Tom Cotton

Gun laws may not be changing, but the gun debate certainly is
Fewer and fewer elected Democrats fret much anymore about taking on the NRA

Students march to the Capitol in April 2018, calling on Congress to act on gun violence prevention. Gun control groups have spent more than $1.2 million on federal lobbying so far this year, keeping them on pace to spend the most they ever have. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — That almost nothing has changed in federal gun policy since Newtown or Parkland or any mass shooting before or after belies the enormous transformation underway in the lobbying and political landscapes of the issue.

Gun safety groups now operate a lot more like their opponents: amassing a national network of grassroots activists that descend on Capitol Hill and show up in lawmakers’ districts; spending big on political campaigns; and retaining some of the biggest names on K Street, firms that also represent the likes of Amazon and Goldman Sachs.

Republican senators target Google’s relationship with Chinese tech giant Huawei
Senators criticized Google for working with Huawei to develop ‘smart speakers’ that may allow China to ‘listen in on Americans’ conversations’

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was one of three senators to send a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday criticizing the tech giant for its relationship with Chinese government-aligned Huawei. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Sens. Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, and Marco Rubio excoriated Google on Wednesday for downplaying its activity in China despite a report last week that it had been working with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop “smart speaker” technology.

In a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the senators expressed their concern that such devices can “enable untrustworthy companies to listen in on Americans’ conversations.”

Both parties scored political points in war powers debate
Senate debate was feisty, fierce and principled — and transparently tailored for partisan effect

An amendment offered by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., spiced up debate on the annual Defense bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — The Senate’s debate last week on presidential war powers was substantive, serious and passionate — with the added benefit of enabling each party to score some political points.

The debate pertained to whether and how to hem in President Donald Trump’s authority to attack Iran amid heightened tensions in the Middle East that spiked this month when Iran shot down a U.S. drone and Trump pulled up just short of launching a counterattack.

Schumer’s mystery tie, Romney’s many houses and Pelosi’s bet with Trudeau: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of June 17, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wears a tie featuring eggs, cheese and pigs, during his election security press conference on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

3 things to watch: Before any Iran conflict, Trump faces war within his own team
'Iran made a very big mistake,' president warns in cryptic tweet after U.S. drone shot down

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., are among the more promiment hawks when it comes to Iran. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS | Donald Trump is facing one of the biggest tests of his presidency after Iran shot down a U.S. military aircraft, prompting him to declare the islamic republic “made a very big mistake.”

His tweet at 10:16 a.m. Thursday broke the nearly 15 hours of essential White House silence on the missile takedown of the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone aircraft. But the U.S. commander in chief did not suggest he is ready to respond — even after a top Iranian official admitted the shootdown was meant as a “clear message” to Washington.

Drums of looming Iran war resound in Congress
As NDAA debate begins, McConnell urges colleagues ‘to keep these deadly serious developments at the top of our minds’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged colleagues to keep Iran developments at the top of their minds. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate is launching a debate on its annual defense authorization bill this week amid the specter of war with Iran.

It is not clear to what extent possible U.S. military strikes on Iran will play a role in debate on the $750 billion measure or, for that matter, in a separate vote this week on blocking U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch foe.

Virginia wins uranium mining ban battle in Supreme Court
The opinion highlighted sharp divisions among justices about how they should evaluate lawmaker motivations

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Virginia to prevent mining of the largest deposit of uranium in the United States. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Virginia to prevent mining of the largest deposit of uranium in the United States, in an opinion that highlighted sharp divisions among the justices about how they should evaluate the motivations of lawmakers.

The case turned on the regulatory line between state and federal authority over the extraction and then further processing of nuclear materials. Six of the justices agreed that a 1954 federal law, known as the Atomic Energy Act, did not preempt a state ban on mining.

Huawei accuses Congress of ‘tyranny’ in suit over federal contracting ban
The Chinese company faces legal and regulatory actions threatening access to U.S. markets and is fighting back in U.S. courts

The Huawei Technologies Co. logo is displayed at the Huawei Technologies Co. headquarters on March 29, 2019, in Shenzhen, China. Huawei, the worlds largest telecommunication equipment maker, reported on Friday its annual profit rose 25% to 59.3 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) despite being at the center of global scrutiny. Huawei Technologies faces a barrage of legal and regulatory actions threatening its access to U.S. markets, but it is fighting back with a lawsuit in U.S. courts challenging congressional authority. (Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies faces a barrage of legal and regulatory actions threatening its access to U.S. markets, but it is fighting back with a lawsuit in U.S. courts challenging congressional authority to bar the federal government from contracting with the company as an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

The fiscal 2019 defense authorization law prohibits federal agencies from buying, or contracting with companies that use, certain Huawei equipment and services. The company contends that Congress violated Article I of the Constitution by engaging in a “trial by legislature.”

Memorial Day reading: Tom Cotton busts a myth of Arlington’s Old Guard
Arkansas Republican senator, who served with the unit, documents battlefield history

An Honor Guard bears the coffin of Capt. Russell Rippetoe, 27, the first soldier killed in Iraq to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in April 2003. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most people know the Old Guard as the Army regiment that protects the Arlington Nation Cemetery and its Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. But it has a long combat history too.

Before he was a senator, Tom Cotton served in the storied regiment. He unearths its forgotten past in “Sacred Duty,” published earlier this May by the William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins.

Still no public timeline for Jared Kushner immigration plan
Presidential son-in-law briefed Senate GOP on details Tuesday

Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, stepped out of the Vice President’s office in the Senate Reception Room for a phone call Tuesday after attending the Senate Republicans’ weekly policy lunch. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When White House senior adviser Jared Kushner came to visit Senate Republicans on Tuesday to reportedly discuss an immigration overhaul he is developing, he did not have a full plan ready to go for solving what his own party says is a crisis.

Multiple Republican senators said there was no evidence that the Trump administration has set a timeline for a public rollout, but Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, did present some ideas that were new to many members of the conference.