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Today on the Hill: The latest developments on Capitol Hill

Today on the Hill with Mitchell Miller 20231106

Ƶapp Capitol Hill Correspondent Mitchell Miller follows all the developments in Congress.

 

Congress seeks answers from Secret Service after attempted assassination of Trump

APTOPIX Election 2024 Trump
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Sign up for Ƶapp’s Election Desk newsletter, which resumes this week, with the latest developments related to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

This is an unprecedented moment in the long U.S. history of presidential races.

Never before has the presidential candidate of a major party been the target of an assassination attempt days ahead of a national political convention.

The shooting in Pennsylvania that came within inches of taking former President Donald Trump’s life comes after years of fiery rhetoric — much of it on social media — from members of both political parties.

Now, jarred by the bullets fired at the former president, which claimed the life of a supporter and critically injured two others, there is a collective call from political leaders that the rhetoric needs to cool down.

“This is a moment where all leaders have a responsibility to speak and act with moral clarity,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said Sunday. “Where all leaders need to take down the temperature and rise above the hateful rhetoric that exists, and search for a better, brighter future for this nation.”

The message has been echoed by Republican and Democratic congressional leaders, who remain stunned by what happened over the weekend.

Shapiro, a Democrat, called the wife of the Republican supporter killed on Saturday to offer his condolences.

He noted the wife of the victim, Corey Comperatore, called him a hero for protecting them by falling on top of them before he was killed.

Congress presses ahead with its own investigation

Former President Trump said on Sunday that the country needs to “stand united” against evil and earlier received a call from President Biden.

“There is no place in America for this kind of violence,” President Biden said on Sunday, adding that nothing is needed more right now than unity.

But there is also anger over what happened.

“The central premise of the Biden campaign is that President Donald Trump is an authoritarian fascist who must be stopped at all costs,” U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, said on the social media platform X. “That rhetoric led directly to President Trump’s attempted assassination.”

Vance is among those being considered as Trump’s running mate.

The FBI is investigating, but Republican congressional leaders are vowing to carry out their own probe into the assassination attempt.

Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has  to testify before the panel on July 22.

The chairs of the House Homeland Security and Intelligence committees say they are also beginning investigations.

Security experts have raised major questions about how a gunman could have been allowed to get on top of a building with a line of sight so close to the former president.

Will the call for calm last?

Both candidates for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania – Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Dave McCormick – have joined with others in calling for politicians to tone down the political rhetoric.

There will continue to be similar calls this week.

It will also be interesting to see how the GOP alters the program and speeches at this week’s Republican National Convention.

Former President Trump has made it clear he plans to speak at the convention in Milwaukee, which will be under tightened security.

The violence in Pennsylvania also changes the political dynamic for Democrats, who have been struggling with the future of President Biden’s campaign in the wake of his poor debate performance last month.

Any effort to have him step aside is likely on hold given the sensitivity of the moment.

Less clear is what will happen as the presidential campaign inevitably heats up over the summer.

Members of both parties have a history of “saying the right things” at a time of crisis, only to return to their fighting corners only weeks, if not days later.

This will be a test for Republicans and Democrats — and the country — as one of the most tumultuous presidential races in modern history continues to unfold.

Two weeks after President Biden’s debate debacle — what’s next?

APTOPIX Biden NATO Summit
President Joe Biden arrives for the NATO summit in Washington, Wednesday July 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Exactly two weeks ago, the 2024 presidential race was totally upended in a matter of seconds, when during the first televised debate of the year, President Joe Biden stumbled into a meandering sentence that ended with a pause and then, “Look … we finally beat Medicare.”

It was a stunning moment, all the more surprising to many Democrats since the president had holed up with advisers for days at Camp David, preparing for his faceoff with former President Donald Trump.

The debate performance was a self-inflicted wound.

Read more.

Loss of Baltimore’s Key Bridge leads to more traffic problems

Maryland’s two U.S. senators urged fellow lawmakers on Wednesday to move more quickly to pass legislation for a new Key Bridge in Baltimore, while the state’s top transportation official said plans for a new span are moving forward.

While speaking at a hearing on the response to the collapse of the bridge after it was struck by a cargo ship, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. said each day without the span results in more hardships.

