Saudi Arabia

Risch drops Saudi measure; panel backs Menendez sanctions bill
Sends strong message of displeasure with the Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, left, withdrew his own Saudi legislation after the committee voted to amend it by adding a sanctions bill from ranking member Robert Menendez, D-N.J., right. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday advanced to the floor bipartisan legislation that would impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses, though the panel’s chairman said he would “absolutely not” recommend it be brought up for a vote.

Chairman Jim Risch withdrew his own Saudi legislation after the committee voted to amend it by adding ranking member Robert Menendez’s sanctions bill to it. In the end, only the Menendez bill was reported to the floor.

Why Republicans bucked Trump on Afghanistan and Syria
Podcast, Episode 138

In a rare move, the White House released this image Thursday of President Trump receiving his daily intelligence briefing from the heads of several U.S. intel services. (White House photo via Twitter)

CQ senior defense writer John M. Donnelly and Michael Rubin, a former Middle East adviser in the George W. Bush administration who’s now a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, discuss the implications of President Donald Trump’s moves to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Syria and the Republican-led backlash in Congress. 

 

Democrats Pan Trump’s Deference to Saudi King on Journalist’s Disappearance
President again siding with authoritarian leaders over U.S. intelligence officials, lawmakers say

Sens. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., left, and Tim Kaine, D-Va., criticized President Donald Trump for seeming to agree with Saudi King Salman’s denial of his government’s involvement in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for seeming to siding with Saudi King Salman, who denied during a phone call with the president that his government was involved in the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist. 

Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was born in Saudi Arabia, has been critical of Salman in his writings. He has not been seen or heard from since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Senate Opts Against Limiting Trump’s War Powers
Measure to cease most military actions in Yemen shot down

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, here at a rally at the Capitol last year, pushed a resolution to end most U.S. military operations in Yemen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a whirlwind day of White House news, President Donald Trump on Tuesday retained the expanded war powers he inherited from his post-9/11 predecessors, as the Senate shot down a measure that would have ordered him to cease most U.S. military operations in Yemen.

Trump scored a victory on behalf of the executive branch’s ability to launch and sustain military operations in new countries without first getting authorization from Congress. Amid pressure from Republican leaders, the White House and the Pentagon, the chamber killed a resolution, 55-44, offered by a bipartisan group of senators that would have required Trump to cease all U.S. military action against groups other than al-Qaida in Yemen.

CBO Score Spells Trouble Ahead for Obamacare Repeal in Senate
 

What to Watch for During Trump's First Global Outing

House Passes Bill Allowing 9/11 Lawsuits Against Saudi Arabia
White House has previously issued veiled veto threat

Names of victims carved at Ground Zero memorial or September 11 Memorial pool at the site of previous World Trade Centre in New York City. (Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images file photo)

Congress cleared a bill Friday that would allow family members of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, setting up a potential clash with the White House, which has suggested it could veto the measure.

The Obama administration opposes the bill, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, over concerns that it could harm relations with Saudi Arabia, a key counterterrorism partner. Administration officials also have warned the legislation could weaken the global norm of sovereign immunity and encourage other countries to allow lawsuits by their citizens against the United States and its allies.

Congress Publishes Long-Secret Chapter of 9/11 Report
So-called "28 pages" explored alleged Saudi links to 9/11 hijackers

A US Capitol Police sharpshooter, lower right corner, keeps watch with his binoculars during the 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony on the Capitol steps on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After 14 years, Congress on Friday lifted the veil of secrecy that has shrouded a long-classified chapter of a congressional investigation into the 9/11 attacks, publishing the so-called "28 pages" that explore alleged Saudi links to the hijackers.  

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the document Friday afternoon after a unanimous vote to do so. Congress received a redacted version of the chapter earlier in the day from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  

Things Can Get Awkward When Presidents Meet the Queen
Obamas look to avoid another scandalous hug

Queen Elizabeth II, right, is set to meet with President Barack Obama at Windsor Castle on Friday (Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama’s European tour will include, not surprisingly, an audience with the Queen of England. Obama, joined by the first lady, will have lunch with Elizabeth II on Friday at Windsor Castle.  

Obama will touch down outside of London on Thursday evening after two days in Saudi Arabia, where he held what White House officials described as a series of blunt meetings with Sunni Gulf Arab leaders about Iran, Syria and the Islamic State.  

Bipartisan Push on to Oppose 9/11 Bill
Administration would squelch right for victims' families to sue

House Speaker Paul Ryan greets President Barack Obama after he made remarks at the speaker’s annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Capitol Hill on March 15. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A Senate bill that would allow families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks to sue the Saudi government has achieved a rare Washington distinction, by uniting the Obama administration and some of its fiercest GOP critics.  

President Barack Obama and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are rallying to kill the bipartisan plan that would make it possible for American citizens to sue foreign governments believed to be linked to terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., said the plan should be reviewed through regular order before decisions are made about advancing the measure.