ener

Trump admits he lacks exit strategy for an Iran war
Candidate Trump harshly criticized ‘stupid wars’ in Middle East that U.S. couldn’t untangle

Peshmerga fighters are seen driving along the frontline outside the town of Altun Kubri on October 23, 2017 in Altun Kubri, Iraq. President Donald Trump long criticized George W. Bush and Barack Obama for their lack of exit strategies in the Middle East. Now, he might need one for war with Iran. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump admitted Tuesday he has no plan for how to get out of war with Iran if one breaks out, even though he campaigned on ending protracted American wars in the Middle East that he long has called “stupid.”

Hours after he responded to insults by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by warning him of “obliteration” if a shooting conflict starts, CQ Roll Call asked Trump this during an unrelated event in the Oval Office: “Do you have an exit strategy for Iran, if war does break out?”

Nine spending bills down, three to go in House
Not a single House Republican has voted for any of the spending bills, and the White House opposes them too

Chairman Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., right, full committee chair Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., conduct a House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building on April 9, 2019. Nine of the 12 annual bills needed for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 have been passed. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House passed its second batch of fiscal 2020 spending measures Tuesday, in a $322 billion package that would block Trump administration policies on offshore drilling, a health care court challenge, the 2020 census and more.

On a mostly party-line vote of 227-194, the House passed the Democrat-written measure that combines five of the 12 annual bills needed for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. Those are the Commerce-Justice-Science bill, which is the underlying vehicle, along with the Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Transportation-HUD and the Interior-Environment bills.

Eleanor Holmes Norton says let them scoot!
Whether you Bird, Lyft, Skip, Spin or Jump, you can’t do it at the Capitol

Electric scooters are raising safety and security concerns on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Are you bummed about the Capitol Hill ban on electric scooters? Does your Hill commute fall within a VERY specific range in which scooting makes sense? Maybe you don’t live near a metro stop, but you’re too lazy to walk and too ashamed to call an Uber.

Well fret not Hill scooter(ers), because you have a new champion in Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is calling on Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to reverse the ban.

9/11 survivor fund crosses key support threshold in the Senate
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand urges quick floor action

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., says the 9/11 first responders and survivors fund reauthorization has 60 co-sponsors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Legislation to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has crossed a threshold of support that is key to move ahead in the Senate, according to New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

A bipartisan group of 60 senators signed on to co-sponsor a reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which would make the fund permanent. Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to invoke cloture, or end debate on a bill. Without 60 votes, a bill can’t move forward to final passage. 

FEC fines Florida-based company for illegal contribution to support Rick Scott's 2018 campaign
Ring Power Corp. violated ban on campaign contributions from federal contractors

The New Republican PAC, which supported the 2018 campaign of Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, shown, refunded a $50,000 contribution shortly after an FEC complaint alleged it violated a ban on donations from federal contractors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Federal Election Commission fined a Florida company for making an illegal campaign contribution to support Florida Sen. Rick Scott's 2018 campaign, according to documents obtained by Roll Call Tuesday. 

The $9,500 fine levied against Ring Power Corp., which sells and leases industrial machinery, represents a rare penalty for a company found to have violated a 75-year-old ban on campaign contributions from federal contractors.

Poll: Democrats want an experienced politician as president, not an outsider
Seventy-three percent of Democratic voters said they would be ‘more excited’ to vote for a politically experienced candidate

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Candidates in the historically diverse field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have highlighted their age, gender, race and military experience as defining traits separating them from their peers. 

But Democratic voters find none of those characteristics as important as a candidate’s experience in elected office, according to a new poll from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs at the University of Chicago.

Prosecutors want to tell jury about Rep. Duncan Hunter affairs with women he worked with, including his own aide
Hunter says his support for Trump made him target of ‘political prosecutors’

Prosecutors say in court filings that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., pursued five intimate relationships in total. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter illegally used campaign donations to finance extramarital romantic relationships with women he worked alongside, including one of his aides, federal prosecutors allege in a court filing.

Hunter’s attorneys countered by accusing the prosecutors of a targeting the California Republican because of his early support for Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

Melania Trump aide Grisham to be White House press secretary and communications director
Grisham replaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose last day is Friday

Stephanie Grisham, right, communications director for first lady Melania Trump, and Emma Doyle, White House principal deputy chief of staff, return to the White House in March after President Donald Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The first lady announced Tuesday that Grisham will be the next White House press secretary. (Al Drago/Getty Images file photo)

Stephanie Grisham, who has been a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, will be the next White House press secretary and communications director.

The first lady announced the move in a tweet a week after Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she would leave the post. Friday will be Sanders’ last day.

House’s Louisiana baseball stars reflect on their friendship, the 2017 shooting
This year’s game is on Wednesday, June 26

Minority Whip Steve Scalise, center, and Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, right, during the 2018 Congressional Baseball Game (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

“We call that lagniappe in Louisiana.” That’s how Minority Whip Steve Scalise described getting to play baseball on a major league field while fostering relationships with his congressional colleagues along the way. “Lagniappe, it means a little something extra.”

House Democrats offer changes to woo liberals on border funds
Bipartisan Senate measure moving in that chamber, adding to flux

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., talks with reporters before attending a meeting with other House Democrats to discuss potential border bill changes at the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:55 p.m. | House Democratic leaders sought to tamp down a rebellion among their party’s left flank Tuesday as they prepared for a floor vote on $4.5 billion in emergency funding for the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border.

Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey offered a new manager’s amendment aimed at easing the concerns of Progressive Caucus and Hispanic Caucus members over the care of children who are in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. Her amendment would tack on requirements for CBP to develop standards for medical care, nutrition, hygiene and personnel training, as well as a plan to ensure access to translation services for individuals “encountered” by U.S. immigration agencies.