Robert Menendez

Photos of the week: Shutdown averted, national emergency declared
The week of Feb. 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., walks across the Capitol from the House side Monday for a meeting with other appropriators to try to revive spending talks and avert a second government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It appears Congress and the president have averted another partial government shutdown. On Thursday, both chambers adopted a conference report on a seven-bill spending package to fund the remainder of the government for the rest of fiscal 2019.

On Friday, President Donald Trump addressed the nation to declare a national emergency aimed at securing additional funding for a wall on the southern border. 

Democrats could stymie nuclear arms race after US leaves pact
2020 presidential hopefuls have already thrown support behind legislative efforts

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has introduced legislation that would prohibit funding for the flight-testing, acquisition and deployment of U.S. ground-launched ballistic missiles with ranges banned by the INF treaty. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress can do little to halt the U.S. withdrawal from a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, if President Donald Trump is determined to do so. But Democrats could have opportunities to shape and even block the administration’s plans to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Earlier this month, the White House announced it would leave the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in six months. The Kremlin quickly responded that it too would cease honoring its arms control commitments under the accord, though the United States and NATO have long accused Russia of already violating the treaty by deploying an intermediate-range, ground-launched cruise missile.

Foreign Relations chairman says Trump has met reporting burden on Khashoggi murder; other senators disagree
‘The administration has been very forthcoming, the State Department has been very forthcoming,’ says Jim Risch

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch said the Trump administration has met its reporting requirements. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee insists that the Trump administration has been responsive to congressional requests for information about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, despite claims to the contrary from several colleagues. 

“We received a response to the inquiry that we made last fall,” Sen. Jim Risch said. “I’ve said we have been briefed on this matter numerous times, met with not all of the 17 intelligence agencies, but a good number of the intelligence agencies.”

Housing finance agency confirmation hearing could involve dueling mortgage plans
The Senate Banking hearing could show the likely direction of efforts to overhaul agencies that are huge players in the national mortgage market

Ranking member Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., attend a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled “Oversight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” on December 11, 2018. Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, testified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s still undisclosed plans to end the federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be a focus of upcoming confirmation hearings for the nominee of the federal agency overseeing the two government sponsored enterprises.

Democrats such as Senate Banking ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, have said they’re concerned about the suitability of Mark Calabria, the nominee to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The committee hasn’t said when it will hold a hearing on Calabria’s nomination.

Senate Ethics Committee closes inquiry into Sen. Robert Menendez
New Jersey Democrat was ordered to reimburse friend $112,418.22 for travel and accommodations

A federal corruption case against New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez ended in a mistrial in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Ethics Committee has closed an inquiry into Sen. Robert Menendez over allegations that he used his official position to benefit his friend, a Florida eye doctor.

The panel ended its investigation after the New Jersey Democrat reimbursed his friend and political ally for $112,418.22 in travel and accommodations costs incurred between 2006 and 2010, according to a letter dated Feb. 1.

Senate passes Middle East policy bill, urges caution in Syria
21 Democrats vote against measure, including four declared presidential contenders

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s provision against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement directed at Israel proved controversial for many Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate on Tuesday passed a Middle East policy bill that urges President Donald Trump not to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

The 77-23 vote on the measure came hours ahead of Trump’s State of the Union address and more than a month after the legislation, initially touted as widely bipartisan and noncontroversial, was first brought to the floor. Democrats refused to consider the bill during the 35-day partial government shutdown.

Menendez wants to protect former Trump golf resort workers from being deported
Writes to both FBI director and DHS secretary

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., wants the FBI and DHS to shield former employees of President Donald Trump’s golf clubs from removal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Robert Menendez wants to make sure undocumented immigrants who formerly worked at President Donald Trump’s golf clubs are not deported while allegations of misconduct by the Trump organization are being investigated.

Lawmakers support, with some caveats, Trump’s withdrawal from Russian nuclear weapons treaty
President Trump announced on Friday the U.S. would withdraw — but he left the door open to salvaging the pact

President Donald Trump arrives to the Capitol to attend the Senate Republican policy luncheons on Jan. 9, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers from both parties and U.S. military officials are expressing support — with some caveats — for President Donald Trump’s Friday decision to withdraw from a nuclear weapons treaty with Moscow.

Trump announced on Friday the U.S. would withdraw — but he left the door open to salvaging the pact. 

What did the Senate Ethics Committee do last year?
The committee, mostly known for its inaction, issued no disciplinary sanctions on 138 complaints it received last year

The Senate Ethics Committee passed on a complaint against Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Ethics Committee, mostly known for how little action it takes, received 138 reports of violations of Senate rules in 2018, with zero resulting in a disciplinary sanction.

The committee has rarely taken action in recent years, and punishments are even more scarce. The ethics panel has jurisdiction over formal allegations of violations of the Senate Code of Official Conduct and violations of the rules and regulations of the Senate. It also has the authority to recommend disciplinary action and report violations of law to law enforcement.

Reed, Menendez press Trump for ‘immediate’ info on talks with Russia’s Putin
Duo sent letter to president hours before Giuliani suggests some 2016 collusion from campaign

Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., at a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Nov. 28, 2017.  They want answers from President Trump about his conversations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As a top lawyer for Donald Trump suggests some members of the president’s 2016 campaign worked with Russians, two top Senate Democrats want answers about whether the commander in chief properly handled sensitive information about his contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rudolph Giuliani told CNN Wednesday evening that he has “never said” there was zero collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russians. Shifting his stance yet again about what happened during that election cycle, Giuliani now says he stated only that the president himself never colluded with Russians or was involved in any potential actions by others that might constitute a crime.