pat leahy

Trump Comments Spark Senate Fireworks

Sessions said immigration policy should be mindful of security risks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

"Is it in the national interest to admit the ISIS member equally with the Buddhist?"  

That was one of the rhetorical questions from Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, as the Senate Judiciary Committee debated religious tests for immigrants, and a Senate hearing room became the latest venue for a rebuke to Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.  

Leahy Joins 15,000-Vote Club (Video)

Leahy -- shown here with subway operator Teresa Simms -- cast his 15,000 vote on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy cast his 15,000th vote Tuesday, joining an exclusive club in Senate history.  

The Vermont Democrat's first vote came in 1975 on a resolution to establish the Church Committee. His 15,000th vote was on an amendment to cybersecurity legislation, and vote No. 15,001 came on his own amendment. In a statement, Leahy offered a long list of his most memorable votes, but it was two war votes that stood out — and provided context for the length of his tenure: "Opposing the war in Iraq, a venture that cost so many lives, and trillions of taxpayer dollars. And I was proud to be the first Vermonter to cast a vote, in the Armed Services Committee, to end the War in Vietnam."  

Laughs and a Hug at Sentencing Overhaul Unveiling (Video)

Sen. Cory Booker and several other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee unveiled a bipartisan overhaul to the criminal justice system. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Cory Booker stood on a platform with eight other senators, holding back his desire to hug them all.  

The New Jersey Democrat was gushing with joy as he and many members of the Judiciary Committee announced a major overhaul to the criminal justice system, particularly on sentencing and recidivism reduction. The effort uniting senators from across the political spectrum, as well as disparate interest groups, is particularly notable in a Congress known more for hyper-partisanship.