Congress to Send Russia, Iran, North Korea Sanctions Bill to Trump
Measure expected to win overwhelming support in the Senate, again

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said discussions with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy were “were productive.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill to provide for new sanctions against three adversaries of the United States will be making its way to President Donald Trump’s desk before the August recess, after all.

House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement late Wednesday to get the sanctions legislation against Iran, Russia and North Korea through the Senate without further amendment, avoiding a potential clash with the House.

Rare Warning to Trump From Hill GOP Leader
Firing Sessions could poison president’s agenda in Senate, Cornyn says

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, right, says firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions could jeopardize President Donald Trump’s ability to “get anything else done.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate majority’s No. 2 leader has given President Donald Trump one of the strongest pushbacks from any Republican in Congress this year: Firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions could bring to a halt GOP cooperation with the administration’s legislative agenda.

“Well, it’s the president’s prerogative, but he is then going to jeopardize, potentially, his ability to get anything else done here,” Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Wednesday. “And I don’t think that should be his desire or preference.”

Brooks Suggests Sessions Could Return to Senate if GOP Candidates Drop Out
Alabama Republican criticizes “public waterboarding” of attorney general

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks criticized the “public waterboarding” of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is calling on his fellow Republicans vying for the GOP nod for Senate to drop out of the special election race to allow Attorney General Jeff Sessions to return to the chamber.

“If all Republican candidates collectively agree to simultaneously withdraw from this race, then we clear the way for the Republican Party of Alabama to nominate Jeff Sessions to be the Republican nominee for the December 12, 2017 general election,” Brooks wrote in a Wednesday afternoon statement from his campaign. 

Trump, GOP Leaders Near Deal on Tax Principles

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, left, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, are part of a group that has been working on principles for the GOP effort on overhauling the tax code. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By ALAN K. OTA and LINDSEY MCPHERSON

Top Republican leaders said Wednesday they are close to a deal with the Trump administration on a broad set of tax goals that will guide overhaul efforts.

Veterans in Congress Criticize Trump’s Military Transgender Ban
Pushback against policy announcement is bipartisan

Sen. Tammy Duckworth called President Trump’s announcement banning transgender individuals from the military “discriminatory and counterproductive.”  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Veterans in Congress from across the political spectrum pushed back against President Donald Trump’s announcement banning transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump said that based on the advice of military experts, transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to “serve in any capacity in U.S. Military.” The president cited medical costs and unit disruption as part of his reasoning.

Organizations, Activists React to Trump's Transgender Soldier Ban
Human Rights Campaign calls transgender ban an "all out assault on service members"

Then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announces the expanded policy of accepting transgender U.S. military service members in June 2016. (Allison Shelley/Getty Images file photo)

The LGBT rights organization the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) led the charge against President Donald Trump’s newly announced ban on transgender military service members Wednesday, calling it an “all out assault on service members.”

HRC said the ban would threaten more than 15,000 currently serving troops. Other estimates range from 4,000 to 6,000 members of the military.

Brooks: ‘Swamp Critter’ McConnell Should Be Replaced
Alabama Senate hopeful slams majority leader, filibuster rules

Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks is among nine Republicans running for a safe GOP Senate seat in Alabama. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mo Brooks attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, saying he would vote to change how the chamber works if he wins the special election in Alabama.

McConnell “is a swamp critter,” Brooks told reporters at an event organized by the Heritage Foundation. Instead of “draining the swamp” as President Donald Trump has promised, McConnell is enabling old ways of doing business in Washington, Brooks said.

Opinion: Lessons in Loyalty From John McCain and That Other Guy
For Trump, loyalty is a one-way street

Personal loyalty has always been President Donald Trump’s measure of any man, but it has never been reciprocal, Murphy writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Washington has always been driven by loyalties. Staffers are expected to be loyal to their bosses. Their bosses are expected to be loyal to their districts and states. And the president, as the chief executive, is expected to be loyal to the country above all else.

But expectations in D.C. are rarely realities and in Donald Trump’s worldview, loyalty is a special brand of currency.

Analysis: At Trump Rally, It Was 2016 Again
President mixes fear with bold promises, big boasts before friendly crowd

President Donald Trump speaks during the annual Days of Remembrance Holocaust ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on April 25, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, echoing his populist 2016 campaign, mixed the politics of fear and bold promises as he returned to the campaign trail Tuesday evening in Ohio.

As he delivered parts of his remarks in Youngstown, it well could have been July 2016 with then-Republican nominee Trump at the podium. The world is more unsafe than ever. The United States has been run for too long by “stupid” politicians. People who wish to Americans harm are pouring over the southern border. Other countries are taking advantage of U.S. workers and consumers.

‘Disappointed’ Trump Holds Cards Close on Firing Sessions
AG’s recusal from Russia probe ‘unfair to the presidency,’ Trump gripes

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions campaigns last year with then-GOP nominee Donald Trump. President Trump would not say Tuesday if he intends to fire now-Attorney General Sessions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file)

President Donald Trump is holding his cards close on whether he intends to fire Jeff Sessions, his hand-picked attorney general he now worries is too “weak” and “beleaguered” to do the job.

“I am very disappointed with the attorney general,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden during a joint news conference with his Lebanese counterpart. “He should not have recused himself” from the Justice Department’s Russia election investigation “almost immediately after he took office.”

McConnell-Affiliated Group Hits Brooks for Missing Capitol Police Vote
Senate Leadership Fund Attacks Brooks for missing vote for Capitol Police

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., is receiving criticism for missing a vote to help Capitol Police Officers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is attacking Rep. Mo Brooks for skipping a vote to assist Capitol Police officers.

The Senate Leadership Fund blasted out an email criticizing Brooks, who is running for Senate in the special election in Alabama, for missing votes.

Schumer Warns Trump Against Trying to Replace Sessions With Recess Appointment
New York Democrat made remarks on the floor

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is warning against recess appointments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not even stepped aside, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is already warning President Donald Trump against attempting a recess appointment of a replacement in August.

On the floor Tuesday, the New York Democrat said that members of his caucus were prepared to use every means available to prevent a recess appointment to replace Sessions during the break. That likely means the Senate will technically be in session throughout the month, even after the chamber’s scheduled already-extended time in Washington, D.C.

Conservative Groups Come to Sessions’ Defense
Law enforcement groups and officials praise embattled attorney general

Attorney General Jeff Sessions received support from outside conservative organizations amid reports of his job being in jeopardy (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Conservative groups are rushing to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ defense after repeated criticism from President Donald Trump and reports that his days are numbered.

Jonathan Thompson, CEO and executive director for the National Sheriffs’ Association, praised Sessions for his support of law enforcement.

Sessions on the Cusp of Martyrdom or Oblivion
If he’s fired, will former Senate GOP colleagues draw a line against Trump?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been the target of almost daily taunting from President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Jeff Sessions was preparing last fall to begin a third decade in the Senate, his future as a rock-ribbed conservative legislative force looked limitless, but just three seasons later, he’s been pushed to the precipice of his career.

The almost daily taunting he’s taking from President Donald Trump points toward one of two probably quick endings to his brief run as attorney general, quitting or getting canned.