Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington:
- Anthony Scaramucci is forced out just 10 days after being named incoming White House communications director
- White House says Trump is fully confident in his Cabinet, apparently including Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions
- Trump swears in retired Gen. John F. Kelly as his new chief of staff
- The most notable firings and resignations in the Trump White House
A bill bolstering sanctions on Russia has stalled in Congress amid partisan finger-pointing, leaving lawmakers worried that the inaction could limit their legislative check on the Trump administration.
Top Democratic senators warned administration officials ahead of bilateral talks next week not to give back Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland that were seized amid revelations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Returning the compounds or lifting other sanctions would have required congressional review under legislation approved by the Senate in an overwhelming 98-2 vote last month.
The legislation, however, has stalled in the House as the administration works to soften the congressional reach.
"Simply put, the Russian government has done nothing to deserve renewed access to these compounds," wrote Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), along with Democratic colleagues from their states.
"There is clearly very strong support in Congress for vigilance with regards to the Russian government presence in the United States," the senators wrote. "We urge you to be similarly vigilant as you broach negotiations on a range of bilateral issues with the Russians."
Congress drafted the sanctions bill to backstop then-President Obama's efforts to reprimand Russia after the election interference. The bill would enable the legislative branch to halt a reversal or lifting of sanctions by the White House with a majority vote.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said this week he intended to pass the bill.
"I'm a Russia hawk. I believe in strong, bold Russian sanctions. We want to move this Russia sanctions bill," the speaker said.
Problems arose in part because the Senate version would have allowed any member of Congress to force a vote. But House Republicans and the administration objected, saying that gave too much authority to the legislative branch and allowed the minority Democratic Party to gum up floor operations.
The Senate quickly approved a revised version of the bill, but House Democrats objected to having their power curtailed.
The standoff continues as investigations deepen into links between President Trump's team and Russia, and Donald Trump Jr.'s emails about his meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign.
In public, Republicans in Congress have downplayed the Russian inquiry as not a top priority for constituents back home.
Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a bipartisan investigation of the matter, is "seeing smoke everywhere, like a 'Cheech and Chong' movie."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans, by refusing to more directly confront and criticize the White House over its Russian ties, have become "enablers" of behavior that is threatening to undermine American institutions.
"Republicans in Congress should stop hiding from the truth and stop hiding the truth from the American people," she said Friday.
House Democrats have promised to step up their oversight of Trump's possible connections with Russia by using other floor procedures.
This week, Democrats offered several symbolic amendments on a must-pass defense bill. One would have endorsed the intelligence community's January report that found Russian interference in the election. Others would have blocked Trump's proposed cyber-task force with Russia. They failed largely along party lines.