Defense

Opinion: Strange Times for Mitch McConnell in the Alabama Senate Race
A Moore victory could be a big headache for the Senate majority leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has become the Nancy Pelosi of the right, Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When President Donald Trump tapped Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general last year, the last thing on anyone’s mind was what would happen to the Alabama Senate seat that Sessions would leave behind. With a Republican governor in a reliably Republican state, the assumption was that the governor would appoint a safe placeholder for the seat, who would then easily get elected to finish out Sessions’ term in the next election.

But fast forward nine months, and the Alabama governor who appointed that placeholder has resigned in disgrace. The placeholder, Sen. “Big” Luther Strange, finished second in the GOP primary to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been removed from the bench twice.

'America First' Approach to Dominate Trump's UN Address
President's foreign policy philosophy irks many Republican lawmakers

President Trump delivers remarks Friday at Joint Base Andrews in front of a B-2 bomber as he marked the Air Force’s 70th birthday as a standalone military service. (White House photo via Twitter)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday will take his vision to the United Nations for an America that leads on the global stage only when its sovereignty is threatened, a message that in the past has drawn howls from his own political party.

American allies reportedly are still struggling to fully understand Trump’s “America first” governing philosophy — and what it means for how it will shape foreign policy. Some of his top aides often say “America first” does not mean America alone, and the president will have an opportunity to reassure Washington’s longtime friends when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly for the first time.

Trump Again Floats Military Parade That Pentagon Once Vetoed
President wants a July 4 parade of combat hardware down Pennsylvania Avenue

French military troops march in the annual Bastille Day military parade down the Champs-Elysees in Paris on July 14. President Trump on Monday floated the idea of such a parade of U.S. military forces on July 4 in Washington. (DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique Pineiro via Wikimedia Commons)

The Pentagon might have vetoed Donald Trump’s interest in parading U.S. military vehicles across the streets of Washington during his inauguration festivities. But now he’s the commander-in-chief and talking about holding such a show of military might on July 4.

Trump floated the idea to reporters during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, whom he joined in Paris in July for that country’s Bastille Day festivities. Trump was the VIP guest on the French president’s viewing stand for a parade of French military troops and equipment.

Podcast: Lifting the Spending Caps
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 31

House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., and Ranking Member John Yarmuth, D-Ky., listen to testimony by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney during a committee hearing on May 24, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would like to lift the spending limits established by law, says CQ budget reporter Jennifer Shutt, adding that it's just the latest budget issue to confront lawmakers along with passing a budget resolution and a tax overhaul.

 

Which of These Bills Is Not Like the Others? The Defense Budget
Testy and balky debate, like this year, still has ended with authorization for 57 straight years

Two U.S. army Blackhawk helicopters approach for landing at an airfield in Australia during a joint U.S. and Australian training exercise in July. (Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images File Photo)

For the uninitiated, it might have seemed last week like the annual legislation authorizing the nation’s military was about to come off the rails. And only now does it appear to be clamoring out of some thick mud — yet another example of a Congress so challenged when it comes to discharging even its most fundamental responsibilities.

Rest assured, though: There’s truly nothing more certain in the Capitol’s life cycle than enactment of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

Senate Set to Pass Defense Authorization Measure

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, left, seen here with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed regret the chamber could not agree on how to bring up all the amendments senators wanted to vote on. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the Senate’s 2018 defense authorization bill passing a procedural hurdle Thursday, the chamber is expected to vote on final passage of the massive military policy bill Monday.

The Senate voted 84-9 to invoke cloture and limit debate on a substitute version of the bill that includes 104 amendments.

The Triplet Caucus: Members Talk About Raising Kids in Threes
McCaul, Payne and Rohrabacher’s children run in threes

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, seen here in 2011, with his 6-year-old triplets, from left, Christian, Annika, and Tristen, in his Rayburn Building office. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Michael McCaul, Donald M. Payne Jr. and Dana Rohrabacher count things in threes.

The congressmen are all fathers of triplets. McCaul and Rohrabacher’s sets are two girls and a boy; Payne has two boys and a girl. HOH asked two of them about life with their trios. 

Rohrabacher’s Democratic Opponents Slam Comments About Charlottesville
Rohrabacher called violence during white supremacist rally a ‘total hoax’

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is under fire for calling racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., “a total hoax.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two of California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's Democratic opponents lambasted him for calling racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month a “total hoax.”

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Rohrabacher said it was possible that a “former Hillary (Clinton) or Bernie (Sanders) supporter” organized “Civil War re-enactors” to rally around a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Mitch McConnell’s Myanmar Balancing Act
Senate majority leader defends Suu Kyi but calls for end to violence against Rohingya

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., at the Capitol last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar must end, while seeking to blunt criticism of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, his longtime ally and friend.

“In my view publicly condemning Aung San Suu Kyi, the best hope for democratic reform in Burma, is simply not constructive,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.

Before Confusion, Trump and Democrats Agreed to Keep Talking
‘No deal was made last night on DACA,’ president tweets

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared victory on the DACA program after a dinner with President Donald Trump Tuesday evening. But by Wednesday morning, the president was denying they had a deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:04 p.m. | One thing appears clear amid the web of confusion after a Tuesday dinner meeting at the White House: President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders agreed to keep talking about immigration and border security issues.

But beyond that, Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York are having a tough time clearly describing what was agreed to over Chinese food in the White House’s Blue Room.