Sheldon Whitehouse

Donald Trump Jr. Talks to Senate Investigators
But details beyond opening statement remain private for now

Reporters hold up their smart phones to try to catch a photo of Donald Trump Jr., as he returns to a meeting with the Senate Judiciary staff on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump Jr. spent about five hours Thursday answering questions from Senate Judiciary Committee staff about a meeting he set up between his father’s presidential campaign and a Russian lawyer, but the details beyond his opening statement remain private for now.

Several senators attended the closed-door, voluntary interview with the president’s son, part of the committee’s probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Only Senate staffers asked questions, however, and the committee will have to vote at a later time on whether to make the transcript public.

Democrats Say Bannon’s Ouster Not Enough
Jeffries says ‘things won't change if Grand Wizard remains in Oval Office’

Democrats say the ouster of White House adviser Steve Bannon is a good first step. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Democrats are glad President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon is gone,  but they say change is needed from the top down.

Democratic members of Congress hammered the president for choosing Bannon, the former Breitbart executive, to plot strategy in the White House in the first place. And they said if the president wants to repair the damage he has done, he should look inward.

Democrats Want Probe of Interior Scientists' Reassignments

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and other Democrats are concerned the administration is reassigning scientists to try to get rid of them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats at a hearing for Interior and Energy Department nominees seized on the published comments of an Interior scientist who claims that Secretary Ryan Zinke was using forced reassignments to coax experienced scientists to resign.

The top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Maria Cantwell of Washington, said at the Thursday hearing that she will ask Interior’s Inspector General to investigate the allegations raised by the scientist, Joel Clement, in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.

New FBI Director Expected to Be Confirmed Before August Recess
Approved by Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Christopher Wray, nominee for FBI Director, is expected to win confirmation before August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators want the new FBI director on the job as soon as possible, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to see Christopher Wray confirmed before August recess. That looks increasingly likely, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his nomination, teeing it up for floor consideration as soon as McConnell moves ahead.

But the year’s nomination process has been so fraught that McConnell’s staff sent a statement out announcing the Kentucky Republican’s intentions complete with a warning shot to Democrats. 

Climate Change Activists Flood Capitol to Lobby Lawmakers
Merkley, Whitehouse and Fitzpatrick address concerned parents

Children join in as organizers set up a play area on the Upper Senate Lawn Thursday as part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration on the Hill organized by Moms Clean Air Force. (Griffin Connolly/CQ Roll Call)

Climate change activists from all 50 states met with more than 150 lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill on Thursday, armed with personal anecdotes and data booklets to persuade members to take action on environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming.

The meetings were part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration, organized by the anti-pollution advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force, which brought parents and their children to the Hill.

'Clean Coal' Tax Credit Gets a New Bipartisan Push in Senate

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., has teamed up with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to push for tax credits for the so-called clean coal technology. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As investors give up on a Mississippi carbon-capture coal plant and the Trump administration continues to push for “beautiful clean coal,” a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday reintroduced a bill to expand a tax credit in hopes of spurring investment in the costly technology.

The measure, with co-sponsors ranging from climate hawk Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., to coal-state stalwart Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., would extend and enhance a tax credit, known as Section 45Q, that rewards facilities that capture carbon emissions for either storage or enhanced oil recovery purposes.

Word on the Hill: Learn How to Reduce Stress
Travel advice and play-in demonstration

On Tuesday, Washington commuters received a free banana from Amazon.com crew who were handing them out at Union Station to mark the online giant’s Prime Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Senate staffers getting a shorter August recess this year, the Senate Wellness Fair might be coming at a good time.

There will be demonstrations on stress-reducing breathing techniques, as well as posture improvement and acupuncture from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Senate Hart Office Building, Room 902.

Senators to Grill FBI Pick Wray on Independence, Terrorism
‘I say this without hesitation — Chris simply does not make mistakes’

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray’s confirmation hearing on Wednesday comes at a tumultuous time for the bureau and the presidency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Christopher Wray won’t be able to escape questions about President Donald Trump at his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to be the next FBI director, but he’ll draw on his reputation and experience to make his case.

Wray’s nomination comes at a tumultuous time for the bureau and the presidency. Trump abruptly fired FBI director James B. Comey in May amid the bureau’s probe into connections between the president’s campaign and Russian operatives during the 2016 election.

Justice Nominee’s Dodge Sparks Debate on Personal Views
‘I don’t think that my personal views are relevant.’ Feinstein: ‘I think they’re very relevant.’

Jeffrey Clark, nominee be an assistant attorney general for environment and natural resources, declined to answer questions about the role of greenhouse gasses on climate change. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)