Eliot L Engel

Trump's Mideast peace plan puts pro-Israel Democrats in a bind
Possible lasting break between the Israeli government and Democratic lawmakers

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House Tuesday announcing a new plan for Middle East peace (Getty Images)

The White House’s release of its long-awaited Middle East plan is notable less for its specifics, which have already been rejected by the Palestinians, than for the bind it puts on traditional pro-Israel stalwarts in the Democratic Party, particularly if Israel decides to formally annex Palestinian land as the administration plan would immediately allow.

The administration’s 180-page “Peace to Prosperity” proposal released Tuesday, also called “The Vision,” is the three-year brainchild of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner. “The Vision provides for a demilitarized Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel, with Israel retaining security responsibility west of the Jordan River,” states a White House outline of the proposal.

House approves resolution aimed at trimming Trump’s power on Iran
Vote falls largely along partisan lines

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., sponsored the Iran resolution that was adopted tonight in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday approved on a sharply partisan vote, 224-194, a concurrent resolution seeking to curb the power of President Donald Trump to attack Iran.

But the parliamentary nature of the measure would not actually bind the White House’s hands even if the Senate were to go along with the resolution because it would never go to Trump's desk for signature.

Democrats wanted an Iran strategy. Trump offered disjointed goals instead
POTUS said he didn’t want to use U.S. military while also threatening Tehran over nuclear program

Iraqi security forces find and collect the pieces of missiles as they gather to inspect the site after Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps targeted Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, a facility jointly operated by U.S. and Iraqi forces. (Azad Muhammed/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates wanted President Donald Trump to explain his Iran strategy Wednesday. What they got was a hodgepodge of policy whims and a few unexpected twists as the drums of war faded. 

On the one hand, the commander in chief told the world he had no interest in using the U.S. military. But on the other, he all but threatened to use America’s combat arsenal to take out Tehran’s nuclear infrastructure if the government there ramps up its atomic program.

Congress unlikely to check Trump’s power to start war with Iran
The recent escalation will likely rekindle the debate over whether Trump has the power to battle Iran without Congress’ consent

President Donald Trump signed into law the sweeping fiscal 2020 appropriations measure on Dec. 20, 2019, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, United States. Language limiting Trump's ability to go to war with Iran, which got support in both chambers, was included in the House version but didn’t make it into the final bill. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Last year, months before the United States killed a senior Iranian commander in a dramatic escalation of tensions in the Middle East, bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate voted to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran.

The language never actually made it into law, marking another defeat for lawmakers in both parties who have clamored to reassert Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war since the sweeping war authorizations of 2001 and 2002 that have been used to justify American military incursions since then.

Photos of the week
The week of Dec. 16 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters as she passes the Merry Christmas, Happy New Year sign in the basement of the Capitol while leaving the House Democrats’ caucus meeting on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On impeachment, Pelosi prevailed over Judiciary panel to narrow focus
Articles filed represent latest example of how Nadler’s committee has been marginalized

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and, from left, committee leaders Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters and Eliot L. Engel listen as House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff speaks at a news conference Tuesday to announce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Judiciary Democrats spent roughly seven months investigating a litany of allegations that President Donald Trump abused his power, but the charges laid out in the articles of impeachment unveiled Tuesday don’t reflect any of that work.

The result is the latest sign that the panel with sole jurisdiction over drafting articles of impeachment has been marginalized as its probe became overshadowed by allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rivals, withholding a White House meeting and congressionally appropriated security assistance as leverage.

Impeachment news roundup: Dec. 10
Democrats went without impeachment article from Mueller investigation

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler announces the charges against President Donald Trump as, from left, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and chairmen Maxine Waters, Richard Neal and Adam Schiff listen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are raising issue with the lack of an impeachment hearing with minority witnesses, as GOP members of the Judiciary Committee have repeatedly requested.

“We will avail ourselves of every parliamentary tool available to us in committees and the House floor in order to highlight your inaction,” they wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Transcript highlights Ukraine concerns among career OMB staff
Two officials left the agency after the withholding of aid came to light

A quote is displayed on a monitor from a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of Trump in the Longworth Building on Nov. 19, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Two Office of Management and Budget officials grew frustrated with the hold on Ukraine military aid ordered by President Donald Trump and resigned from the agency, according to newly released impeachment inquiry testimony.

Mark Sandy, deputy associate director for national security programs at OMB, testified behind closed doors on Nov. 16 that the two officials left the budget office after the hold on some $391 million in aid became known. House Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry released a transcript of Sandy’s testimony Tuesday.

Lots of no-shows for impeachment inquiry depositions
Overall Democrats participated more than Republicans, who had complained about access

Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., make their way to votes in the Capitol on Friday. Jordan referred to the lack of attendance at the impeachment depositions in appealing for Gaetz to be able to attend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated Nov. 21, 2:28 p.m. | Only a fifth of the 104 members on the three House panels that conducted the impeachment inquiry depositions attended and participated in a majority of the proceedings, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of the available deposition transcripts.

The Intelligence Committee has released transcripts for 15 of the 17 depositions it has conducted with two other panels: Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs. 

Turkish NBA star Enes Kanter to visit Capitol Hill ahead of Erdogan visit
Boston Celtics center has called the Turkish leader the 'Hitler of our century'

NBA center Enes Kanter meets with Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y. (courtesy of @EnesKanter / Twitter)

As President Donald Trump prepares to receive Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a Wednesday state visit at the White House, NBA player Enes Kanter, an outspoken critic of Erdogan, is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill.

The Boston Celtics center plans to join Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton in the Capitol Visitor Center for a panel discussion Tuesday afternoon on protecting America’s Syrian Kurdish allies.