Martin Heinrich

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.

Spy chiefs say Chinese, Russian cyber strengths are top threats to U.S.

From left, FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel, DNI Director Dan Coats, DIA Director Robert Ashley, NSA Director Paul Nakasone, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Director Robert Cardillo testify during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats” on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

China and Russia possess cyber technologies they will increasingly unleash on U.S. companies, the military, election systems and critical infrastructure, and that poses a significant threat to national security, Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence panel in an annual hearing called the Worldwide Threat Assessment.

“At present, China and Russia pose the greatest espionage and cyberattack threats,” but other countries are catching up, the director of National Intelligence told the committee Tuesday. 

Republicans in Congress Are Coy About Whether They Would Take Interior Post
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said this week she is not interested in the job

Several senators praised outgoing Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and endorsed his capacity to take on the secretary of the Interior job. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In anticipation of the appointment of a new Department of the Interior secretary this week, one member of Congress on the reported shortlist has confirmed his interest in the post, but most rumored candidates have shied away from public statements.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter Saturday that he would nominate a replacement to outgoing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week. 

Democrats Press Dan Coats for Details of Trump’s Chinese Election Meddling Claims
Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee ask if intelligence community will back the president

Sen. Ron Wyden is leading a request for intelligence about Chinese election meddling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee want to know whether the actual intelligence backs up President Donald Trump’s claims of election meddling by the Chinese.

“We are writing with regard to President Trump’s most recent comments on foreign interference in U.S. elections, wrote Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Kamala Harris of California, in a letter released Tuesday addressed to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Tax Break for Electric Vehicles in the Crosshairs
Barrasso: ‘Wealthiest Americans’ benefit at the expense of taxpayers

Tesla vehicles stand outside of a Brooklyn showroom and service center in August. Legislation unveiled Tuesday would end a tax incentive for electric vehicles. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unveiled legislation Tuesday to end the $7,500 tax incentive for electric vehicles.

The yet-unnumbered bill comes as a United Nations report on climate change, released over the weekend, outlined dire consequences for the planet in the absence of global action to drastically reduce carbon output over the next decade.

Rubio to Alex Jones: ‘I’ll Take Care of You Myself’
Senator and InfoWars host get into altercation before hearing on foreign influence and social media

Alex Jones of InfoWars holds a news conference in Dirksen Building outside a Senate hearing in which Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media. Jones was recently banned from social media platforms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Marco Rubio told InfoWars’ Alex Jones he would “take care of you myself” outside a Senate hearing Wednesday after Jones asked the Florida Republican if he was going to have him arrested for touching him.

Rubio was talking to reporters outside a hearing on foreign influence in social media when Jones started shouting questions at Rubio, at one point putting his hand on Rubio’s shoulder. Political activist Cassandra Fairbanks recorded the exchange.

Senate Panel Abruptly Cancels Markup of Election Security Bill
Anti-hacking measure would require paper ballots, post-election audits

Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she’s “disappointed” by the decision to postpone a markup of her election security bill, which had bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats like Sen. Mark Warner. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Senate committee on Wednesday abruptly postponed the planned markup of a key election security bill that had bipartisan support and would have imposed new audit requirements on states.

The markup of the Secure Elections Act, authored by Oklahoma Republican James Lankford and Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, is “postponed until further notice,” the Senate Rules and Administration Committee said on its website. 

On Their Pre-Election Checklist? Getting Married
Heller and Heinrich staffers tied the knot Saturday

Scarlet Doyle and Tony Samp met in 2013 through work. (Courtesy of Samp)

Aides from the offices of Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican Sen. Dean Heller did more than reach across the aisle Saturday. They walked all the way down it.

Tony Samp, 34, Heinrich’s senior policy adviser, and Scarlet Doyle, 27, Heller’s senior legislative assistant, got married at City Winery in D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood.

Crickets on the Chopping Block in Senate Spending Bill
Jeff Flake not too keen on bug-based food development

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., doesn’t want federal funds going to the development of crickets as a food source. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona’s junior senator has a beef with crickets, and the use of federal funds to develop easier and more delicious ways to eat them.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has submitted an amendment to the four-bill spending package (HR 6147), under consideration on the Senate floor this week, that would prohibit funds “to support the development of insect-based foods for human consumption, including cricket farming and taste-testing of insect-based foods.”

Opinion: Our Growing Economy Should Not Leave Rural America Behind
New report from Joint Economic Committee Democrats offers ideas to help communities thrive

Wind turbines in eastern West Virginia. Wind turbine service technicians will be in heavy demand in rural areas, as the occupation is project to rank among the fastest-growing in the country over the next 10 years, Heinrich writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rural communities hold a special place in my heart. Not only because so many of the New Mexicans I represent live in rural areas, but also because I was raised in rural America. I know firsthand what it’s like to grow up in a small town, seeing both of my parents work long hours just to make ends meet and to provide a better future for my sisters and me.

A decade after the Great Recession, the overall economic picture for rural communities remains challenging. Not only are residents growing older, but two-thirds of rural counties lost population between 2010 and 2016. New job opportunities have lagged behind those in urban areas, and rural employment remains below pre-recession levels. Even when you have a job in rural America, too often your wages aren’t growing as fast as those in other places.