Chris Coons

Bob Corker’s Quieter Foreign Policy Legacy
Retiring Foreign Relations chairman offers advice for new members

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has advice for incoming senators: become an expert, listen to colleagues and score quieter wins with an eye to the future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker prepares to yield his gavel and leave the Senate, he has advice for newly elected senators: gain expertise and actually listen to your colleagues.

“Some of these people obviously are coming in with large platforms. I mean, they’ve been significant figures prior to coming here,” the Tennessee Republican, first elected in 2006, said in a recent interview. “Still though, they’re going to be freshman senators and they’re going to be sitting at the end of the dais in most cases in whatever the committee.”

Trump, China’s Xi Agree to End Trade and Tariff Standoff
Lawmakers have been split on how tough Trump should be on Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at the Capitol in September 2015. He and President Trump agreed to a trade cease-fire Saturday after months of tensions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday agreed to what amounts to a cease-fire on a monthslong trade tiff.

“President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10 percent rate, and not raise it to 25 percent at this time,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Putin, Xi Set to Test ‘America First’ Trump at G-20
Coons says president should ‘end the tariffs’ during dinner with Chinese leader

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a joint press conference after their summit in July in Helsinki. They are scheduled to meet again at a G-20 summit this weekend in Argentina. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images file photo)

Donald Trump takes his “America first” presidency to Argentina on Thursday for a high-stakes G-20 summit, but lawmakers and experts warn his go-it-alone approach could hamstring his own goals on China, Russia and North Korea.

Trump is expected to pose for the usual “family photo” with the other world leaders gathered in Buenos Aires. There will be one-on-one meetings with allies such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in as Trump looks to build a unified front against North Korea. And there will be face-to-face talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been much more critical than Trump of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

On Chaotic Wednesday, Senators Hunt for an Endgame
Yemen resolution, contentious nominees complicate escape plans

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives Wednesday for a briefing for all senators with Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Wednesday was not a typical day in the Senate.

On an average Senate day, the visceral, negative response from senators to a closed briefing on U.S. policy on Saudi Arabia might have dominated headlines.

Criminal Justice Supporters Press Case for Floor Time
Mike Pence and Jared Kushner joined Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday

Vice President Mike Pence, left, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner make their way to the Senate Republican policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence had a guest with him at Tuesday’s Senate Republican lunch: White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. It was a sign the Trump administration is leaning on GOP leaders to schedule floor time for a key priority — overhauling the criminal justice system.

Kushner has been helping to lead the administration’s advocacy for a criminal justice overhaul bill that supporters are trying to cajole Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put on the floor before the end of the lame-duck session of Congress.

Senate Human Rights Caucus Lauds Mike Pence for Pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi
Vice president reportedly called for pardoning of Reuters journalists

Sens. Thom Tillis, left, and Chris Coons, heads of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, are praising Vice President Mike Pence for pressuring Aung San Suu Kyi to release two Reuters journalists. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence is getting bipartisan backing for pressing Aung San Suu Kyi over the imprisonment of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar.

Pence met with the state counsellor of the country, also known as Burma, in connection with his trip to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, which has taken him countries across Asia, as well as Australia.

Grassley Gave McConnell Judges. Now He Wants His Criminal Justice Bill
‘I look at this in a very personal way,’ Grassley said

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has helped confirm a record number of judges. All he wants from Mitch McConnell now is a little “reciprocity.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is leaning on his track record of processing judicial nominations to get a floor vote on a bipartisan bill he spearheaded to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system.

In an unusual personal plea, the 85-year-old Iowa Republican on Thursday said he wanted “reciprocity” from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “what I’ve done in our unified effort on judges” during President Donald Trump’s administration.

Senate Appropriators Cast Doubt on Mueller Protections Making It Into Spending Deal
Chairman wants to keep December spending deal as clean as possible, despite interests of Pelosi, House Democrats

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., does not favor attaching protections for Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a December spending package. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby thinks trying to attach language designed to shield Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to a big December spending package would be ill-advised.

Asked ahead of a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump about the interest of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to use the must-pass spending measure as the vehicle for such a bill, Shelby said, “She’s not talking about putting it in an appropriations bill?”

Flake Interested in Own Future, Not Protecting Mueller Probe, Trump Says
Arizona Republican has not ruled out challenging Trump in 2020

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was the target of more harsh words from President Trump on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump lashed out Friday at retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, accusing the Arizona Republican of putting his own possible presidential ambitions ahead of actually protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Flake said Thursday that he and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons would try to call up legislation designed to protect Mueller when the Senate returns for the lame-duck session next week. In a tweet about the bipartisan bill, Flake said, “After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.”

Legislation to Protect Robert Mueller Still Not on Senate Agenda, McConnell Says
Senate majority leader says President Donald Trump will let the Russia investigation run its course

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate does not need to take up legislation to protect the Russia probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that legislation to shield special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from being fired is still not on the Senate agenda.

“It’s not going to come up because it isn’t necessary,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters.