Taliban money and fighter jets at issue in Pentagon's $690 billion bill
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 110

U.S. Marine Corps F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. fly off the coast of Northwest Fla. May 15, 2013, off the coast of Northwest Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/Released)

House appropriators this week will take up the biggest of the 12 annual spending bills, the $690 billion Pentagon measure that includes some prickly issues such as funding for Taliban expenses for peace talks with the U.S. and money to give the Pentagon more F-35 fighter jets than it requested, says CQ Roll Call's senior defense reporter John M. Donnelly. He lays out what is likely to happen to the measure that assumes higher spending levels for fiscal 2020.

Trump’s Turkey Spat Could Rouse Army of Well-Paid, Connected Lobbyists
Turkey has spent millions to promote its interests in Washington

Former Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., shown here in October 2005 with House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is one of numerous retired lawmakers who have signed lucrative agreements to lobby on behalf of Turkey. (Ian Hurley/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whatever the result of President Donald Trump’s tariff fight with Turkey, it is almost certainly going to rouse a well-financed and deeply entrenched influence-peddling operation in Washington.

The Republic of Turkey spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on well-connected D.C. lobbyists to promote its interests in Washington. It makes major gifts to American think tanks that do not have to be reported under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Ep. 27: The Next U.S. President’s Challenges in Iraq and Syria
The Big Story

Show Notes:

The U.S.-backed military campaign in Iraq to drive the Islamic State from the city of Mosul is expected to succeed, but it could open the door to a host of problems the next U.S. administration will have to tackle, says Paul Salem of the Middle East Institute. In a conversation with CQ Roll Call’s National Security reporter Ryan Lucas and Managing Editor Adriel Bettelheim, Salem explains the complications hindering stability in Iraq, including the conflict in Syria, where U.S. diplomatic efforts face challenges from an assortment of players, including Russia and Iran.

Obama, Kerry Reiterate Support for Turkish Government After Coup Attempt
"All parties in Turkey should support the democratically elected government"

Secretary of State John Kerry, left, joined President Barack Obama in offering "absolute support" to Turkey's democratically-elected government following a military coup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone Friday about the attempted military coup in Turkey, according to a summary of the call released by the White House.   

The Associated Press reported Friday that the Turkish military had "fully seized control of the country." But the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan disputed that, telling CNN Turk that the action was "an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces," the agency said.  

German Parliament Recognizes Armenian Genocide, Measure That Has Failed in US
Vote condemned by Turkey which has recalled its German ambassador

Sens. Robert Menendez, left, and Charles E. Schumer attend a rally to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Turkish massacre of Armenians last year in New York. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images file photo)

The German Parliament on Thursday approved a measure  recognizing the  1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a "genocide," drawing attention to the failures of similar efforts in the United States.  

Turkey, the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, condemned the vote and responded by recalling its ambassador from Germany. The expected backlash from Ankara comes just when the European Union is looking to the country to help stem the flow of migrants into Europe.

When Is a Meeting Not a Meeting?
Grassley-Garland breakfast a classic of the genre

Merrick Garland (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least Merrick Garland will get a free breakfast.  

The Obama administration’s Supreme Court pick will enjoy a morning meal on Tuesday at the invitation of Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, who has a major say in whether to advance Garland’s nomination.  

With 'Modest' Goals, Other Issues Could Dominate Nuclear Summit
ISIS, relations with Turkey and China could steal show

Securing nuclear facilities such as the plant in Civaux, in western France, will be one focus of the summit. (Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images)

Nuclear security will be on the marquee as world leaders gather Thursday and Friday for a summit in Washington. But other concerns such as the Islamic State, U.S.-China relations and Middle East refugees could steal the show.  

President Barack Obama, who wrote as a Columbia University senior of a “nuclear free world,” has made securing the world’s most deadly weapons and related materials a major focus of his administration. The thrust of the latest global gathering on the issue at the Washington Convention Center will be getting the leaders on record with a joint vow to continue the work.  

Obama and the Mythical Arab Ground Force

Pro-Iraqi government forces wait next to armored vehicles on Tuesday in the al-Aramil area before pushing into Anbar province's capital Ramadi. (AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on at least one foreign policy issue, calling for Arab countries to do more against the Islamic State. But there are reasons aplenty to see holes in what is a key part of their strategies for defeating the violent extremist group.  

Despite a new Saudi Arabian-led coalition to fight ISIS, the U.S. has gotten little in return from bipartisan calls for its friends in the Middle East to help raise an Arab ground force. And some experts and lawmakers doubt that will dramatically change, further giving the 2016 election the look of a national security referendum. Earnest: Saudi Arabia Human Rights a 'Significant Concern' 

Office Space: Rob Portman's Ohio Inn

In this week’s edition of Office Space, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, shows CQ Roll Call his Dum Dums jar, a vast collection of barn photos and the journey of his “misspent youth.”

Using Rachmaninoff to Send a Message

Royce advocated for a no-fly zone at a Thursday event to bring awareness to the Syrian refugees in Turkey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Like many teenage boys, Tambi Cimuk visited the Lincoln Memorial and the White House on his first visit to Washington. Unlike most teenagers, he also played Rachmaninoff in the Rayburn Foyer.  

“Oh my God, yeah, he is very unbelievable," Cimuk said when asked if Rachmaninoff is his favorite composer. "Russian music is special, it’s very powerful."