Cardin said they range from broader economic issues to traffic problems affecting daily commuters.

Read more.

Va. senator reportedly organizing group to ask Biden to leave presidential race

Senate TikTok
FILE – Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill March 20, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is reportedly trying to get a group of fellow Democratic senators to meet with President Joe Biden and urge him to get out of the race for the White House.

 first reported that Warner has told other lawmakers he no longer believes the president can sustain a successful campaign, in the wake of last week’s dismal debate performance.

Warner spokeswoman Rachel Cohen declined to confirm or deny Warner’s plans.

“Like many other people in Washington and across the country, Senator Warner believes these are critical days for the president’s campaign, and he has made that clear to the White House,” she said in a statement to The Washington Post.

Warner, a moderate Democrat, has a history of working with other senators to get groups together to address major issues.

Read the whole story here.

3 reasons why Thursday’s presidential debate between Biden and Trump will be different than past matchups

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This combination of photos taken in Columbia, S.C. shows former President Donald Trump, left, on Feb. 24, 2024, and President Joe Biden on Jan. 27, 2024. (AP Photo)

The presidential debate Thursday evening will feature two candidates who are very familiar to voters, but it will also include a lot of “firsts” when President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump take the stage in Atlanta, Georgia.

It will be the first televised debate held this early in the campaign — more than four months before the election in November.

No other debate in U.S history has been held this early. Major debates in the past have always taken place after the national political conventions, but those are still weeks away.

While there has been considerable buildup to the debate, will undecided voters still consider how it played out months from now? Or could it provide a slight bump in the polls that alters the trajectory of the campaign?

Read the whole story here.

Teen says classmate’s ‘deepfakes’ turned her photos into nudes

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks about a bill to help protect victims of deepfakes and revenge porn, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to address the type of terrible situation that a high school girl from Texas experienced when she said a fellow student created deepfake images from some of her photos that made it appear she was naked.

Elliston Berry and her mother came to Capitol Hill this week and talked about what happened to her last fall, when she was a freshman.

Berry said she was in disbelief when she saw the photos, which were posted on Snapchat.

“Once these photos were released, I dreaded school and was anxious to even step foot on campus,” she said.

Her mother, Anna McAdams, said she repeatedly tried to get Snapchat to take down the photos but had no luck.

Ultimately, the staff of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s a co-sponsor of new legislation, intervened and they were removed.

“It should not take an elected member of Congress intervening to have these despicable lies pulled down from online,” Cruz said at a news conference.

Read the full report here.

House GOP lawmakers try to put brakes on DC speed cameras

House Republicans are trying to prevent D.C. from using automated traffic enforcement, including speed cameras, and want to restrict District enforcement to prevent motorists from turning right on red at certain intersections.

Those are among numerous riders or provisions that have been added to the legislation covering D.C., which has been passed by the House Appropriations Committee.

Read the full story here.

Canines on Capitol Hill push legislation to help working dogs

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After returning to the U.S. from overseas duty, Summer did security sweeps on Amtrak, working during high-profile events, such as the Pope’s visit, inaugurations and State of the Union addresses. She helped protect counteless dignitaries, including members of Congress. (Ƶapp/Mitchell Miller)

A four-legged military veteran and other tail-wagging everyday heroes came to Capitol Hill this week to highlight the important role that dogs play in the armed services and federal agencies.

The dogs were the star attractions at a Tuesday gathering at the Rayburn House Office Building in D.C., organized by , the first national humane organization.

The event sought to drum up support for two bipartisan bills to protect animals: the Ի.

Read the full story here.

Congressman’s young son hams it up as dad speaks on House floor

This image from House Television shows Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn., speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives Monday, June 3, 2024, in Washington, as his son Guy smiles behind. (House Television via AP)

The 6-year-old son of Tennessee Rep. John Rose captivated Capitol Hill on Monday, lighting up C-SPAN with a series of goofy faces as his father gave a speech on the House floor.

Rep. Rose’s 6-year-old son makes faces as dad speaks on House floor

Guy Rose elicited bipartisan smiles as he mugged for the camera, while his father criticized the conviction of former President Trump at his recent trial in New York.

