Homeland Security

Russia, China, Iran Aim to Sway Elections, Officials Warn
First came the dire election warning. Minutes later, more Russian meddling charges

Intelligence and homeland security officials are concerned about election meddling — and not just by Russian President Vladimir Putin. China and Iran are also threats. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman with election interference just as top U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies warned that Russia, China, and Iran are running influence campaigns seeking to sway American voters in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential campaigns.

“We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,” said the statement issued jointly by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. “These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision making in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.”

Pelosi Not Willing to Trade Over Border Wall, Calls It Trump ‘Manhood Issue’
‘It’s probably the worst way to protect the border,’ House minority leader says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she will not trade with President Donald Trump for his border wall, calling it a "manhood issue" for him. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday there is nothing she would trade for President Donald Trump’s border wall, setting a hard negotiating stance in advance of an expected December showdown over the issue.

“It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall, and I’m not interested in that,” the California Democrat said during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. 

McCarthy Bill Would Fund Border Wall, Boost Speaker Bid
Legislation not likely to move this year, but raises issue profile

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has introduced legislation to fund a border wall, something that could boost his bid to lead the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has introduced legislation that includes more than $23 billion for President Donald Trump’s border security agenda and numerous enforcement provisions aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities and undocumented criminals, a proposal that could boost his bid to lead the House GOP after next month’s elections.

The California Republican introduced the bill on Friday after visiting the El Paso, Texas, sector of the southern border on Thursday.

Republicans Laud Trump after Turkey Releases Pastor Andrew Brunson
Democrats welcome pastor home with open arms, but say there’s unfinished business with Turkey

American pastor Andrew Brunson, partially obscured at left, arrives at his home after being released from court in Izmir, Turkey, on Friday. Brunson had been under house arrest in Izmir since October 2016 while awaiting trial on charges of abetting terrorist groups and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed for the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. (Burak Kara/Getty Images)

Republican lawmakers lauded President Donald Trump and his administration and Democrats offered words of support after Turkish officials released U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson from custody on Friday.

“Thank you President [Trump], [Vice President Mike] Pence and [Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] for your work to get Pastor Brunson released,” GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Brunson’s home state, tweeted Friday after news broke that a Turkish judge had decreed that Brunson be freed and sentenced to time served since he had already been in government detention for roughly two years.

Words and Deeds Can Come Back to Haunt Incumbents in Tight Races
Yoder, McCaskill and others face attacks on past votes, policy positions

Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., now finds himself in a “Tilts Democratic” race in Kansas’ 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Incumbency comes with benefits, but in a throw-the-bums-out kind of year, it also offers sitting lawmakers one potential major disadvantage on the campaign trail: a voting record on Capitol Hill.

Political opponents can, and do, weaponize one vote, one position on a hot-button policy such as health care, tax or immigration. They might target a pattern of partisanship or, more importantly this year, support for an unpopular president.

Senate Republicans Ready to Limp Into Border Wall Fight
With Democratic votes needed, wall funding may not meet what Trump and House GOP want

From left, Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Thune, R-S.D., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, conduct a news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday after the policy lunches. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans say they are willing to join their House counterparts in a postelection fight over border wall funding but recognize that their chamber will be more constrained by the need for Democratic votes.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan predicted Monday that there would be a “big fight” in December on appropriating more money for President Donald Trump’s desired wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The Wisconsin Republican wouldn’t foreshadow how that fight would play out, but he didn’t rule out a partial government shutdown as a potential outcome.

‘Monster’ Hurricane Michael Is a ‘Big Tornado,’ Trump Warns
President mulls canceling Wednesday night campaign stop in Pennsylvania

Hurricane Michael, fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, is like a “massive tornado,” President Trump warns. (National Weather Service photo)

Hurricane Michael is a “massive tornado” that is about to cause widespread damage in Florida and nearby states as the category four storm makes landfall, President Donald Trump warned Wednesday.

After receiving a briefing on the hurricane from Homeland Security officials, the president said Michael began “innocently” but then “grew into a monster.”

McCarthy to Introduce Border Wall Funding Bill This Week
Speaker hopeful plays to GOP base with conservative immigration enforcement measure

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is planning to introduce a bill this week to provide $23.4 billion in border wall funding. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is planning to introduce a bill this week that would provide $23.4 billion more in funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall and include several other immigration enforcement measures, his spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. 

The soon-to-be-introduced bill, first reported by Breitbart News, is red meat designed to fire up the Republican base ahead of the midterms, as well as signal to GOP lawmakers in Congress that McCarthy supports conservatives’ policy priorities. 

Key House Appropriators Face Tough Midterm Elections
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 81

Congressional Leadership Fund is rolling out new spending in Kansas' 3rd District to protect Rep. Kevin Yoder. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three Republican House Appropriations subcommittee chairmen — Kevin Yoder of Kansas, John Culberson of Texas and John Carter of Texas — face tough re-elections, says Roll Call senior political reporter Bridget Bowman. A loss for Yoder and Culberson would mean that lame-duck lawmakers end up negotiating two vital spending bills — Homeland Security and Commerce-Justice-Science.

Ryan Promises ‘Big Fight’ on Border Wall Funding, Doesn’t Rule Out Partial Shutdown
Speaker says he doesn’t know what outcome will be in December

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is promising Republicans will fight for border wall funding in December. He won't rule out a partial government shutdown. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Monday refused to rule out a partial government shutdown as he promised Republicans would push hard to secure additional border wall funding in December appropriations negotiations.

“We will have a big fight about that,” the Wisconsin Republican said.