Nebraska

Will Trump abandoning the Kurds hurt him politically with former comrades in arms?
Military members and veterans have been among the commander in chief’s staunchest supporters

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who served with Kurdish forces during the war in Iraq, said they were “the one group you could have behind you and not worry about your back. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With President Donald Trump in essence abandoning former Kurdish allies in northern Syria who helped the U.S. beat back ISIS over the last half decade, some Republican lawmakers who served in the military and outside advocacy groups are divided whether the policy could damage the president’s support among current and former service members, which has remained high throughout his administration.

Despite the U.S. military and Kurds working hand-in-hand on military operations in the Middle East for more than two decades, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday that the Kurds are “no angels,” and deemed his move to withdraw U.S. personnel who had served as a buffer between them and Turkish forces “strategically brilliant.”

House Republicans break 2-to-1 against Trump on withdrawal of Kurd support
Veterans who fought alongside them praise Kurds as allies who ‘had our back’

Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon joined 128 of his Republican colleagues in a resolution criticizing the withdrawal of forces in Syria that led to a Turkish assault on Kurdish allies (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By a 2-to-1 margin, House Republicans on Wednesday broke with President Donald Trump and opposed his decision to pull back U.S. forces in Syria, a move that exposed Kurdish fighters to attack from Turkey.

A resolution opposing the move passed 354 to 60, with 129 Republicans siding with the unanimous Democrats and 60 opposed. It was a noteworthy rebuke of Trump from Republicans who have long been wary of crossing the president.

Trump announces 'substantial' trade deal with China - but it's weeks from being final
U.S. won't raise some existing tariffs to 30 percent, Mnuchin says

A container ship sits docked at the Port of Oakland on May 13, 2019, in Oakland, California. Chinese and U.S. officials, after trading tariffs and barbs for months, are again negotiating toward a potential trade pact. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday announced his administration has reached a “substantial” trade pact with China that includes some backing off of tariffs, but he signaled work remains to finalize the elusive pact.

The Trump administration has agreed to keep existing tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese-made goods at current levels rather than raising them to 30 percent, as Trump had threatened to when talks previously stalled.

Trump on defense as impeachment gains support, Syria decision gets friendly fire
Expert: Removing U.S. troops as buffer could lead to ‘massacre’ of Kurds by Turkish forces

President Donald Trump cedes the lectern to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a news conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in September. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

With more and more Americans supporting his impeachment and Republican lawmakers slamming his decision to remove U.S. protection of Kurds in Syria, President Donald Trump is in a defensive crouch.

A Washington Post-Schar School poll released Tuesday shows that a clear majority (58 percent) of those surveyed support House Democrats’ decision to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. That is up from 39 percent in a Post-ABC News poll conducted in May. And that figure is larger than the 47 percent of those who responded to a late-September CNN-SSRS poll who say they favor the inquiry.

Senate Intelligence goes slow, seeks meeting with whistleblower
Panel met behind closed doors with acting intelligence director, inspector general

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, in closed session. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Intelligence Committee is just getting started on a review and inquiry into the whistleblower complaint that has rocked Capitol Hill this week.

“We’ve had a very productive first day. There’s a lot that we have to learn to proceed forward, but it’s our intention to go through that process,” Chairman Richard M. Burr told reporters after a closed hearing with Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson.

Lawmakers express concern after reading whistleblower report
Members urge patience, even public release of the complaint so the American people can see it for themselves

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., holds a press conference on impeachment in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Some lawmakers expressed concerns Wednesday evening after reading a divisive whistleblower report that House and Senate Intelligence committee members were allowed to review in secure Capitol rooms. 

Democratic lawmakers and even a Republican said the complaint raised concerns, but many urged patience and called for public release of the complaint so the American people could see it for themselves. The complaint was delivered to the Intelligence panels before the House voted 421-0 Wednesday evening to adopt a nonbinding resolution urging the administration to make the complaint itself available to Congress.

Any Given Tuesday: Cops and lawmakers suit up for charity football
Mean Machine, Guards compete for all the gridiron glory

The Guards' Chad Nieto, center, tries to catch a pass in the end zone as Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., break it up during the Congressional Football Game at Gallaudet University in Washington in 2017. The game featured the Capitol Police team The Guards against the congressional team The Mean Machine. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers will be looking for redemption when they, along with a few retired football pro friends, hit the gridiron against the Capitol Police in their biannual football game Tuesday.

The Congressional Football Game for Charity features the Mean Machine, a bipartisan team of members of Congress and former NFL players, against the Guards, a team made up of Capitol Police officers.

White House: Trump supports stopgap funding bill
Funding measure would keep government running until Nov. 21

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House on Sept. 16 in Washington. (Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump plans to sign the stopgap spending bill that the Senate is expected to send him this week, a senior White House official said Monday. That would avoid another partial government shutdown for now, though the fight over border wall spending and other partisan hangups will simply be punted 51 days, to just before Thanksgiving. 

The continuing resolution passed the House by a vote of 301-123 last week, which eclipsed the number necessary to override a potential presidential veto. That doesn’t appear to be a likely scenario now, though it remains uncertain whether the president will change his mind. The Senate’s veto override threshold is 67 votes.

Chief Standing Bear statue welcomed in Capitol, replacing William Jennings Bryan
McCarthy: ‘as the tours are given, I promise you: you will stop here’

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., speaks during a ceremony unveiling a statue of Chief Standing Bear, a Native American civil rights icon from Nebraska. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The prominent placement of Nebraska’s new statue of the legendary Chief Standing Bear in Statuary Hall was quite intentional.

So said Sen. Roy Blunt at an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday afternoon. The Missouri senator was introduced as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, but it was in one of his other capacities that he had shown Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., where he thought the statue should be positioned.

HOH presents: the ultimate congressional fantasy football juggernaut
Here are the current and former members of Congress who would dominate

Then-Rep. Jon Runyan, R- N.J. left, blocks for the “Mean Machine” team at the Congressional Football Game for Charity, which pits congressmen against police, in 2011. In the background is then-Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Have you ever wondered which current or former members of Congress would make the ideal fantasy football team? Well, we’ve got you covered.

For hardcore football fans, playing fantasy can be an exercise in cognitive dissonance. If you are a Baltimore Ravens fan who has Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, you have to pray the Steelers QB throws four TDs while the rest of the team plays like garbage. But there is no better feeling than agonizing over setting the perfect lineup and then watching your team light up your enemy, er, opponent. And for perhaps the ultimate in cognitive dissonance, Heard on the Hill presents the All-Congress fantasy football team.