“Regardless of one’s opinion of the current Republican nominee, we’d be well-served to remember the long and cherished tradition we have in this country of settling our differences at the ballot box,” Rose said, as Guy showed off a wide range of silly faces while sitting behind him, sticking his tongue out and cutting up like kids love to do.

C-SPAN posted the video, which immediately led to lots of comments and national attention.

The congressman later reposted it, noting, “This is what I get for telling my son Guy to smile at the camera for his little brother.”

Read more by The Associated Press here.

GOP takes aim at funding for FBI headquarters in Maryland

Biden Classified Documents
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks Thursday, May 16, 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The Republican chair of the House Judiciary Committee is proposing that funding for a new FBI headquarters in Maryland be eliminated in next year’s spending plans.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a frequent FBI critic, sent a letter outlining his plans on Monday to House Appropriations Committee Tom Cole.

“We recommend that the Appropriations Committee include language to eliminate any funding for the FBI that is not essential for the agency to execute its mission, including rescinding prior appropriations and prohibiting new taxpayer funding for any new FBI headquarters facility,” Jordan said.

The General Services Administration last year announced that it had chosen a 61-acre area in Greenbelt to be the new home of the FBI, after a lengthy competition between Maryland and Virginia.

Jordan and many conservative Republicans are upset with the FBI on a number of fronts, charging the agency has mismanaged resources and sensitive investigations.

They want to reduce funding to put pressure on the FBI to make changes.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers earlier this year that it would be a mistake to cut back on funding for his agency, given the growing number of security threats facing the U.S.

“This is a time when we need your support the most,” he said at a hearing on the FBI’s budget.

Maryland’s congressional delegation has vowed to keep funds flowing for the FBI headquarters, in the wake of previous GOP threats to cut off money.

The GSA has indicated that it will in Maryland.

Right now, construction is expected to begin within the next five years, with FBI employees working in the new facility by 2036.

The current FBI headquarters is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C.

While there is disagreement over FBI funding, there is widespread agreement that the current headquarters is outdated, with parts of the building literally falling apart.

The building includes sports netting to keep chunks of concrete from falling and hitting people in the ground.

GOP calls for NY prosecutors from Trump trial to testify before Congress

Trump Hush Money Explainer
FILE – Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg listens at news conference in New York, Feb. 7, 2023. Donald Trump will make history as the first former president to stand trial on criminal charges when his hush money case opens with jury selection. Bragg’s office has said that Trump was trying to conceal violations of federal campaign finance laws — an unusual legal strategy some experts have said could potentially backfire. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

House Republicans fired off letters to New York prosecutors involved in the hush money trial of former President Trump the day after he was convicted on 34 felony counts, calling on them to testify before Congress.

The letters were sent to New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Matthew Colangelo, who prosecuted the case that led Trump to become the first former president in U.S. history to be convicted of a crime.

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government requested that they appear at a hearing on June 13, which will examine the “political prosecution” of Trump.

The panel had already sought documents from the prosecutors in connection with their investigation and it is unlikely either of them will appear before lawmakers.

But it’s another sign of the aggressive stance congressional Republicans are taking to defend Trump and support his effort to return to the White House.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who’s among those seeking to become Trump’s running mate, has been highly critical of the trial and prosecutors.

“Weaponizing the justice system of the United States of America against a political opponent? Un-American,” Scott said in a video post on ‘X.’ “Joe Biden, you’re fired.”

Congressional Republicans have charged that the trial amounts to election interference and Trump on Friday again blamed President Biden for the New York trial.

While Bragg is a Democrat, he is a local official, and there is no evidence that the president or the Biden administration had anything to do with bringing charges against Trump.

Still, Republicans have unleashed a torrent of criticism related to the former president’s conviction, charging the trial is the result of a “two-tiered” legal system unfairly tilted against Trump.

The criticism ignores the fact that Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is facing trial on corruption charges, a short distance in New York from where the Trump trial took place.

Republicans have often been divided over various issues, particularly in the U.S. House of Representatives, where House Speaker Mike Johnson recently survived an effort to oust him.

But they are unified in their support of Trump and belief that he’s been treated unfairly by the legal system.

Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has often been at odds with Trump, has publicly supported him.

“These charges never should have been brought in the first place. I expect the conviction to be overturned on appeal,” he wrote on ‘X.’

