policy

Trump Vows to Sign Compromise Prisons Bill
President made similar promise on immigration, then helped sink bipartisan measure

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing for Dallas, Texas, on May 4. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Friday did little to help resolve lawmakers’ standoff over differing House and Senate prison overhaul bills, opting against using his bully pulpit to pressure either side.

Instead, Trump gave both sides leverage when he said his administration “strongly supports these efforts,” referring to each chambers’ bill. The remark was something of a shift for the president. Previously, his administration has voiced support for a measure awaiting House floor action but been cooler to a Senate version that includes proposed sentencing changes.

Republican Divide, Mistrust Dooms Farm Bill in House
Failure is major blow to House Republican leaders

Despite pleas from Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his leadership team, Republicans did not united behind the farm bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:20 p.m. | The farm bill’s defeat Friday wasn’t the outcome House Republican leadership was expecting. 

GOP leaders headed to the floor for the vote with an inconclusive whip count. They knew the vote would be close. But they felt fairly confident based on private conversations they had throughout the week that their commitment to hold a vote on immigration legislation in the coming weeks would sway enough Freedom Caucus members whose votes they needed.

Rep. Tipton Files Resolution for Return of North Korea-Seized U.S. Ship
USS Pueblo has been on display in North Korea since its capture in 1968

Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., filed a resolution Tuesday seeking the return of the U.S.S. Pueblo from more than 50-year captivity in North Korea. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Scott Tipton introduced a resolution in the House this week seeking the return of a U.S. Navy spy vessel that has been in North Korean captivity for more than half a century.

Tipton’s request for the North Korean government to return the USS Pueblo comes less than a month before the planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-Un on June 12 in Singapore.

Analysis: Giuliani Escalates Effort to Erode Legitimacy of Mueller Probe
Trump lawyer attacks Sessions, Comey and casts president as victim of ‘crimes’

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani prepares to speak at the Conference on Iran earlier this month shortly after being added to President Donald Trump’s legal team. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey is a “proven liar” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “didn’t step up” to shut down an “unjustifiable investigation.” Those were just two of the claims made Friday by Rudy Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, as he continued an escalating effort to erode the legitimacy of the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

As Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team continue their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, possible coordination with the Trump-Pence campaign, and whether the president obstructed justice, Giuliani — joined by Trump and others — are executing a strategy intended to raise doubts about the necessity of the investigation, whether Mueller and the FBI are out to get Trump, and the special counsel’s tactics.

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.

Trump Breaks With New Security Adviser Bolton on North Korea Plan
Records appear to contradict president’s claim that no U.S. official has ever negotiated with China

President Donald Trump, seen here in the White House Rose Garden last week, broke with his national security adviser when talking about North Korea on Thursday.  (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday broke with his national security adviser, denying that his administration is following the U.S. playbook in Libya — which led to the ouster and death of itsleader at the time — as it prepares for talks with North Korea.

“The Libya model is not a model we have at all with North Korea,” the president told reporters. “With [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un, he’d be there, running his country.

Opinion: Rethinking Social Security Numbers in the Modern Age
Traditional safeguards are no longer enough

Americans are at greater risk when it comes to having their Social Security number stolen — and traditional safeguards are not enough, writes Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.  (iStock)

Did you know that last fall at least 145.5 million Americans’ Social Security numbers were stolen in a data breach at Equifax? Worse, this was just one in a series of recent breaches — don’t forget Anthem and the Office of Personnel Management, just to name others.

In this technological age, folks are at greater risk when it comes to having their Social Security number stolen — even if they do everything right. That’s because keeping your number a secret, leaving your Social Security card in a safe, and shredding all documents containing your number are now antiquated efforts for stopping the modern hacker.

New House Bill Would Prohibit Lawmakers from Sleeping in Offices
Speaker Ryan, who sleeps in his office, won’t support bill, spokeswoman says

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., introduced a bill Thursday to prohibit House members from sleeping in their congressional offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi introduced a bill Thursday to prohibit House members from sleeping overnight in their congressional offices as a way to save money.

The bill also would grant members a tax deduction for living expenses so they can better afford to make second homes in Washington during the work week while they're away from their home districts.

John McCain’s Advice for the Next Immigration Battle
Memoir coming out next week, just as House members try to force floor debate

Sen. John McCain, right, has written advice for the lawmakers fighting the next immigration battle, highlighting his own with former Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s fitting that Sen. John McCain’s memoir, likely his last, will arrive just as a bipartisan contingent of House lawmakers is seeking to work around Republican leaders’ objections to moving an immigration bill.

McCain, a longtime supporter of overhauling immigration laws, has some advice for newer colleagues searching for the path to legislative victory, even when their own leadership may not be on board.

Trump Wants Full Border Wall Funding This Year
At event on sanctuary cities, president attacks California officials

President Donald Trump outlines his plan to lower the price of prescription drugs during a speech in the White House Rose Garden on Friday. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump has threatened a government shutdown unless Congress hands him more funding for his proposed southern border wall. Now he’s demanding full funding for the project this year.

Trump said he will attempt to secure full funding for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall during the next congressional appropriations process. That would mean he will demand both chambers approve up to $25 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border barrier, a figure pitched earlier this year by senior White House officials.