Menendez is charged with using his office to benefit an eye doctor, who is also a political donor. Menendez is also charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud. He admitted that he flew on the doctor’s private plane to the Dominican Republic without paying for the trips, only later making reimbursements.
Congress votes 78-22 to approve training and arming the Syrian opposition. The new authorization to train the moderate Free Syrian Army expires Dec. 11. The bill does not decide on whether Congress will extend the training authorization or take up a broader authorization of military force against ISIS. Some senators are also pressing to add a passage that resembles a declaration of war to an annual defense policy bill pending in the Senate. House leaders oppose the addition, and the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee could begin drafting their own authorization of force as soon as next week. Obama:
We are strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together … These terrorists thought they could frighten us or intimidate us. Americans, we do not give in to fear.
A CNN/ORC Poll finds that 83% of Americans disapprove of Congress’s performance and 65% say it is ‘the worst Congress of their lifetime.’ The approval rating for Congress is currently 14%, compared with an all-time low of 10% in a CNN/ORC poll in September 2013.