said he thinks the ACLU has misrepresented the original legislation, but he was willing to “make it clearer.” (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic senators are thinking twice about the proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act after an outcry by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which considers it a “serious threat to free speech.”

While Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the bill’s lead author, said that the ACLU had misinterpreted the piece of legislation, he expressed his intention to “make it clearer.”

Word on the Hill: Week Ahead
Your social schedule for the week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican Conference continue debate over health care this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome back to another full legislative week.

It won’t be as hot as it has been after the temperature drops tonight, so you might actually want to get outside tomorrow.

Donald Trump Jr. Emails Detail Apparent Kremlin Offer of Help
White House: Obtaining negative information is what campaigns do

Donald Trump Jr. published what he said was the full email chain in the lead-up to his meeting with a Russian lawyer about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:46 p.m. | A middleman told Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 presidential election that a senior government official in Moscow wanted to share potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton that the intermediary said was “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his father’s presidential campaign.

Trump Jr. on Tuesday tweeted what he said was the entire email exchange with a former Russian business partner of his father, President Donald Trump, that shows the son enthusiastically accepting the man’s offer to pass the alleged Kremlin-provided dirt on Clinton to the Trump campaign.

White House, Schumer Clash Over Confirmation Votes
Administration raises scepter of special session for nomination votes

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (left), D-N.Y., discusses Senate Republicans’ health care bill with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in the Capitol on June 22. On Monday, he fired back after the White House accused him of unjustly blocking its nominations. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House and Senate Democratic leaders clashed on Monday about what Trump administration officials are calling “unprecedented” blocking tactics of nominees from Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer — a charge the Senate Democratic leader scoffed at. 

Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, accused Senate Democrats of “conducting the slowest confirmation process in American history” and Schumer of running “an unprecedented campaign of obstruction.”

Congress Unnerved by Energy Grid Hack

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has been concerned about the energy grid's vulnerabilities for some time, and has been warning the administration against budget cuts to cybersecurity agencies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For months, Sen. Maria Cantwell has been warning in letters to the Trump administration and colleagues that Congress needs to do more to keep the nation's energy supply safe from cyberattacks. Now it appears she has a widespread attack to bolster her admonitions.

Reports from Bloomberg and The New York Times last week indicated that Russian-backed hacking groups may be responsible for recent targeted cyberattacks to nuclear power plants and grid operation system manufacturers, threatening the electric grid and the economy it supports.

Congress Still Grappling With Cybersecurity Concerns
Experts say networks on Capitol Hill lag in basic protections

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, seen here at a 2015 #Hack4Congress event at Google’s offices in Washington, is one of several lawmakers who have pushed for improved security for congressional computer networks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and their staffs have been aware for years that their internet communications could be prime targets for both foreign and domestic spies.

But after last year’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee by Russian operatives, many are reassessing security protocols that once seemed sufficient — even overbearing — and finding them lacking.

Meet the Dogs of the Senate, Round II
Canine friends in Tillis, Wyden, Perdue, and Markey’s offices

Holland, a Pembroke Welsh corgi in Georgia Sen. David Perdue‘s office, keeps the senator’s couch warm. (Courtesy Perdue’s office)

A few friendly dogs roaming around can help make today’s tough political climate a bit easier to deal with.

In May, we featured some dogs who hang out regularly in Senate offices, either as official “office dogs,” or because they belong to staffers who like to bring them in.

CBO: Impact of Senate Bill’s Medicaid Cuts Would Grow Over Time
Federal spending on Medicaid would decrease by 35 percent in 2036

Senate Republican leadership postponed a vote on its health care legislation until after the July Fourth recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Federal spending on Medicaid would decrease by 35 percent over the next two decades under the Senate Republicans’ health care measure, according to a Thursday report by the Congressional Budget Office. That compares to a smaller 26 percent decrease after one decade under the legislation.

States would need to find different ways to deliver Medicaid services, such as committing more of their own resources to the program, cutting payments to providers and issuers or restricting eligibility for enrollment after the next decade, the report says.

Photos of the Week: House Officially Adds a Member, Georgia Stays Red and Senate Health Care Unveiled
The week of June 19 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., his wife Susan, and family, arrive for a swearing in ceremony in the Capitol with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., before the actual event on the House floor on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY BILL CLARK and TOM WILLIAMS

A busy week in politics was capped off with the unveiling on Thursday of the Republican's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Roll Call's photographers captured the scrums of reporters surrounding senators for reactions as they made their way through the Capitol.

Senate Republicans Raise Questions About Health Care Bill
‘My concern is this doesn’t repeal Obamacare,’ Rand Paul says

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy talks with reporters Thursday after a meeting in the Capitol on the Senate Republicans’ health care draft. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A few key Senate Republicans are already raising concerns with the discussion draft of a health care bill unveiled Thursday, which could threaten its passage if the measure comes up for a vote next week.

Multiple senators raised concerns with the draft they were briefed on Thursday morning, although many said they needed to review the proposal in full. Senate GOP leaders can only lose two Republican votes on the measure for it to pass with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote as no Democrats are expected to vote for the measure. GOP leaders hope to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote next week.