Afghanistan

Exchange Programs Aren’t Just for High Schoolers. Congressmen Do It Too
Nebraska and California congressmen trade views of their districts

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., left, visited Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., in his district in August. (Courtesy office of Rep. Salud Carbajal)

Say “exchange program,” and most people think of traveling teens.

That was true for Rep. Don Bacon, whose family hosted a German exchange student when he was 16. Mostly, the pair geeked out over American cars.

The Price of Voting Against the Iraq War
Retiring Tennessee Republican looks back on another time he thought his career was over

John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., during the Transportation Committee markup of legislation which would create a new Department of Homeland Security. The Committee approved amendments to keep the Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency separate from the proposed new department. (Scott Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The five decade-long tradition of Duncan family dominance in Tennessee’s 2nd District will end with the 115th Congress. With an ethics probe clouding his legacy and retirement closing in, Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. looked back to another time he thought his career might be ending.

In 2002, as fear and speculation swirled, Duncan sided with just a handful of other House Republicans, including Amo Houghton of New York, in voting against the Iraq War. He knew it could be political suicide.

White House PLO Move Shows Kushner Peace Push Stalled
International Criminal Court is ‘dead to us,’ John Bolton says

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, leaves the Hart Senate Office Building after his interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House signaled Monday its Jared Kushner-led Middle East peace pact has stalled, making clear it is ready to buck yet another international organization.

The administration’s move against the Palestine Liberation Organization comes as that organization is set to ask the International Criminal Court to look into some Israeli actions in the region. It also is intended to send a message to Palestinian leaders as talks toward a peace pact have made little progress.

Kansas Democrat Disavows Nancy Pelosi — But Is Tied to Her Anyway
Paul Davis tries to fight off familiar GOP attack line in 2nd District

Democrat Paul Davis launched an ad saying he would not support Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader. (Courtesy Paul Davis for Kansas/Facebook )

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Paul Davis says he’s frustrated, but he doesn’t really show it. 

Sitting at a wooden desk in his campaign office in downtown Lawrence, the bespectacled Democratic congressional hopeful matter-of-factly states that he’s irked by Republican efforts to tie him to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But he quickly pivoted to money in politics.

Senate Should Honor John McCain By Getting Tougher on Russia, Says Graham
Comments on next steps followed emotional floor tribute to his dear friend

Sen. Lindsey Graham, seen here embracing Sen. John McCain at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, spoke Tuesday afternoon about his late friend and mentor. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

After a tear-filled floor speech, Sen. Lindsey Graham said one of the first things the Senate should do to honor the legacy of his late dear friend John McCain would be to pass new sanctions against Russia.

Graham, a South Carolina Republican, pointed to the enthusiastic response that Russian state television had to McCain’s passing.

No Price Tag Yet for Trump's Space Force, Pentagon Says
Nascent military service is a priority for the president

Pentagon leaders will work with Congress on legislation to create a Space Force, although there is no cost estimate for the proposal as of yet. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pentagon does not yet know how much the nascent Space Force will cost, but nonetheless is working with Congress to write legislation creating the new military branch proposed by President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday.

“We have not done the costing estimates [on Space Force], that’s under way right now,” Mattis told reporters during a rare on-camera appearance in the Pentagon’s briefing room.

Pentagon Will Miss John McCain, Its Friend and Foe
Arizona Republican brought unique background to oversight role

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., brought a unique and formidable background to his oversight of the Defense Department and its contractors and allies. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS | To the Pentagon, its contractors and allies on the congressional defense committees — the so-called iron triangle — John McCain could be either the U.S. military’s strongest proponent or its harshest critic.

It is clear to the members of the triangle that they will miss the friend they had in the hawkish McCain. They may not fully appreciate, however, how much they will miss the enemy, too.

The Pentagon Saw a Prized Jet. John McCain Saw a ‘Hangar Queen’
Armed Services chairman was no dove, but he couldn’t stand Defense waste

Dozens of Pentagon programs felt the lash of John McCain’s tongue, from bomb-detecting elephants to oxygen-deprived jets. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Few lawmakers have ridiculed wasteful Pentagon spending or scolded military officials from the Senate floor, hearing rooms, campaign events and in reports as often as Sen. John McCain.

The Arizona Republican died Saturday after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

John McCain’s Life on the Hill in Photos
Memories of the maverick of the Senate, former presidential candidate and Vietnam POW

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during a news conference in June 1998. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. John McCain, a lion of the Senate who spent three decades representing Arizona in the chamber died Saturday at age 81 after battling a brain cancer called glioblastoma since last summer.

Tsongas May Be Leaving, But Work on Sexual Assault Is Never Done
‘I’m more afraid of my own soldiers than I am of the enemy,’ nurse told her

From left, Reps. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass., and Mike Turner, R-Ohio, announce bipartisan legislation to combat sexual assaults in the military in 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eleven years ago, the #MeToo movement wasn’t trending and sexual assault was a taboo subject. Yet Rep. Niki Tsongas was confronted with it twice during her first weeks in Congress.

The first was at an Armed Services Committee hearing, in which generals outlined the Pentagon’s efforts to combat sexual assault. “I have to say I was completely taken aback that it was such an issue that we had generals up there seriously trying to deal with it,” Tsongas said.