James M Inhofe

Inhofe open to ‘exaggerated’ war budget
Armed Services chairman begrudgingly supports Trump’s gambit, setting the tone for other Republicans

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said $750 billion is needed for national defense in fiscal 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee told reporters Tuesday he would begrudgingly support a huge increase in the Pentagon’s war budget for programs unconnected to warfare if that is necessary to bankroll another boost to defense spending.

Oklahoma Republican James M. Inhofe said $750 billion is needed for national defense in fiscal 2020, compared to $716 billion in fiscal 2019. How that hike is achieved, he said, is of secondary importance.

Roll Call photographer Tom Williams wins WHNPA’s Political Photo of the Year
Photo editor Bill Clark picks up two more 2019 White House News Photographer Association awards

The above photo, by Roll Call staff photographer Tom Williams, has won WHNPA’s political photo of the year. In the image, Vice President Mike Pence is seen in the Senate Reception Room as Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., right, conducts a meeting on July 10, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call staff photographer Tom Williams has won the distinguished Political Photo of the Year award in the White House News Photographers Association’s 2019 Eyes of History contest.

The same photo, featuring Vice President Mike Pence in the Capitol, won first prize in the On Capitol Hill category of the visual awards. 

Reed: Congress should be consulted on any Colombia deployment
The top Democrat on Senate Armed Services warned generals against planning military intervention in Venezuela without congressional input

Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., left, and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., attend a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Hart Building on the U.S. Central Command on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, testified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee warned generals on Thursday against planning a military intervention in Venezuela without first seeking congressional input.

“Congress must be consulted if there is any military action beyond the current planning for the evacuation of U.S. citizens and embassy personnel" in Venezuela, Jack Reed of Rhode Island told Adm. Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command.

Concerns pile up in Senate over Trump’s troop withdrawal
Lawmakers in both parties voice worries about slaughter, getting it right, as top general says he was ‘not consulted’

Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Armed Services members from both parties worried aloud at a hearing Tuesday that looming U.S. troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan could risk squandering years of costly effort.

The senators expressions of concern came a day after the Senate voted 70-26 to approve a resolution that would oppose a “precipitous” withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan. And it came on the same day as President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address, which is expected to include a call to all but terminate America’s nearly two decades of post-9/11 wars.

Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans have a new look for the 116th
5 GOP freshmen got spots on the panel, coveted by lawmakers from states with defense industry presences

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., attends the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for William P. Barr, nominee for attorney general, in Hart Building on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate Armed Services Committee sets about its work in the 116th Congress, a handful of new faces will help shape the national security debate on the Republican side of the dais.

Five GOP freshmen have landed spots on the panel, an unusually high number for a committee that is particularly coveted among members whose states have military or defense industry presences.

House Panel Plans Bipartisan Push Against Trump on Syria
Mac Thornberry, Adam Smith on same page as leaders of Armed Services

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, is working with Adam Smith, the panel's top Democrat, to push back on President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw from Syria. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee say they are launching an unusual bipartisan campaign to push back against President Donald Trump’s proposed withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Syria.

Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, the committee’s chairman, and Washington Democrat Adam Smith, the ranking member and likely the new chairman in the next Congress, said in separate interviews Thursday that they will join forces to try to slow or shape, if not stop, the president’s move. It was their first public comments on the issue.

22 Images That Defined 2018 in Congress: Photos of the Year
Roll Call’s photographers captured moments from the halls of Congress to the campaign trail

1. FEBRUARY 7: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks with reporters as she leaves the House chamber in the Capitol after holding her filibuster focusing on DACA for eight-plus hours. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

2018 is wrapping up on the Hill, while uncertainty remains on federal funding for much of the government in fiscal 2019. In short, it’s another year in Congress

Roll Call reviewed its archives from Capitol Hill to Laguna Beach, California (and all the campaigns in between), and picked 22 of our favorite images from the year.

Senate Armed Services Chairman Inhofe Ditches Defense Stocks Under Pressure
Oklahoma Republican’s personal finances handled by third-party adviser, office says

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has divested from defense contractor Raytheon after a news organization approached him about his recent investment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Armed Services Chairman James Inhofe has ditched a stock purchase in one of the Pentagon’s leading defense contractors amid pressure from a news organization that was preparing a report on the connection between his official duties and personal finances.

Inhofe’s office distanced the senator from his personal finances, saying in a statement that all of his financial transactions are handled by a third-party adviser.

Trump Loves Space Force. Can He Convince Skeptical Lawmakers?
Congressional authorization required to create new service branch

President Donald Trump wants to create a “Space Force” to defend vulnerable U.S. satellites. (Matt Stroshane/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump may typically communicate via quickly fired, unfiltered tweets, but when he talks about creating a Space Force to defend vulnerable U.S. satellites and other extraterrestrial interests, his language becomes uncharacteristically poetic.

“The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers,” he said in June as he instructed the Defense Department to create this new force. “But our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security — important for our military, so important.”

Thomas Farr Nomination Likely Sunk After Tim Scott Announces Opposition
Senate had delayed confirmation vote until next week

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., announced his opposition to Thomas Farr’s nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Tim Scott has announced his opposition to the nomination of Thomas Farr to a federal judgeship in North Carolina, potentially dooming his confirmation.

“I am ready and willing to support strong candidates for our judicial vacancies that do not have lingering concerns about issues that could affect their decision-making process as a federal judge,” Scott said in a statement reported by The State newspaper. “This week, a Department of Justice memo written under President George H.W. Bush was released that shed new light on Mr. Farr’s activities. This, in turn, created more concerns. Weighing these important factors, this afternoon I concluded that I could not support Mr. Farr’s nomination.”