Christopher S Murphy

Will Democrats stop the Senate from doing other legislating until the government shutdown ends?
Chris Van Hollen leads call to block other bills until the Senate votes on House-passed appropriations bills

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is leading an effort in the Senate to do nothing until the chamber votes on House-passed funding bills to reopen the government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Will Senate Republicans be stopped from working on anything else legislatively before the partial government shutdown ends?

Whether or not the Senate debates a new package of Syria sanctions and an effort to block boycotts of Israel this week could hinge on whether Maryland’s Democratic senators can convince their colleagues to do nothing until a deal is reached on ending the shutdown.

No Deal in Sight: Shutdown Here to Stay Amid Border Wall Stalemate
‘This is all just a political game to the President,’ says Democratic senator

Trash accumulates along the National Mall due to a partial shutdown of the federal government. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Trump administration and Senate Democrats remain locked in a stalemate over how to end a partial government shutdown, with neither side reporting any progress or substantive talks since before Christmas.

The funding standoff, which affects about a quarter of the federal government, entered its sixth day Thursday with President Donald Trump returning to Washington around 5 a.m. from an unannounced trip to visit U.S. troops in Iraq. House GOP leaders didn’t even bother to summon members back to the capital for that chamber’s pro forma session this afternoon, and while the Senate will convene at 4 p.m., senators have not been summoned to vote on any shutdown-ending package.

Mattis Out as Defense Secretary
Trump announces departure in wake of Syria withdrawal

Defense Secretary James Mattis is leaving his post amid intensifying disagreements with President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Defense Secretary James Mattis will leave the Trump administration early next year, President Donald Trump announced Thursday evening — one day after he unilaterally announced he is removing all American military troops from Syria.

In a resignation letter to Trump, Mattis made clear he had grown too disillusioned by his boss’s treatment of other U.S. allies and his “America first” philosophy.

Senate Flexes Congress’ War Powers Authority, For First Time Ever
Resolution would end military assistance to Saudi Arabia over war in Yemen

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., was one of the sponsors of the resolution to pull U.S. support of the Saudis in Yemen. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Thursday ordered the Pentagon to cease its military involvement on behalf of Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni civil war. It marked the first time since the 1973 passage of the War Powers Act that the Senate has ordered the executive branch to end an unauthorized military campaign.

The Senate passed, 56-41, the joint resolution, as amended, that would direct the president to remove U.S. armed forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen, except forces engaged in operations directed at Al Qaeda or associated forces, within 30 days of the joint resolution’s adoption of the joint resolution, unless and until a declaration of war or specific authorization of such use of force has been enacted.

Politically Wounded Trump Complicates Border Talks With Pelosi, Schumer
‘When he feels challenged … he pulls back to his base’

President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House on Friday evening without taking reporters' questions. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Another wild weekend — with federal prosecutors appearing to implicate Donald Trump in a pair of federal crimes and his second chief of staff leaving soon — has only complicated the president’s coming talks with Democratic leaders to avert a partial government shutdown over the holidays.

Trump is scheduled to meet in the Oval Office on Tuesday morning with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer less than two weeks before a deadline to pass legislation to keep the Department of Homeland Security and several other agencies funded and open beyond 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 21.

Three Takeaways as Trump Picks Former Fox Anchor for UN Envoy Post
President makes clear he’s running foreign policy, wants salesperson in New York

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (center) speaks with staff, including spokeswoman Heather Nauert, President Trump's pick for UN ambassador, during a G-20 summit last week in Argentina. (State Department photo by Ron Przysucha / Public Domain via Flickr)

By selecting State Department spokeswoman and former Fox News anchor Heather Nauert as his next UN ambassador, President Donald Trump has further consolidated his control of America’s foreign policy.

“Heather Nauert will be nominated for the ambassador to the United Nations,” Trump told reporters on his way to Marine One on Friday.

Markets Tumble Again But White House Not Guaranteeing China Deal
‘We'll see,’ President Trump's top economic adviser says of tricky talks

The flags of China and the United States are displayed in front of the portrait of China’s late communist leader, Mao Zedong, outside the Forbidden City on Nov. 9, 2017 in Beijing, before President Trump’s state visit. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images file photo)

U.S. markets plunged again Thursday amid doubts the Trump administration and China can strike a legitimate trade deal that would avoid an escalation of tensions and economic turbulence as the White House urges patience — and few guarantees of success.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ and S&P 500 Index all were closed Wednesday as part of a national day of mourning for the late President George H.W. Bush following a Tuesday sell off. But the one-day break did little to calm spooked markets.

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy Doubts Trump’s Optimistic Claims on China Trade Talks
Democratic lawmaker just isn’t buying president’s contention of a big win

President Donald Trump greets the press as the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, shows the way to a meeting during a G-20 summit last week. (Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images file photo)

Hours after threatening “major tariffs” on Chinese goods unless a new trade deal is reached, President Trump on Wednesday claimed his administration is hearing “very strong signals being sent by China.”

But one Democratic senator, Connecticut’s Christopher S. Murphy, isn’t buying it.

Senate Gears Up for Unpredictable Debate on Saudi Arabia and Yemen
CIA Director briefed key senators on Khashoggi killing Tuesday

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., is among the chief advocates for the Yemen resolution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is gearing up for a potentially unwieldy debate over U.S. policy regarding Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and a Tuesday briefing for key senators from the CIA chief did nothing to thwart that.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker told Roll Call Tuesday afternoon that interested parties would be meeting on Wednesday to try to find an agreement on handling the contentious Yemen resolution.

Senate Defies Trump on Saudi Arabia, Advances Yemen Measure
Vote comes after veto threat by White House

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is remembered at a memorial earlier this month at the Mayflower Hotel on November 2, 2018 in Washington. Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and critic of the Saudi regime, was killed after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images file photo)

In a rebuke to the White House, the Senate cast a procedural vote Wednesday to advance a resolution that would cut off most U.S. military aid to Saudi Arabia’s war operations in Yemen.

The Senate voted 63-37 to agree to a motion to discharge the Foreign Relations Committee from considering the measure, which authorizes the chamber to begin mulling the resolution, a debate that is likely to occur next week.