Niels Lesniewski

Senate Human Rights Caucus Lauds Mike Pence for Pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi
Vice president reportedly called for pardoning of Reuters journalists

Sens. Thom Tillis, left, and Chris Coons, heads of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, are praising Vice President Mike Pence for pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi to release two Reuters journalists. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence is getting bipartisan backing for pressing Aung San Suu Kyi over the imprisonment of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar.

Pence met with the state counsellor of the country, also known as Burma, in connection with his trip to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, which has taken him countries across Asia, as well as Australia.

Suicide Nooses in Cells Prompt ICE Query From Elizabeth Warren, Democrats
Letters come after DHS inspector general found makeshift nooses in detention cells

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is leading a letter to the private companies that run ICE detention facilities. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of Senate Democrats want the private prison industry to explain whether it is complying with federal standards for housing at ICE immigration detention centers.

Led by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the senators have written to CoreCivic and GEO group about their housing practices following reports from the inspector general at the Homeland Security Department.

Mitch McConnell Upbeat About Path Forward for Border Funding After Meeting With Trump
Senate majority leader was among Republicans huddling with the president on Thursday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with President Donald Trump about border security funding on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Returning from a meeting with President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was optimistic about a deal on finishing off remaining spending bills without a shutdown showdown over building a wall at the border with Mexico.

“We had a good discussion about funding the government and the other sort of end-of-year items, and we’re optimistic we’re going to be able to get that done, get the farm bill done and move on toward the conclusion of the session,” McConnell said.

Senate Appropriators Cast Doubt on Mueller Protections Making It Into Spending Deal
Chairman wants to keep December spending deal as clean as possible, despite interests of Pelosi, House Democrats

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., does not favor attaching protections for Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a December spending package. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby thinks trying to attach language designed to shield Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a big December spending package would be ill-advised.

Asked ahead of a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump about the interest of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to use the must-pass spending measure as the vehicle for such a bill, Shelby said, “She’s not talking about putting it in an appropriations bill?”

Catherine Cortez Masto Becomes First Latina to Lead DSCC
A Nevada Democrat will be returning to the leadership table

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, left, seen here campaigning in October with now Sen.-elect Jacky Rosen, is expected to be announced as the next leader of the DSCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Nevada senator is once again a key member of Senate Democratic leadership.

First-term Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was announced as the next chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Thursday, becoming the first Latina to lead the committee.

Todd Young Elected to Lead Senate Republican Campaign Arm
Indiana Republican has a challenging cycle ahead of him

Sen. Todd Young, center, will be succeeding Sen. Cory Gardner as the NRSC chairman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Todd Young was elected on Wednesday to be the next chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a much more difficult cycle for incumbent protection on the Republican side.

The Republican from Indiana was the only candidate for the post, which is being vacated by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. Gardner is himself in what is expected to be among the most hotly contested races of the 2020 cycle.

After Momentous Election, Senators Largely Settle for Leadership Status Quo
Republicans add woman to leadership slate for first time since 2010

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were re-elected to their respective posts for the 116th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the aftermath of a momentous midterm election, senators in both parties are largely sticking with the status quo when it comes to their own elected leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York were re-elected to their posts by acclamation, along with the entire slate of nine other Democratic leaders.

Chuck Schumer Says Florida Recount Votes Should Be Counted Past Sunday if Needed
Minority leader appeared alongside incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., arrive to make statements about the ballot recount in the Florida Senate race on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“We will not have a re-run of 2000.”

That was what Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday, speaking of the handling of the recounting of ballots in Florida.

Mark Warner Welcomes Amazon, But Warns Big Tech
Top Democrat on Senate Intelligence wants to see more data transparency from Facebook, others

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is welcoming Amazon to Arlington County. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the Senate’s most tech-savvy members is applauding Amazon’s decision to locate half of HQ2 in Crystal City, but he had some strong language for the technology industry at large when it comes to data privacy.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who resides not far from the part of Northern Virginia that is now slated for investment and redevelopment as an Amazon campus with 25,000 jobs, said he hoped the move would further catalyze a regional technology industry boom.

What’s Going On in the Senate This Week
Chamber to take up Coast Guard reauthorization and Federal Reserve nominee

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., led negotiations on the Coast Guard bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators return to Washington on Tuesday with plenty of housekeeping to take care of before the 115th Congress comes to close.

Before getting to leadership elections and greeting incoming Senate colleagues, the current class has some legislating left to do. First up is a long-stalled reauthorization of the Coast Guard.