Bob Corker

Senate Republicans Raise Questions About Health Care Bill
‘My concern is this doesn’t repeal Obamacare,’ Rand Paul says

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy talks with reporters Thursday after a meeting in the Capitol on the Senate Republicans’ health care draft. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A few key Senate Republicans are already raising concerns with the discussion draft of a health care bill unveiled Thursday, which could threaten its passage if the measure comes up for a vote next week.

Multiple senators raised concerns with the draft they were briefed on Thursday morning, although many said they needed to review the proposal in full. Senate GOP leaders can only lose two Republican votes on the measure for it to pass with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote as no Democrats are expected to vote for the measure. GOP leaders hope to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote next week.

Senators Look for Path on New War Authorization
Current authorization dates to 9/11 attacks

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he would only pursue a new war authorization if it had bipartisan consensus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators on Tuesday gamely struggled to see if there was a way to set aside longstanding partisan differences over a new authorization for use of military force amid expanding military campaigns in Syria and Iraq, and under a new president who has delegated significant tactical authority to his commanders.

The Trump administration is waging its anti-ISIS campaign under the authority of the 2001 AUMF, which Congress passed shortly after the September 11 attacks. Sixteen years later, experts on both sides of the aisle increasingly agree the authorization (PL 107-40) has been stretched beyond almost all legal recognition to justify the occasional air strike on Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria and even far-flung groups like Al-Shabab in East Africa.

Vague Signs of Movement on GOP Health Care Measure
Legislative text could be available within days

Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Cory Booker of New Jersey take a selfie before a meeting with CBO Director Keith Hall in Ford Building where they asked for a copy of the Republicans' health care bill score. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators returned to work on Tuesday in an escalating atmosphere of uncertainty about legislation to alter the U.S. health insurance system, with outstanding questions about the measure’s timing, cost and even the chamber’s committee schedule.

Before the Senate gaveled in, Democrats signaled they would invoke the so-called two-hour rule that restricts the time and duration of committee meetings. The upshot is that panels that meeting in the morning would largely be cut off after two hours, and any hearings scheduled to take place in the afternoon would be rescheduled.

Blackburn Passes on Corker Challenge
Tennessee congresswoman will seek ninth term in Congress instead

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., will not face Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in a Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn has decided to pass on challenging Republican Sen. Bob Corker in a primary next year.

“I am running for re-election to the House of Representatives,” she told the Tennessean in Nashville on Tuesday.

Democrats Eye Iran Debate for Vote on Russia Sanctions
Iran sanctions measure could get bogged down

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker could move to head off Democrats' attempts to force a vote on Russia sanctions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats may use floor debate this week on an Iran sanctions measure to try to force a vote on legislation that would impose harsh sanctions on Moscow as punishment for its alleged interference in last year’s presidential elections.

Democrats’ exact strategy for securing a Russia sanctions vote was still developing Tuesday, with Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker trying to forestall them a little longer.

Senators Make Another Bid to Authorize War Against ISIS
Flake and Kaine have tried before

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is introducing another proposal for authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“When I voted in 2001 to authorize military force against the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks, I had no idea I would be authorizing armed conflict for more than fifteen years, and counting.”

That’s what Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday. The Arizona Republican was announcing yet another effort with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, to get Congress to go on record to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State and other terror groups.

Republican Senator Seeks to Save Obamacare Before Dismantling It
Lamar Alexander advocating for two-step approach to repealing law

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander is advocating short-term market stabilization measures for the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Lamar Alexander has found himself in an uncommon position for most Republicans this year: Trying to save the shaky insurance markets created by the 2010 health care law before attending to a major overhaul of the law.

The opinions of the Tennessee’s senior senator carry significant weight among his colleagues. He is a close confidant of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and also chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Trump Appears to Confirm Report He Gave Russians Classified Info
After partial denials from aides, president claims ‘absolute right’ to share data

President Donald Trump concludes his remarks at the 36th annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the Capitol on Monday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm a report that he discussed highly classified information with senior Russian officials last week, contradicting some of his top aides while claiming an “absolute right” to do so.

Around 7 p.m. Monday, the president dispatched National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to partially deny a Washington Post report that he revealed highly classified information about Islamic State plot involving laptop computers and passenger airliners gleaned by a U.S. ally to senior Russian officials. McMaster told reporters the article “as it came out tonight, is false.” He said no intelligence sources or methods were disclosed — something not alleged in the Post article.

Senators React With Alarm, Caution to Report That Trump Revealed Classified Info
President's top security adviser: ‘I was in the room, it didn’t happen’

A Washington Post report alleges that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By JOHN T. BENNETT, NIELS LESNIEWSKI and JOE WILLIAMSCQ Roll Call

Some senators expressed shock — while others reacted cautiously  — to a report Monday evening alleging that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about Islamic State plots gleaned by a U.S. ally to senior Russian officials. 

Trump-Russia Probe — Congress Can Boost Stature or Squander Opportunity
Bipartisan effort could help restore credibility

Reporters question Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr in the Senate subway as he makes his way to the Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An important window of opportunity has been opened for Congress by the firing of James B. Comey as director of the FBI.