Niels Lesniewski

Corker and Hatch Won’t Be Moving Down Under
Senate GOP chairmen opt not to be considered for ambassador to Australia

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker has turned down the chance to be ambassador to Australia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker will not be leaving the chamber to become ambassador to Australia, and neither will Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch.

An aide to Corker confirmed a report that the Tennessee Republican had been under consideration for the post.

Democrats Pitch Voting Rights, Ethics Overhaul With Focus on Trump
Latest 2018 campaign theme reminiscent of 2006

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at Monday afternoon’s “A Better Deal for Our Democracy” press conference hosted by House and Senate Democrats. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional Democrats have returned to a playbook that might look familiar to anyone around Capitol Hill back in 2006.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer are seeking to overhaul a number of laws and root out government corruption.

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead CIA
Bipartisan vote does not follow partisan script

Senators confirmed Gina Haspel to become CIA director before finishing work for the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a number of Democratic senators announced they would support President Donald Trump’s choice of Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the agency, she was easily confirmed Thursday afternoon.

In what has become a bit of a regular routine, Senate leaders reached an agreement to expedite votes on a key national security nominee and prevent any threat of a weekend session.

John McCain’s Advice for the Next Immigration Battle
Memoir coming out next week, just as House members try to force floor debate

Sen. John McCain, right, has written advice for the lawmakers fighting the next immigration battle, highlighting his own with former Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s fitting that Sen. John McCain’s memoir, likely his last, will arrive just as a bipartisan contingent of House lawmakers is seeking to work around Republican leaders’ objections to moving an immigration bill.

McCain, a longtime supporter of overhauling immigration laws, has some advice for newer colleagues searching for the path to legislative victory, even when their own leadership may not be on board.

Senate Democrats Claim Small Victory on Net Neutrality
Will be taking the debate to the ballot box

Sen. Edward J. Markey has led the charge on the resolution that would effectively bring back net neutrality rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats won’t be scoring many legislative victories this year. So Wednesday’s win on a joint resolution that would upend the effort by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse Obama-era regulations on net neutrality was cause for mild celebration.

“A key question for anyone on the campaign trail in 2018 now will be: Do you support net neutrality?” Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts said at a news conference with House and Senate Democratic leaders on the effort to block the Trump administration from rolling back the regulations.

Democrats Focus on 2018 at Ideas Summit, With Eye to 2020
Warren announces new donations to back state legislative efforts

Sen. Doug Jones was among the afternoon panelists at the Center for American Progress conference Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Many of the Senate Democrats at Tuesday’s Center for American Progress Ideas Conference are 2020 presidential contenders and brought to the progressive policy gathering a wide array of political positions, not to mention approaches to their presentations.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who closed the event, focused not so much on individual ideas presented on the stage, but on the nuts-and-bolts importance of winning elections at the state and local level.

Votes Roll in for Haspel After Expressing Regret Over Enhanced Interrogation
Latest comments seem to be enough to get support from Mark Warner

Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has written a new letter about interrogation programs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the CIA is making it even more clear that the program sanctioning harsh interrogations during the George W. Bush administration should not have taken place.

Gina Haspel, the current acting director of the agency, expanded upon her testimony in a letter dated Monday to Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.

Harry Reid Treated for Pancreatic Cancer, According to Reports
Condition caught early, says person close to the former majority leader

Former Sen. Harry Reid has reportedly undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid underwent surgery Monday after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The generally grave cancer diagnosis was made early, according to multiple media reports citing sources close to the Nevada Democrat.

Schumer, Trump Align on Jerusalem Policy While Sparring Over Iran deal
Senator praises president on embassy move

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer pushed President Donald Trump to follow through on moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is praising President Donald Trump for following through on designating the U.S. embassy in Israel in Jerusalem.

“In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Every nation should have the right to choose its capital,” the Democrat from New York said in a statement. “I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”

Donnelly Becomes Second Democrat to Support Gina Haspel to Lead the CIA
Indiana senator provides an insurance vote for the Trump nominee

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced his support for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate appears to be moving full speed ahead on confirming Gina Haspel as director of the CIA.

The Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to advance her nomination to the floor during a closed business meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, and a Saturday morning announcement by Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly further reduced the suspense.