Library of Congress

Opinion: Echoes of Vietnam in Trump’s Afghan About-Face
Instinct may be to avoid the appearance of losing a war

President Donald Trump reflected that “decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office” while he was outlining a new approach in Afghanistan Monday night. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is the seventh president since the end of World War II who inherited on taking office his predecessor’s war or the planning for one. And like most of these American presidents Trump decided that the most important strategic consideration was not to publicly lose a war on his watch.

No president wants to replicate the experience of Jerry Ford watching images of the last desperate helicopters taking off from the American embassy in Saigon as North Vietnamese troops battered down the gates.

Puerto Rico Pressing On in Its Quest for Statehood
Island’s governor swore in its would-be congressional delegation last week

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló arrives for a news conference about the June 11 vote in favor of U.S. statehood at the National Press Club in Washington on June 15. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló recently swore in his dream team for political representation — two senators and five representatives to match the commonwealth’s population.

They are expected to travel to Washington soon and ask lawmakers to be seated as the official congressional delegation for Puerto Rico. 

Trump Costs Prompt Secret Service Plea to Congress
‘The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law’

A Secret Service agent wipes down one of the presidential limousines at the U.S. Capitol before the start of the Inauguration parade on Jan. 20, the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Secret Service, anticipating the demands of protecting President Donald Trump and his family, wants Congress to again lift pay caps so it can reimburse its agents for overtime work during fiscal 2018.

Whether the agency will need additional appropriations remains to be decided. But the service, part of the Homeland Security Department, estimates about 1,100 employees will work overtime hours that would exceed the statutory pay caps in place during calendar year 2017, Director Randolph “Tex” Alles said in a statement Monday.

Lawmakers Watch Eclipse From Back Home
With Congress on recess, members watched the show with friends, family, and constituents

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,  watches Monday’s eclipse from San Antonio, where he was visiting the Chamber of Commerce. (Sen. Ted Cruz via Twitter)

Unlike President Donald Trump, many lawmakers listened to the warnings and wore solar eclipse glasses to look at the sun on Monday.

The president briefly looked skyward before putting on his protective glasses when he and first lady Melania Trump joined millions of Americans to view the solar eclipse.

Eclipse Day in Photos: D.C. and N.C. Residents Look Up to the Sun
An eclipse was on the minds of most American residents on this Monday

The moon passes in front of the sun during the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. on Monday. The town lies in the path of totality. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s photographers caught the eclipse and the event’s spectators in two different locations on Monday. Tom Williams traveled to Sylva, N.C.,  in the path of totality. And Bill Clark stuck close to Roll Call’s home and captured moments as congressmen, reporters, congressional staffers and other Hill personnel ventured out on the Capitol steps and plaza to catch a glimpse of the historic event. 

Here’s the day in photos:

McConnell, Mnuchin Unequivocal About Avoiding Default on the Debt
Majority leader and Treasury secretary say debt limit will be increased on time

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressed confidence the debt limit would be increased. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared without hesitation Monday that Congress will raise the debt limit come September.

“There is zero chance — no chance — we won’t raise the debt ceiling. No chance. America is not going to default, and we’ll get the job done in conjunction with the secretary of the Treasury,” the Kentucky Republican said, appearing alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Perlmutter Changes Mind, Decides to Run for Re-Election
Colorado Democratic congressman says he has had time to ‘regroup and recharge’

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., has decided to run for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ed Perlmutter reversed course Monday, announcing his decision to run for re-election, shaking up the Democratic primary for his House seat and prompting two candidates to end their campaigns.

The Colorado Democrat had previously said he would not run for re-election after ending his gubernatorial campaign. But Perlmutter changed his mind, saying in a statement that he had decided to run for a 7th term.

Stefanik Marries IJR Marketer Manda
New York Republican and husband met at 2012 party

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., met her husband in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., was married Saturday to Matthew Manda, communications and marketing director for the Media Group of America, which owns the news outlet Independent Journal Review.

The ceremony was in Saratoga Springs, New York, and retired New York State Supreme Court justice Jan Plumadore officiated it, the New York Times reported.

Congress Set for Horse-Trading Over Must-Pass Bills in September
“Clean” debt limit increase will likely require Democrats’ support

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker said a clean debt ceiling increase appears unlikely to pass without “more more increased spending and must-pass legislation to attract the necessary votes.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress’ September agenda is packed with several must-pass bills that Republicans and Democrats are likely to look to as leverage for extracting concessions on other priorities.

With a short legislative calendar next month — only 12 days when both chambers are scheduled to be in session (the Senate has a few extra days on its timetable) — some measures could be packaged together, creating even more leverage and risk. 

Opinion: Career Advice for Restless Capitol Hill GOP Staffers
Stay put — Congress will be the center of action for rest of Trump’s term

Now is not the time for Republican staffers on Capitol Hill to contemplate working in the Trump White House, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This column is written for every Republican staffer on Capitol Hill who — even now — is debating whether to join the Trump administration. It is also directed at those who have already followed their dreams of striding along the corridors of power and entered the White House.

My advice to you sounds like the dialogue in a disaster movie: “Don’t do it. Run. Get out now. It’s the only escape.”