• Post published:May 11, 2020
  • Post category:News

For the week ending May 8th

CONFIRMING HEAD OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE: Voting 84 for and seven against, the Senate on May 6 confirmed William R. Evanina as director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center over criticism that he has been a reluctant supporter of whistleblower rights. The NCSC is the lead U.S. agency for safeguarding America against foreign intelligence penetrations. The vote keeps Evanina in a post he assumed in 2014 when Senate confirmation was not required. After joining the FBI as a special agent in 1996, he investigated organized crime and terrorist activities, and he was promoted in 2013 to head FBI-CIA joint counterintelligence operations. In 2014, Evanina was tasked with putting into effect a new law prohibiting retaliation against whistleblowers in the intelligence community by revoking their security clearances. But Senate critics say that six years later, he has not yet completed that assignment. A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.

YES: Tom Udall, D, Martin Heinrich, D

UPHOLDING VETO OF WAR POWERS BILL: Voting 49 for and 44 against, the Senate on May 7 failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to overturn President Trump’s veto of a resolution (SJ Res 68) concerning the possibility of war with Iran. The measure sought to require the administration to obtain advance congressional approval for actions against Iran or its proxy forces except when there is an imminent threat to the United States. It did so by invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which asserts the power of Congress to declare war under Article I of the Constitution. Under the 1973 law, presidents must notify Congress within 48 hours when they send the U.S. military into combat, then withdraw the forces within a set period unless Congress has authorized the action. A yes vote was to override the veto.

YES: Udall, Heinrich H

HOUSE Deb Haaland (D) Ben Ray Luján (D) Xochitl Torres Small (D)

SENATE Martin Heinrich (D) Tom Udall (D)

Contact your legislators at the U.S. Capitol
Zip codes: House 20515, Senate 20510
Capitol operator: (202) 224-3121