Jeanne Shaheen

Russia Portfolio Comes in Handy for Senate Staffer
Shaheen aide Naz Durakoglu comes via Atlantic Council, State Dept., House

Naz Durakoglu is a senior foreign policy adviser to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (Screenshot, Middle East Institute)

Naz Durakoglu started her new job working for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in early June, shortly after the New Hampshire Democrat had pushed to add Russia sanctions to an Iran sanctions bill as it moved through the Foreign Relations Committee.

But after Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee said he would move ahead with a bipartisan effort to tighten sanctions against Moscow, Shaheen withdrew her amendments. The timing, though, put Durakoglu, as a senior foreign policy adviser to Shaheen, in the middle of discussions about how to respond to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

New Hampshire Lawmakers Not Thrilled With Trump’s 'Drug-Infested Den' Comments
State’s all-Democratic delegation blasts president for January remarks

President Donald Trump on the phone in the Oval Office on June 27. During a call with his Mexican counterpart that day, Trump said “drug lords in Mexico” are “knocking the hell out of our country.” (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Hampshire lawmakers are criticizing President Donald Trump over reports that he referred to the Granite State as a “drug-infested den” to his Mexican counterpart.

“No, Mr. President, you’re wrong about New Hampshire — but you have failed to help us fight the opioid crisis. We need recovery facilities NOW. Stop attacking health care and make the investments you promised,” Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said in a Facebook post about transcripts of a Jan. 27 telephone call between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that were published by The Washington Post on Thursday.

Trump Controls Key Funding Move in Health Care Fight
President could stop cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurers

President Donald Trump could choose to stop cost-sharing subsidy payments to health insurers. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If President Donald Trump wants to “let Obamacare fail” as he says, there’s a ready way for him to give it a push.

So far, the Trump administration and House Republicans have agreed to keep frozen a case in a Washington appeals court over appropriations as part of a push to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. The case is left over from when House Republicans sued the Obama administration in 2014.

Sessions Declines to Testify About Any Conversations With Trump About Russia
Says potential exists for an executive privilege claim that has not happened

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.), right, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., before his testimony on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to answer questions Tuesday about conversations with President Donald Trump, citing the potential that the White House could assert executive privilege — which has not yet happened.

White House Doesn’t Deny Trump ‘Considering’ Firing Mueller
Official merely says Trump confidant ‘did not speak to the president’

A confidant of Donald Trump says the president is considering firing Robert Mueller as special counsel looking into Russia's election meddling. The White House did not deny the report late Monday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Updated at 9:17 a.m. The White House is not flatly denying that Donald Trump is considering firing Robert Mueller as the Justice Department’s special counsel investigating Russia’s election meddling.

But a White House official late Monday did try to distance Trump from Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy, who told a PBS news program earlier in the evening that Trump is “considering” firing Mueller.

Word on the Hill: Moose on the Loose
Save the date for softball

Last year, staffers Scott Merrick, left, and Kevin Travaline moved a stuffed bear into position next to a stuffed moose in Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s lobby in the Hart Senate Office Building. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is keeping up an annual New Hampshire tradition at the Capitol, along with her fellow Granite State Democrats, Sen. Maggie Hassan, and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster.

This afternoon, food and beverages from New Hampshire’s restaurants and breweries will be shared at the eighth annual Experience New Hampshire Reception. The biggest hits of all, though, are the stuffed moose and bear, which were carted into the Russell Building by Shaheen staffers yesterday for the event.

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.

Children’s Disabilities Inform McMorris Rodgers and Hassan
Diverging views on health care shaped by personal experience

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan credits her son Ben, who has cerebral palsy, as the reason she got into politics. Also pictured, husband Thomas and daughter Meg. (Courtesy Julian Russell)

Defeated Lawmakers Trek From the Hill to Middle Earth — And Beyond
Life after Congress has included ambassadorships for dozens

Former Sen. Scott Brown was nominated by President Donald Trump to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If three makes a trend and four creates a pattern, then dispatching favored congressional losers to New Zealand has become not just a sliver but a pillar of the American diplomatic order. 

When Scott Brown takes over the embassy in Wellington by this summer — his confirmation virtually assured thanks to the endorsements of both Democratic senators who have defeated him — the onetime matinee idol for Republican centrists will become the fourth former member of Congress who’s assumed that particular ambassadorship after being rejected by the voters.

Democrats Cheer Centrist Victory in France, Republicans Mostly Silent
Many saw French election as extension of centrist vs. right wing ideological fight in the U.S.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron waves to the crowd on Monday as he attends a ceremony to mark the Western allies’ victory in Europe in World War II with outgoing President Francois Hollande. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

France’s presidential election drew more attention in the U.S. than normal because many saw it as an extension of the ideological fight between centrism and the far right that characterized the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

French voters elected centrist Emmanuel Macron president, resoundingly rejecting far-right white nationalist Marine Le Pen, 66-34 percent.