Richard Blumenthal

Blumenthal Dubious of White House Interim Security Clearance Trend
Between 30 and 40 White House staffers have not been issued full security clearance

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned — and frustrated — over the White House’s position on matters of security confidentiality.

Last week, President Donald Trump withheld the release of a Democratic House Intelligence Committee memo rebutting one from the Republican side, citing the need for heavy redaction to protect national security interests.

Partisan Rancor Ramps Up Over Schiff FISA Memo
As Dems call POTUS hypocrite for withholding memo, GOP says it was unfair

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, is the author of the Democratic response to the House GOP FISA memo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The usual suspects have shouldered their political quivers as debate rages over the White House’s decision to withhold a Democratic House Intelligence Committee memo rebutting one from the Republican side.

Over the weekend, Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee and the memo’s primary curator, repeatedly hammered the president for releasing the Republican memo but not the Democratic one, calling it a hypocritical move.

How Republicans and Democrats Reacted to Trump-Mueller Report
Democrats cry foul, GOP zips lips over story that president ordered Russia special counsel fired last year

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., both expressed alarm at a New York Times report that President Donald Trump tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans and Democrats took up their usual positions after news broke that President Donald Trump ordered White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller in June, only to drop the demand when the top White House lawyer threatened to quit.

Democratic lawmakers were predictably outraged.

Congress Closes In on New Rules for Olympic and Amateur Sports, Including USA Gymnastics
Feinstein wants House to call up and pass her bill to require reporting of alleged sexual misconduct

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants the House to pass the Senate’s bill without further amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is close to finalizing legislation that imposes new requirements on amateur and Olympic sports organizations to report suspected sexual abuse, something that would coincide with increased public pressure to address scandal within the Olympic community.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement that the chamber planned to take up a final bill Monday.

Amid Safety Concerns, Senators Plan Path for Driverless Car Bill
Blumenthal invokes Ralph Nader’s 1965 “Unsafe at Any Speed“

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, a co-sponsor of a driverless car bill, says he is working to address the reservations of his fellow Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The sponsors of a Senate bill to set the federal framework for driverless vehicles said Wednesday they were making progress on their effort to pass it by unanimous consent. But they resisted calls to amend the measure and said they may pursue a floor vote instead.

After a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee field hearing at the Washington Auto Show, Chairman John Thune told reporters he will continue to work through safety concerns that three Democratic senators had over the bill. But he said he wouldn’t cave to demands that would undermine the purpose of the legislation.

Senators Threaten Legislation Over Social Media Firms' Content

Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune said he was more focused on oversight than legislation for social media companies and their content. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Big social media companies made a case against new legislative mandates by emphasizing their voluntary efforts to root out terrorism-related material and other objectionable content on their sites during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

But senators from both parties warned representatives of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of legislative action even as Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said he was focused on oversight rather than legislation, which could further open the companies to lawsuits. The committee approved a bill that would allow online businesses to be sued and prosecuted for sex trafficking content, but Thune indicated he wasn’t ready to do the same over terrorism content.

Opinion: White People in Norway? Who Knew?
Kirstjen Nielsen displays the rhetorical contortions necessary to serve under Trump

Kirstjen Nielsen might want to stay away from categories on Norway or basic geography if she ever appears on “Jeopardy” — especially if the answer is, “What’s a Scandinavian country with lots of white people?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the conclusion of more than four hours of testimony Tuesday before an often hostile Senate Judiciary Committee, Kirstjen Nielsen, the new secretary of Homeland Security, slowly gathered up her papers, shared a few laughing words with Arizona Republican Jeff Flake (the last senator in the room) and confidently exited surrounded by an armada of aides.

Depending on her level of self-awareness and the degree of flattery from her staffers, Nielsen may have nurtured the belief that she aced her Capitol Hill exam. After all, the loyal Cabinet secretary avoided saying almost anything controversial, even when pressed by Democrats over Donald Trump’s doubly confirmed reference to “shithole countries” during last Thursday’s White House immigration meeting that she attended.

White House Won’t Deny Trump’s Slur About Haiti, African Nations
President reportedly complained about immigrants from ‘shithole countries’

The White House is not denying that President Donald Trump used a derogatory term when talking about immigrants from Haiti and African countries. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House is not denying that President Donald Trump used a vulgar expression Thursday when talking about immigrants from Haiti and African countries during a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office.

The president allegedly called those nations “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States.

Trump Slams Feinstein Over Russia Info Release
Calls California senator ‘sneaky’

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives in the Capitol for the Senate Democrats' policy lunch on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump slammed Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein for releasing the transcript of a Fusion GPS co-founder’s testimony to the panel, calling her “sneaky” and suggesting — without evidence — she might have broken the law.

The California Democrat said she made the transcript public because she felt the American people had the right to know what the firm’s leaders said about a dossier of Russia-related information about Trump. But she did so over the objections of panel Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa, angering Republicans and the White House.

Tax Overhaul Caps What Congressional Republicans Say Is Successful Year
Members say legislative, regulatory and judicial victories overshadow health care setback

From left, Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, are basking in their win on taxes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The GOP-led tax overhaul caps off a year in which, despite some high-profile setbacks, congressional Republicans scored a slew of key victories.

GOP lawmakers say the accomplishments provide ammunition against critics who questioned whether the party could effectively govern with full control of Washington, D.C., and give Republicans newfound energy going into an election year.