McCain Condemns 'Loose Talk' on Campaign Trail

McCain condemned the campaign rhetoric. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to condemn what he called "loose talk" on the presidential campaign trail over the use of torture.  

McCain, who was tortured by the North Vietnamese as a prisoner while serving in the Vietnam War, sought to dismiss statements from GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Trump said during a Saturday debate that he would bring back waterboarding and other forms of torture. The rhetoric escalated Monday night, on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, when Trump at a rally repeated an audience member who called presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a "pussy" for not supporting waterboarding.

Graham on Cruz v. Trump: Like Being 'Shot or Poisoned'

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Sen. Lindsey Graham sees it, making a binary choice between real estate mogul Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nominee is like picking between being "shot or poisoned."  

"You get the same result," the South Carolina Republican said Friday of the difference between the leading GOP contenders. To Graham, who already gave up on his own presidential bid, either of the candidates  loses to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  

Senator Envisions Chamber's Role Under a President Trump

Sasse spoke Thursday about a potential Trump White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Move aside Plato's cave, the Senate floor now has the allegory of President Donald Trump.  

"Today I'd like to propose a thought experiment. Imagine President Trump has been propelled into the White House with 300 electoral votes," Sen. Ben Sasse said on the Senate floor. "The first hundred days are huge. He signs an order that turns the Peace Corps into stone masons to build the southern wall, he shutters the Department of Education, and by executive order he turns the Department of Interior into the classiest oil company the world has ever known."  

Trump Comments Spark Senate Fireworks

Sessions said immigration policy should be mindful of security risks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

"Is it in the national interest to admit the ISIS member equally with the Buddhist?"  

That was one of the rhetorical questions from Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, as the Senate Judiciary Committee debated religious tests for immigrants, and a Senate hearing room became the latest venue for a rebuke to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.  

GOP Elders Critical of Trump's Muslim Comments

McConnell walks back to his office after the weekly Senate Republican luncheon news conference on Tuesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not wait to be asked about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's call to exclude Muslims from entering the United States.  

Before turning to the upcoming passage of an education overhaul and end-of-the-year business, the Kentucky Republican on Tuesday said the proposal  was "completely and totally inconsistent with American values."  

Democrats Sink 'Sanctuary Cities' Crackdown

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats blocked consideration Tuesday of a bill designed to stop "sanctuary cities."  

The bill to punish municipalities that don't enforce federal immigration laws was doomed from the outset, and the Senate voted 54-45 to limit debate on taking up the measure, short of the 60 votes needed.  

Rubio, Trump Begin to Spar Over Eminent Domain

Rubio led the effort in Florida to curtail eminent domain. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Long before Marco Rubio was running for president, and even before he was running for the Senate, the Florida Republican was tasked with crafting a state response to a Supreme Court case that had expanded the power of government.  

Rubio's presidential campaign has decided to remind people that as a state lawmaker, he stopped Florida municipalities from following the lead of New London, Conn., in taking private property through eminent domain for the benefit of a private development under the Constitution's "Takings Clause."  

Harry Reid: 'Shame on Dr. Carson' for Muslim Remarks

Reid spoke on the Senate floor next to this chart of the grave marker for Army Cpl. Kareem Khan. (Via Reid's office)

Flanked by a chart showing a headstone of a Muslim-American member of the U.S. Army, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called out GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson by name Monday.  

The Nevada Democrat said he had watched NBC's Meet the Press Sunday and took notice of Carson's comments.  

Can Incumbents Replicate Trump's Outsider Success?

Burr is paying close attention to Trump's recent success. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. — As the GOP establishment, the media and just about everyone else tries to wrap their minds around the success and seeming invincibility of Donald Trump, Sen. Richard M. Burr is paying close attention.  

The Trump effect — which includes the success of Dr. Ben Carson and probably Carly Fiorina as well — is something for members to ignore at their own peril, with 24 Republican senators up for re-election in 2016 and congressional disapproval in the 60s , “When you look at what they’ve tapped into, they’ve tapped into a frustration of the American people at the lack of solutions that come out of Washington — that government’s not working on their behalf,” the North Carolina senator said. “It’s been done quite effectively on the part of Trump.”