Defense & Cyberspace

Trump to Nominate Top Army General for Joint Chiefs Chairman
Gen. Mark Milley has been Army chief of staff since 2015

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, second from right, applauds President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in January with, from left, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump said Saturday he intends to nominate Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to replace Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The commander-in-chief hinted Friday he intended to make the personnel announcement during the Army-Navy football game he will attend in Philadelphia Saturday.

Trump Signs Spending Bill, Setting Up High-Stakes Oval Office Showdown
President will meet Tuesday morning with Pelosi and Schumer

Junior, a migrant from Honduras, waves the American flag while standing with other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on November 25, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signed a two-week spending measure Friday that will avert a partial government shutdown, setting up a high-stakes meeting with congressional Democratic leaders who are opposed to his $5 billion border wall funding demand.

The House Appropriations Committee — not the White House — announced in a tweet that the Homeland Security Department and other unfunded agencies would not shut down later Friday. White House press aides had been unable to clearly state when their boss would put pen to paper.

Three Takeaways as Trump Picks Former Fox Anchor for UN Envoy Post
President makes clear he’s running foreign policy, wants salesperson in New York

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (center) speaks with staff, including spokeswoman Heather Nauert, President Trump's pick for UN ambassador, during a G-20 summit last week in Argentina. (State Department photo by Ron Przysucha / Public Domain via Flickr)

By selecting State Department spokeswoman and former Fox News anchor Heather Nauert as his next UN ambassador, President Donald Trump has further consolidated his control of America’s foreign policy.

“Heather Nauert will be nominated for the ambassador to the United Nations,” Trump told reporters on his way to Marine One on Friday.

Why the Senate Yemen Debate Might Not Include Response to Khashoggi Murder
Republicans may seek to limit amendment scope

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker wants to limit the scope of amendments to the Yemen resolution. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is likely to proceed to a war powers resolution on U.S. involvement in Yemen next week, but the broader debate on policy toward Saudi Arabia may be short-circuited.

The Senate has not defined rules for floor debate on resolutions like the one that was recently discharged from the Foreign Relations Committee, and the chairman of that Senate panel intends to ask the chamber to set restrictive rules for amendments to war powers resolutions.

Congress Passes Two-Week Funding Extension to Avert Shutdown
House, Senate sent stopgap measure to president for signature

The House and Senate have passed a two-week extension of government funding, sending it to President Donald Trump for his signature. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An extension of temporary appropriations for nine Cabinet departments and dozens of smaller agencies through Dec. 21 is on its way to the president’s desk after the House and Senate passed the measure Thursday.

The legislation would extend current funding levels for two weeks and buy time to reach final agreement on outstanding spending issues, including President Donald Trump’s $5 billion southern border wall funding request. It also extends a number of expiring authorizations including Violence Against Women Act programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National Flood Insurance Program for the duration of the stopgap measure.

Pelosi: Pass Other Spending Bills But Punt Homeland Security Funding
House minority leader prefers continuing resolution for DHS through fiscal 2019

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives with her staff to hold her weekly press conference in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:36 a.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she doesn’t see a resolution to the partisan impasse over border wall funding, said Thursday she’d like to see the Department of Homeland Security funded on a continuing resolution through the remainder of fiscal 2019.

Seven of the 12 annual appropriations bills, including the DHS measure, are currently running on a continuing resolution that expires Friday. The House and Senate Thursday passed another stopgap to extend the funding deadline to Dec. 21. 

Bob Corker’s Quieter Foreign Policy Legacy
Retiring Foreign Relations chairman offers advice for new members

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has advice for incoming senators: become an expert, listen to colleagues and score quieter wins with an eye to the future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker prepares to yield his gavel and leave the Senate, he has advice for newly elected senators: gain expertise and actually listen to your colleagues.

“Some of these people obviously are coming in with large platforms. I mean, they’ve been significant figures prior to coming here,” the Tennessee Republican, first elected in 2006, said in a recent interview. “Still though, they’re going to be freshman senators and they’re going to be sitting at the end of the dais in most cases in whatever the committee.”

Granger’s Son Retracts Comments on Mom’s Appropriations Post
Fort Worth officials seek federal dollars to complete ‘Panther Island’ flood prevention, development plan

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, will become the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Kay Granger’s son is walking back comments he made earlier this week in which he expressed optimism that his mom’s new post on the Appropriations Committee would help him secure federal funding to finish a controversial city flood-protection project in Fort Worth, Texas.

J.D. Granger, the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, also backtracked on his suggestion that his mother, an 11th-term Texas Republican, would retire upon the project’s completion.

