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February 13, 2016

Posts in "Foreign Policy"

December 16, 2015

It’s A Deal: Republicans Settle for Notable Omnibus Wins


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 10 - House Speaker Paul Ryan takes a question during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, December 10, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans said Ryan deserved high praise for creating a more inclusive, collaborative environment in the lead-up to the omnibus negotiations. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been offering members the same refrain since taking the gavel from John A. Boehner two months ago.

He’d been dealt a bad hand by the old regime, according to the Wisconsin Republican, and the best thing for everyone was to make it through the end of the year so the Republican House can return to “regular order” and run the government as it should.

Full story

December 8, 2015

King ‘Appreciative’ of Trump, but Won’t Endorse Muslim Comments


Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks with the media after a meeting of the House Republican caucus in the Capitol to discuss an immigration bill, August 1, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

King said he wouldn’t say whether he agreed with Trump on his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the U.S. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Most House Republicans are opting not to respond to Donald Trump’s remarks that Muslim immigrants should be barred from entering into the United States. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is not among them, but he wouldn’t say whether he agrees with his party’s presidential frontrunner.

King told reporters he is “appreciative” that the 2016 Republican presidential front-runner “has given some of us a little more room to operate.” Full story

December 1, 2015

Watch Live: House Hearing on U.S. Middle East Strategy


Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will testify at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria.

Coverage begins at 10 a.m.

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November 30, 2015

Congress Has a List of Deadlines, Is Checking It Twice


Ryan speaks to reporters.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan has a long month ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress returns this week for a pivotal work period with multiple deadlines, a busy schedule for an institution that tends to wait until the very last minute to get things done.

House lawmakers will spend the next four legislative days laying the groundwork on crucial pieces of legislation for the rest of the month, negotiating terms and conditions among themselves and with their counterparts across the aisle and Rotunda.

Full story

November 19, 2015

Democrats Slam White House Messaging On Refugee Bill


Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly on camera news conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi, D-Calif. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In 24 hours, House Democrats have gone from opposing the GOP  proposal to tighten the United States’ screening of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to supporting the bill in large numbers.

The shift is due to a number of factors, including pressure from constituents to take action this week — as well as frustration with the White House’s inability to offer a compelling reason to wait. Full story

By Emma Dumain Posted at 12:07 p.m.
Foreign Policy

Watch Live: House Judiciary Hearing on Syrian Refugee Crisis


The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security holds a hearing on the Syrian refugee crisis and the U.S. admission program for refugees. Officials from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are expected to testify.

Coverage begins at 9 a.m.

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November 18, 2015

House Democrats Plan Alternative to Syrian Refugee Bill


3: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Lofgren tried to get changes made to the GOP refugee bill due on the floor Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:15 p.m. | House Democrats will use procedural gambits to get a vote on their proposal aimed at easing concerns about Syrian refugees coming to the United States but without completely blocking their resettlement.

The partisan maneuvering has the potential to weaken support for a Republican-backed bill set to come to the floor Thursday. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure, but the bill is expected to pass with GOP votes and some from fiscally conservative Democrats.

Full story

Congresswoman Left for Dead at Jonestown Recalls the Massacre, 37 Years Later


Jackie Speier, an aide to Congressman Leo Ryan, being taken from a plane at Georgetown on November 19, 1978, after its arrival from Jonestown where Speier was shot five times and Ryan and four others were ambushed and killed by members of the People's Temple.  Congressman Leo Ryan was leading a group that went to Guyana to investigate reports of abuse and human rights violations by the People's Temple and its leader, Jim Jones.  Fearing the results of the murders and further investigations into Jonestown, despite Leo Ryan's assertion that he was going to give a largely positive review of the People's Temple, Jim Jones led his followers in a ?revolutionary suicide?.  On November 18, 1978, 909 Temple members died, all but two of which from cyanide poisoning, forming the largest mass suicide in modern history. (Copyright Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)

(Bettmann/Corbis /AP Images)

Rep. Jackie Speier knows exactly how it feels to be left for dead.

On Nov. 18, 1978, she was shot five times on a remote airstrip in Guyana, South America. Her boss, Rep. Leo J. Ryan and four others lay dead nearby, killed by gunfire as they tried to escape Jonestown, the commune built by cult leader Jim Jones.

Nearly 40 years later, Speier still remembers why she decided to get on a plane to go down on the ill-fated congressional trip.

