Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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Expelled Russia Diplomats May Have Tracked Defectors

Including one given a new identity under a CIA program, CNN reports

(Newser) - Some of the 60 Russian diplomats recently expelled from the US were suspected of spying on Russian defectors, including at least one person who was given a new identity under a CIA program, CNN reports, citing officials briefed on the matter. The diplomats were expelled in response to the nerve... More »

Thanks to Last-Minute Switch, Pompeo Clears Senate Panel

Rand Paul changed his mind in the 11th hour

(Newser) - President Trump's choice for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a favorable recommendation, narrowly avoiding a rare rebuke as his confirmation heads to the full Senate. Democrats put up stiff resistance and voted against Pompeo, who's currently the CIA director. Only... More »

Iran Deal Clears Senate Panel; Obama on Board

President says he would sign the measure

(Newser) - It looks like Congress will have its say on the Iran nuclear deal after all. A compromise version of legislation allowing it to do so cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with support from both parties this afternoon. In fact, it passed 19-0 , and it's expected to easily pass... More »

Senate Panel: We Have an Iran Bill

And they're optimistic it'll pass this afternoon

(Newser) - "We have reached a bipartisan agreement that keeps the congressional review process absolutely intact, full of integrity." So said Sen. Bob Corker this morning in revealing that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Republicans and Democrats have arrived at a compromise on a bill that would give Congress... More »

Bob Corker Is 'Senator to Watch'

Tennessee Republican will play a big role in foreign policy decisions

(Newser) - With Republicans about to get to work in the Senate with their new majority, George Will of the Washington Post singles out Tennessee's Bob Corker as the perhaps the most important senator in the coming year. The reason has nothing to do with the 2016 presidential race: Will is... More »

10-7: Senate Panel OKs Force in Syria

Full chamber votes next week

(Newser) - A Senate panel has voted to give President Obama the authority to use military force against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack. The tally in the Foreign Relations Committee was 10-7, setting up a vote in the full Senate next week. The resolution would permit Obama to... More »

Senate Committee Approves Kerry for State Gig

He'll go before the full Senate later today

(Newser) - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee surprised exactly no one today by putting its seal of approval on John Kerry's nomination for secretary of State nomination. It would have been quite the upset if Kerry hadn't gotten the committee's approval, given that he has sat on it for... More »

Kerry Set for Cakewalk of a Hearing

Secretary of State nominee to testify before his own committee

(Newser) - Seeking confirmation as the next secretary of state, John Kerry will testify today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Shouldn't be a tough crowd: Kerry himself has been on the committee for 28 years, and he's led it for the past four, the AP notes. He'll be... More »

Clinton Chokes Up, Gets Angry at Benghazi Hearing

She says she wasn't involved in the talking points given to Susan Rice

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton briefly became emotional while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, tearing up as she recalled the aftermath of the Benghazi attack. "To me this is not just a matter of policy. It's personal," Clinton said in her opening statement. Her voice broke as... More »

Clinton Aide on Benghazi: 'We Have to Do Better'

State Department officials testify before Senate, House panels

(Newser) - Two of Hillary Clinton's top deputies went before a Senate panel today to take their lumps over the department's security shortcomings in the Benghazi attack, reports Politico . Two quotes sum up their main message:
  • "We learned some very hard and painful lessons in Benghazi," said William
... More »

Obama's Iraq Nominee Withdraws Over Affair Emails

McGurk steps aside to avoid confirmation fight

(Newser) - President Obama's nominee for ambassador to Iraq has withdrawn his nomination amid controversy over his affair with a Wall Street Journal reporter . Brett McGurk said he was stepping aside because Iraq urgently needs a new ambassador. Six of the nine Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote to... More »

Speech Was Obama's 'Mission Accomplished'

All he needed was a flight suit

(Newser) - He may not have unfurled a banner or donned a flight suit, “but make no mistake: President Obama gave his own version of a ‘mission accomplished’ speech last night,” writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post . Last night the president declared—“perhaps prematurely”—that the... More »

When US Leaves, Afghan Economy Is Screwed

Democrat-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee urges policy retool

(Newser) - Our $18.8 billion nation-building efforts in Afghanistan have had only limited success, while vastly distorting the Afghan economy, a new report from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee concludes. A whopping 97% of Afghanistan’s GDP comes from foreign military and development spending, meaning the country “could suffer a... More »

Bush Team Blew Chance to Nab Osama

Al-Qaeda leader was at Tora Bora, but Rumsfeld let him get away

(Newser) - The Bush administration had a golden opportunity to capture Osama bin Laden in December of 2001, and it didn’t even try, writes John Kerry. The historical record is by now crystal clear: bin Laden and his No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were trapped at Tora Bora—bin Laden even wrote... More »

US Missed Chance to Capture bin Laden

If only we had sent a robust force to Afghanistan in Dec. 2001...

(Newser) - Though a new report concludes that doing away with Osama bin Laden eight years ago "would not have eliminated the worldwide extremist threat,” that hardly downplays its finding that the terror leader could have been captured by US forces in December 2001. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's report... More »

Clinton Boosts Kerry on Afghan Mission

Old rivals appear to forge durable alliance

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton was instrumental in convincing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to accept a runoff election—but it was what she didn’t do that mattered most. She didn’t interfere with erstwhile rival John Kerry’s mission. In fact, sources say, Clinton facilitated the meeting between Kerry and Karzai and... More »

Webb Visits Burma, Will Meet With Junta Chief

(Newser) - Sen. Jim Webb arrived in Burma today and will meet with the leader of the country's junta this weekend, reports the New York Times. The Virginia Democrat will be the highest-ranking American official ever to meet Gen. Than Shwe; the White House said the senator was "not carrying a... More »

Kerry Plans 'Hard Look at Afghanistan'

Foreign Relations Committee must ensure effort is 'Afghan, not American'

(Newser) - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will “take a hard look at Afghanistan” in the coming months, John Kerry tells GlobalPost. The committee hasn’t yet publicly scrutinized the administration’s effort in the country, but “we are not going to abrogate our responsibility,” says the senator, who... More »

Iran 6 Months From Nuke-Ready: Report

Senate report warns uranium stockpile could cause regional arms race

(Newser) - Experts believe Iran could be only 6 months away from having enough weapons-grade material for a nuclear bomb, CNN reports. While there's no indication Iran is preparing to build a bomb, the status of the country's nuclear program remains largely unknown, and its uranium stockpile has the potential to destabilize... More »

Kerry Leaps to Defense of Hill as Iraq Ambassador

Republican objections only slow down important work

(Newser) - Anticipating GOP resistance, John Kerry goes to bat for Iraq ambassador nominee Chris Hill,  arguing in a Politico piece that he should be confirmed immediately.  Kerry's committee is considering the veteran diplomat's nomination today. Despite Hill’s lack of Middle East experience, he’s cut out for peacemaking... More »

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