breaking-news

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead CIA
Bipartisan vote does not follow partisan script

Senators confirmed Gina Haspel to become CIA director before finishing work for the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a number of Democratic senators announced they would support President Donald Trump’s choice of Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the agency, she was easily confirmed Thursday afternoon.

In what has become a bit of a regular routine, Senate leaders reached an agreement to expedite votes on a key national security nominee and prevent any threat of a weekend session.

Senate Democrats Claim Small Victory on Net Neutrality
Will be taking the debate to the ballot box

Sen. Edward J. Markey has led the charge on the resolution that would effectively bring back net neutrality rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats won’t be scoring many legislative victories this year. So Wednesday’s win on a joint resolution that would upend the effort by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse Obama-era regulations on net neutrality was cause for mild celebration.

“A key question for anyone on the campaign trail in 2018 now will be: Do you support net neutrality?” Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts said at a news conference with House and Senate Democratic leaders on the effort to block the Trump administration from rolling back the regulations.

Harry Reid Treated for Pancreatic Cancer, According to Reports
Condition caught early, says person close to the former majority leader

Former Sen. Harry Reid has reportedly undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid underwent surgery Monday after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The generally grave cancer diagnosis was made early, according to multiple media reports citing sources close to the Nevada Democrat.

Donnelly Becomes Second Democrat to Support Gina Haspel to Lead the CIA
Indiana senator provides an insurance vote for the Trump nominee

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced his support for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate appears to be moving full speed ahead on confirming Gina Haspel as director of the CIA.

The Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to advance her nomination to the floor during a closed business meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, and a Saturday morning announcement by Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly further reduced the suspense.

Trump Generally Sticks to Hammering Donnelly at Indiana Rally
Could be template for what Senate GOP wants to see from the president

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a campaign rally on Thursday in Elkhart, Indiana. The crowd filled the 7,500-person-capacity gymnasium. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Senate GOP leaders might be smiling after President Donald Trump’s rally Thursday evening.

The raucous event in Elkhart, Indiana, saw Trump deliver one of his typical campaign trail stem-winders, with plenty of reminders about the midterm elections and the importance to the president of replacing Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in November.

McCain: Senate Should Reject Gina Haspel Over Torture Involvement
Arizona Republican made statement following Wednesday’s hearing

Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the CIA, and Marc Short, White House legislative affairs director, arrive in Hart Building for meetings with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and other senators on Monday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain wants the Senate to reject the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Arizona Republican, who has been home in Arizona battling brain cancer and related ailments, said in a statement he was not satisfied by Haspel’s responses regarding her involvement in the agency “enhanced interrogation” effort during the George W. Bush administration.

Trump Says Pompeo Secures Release of 3 American Detainees From North Korea
Scheduled to arrive back in U.S. early Thursday

President Donald Trump said that three Americans detained by North Korea are on their way home. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has secured the release of three American citizens detained in North Korea after meeting with that country's president, Kim Jong-Un, this week, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday.

Trump, who announced the detainees’ release via Twitter, will meet them and Pompeo at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 2 a.m. Thursday, he said.

White House: No August Recess Until Appropriations, Nominations Done
Marc Short appeared with Sen. David Perdue and conservative leaders

White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said that an effort to pressure Democrats to get work done before August had administration backing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House hopes the Senate will get spending bills done and curtail the nominations backlog before the August recess, but it is backing a call to cut down the break if needed to overcome delays in confirming President Donald Trump’s nominations.

Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, made that clear during an event on Capitol Hill Tuesday with conservative leaders, putting the onus on Democrats to move the process along.

CIA Nominee Gina Haspel Meets Senators Even as Questions Remain
Some senators still want more disclosed about her records, history at the agency

Gina Haspel, nominee to become CIA director, was at the Capitol for meetings with senators on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel paid courtesy calls on Capitol Hill as senators returned to town Monday afternoon, but concerns regarding agency transparency about her record remained.

Haspel met with a number of key members of the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday, including Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich.

Pelosi Seeks Ethics Investigation of Cárdenas Over Child Sex Abuse Allegations
Minority leader said she spoke with fellow California Democrat about accusations

Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., is facing allegations of sexual misconduct involving a teenage girl before he was a member of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is asking the House Ethics Committee to investigate allegations of child sex abuse against California Rep. Tony Cárdenas.

A civil lawsuit has been filed against Cárdenas in Los Angeles County alleging that in 2007, when he was a member of the city council, he groped a 16-year-old girl. Cárdenas, who holds a junior position in Democratic leadership, denies the allegations.