“Back in 1978, there were not many women in high-ranking positions in Congress,” said Speier, who was legislative counsel for Ryan at the time. “I felt if I didn’t go, it would be a step back for women holding these high positions. I thought, ‘I can’t not go.’”

So she went, accompanying Ryan and 23 other people to Guyana, on the northeastern coast of South America, attempting to visit Jim Jones and nearly 1,000 followers he’d amassed.

By the end of the trip, Ryan was dead — the first and only congressman to be assassinated in office — along with three journalists and one cult defector. Speier and nine others had been shot and left for dead at a remote airstrip; they waited 22 hours for help to arrive.

Immediately following the shootings, Jones and more than 900 of his followers died from self-inflicted cyanide poisoning in what was seen as a mass suicide at the time, but is now widely considered a mass murder.

The Ryan congressional delegation had no military escort. The State Department had given neither a warning nor protection.

Speier has occupied Ryan’s former seat in Congress since 2008. In an interview with CQ Roll Call, she noted that while much has changed, some fundamental questions about Jonestown remain unanswered. Full story

Congress Scrambles for Response to Refugees, Paris Attacks


Ryan speaks Tuesday before signing the defense policy bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan speaks Tuesday before signing the defense policy bill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Top Republican leaders in Congress called for a “pause” in allowing Syrian refugees to enter the United States, as lawmakers in both chambers scrambled for a response to the Paris terrorist attacks.

A House task force released a bill Tuesday directed at the vetting of refugees from Syria and Iraq, where Islamic State extremists have found safe havens.  While Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for a halt to the refugee program, the House legislation instead seeks to enhance the certification process for these refugees.

Full story

November 17, 2015

House Bill Drafted to Enhance Vetting of Refugees


CQ Roll Call File Photo

CQ Roll Call File Photo

The House will vote Thursday to enhance oversight of the screening process for refugees from Syria and Iraq, but it will not consider legislation to “pause” the program sought by Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told reporters a post-Paris attacks task force has crafted a bill to create “a new certification process” for these refugees. It will be posted online later tonight and go before the Rules Committee Wednesday.

Full story

Ryan Calls for ‘Pause’ on Syrian Refugees


paris attacks

McCarthy is forming a legislative task force in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has asked the House to put together legislation this week responding to the Paris attacks and called for a “pause” in Syrian refugees coming to the United States.

“The way we look at this issue is … we have a refugee situation that we think requires a pause and a more comprehensive assessment on how to guarantee members of ISIS are not infiltrating themselves among the refugee population,” Ryan said Tuesday after the weekly closed-door GOP Conference meeting. Full story

House’s Muslim Members Brace for Charged Terror Debate


UNITED STATES - MARCH 10: Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., arrives to testify during the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" on Thursday, March 10, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Ellison, in 2011, arrives to testify at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response” (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Updated 5:30 p.m. | The two Muslim members of the House share the sentiments of their fellow Democrats: Under no circumstances should the United States block Syrian refugees from this country in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris..

But for Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and André Carson of Indiana, there’s a greater sense of urgency in how Congress responds to the violence at the hands of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, that has a stranglehold in Syria. Full story

November 16, 2015

Ryan Calls for Classified Briefings After Paris Attacks


paris terrorist attack

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is laying the groundwork for the House’s active engagement in the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks in Paris.

The Wisconsin Republican asked the Obama administration to provide lawmakers with classified briefings in the aftermath of the Nov. 13 shootings and bombings carried out by Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, he said Monday morning in an interview on Bill Bennett’s radio program. Full story

October 22, 2015

Clinton Evades GOP Blows in Benghazi Hearing (Video)


UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 22 - Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Clinton is being investigated by a Republican-led committee on the deadly 2012 Benghazi, Libya attacks. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans tried to paint Clinton as either out of the loop about Benghazi or unresponsive to calls to add security at U.S. facilities. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

 

Updated 6:19 p.m. | Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton appears headed back to the campaign trail politically unscathed, after being peppered for hours by Republicans with questions about the deadly Benghazi attacks.

In fact, Republicans’ lack of any hard evidence linking the former secretary of State directly to the department’s admitted missteps before and during the terrorist strikes that killed four Americans could give Clinton new campaign-messaging fodder.

Full story

Watch Live: Hillary Clinton Testifies Before Benghazi Committee


Former secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi about the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Coverage begins at 10 a.m. Full story

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