senate

Criticism of Trump Over Brennan’s Clearance Keeps Increasing
Sen. Mark Warner planning an effort to change presidential power over clearances

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is drafting legislation to respond to President Donald Trump's move to strip former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The number of intelligence community officials who are blasting President Donald Trump for revoking former CIA Director John O. Brennan’s security clearance keeps going up.

And a key senator is drafting a legislative proposal to prevent a repeat.

Lawmakers Wary of Potential Trump Cuts to Foreign Aid
Corker, Menendez doubt legality of reported plan

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., doubt the administration has the legal authority to impound funds in the way they are reportedly planning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sources close to Capitol Hill and within the foreign aid community say that Trump administration officials are preparing a potential foreign aid “rescission” package that could cut between $2 billion and $4 billion in fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 funds from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

Some $200 million intended to benefit Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is thought to be on the chopping block as part of the request, sources said.

Senate, After One Day Back at the Capitol, Packs It In for the Week
Chamber confirmed two circuit court judges and moved to appropriations package

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., runs in the Senate subway basement on Thursday, shortly before senators cast their last votes of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators didn’t exactly extend themselves with the floor schedule for their first week back in session in August, though they did confirm another pair of President Donald Trump’s nominees to be judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr. and Julius Ness Richardson. 

Quattlebaum was confirmed Thursday on a 62-28 vote, while Richardson got by on an 81-8 vote. 

6 Times Things Got Physical on the Campaign Trail
Davis campaign aide latest to cross the line

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte posted a public apology to a reporter and pledged to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists after he admitted to body-slamming him the night before a 2017 House special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Levi Lovell, campaign field director for Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after chasing the congressman’s Democratic opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, around a local bar.

Amid all the heat and pressure of an election year, political disputes hardly ever get physical — until they do.

Free Press Gets a Boost With Senate Resolution Declaring It Is Not the Enemy
Action comes on same day newspapers coordinate on free press message

Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii is leading a resolution to defend press freedoms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday went on record declaring “that the press is not the enemy of the people” — a rebuke to President Donald Trump, who declares the opposite on a regular basis. 

Senators adopted by unanimous consent a resolution from Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York to declare the Senate’s support for a free press and the First Amendment protections afforded to journalists.

Lawrence Takes Trump’s Choice of Words Personally
‘I always think he’s hit rock bottom,’ Michigan congresswoman says of president calling Omarosa a ‘dog’

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., said President Donald Trump’s attack on former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman was “insulting.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence  joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have condemned President Donald Trump’s attack on his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. 

“And I can tell him, ‘Shame on you, the fact that you are comfortable, on a national platform, to address a woman in that way. Shame on you,’” Lawrence said Wednesday night on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Out Front.”

Meghan McCain Calls McSally’s Snub of Her Father ‘Disgraceful’
McSally, like Trump, omitted mention of John McCain in remarks about bill named in his honor

Megan McCain is seen with her father, Sen. John McCain, at the 100th Annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in 2014. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images file photo)

Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, lambasted Rep. Martha McSally on Wednesday for joining in the president’s snub of her father.

Like President Donald Trump, McSally omitted mention of the elder McCain when she touted her support for  the National Defense Authorization Act, named in John McCain’s honor. 

Weekend Work for the Senate? The Bluff That Won’t Go Away
Upon Wednesday return, a quickly defused musing of weekend work

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., seen here walking by a nonfunctioning elevator in the basement of the Capitol, and other senators returned from recess on Wednesday and were hit promptly with a threat of weekend work, which fizzled quickly. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators returned to Washington on Wednesday and scarcely had time to head to lunch before their leaders unsheathed the threat of weekend work, an oldie but goodie bluff that was taken off the table before dinner time. 

Returning around noon from a two-week recess that was to stand in for the traditional month-long state work period, the chamber’s official order of business was considering the nominations of two judges to be on the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals: First A. Marvin Quattlebaum Jr., then  Julius Ness Richardson. The plan all along has been to confirm those two South Carolinians, then turn to a two bill appropriations package consisting of the Defense and Labor-HHS measures, at some point. 

Democrats Continue Camera Shy Ways With Brett Kavanaugh
Senate courtesy meetings continue, but with nary a photo op

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to meet with Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic senators have, at least from Republican states, started meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but they are mostly avoiding the press when doing so. 

With senators back in town, meetings with President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court resumed Wednesday, with a pair of Democrats on the agenda.

Democrat Doug Jones Faces Flak for Kavanaugh Stance
Alabama senator not yet decided on Supreme Court nominee

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., has faced heckling for his stance on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Sen. Doug Jones took flak from constituents Monday for withholding judgement on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“You have enough information,” a constituent said to the junior Alabama senator at a town hall meeting. “We love you. But you will vote no. And you have enough information to vote no.”