Afghanistan

Elijah E. Cummings: A life in photos
Images of the Maryland lawmaker from the CQ Roll Call archives

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., interviewed by Roll Call in his Rayburn House Office Building office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a 12-term congressman, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a key player in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, died early Thursday of complications from longtime health issues.  The Maryland Democrat was 68.

Will Trump abandoning the Kurds hurt him politically with former comrades in arms?
Military members and veterans have been among the commander in chief’s staunchest supporters

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who served with Kurdish forces during the war in Iraq, said they were “the one group you could have behind you and not worry about your back. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With President Donald Trump in essence abandoning former Kurdish allies in northern Syria who helped the U.S. beat back ISIS over the last half decade, some Republican lawmakers who served in the military and outside advocacy groups are divided whether the policy could damage the president’s support among current and former service members, which has remained high throughout his administration.

Despite the U.S. military and Kurds working hand-in-hand on military operations in the Middle East for more than two decades, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday that the Kurds are “no angels,” and deemed his move to withdraw U.S. personnel who had served as a buffer between them and Turkish forces “strategically brilliant.”

Kurds are ‘no angels’ and their fight with Turkey is ‘not our problem,’ Trump says
In rare split, McConnell had sharp words about president’s decision to abandon Kurds in Syria

President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office on Wednesday while Italian President Sergio Mattarella listens. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday continued distancing the United States from Kurdish forces in Syria who once were Washington’s chief ally in fighting the Islamic State group.

Trump’s decision to remove American forces who were positioned between Turkish troops and the Kurds has angered both Republican and Democratic members. Both chambers are expected to soon approve a resolution condemning his decision, which he says is necessary to help bring an end to what he calls America’s post-9/11 “endless wars.”

NY freshman Max Rose joins fellow Democrats in supporting impeachment probe
Afghanistan veteran who flipped GOP seat was one of handful of House Democrats holding out on impeachment

New York Rep. Max Rose addresses constituents Wednesday in Staten Island, N.Y., where he announced his support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. (Dean DeChiaro/CQ Roll Call)

NEW YORK — Rep. Max Rose really wanted to talk about traffic. And with Staten Islanders enduring some of the country’s longest commutes, so did his constituents.

But those at a town hall event Wednesday night knew that any discussion of congestion pricing and express ferries was likely to be eclipsed by questions about the New York Democrat’s position on the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s Ukraine dealings.

Early Trump ally Chris Collins resigning ahead of plea hearing
New York Republican was reelected while fighting indictment on insider trading charges last year

New York Rep. Chris Collins is resigning ahead of a plea hearing Tuesday in his insider trading case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Chris Collins is resigning ahead of a hearing related to insider trading charges.

The New York Republican on Monday submitted a resignation letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It will be effective when it is read on the House floor during a pro forma session Tuesday, her office confirmed.

Mac Thornberry joins Republican ‘Texodus’ from House
Top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee to retire rather than seek 14th term

Texas GOP Rep. Mac Thornberry is not running for reelection. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mac Thornberry is the latest Texas Republican to head for the exits, announcing Monday that he is not running for reelection. The 13-term lawmaker is the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.

Thornberry was facing GOP term limits on the committee, having served two previous terms as chairman before the start of the current Congress, where he became the ranking member after Democrats took over the House.

Bush-era torture memos cast doubt on human rights nominee’s approval
Sen. Robert Menendez said the administration had not been transparent on two separate matters relating to Billingslea’s background

Marshall Billingslea prepares to testify during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in 2017.  Billingslea’s nomination is in doubt because lawmakers say the Trump administration has not turned over information relating to Billingslea’s background. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The future of a Trump nominee to serve as the executive branch’s highest-ranking human rights official is in doubt following a difficult Senate Foreign Relations confirmation hearing and lawmakers’ frustration over how the nomination has been muscled through.

With last week’s confirmation hearing of Marshall Billingslea to be the next undersecretary of State for civilian security, democracy and human rights, Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, broke with a decades-long tradition of agreement between the Republican and Democratic panel leaders when scheduling committee hearings and markups.

Florida lawmakers continue clash with VA Secretary Wilkie over evictions
Members say offices in VA facilities were closed because Wilkie took offense to grilling from Mast in April hearing

From left, Reps. Brian Mast, R-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., conduct a news conference Friday in the Capitol Visitor Center on the eviction of Congressional offices from Veterans Affairs Department facilities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A bipartisan group of Florida House members led by GOP Rep. Brian Mast continues to clash with Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie over their eviction from offices in VA facilities.

The lawmakers have claimed Wilkie directed VA hospitals in Florida to remove members from small constituent service offices in their facilities as payback for a grilling Wilkie received from Mast at a congressional oversight hearing earlier this year.

Trump’s UN speech shows a departure from John Bolton’s muscular worldview
President’s speech could be called ‘Bolton Lite’ as he urges dictators to ‘love’ their people

Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, center, and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher, right, attend an international ceremony in Warsaw to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II on Sept. 1. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump went to the United Nations General Assembly without his former national security adviser, the hawkish John Bolton, and delivered a speech that might be dubbed “Bolton Lite.”

Bolton was ousted after a series of disagreements, including one over Trump’s scuttled Afghanistan peace summit that would have put Taliban leaders at Camp David just days before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks their al-Qaeda guests planned from the southwest Asian country.

Battling inner conflict on Iran, Trump heads to UN session
President must first convince himself of a plan before rallying any coalition

President Donald Trump waves after addressing the media during his arrival at an United Nations General Assembly session last year in New York City. He is back at the annual gathering of world leaders this week. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump heads to a U.N. General Assembly session in his hometown this week with a new national security adviser and an increasingly complicated situation with Iran. But don’t expect a resolution in New York.

Previous presidents have used the gathering of world leaders to forge coalitions in the face of geopolitical conflict. There is little evidence Trump has any plans to do so.