Afghanistan

Comstock Gets Second Challenger
Dan Helmer is West Point grad, Rhodes Scholar and decorated vet

Dan Helmer is a West Point graduate and a Rhodes Scholar who served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Screenshot: DanHemner.com)

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock received a second Democratic challenger on Tuesday.

Dan Helmer, a 35-year U.S. Army veteran, entered the race but didn’t mention the incumbent in his campaign announcement.

Three Veterans Announce They’re Running for House as Democrats
Two of them are running in GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton won

Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan, left, who served as cheif operating officer and chief financial officer for Springboard Collaborative, announced she's running against Rep. Ryan Costello in Pennsylvania (Courtesy Chrissy Houlahan for Congress)

Three military veterans are announcing Tuesday they’re running as Democrats against Republican incumbents.

In California's 50th Congressional District, retired Navy SEAL Josh Butner will challenge Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter.

Stop-Loss an Option for Air Force to Keep Departing Pilots
‘If I can’t put warheads on foreheads, then [ISIS] is winning’

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Matthew Bruch, an aerial photographer with 1st Combat Camera Squadron, takes a self portrait during a flight in an F-15D. (Matthew Bruch/U.S. Air Force)

Faced with pilots leaving the Air Force in droves for the airlines, top generals are considering the option of forcing some to stay in the service against their will, a senior Air Force general told CQ Roll Call. 

Gen. Carlton Everhart, chief of the Air Mobility Command, said in an interview that he and other senior Air Force generals will join Gen. David Goldfein, the service’s chief of staff, alongside representatives of the other armed services, in a meeting with U.S. airline executives May 18 at Andrews Air Force Base.

Congress Wants to Hear Trump’s Syria Policy — and Fast
Members say Trump needs to consult them before taking any more action

The top Democrats on Capitol Hill, Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, both advocate a role for Congress in future actions in Syria by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle say they are waiting to hear President Donald Trump’s plan for his next step in Syria.

Many lawmakers — including some of Trump’s most vocal critics — offered support in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase Thursday night. But they said Trump needs to consult Congress before he takes any more steps.

The 2010 Election: Not Just About Health Care
Majority of midterm voters cited the economy as most important issue

President Donald Trump’s effort to repeal the 2010 health care law went down in flames last week, boosting Democratic optimism. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

When it comes to projecting election results, history can be a guide, but no two cycles are the same.

From the women’s marches to town hall protests, Democrats were feeling emboldened about the next elections even before Republicans fumbled their attempt to repeal the 2010 health care law. Democratic optimism grew (as well as media comparisons to a certain previous midterm election involving health care) as polling revealed that the GOP alternative was less popular than the health care status quo.

Mast’s Independence May Be Best Path to Holding Florida Swing Seat
Democrats say it’ll take certain kind of candidate to defeat freshman Republican

Freshman Rep. Brian Mast salutes as he arrives for a town hall meeting in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Feb. 24. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Florida Rep. Brian Mast would have moved the fish tank into his Rayburn office differently.

“I would have gotten these guys a wheelie cart and sloshed it down the hallway, with whatever fish were still in there,” he said, nodding to a nearby aide.

Jimmy Panetta Takes a Hard Line on Military Spending
Son of Defense secretary represents Monterey County

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, left, was sworn in to Congress alongside his father, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, also a former member of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When the House approved the $577.9 billion fiscal 2017 defense spending bill on March 8, only 48 members — including four freshmen — voted against it. It’s politically difficult to vote against a measure that pays for the weapons U.S. forces need and supplies the funds for a 2.1 percent pay increase for Americans in uniform.

One of the freshmen was Jimmy Panetta, the youngest of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s three children. He explained that he opposed the bill because it did not spend enough. “It could have done more to help my area on the central coast of California,” Panetta says.

Word on the Hill: A Healthy Talk
D.C. awards nominations

Dr. Neal Barnard will tell you how to live a healthier life. (Courtesy Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine)

Learn about staying healthy this year from the Library of Congress.

As part of the LOC’s Office of Health Services and the Library of Congress Professional Association’s “Living Well Brown Bag Series,” Dr. Neal Barnard is speaking at noon today in the Mumford Room on the 6th floor of the Madison building.

New National Security Adviser: No Friend to Russia?
McMaster has warned against Russian military might, plans to disrupt Europe

Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army)

Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster, President Donald Trump’s new pick as national security adviser, does not appear to be a friend of Russia. 

He’s warned that the Kremlin wants to disrupt the post-World War II security and political order in Europe. And he was behind the “Russia New Generation Warfare Study,” which was prompted by concerns over the country’s growing military might.

Bipartisan Group Attempts to Clear Marines’ Names
Military wrongly accused company for killing two dozen bystanders in 2007

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said, “These brave men deserve complete, public exoneration.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are sponsoring legislation to clear the names of a company of Marines cleared of killing bystanders in a 2007 firefight in Afghanistan.

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., introduced legislation that would require the U.S. Marine Corps’ top general to “issue a public document” to certify that members of Marine Corps Special Company Foxtrot were not at fault and “deserve to have their names cleared,” Military Times reported.