A Contrast in Styles as Trump, Country Bid Farewell to George H.W. Bush
41st president’s 1992 defeat could offer lessons for 45’s expected re-election bid

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump pay their respect at former President George H.W. Bush's casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The late President George H.W. Bush will leave the Capitol for the final time Wednesday morning and make one last pass by the White House before his flag-draped casket is placed at the front of the National Cathedral for his state funeral farewell. Seated a few feet away will be a very different president, Donald Trump.

The late Republican president’s four years in office and 1992 defeat to an upstart Democratic governor from Arkansas, Bill Clinton, offer contrast to the incumbent’s raucous two years and lessons for his expected re-election bid. The two presidents’ work with Congress and legislative histories differ sharply, as do how they comported themselves — from Bush’s thoughtful letter-writing to Trump’s off-the-cuff tweeting.

Informal Nature of Border Wall Request Roils Spending Debate
Trump still hasn’t submitted “budget amendment” on $5 billion demand

President Donald Trump still hasn’t put details of his $5 billion request for border wall funding on paper in any official capacity. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump’s $5 billion demand for a U.S.-Mexico border wall has held up the entire spending wrap-up for fiscal 2019. Yet Trump still hasn’t put the details of that request on paper in any official capacity, a departure from precedent that is in keeping with this president’s unconventional style.

The fact Congress hasn’t gotten a formal letter to change the border ask seems technical. But it has set a stage for debate where no one’s arguing on the same terms. And this has arguably let lawmakers and the White House escape a broader debate on the substance by simultaneously referring to an outdated budget request or a dollar figure that doesn’t exist formally on paper.

Senate Gears Up for Unpredictable Debate on Saudi Arabia and Yemen
CIA Director briefed key senators on Khashoggi killing Tuesday

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., is among the chief advocates for the Yemen resolution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate is gearing up for a potentially unwieldy debate over U.S. policy regarding Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and a Tuesday briefing for key senators from the CIA chief did nothing to thwart that.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker told Roll Call Tuesday afternoon that interested parties would be meeting on Wednesday to try to find an agreement on handling the contentious Yemen resolution.

$1.6 Billion for Border Security, Not Just Wall, Could Be Agreed To, Hoyer Says
Wall funding remains principle unresolved item in year-end spending negotiations

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said $1.6 billion is an agreeable figure for border security funding so long as the language doesn’t require it be spent on a wall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that border wall funding remains the principle unresolved item in year-end spending negotiations and suggested that $1.6 billion is an agreeable figure for border security so long as the language does not require it to be spent on the wall.

“The $1.6 billion ... the language is broader than just a wall, so I think that that could probably be agreed upon, which was a figure in the Senate bill," the Maryland Democrat told reporters.

Congress Ready to Punt Spending Fight for Two Weeks
Fight over border wall funding on hold as nation mourns 41st president

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., says the new funding deadline “raises the stakes” for negotiators working on the seven remaining spending bills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers plan to send a two-week extension of interim government funding to President Donald Trump this week, putting their fight over border wall funding on hold to mourn the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

The bill released Monday would push the deadline by which Congress needs to pass a spending package for the remaining 25 percent of this year’s agency budgets from Dec. 7 to Dec. 21 and would provide a temporary extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until the same date. It would also continue an extension for the Violence Against Women Act, which was extended through Dec. 7 in the current stopgap spending law. (Roll Call incorrectly reported in an earlier story that the VAWA extension was not included in the stopgap spending bill.)

[Correction] Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Latest Spending Proposal

A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will likely lapse at the end of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corrected 6:30 p.m. | Despite indications earlier Monday that the Violence Against Women Act would not be extended as part of the two-week continuing resolution, the stopgap funding measure would indeed extend VAWA until at least Dec. 21. 

This means the landmark domestic violence law will not lapse for the second time in 25 years.

Uphill Path to Spending Deal as Pelosi, Schumer Meet With Trump
Experts see reasons to doubt a deal is done during Tuesday meeting

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are seen after a news conference in the Capitol on March 22. They are scheduled to meet with President Trump on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump shocked congressional Republicans last year when he cut a deal with Democratic leaders on a short-term debt and spending package. But there are ample reasons to doubt House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer will leave the Oval Office on Tuesday with another win.

The two Democrats are slated to meet privately with the president just days before a deadline to pass something to keep the Department of Homeland Security and several other agencies funded and open beyond Friday night. (Pelosi and Schumer have requested that the meeting be rescheduled to next week, considering this week’s events. A White House official could not confirm that the Tuesday meeting would still happen. “Everything is in flux,” the official said.)