Robert Menendez

After Coons Demonstrates Comity, Pompeo Avoids Dubious Distinction
Old Senate traditions on display as Delaware Democrat pairs with Georgia Republican

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Bob Menendez, D-N.J., confer Monday before a tense committee markup on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo narrowly avoided historical ignominy on Monday when the Foreign Relations Committee approved his nomination to be secretary of State.

It took more steps to advance President Donald Trump’s nominee than anyone might have anticipated going into the meeting, including what in the modern Senate was a magnanimous gesture from Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware.

Pompeo Confirmation Debate Highlights Another Week of Senate Nomination Feuds
Rules and Administration panel also debating changes to nomination floor procedures

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, left, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, arrives for his confirmation hearing April 12 accompanied by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo seems all but assured to be confirmed as secretary of State this week. The question is how much pain will senators go through along the way.

The way forward should become clear after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convenes late Monday afternoon to formally vote on advancing Pompeo’s nomination — probably without a favorable review.

White House Presses Vulnerable Dems on Pompeo Nomination
Sen. Cotton dubs Foreign Relations Democrats ‘two-bit Talleyrands’

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, meets with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, in the Capitol on March 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House circled the wagons Wednesday around CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become secretary of State, arguing vulnerable red-state Democrats will feel “consequences” in November if they vote against him.

The Trump administration dispatched Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas to argue Pompeo is highly qualified for the top State Department position and to press Democrats running for re-election in states won by President Donald Trump to vote in favor of his nomination.

Corker Releases AUMF Without an Expiration Date
Prospects for approval uncertain with expected opposition within Foreign Relations panel

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker is not concerned that the new force authorization measure does not have a commitment from leadership for a floor vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The long-awaited draft authorization to set new guidelines on the 17-year-old war on terrorism was released Monday night by senators and, to the displeasure of some Democrats, it would not impose significant restrictions on military operations, such as an expiration date.

The bipartisan Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2018 would repeal and replace the 2001 AUMF, which has been increasingly criticized for its expansive justification of all kinds of military actions against extremist groups that did not exist at the time of the 9/11 attacks. The new AUMF would also repeal the 2002 authorization that enabled the 2003 Iraq War.

Pompeo Confirms Mueller Interview
Secretary of state nominee testified before Senate Foreign Relations panel

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, right, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, greets Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo told senators at his confirmation hearing Thursday he has been questioned by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Specifically, Mueller questioned the current CIA chief on a West Wing conversation last March with President Donald Trump and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in which the president reportedly asked Coats to get then-FBI head James B. Comey to drop his investigation into  former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Blue and Purple States Set to Lose Clout Under Trump Census Move
Allocation of congressional seats would be affected for a decade

Protesters rally on March 13 outside the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel where President Donald Trump was staying. California has more undocumented immigrants than any other state, and even a small undercount of its population could cost it a House seat. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

Assertions of bald political skullduggery on one side, and protecting voting rights on the other, are obscuring a core consequence of the Trump administration’s decision to include a citizenship question on the next census.

Posing such a query will likely reshuffle the allocation of congressional seats for the coming decade.

Ross: 2020 Census Will Ask About Citizenship Status
Commerce Department made announcement late Monday, despite outcry from Democrats

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has determined the 2020 Census should include a citizenship question. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Commerce Department has agreed to a request from the Justice Department to include a citizenship status question on the 2020 Census.

Commerce made the announcement late Monday, saying that the question would line up with the language used the American Community Survey.

After Self-Created Drama, Trump Signs Omnibus
After grousing about deal, president asks for line-item veto

President Donald Trump on Friday first threatened to veto a massive government funding bill only to later sign it into law. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated at 2:24 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Friday backed down from a seemingly out-of-the-blue veto threat when he signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package that averts a government shutdown he nearly triggered after lawmakers left town.

The double presidential about-face came on yet another chaotic day at Trump’s White House. Aides, Secret Service agents and journalists scurried about for hours, with the dramatics culminating with Trump announcing a 1 p.m. press conference for which his staff was clearly not prepared.

Senate Opts Against Limiting Trump’s War Powers
Measure to cease most military actions in Yemen shot down

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, here at a rally at the Capitol last year, pushed a resolution to end most U.S. military operations in Yemen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid a whirlwind day of White House news, President Donald Trump on Tuesday retained the expanded war powers he inherited from his post-9/11 predecessors, as the Senate shot down a measure that would have ordered him to cease most U.S. military operations in Yemen.

Trump scored a victory on behalf of the executive branch’s ability to launch and sustain military operations in new countries without first getting authorization from Congress. Amid pressure from Republican leaders, the White House and the Pentagon, the chamber killed a resolution, 55-44, offered by a bipartisan group of senators that would have required Trump to cease all U.S. military action against groups other than al-Qaida in Yemen.

Trump Upends GOP Plan to Avoid ‘Scary’ Appearance
‘This is the commander in chaos,’ Sen. Robert Menendez says

President Donald Trump talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn after his State of the Union address in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The ousting of a secretary of State once elicited more than shrugs from lawmakers, but not in the era of Donald Trump. His erratic approach to the presidency has become the norm, and that could run counter to the best efforts of his party’s congressional leaders.

Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday morning via a tweet, announcing he would replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The move, in the works for months as the two clashed, came as House and Senate Republican leaders were hoping for several weeks of legislative progress — and even some high-profile bipartisan votes. For instance, the Senate was preparing for votes on a financial regulation bill that had broad support among Republicans and the backing of key Democrats.