Republicans are also actively trying to help Trump with fundraising, as he moves ahead with his presidential campaign.

The Trump campaign said that immediately after the verdict, it raised $34.8 million, a record for online donations.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, just days ahead of the start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where he’s still expected to formally become the GOP presidential nominee.

Hogan: GOP can’t count on his vote if he gets elected to U.S. Senate

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan makes a unique political pledge in a new TV ad — saying that Republicans won’t always be able to count on his vote if he’s elected to the U.S. Senate.

Hogan is a lifelong Republican but he’s reprising a pragmatic theme that helped him get elected to two terms in Annapolis.

In the new ad released this week, Hogan looks directly into the camera and says Republicans won’t be able to count on his vote, but also says Democrats won’t be able to either.

“If they want my vote, they will have to do what is right for Maryland – not one political party,” Hogan says.

Hogan has sought early in his campaign against Democrat Angela Alsobrooks to stress his independence and downplay concerns that he might join Republicans in trying to further restrict abortion rights.

He will need support from independents and to peel away registered Democrats from Alsobrooks.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland by a 2-to-1 margin.

The Maryland Democratic Party issued a statement Tuesday, noting that Hogan has said he will caucus with Republicans.

The statement seeks to link him to “Republican extremists like (Sen.) Rick Scott to push their agenda of banning abortion and sunsetting Medicare and Social Security.”

“Marylanders know what is at stake in this election and will stand against turning the Senate over to Republicans,” said Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Lindsay Reilly.

Hogan’s candidacy has put Maryland in the national conversation over which party will control the Senate after the November elections.

Republicans only need to flip two seats to regain control of the Senate.

The GOP already has an inside track on flipping the West Virginia Senate seat that’s been held by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

Manchin is retiring, and the seat is widely expected to be taken over by the Republican Senate nominee, Gov. Jim Justice.

How does Md. Rep. Steny Hoyer think Alsobrooks will do against Hogan?

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., was one of Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ earliest and most prominent supporters. He could see her campaign begin to transform in the final months before Tuesday’s primary.

“She was escalating all along — the ground game,” Hoyer said this week in an interview with Ƶapp at his Capitol Hill office. “The crowds kept growing … and polls followed.”

Hoyer, who’s seen a lot of political races in his decades in politics, said of her campaign, “They caught it on the upswing.”

The Democratic lawmaker said he was surprised by the margin of victory over Trone — close to 10 percentage points — but not that Alsobrooks won.

Read the full story.

Fate of RFK revitalization bill, which could lure Commanders back to DC, tied to team’s old logo

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Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

A U.S. Senate panel has begun considering legislation that could help D.C. in its effort to redevelop the RFK stadium site and bring back the Washington Commanders. But the bill remains a long way from the legislative goal line.

The Senate National Parks Subcommittee on Wednesday took up the measure, as Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., kicked off an effort to use his political leverage to advance the legislation on his terms.

Daines said he will hold up the bill, unless the Commanders work out an agreement with the Native American family that was involved in creating the team’s logo that was featured during its heyday.

Daines said he wants to help the family of Walter “Blackie” Wetzel, a member of the Blackfeet Nation from his state, get the recognition he feels is deserved.

Wetzel designed the logo that appeared prominently on the team’s helmets and a wide range of team paraphernalia for decades.

As he spoke on Wednesday, Daines placed an old helmet featuring the logo and autographs from former players on the dais in front of him.

“I am proud to display it here today,” said Daines, noting he has no intention to bring back the team’s old name. “This logo was inspired and envisioned by Wetzel as a tribute to Native Americans.”

Daines said he spoke with the Wetzel family Tuesday night and hopes the matter can be resolved.

The Washington Post reported this week that a Wetzel family member had met with team representatives and that initial discussions were positive.

The House has already passed the legislation that is now before the Senate. The bill would allow D.C. to enter into a 99-year lease for the site, which is currently under the control of the National Park Service.

RFK Stadium was cleared for demolition earlier this month.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is a supporter of the legislation, which she said she hopes will usher in a new era with the Commanders in the District. Maryland hopes to keep the team, as its new owners consider possible stadium sites. Virginia has also offered up various proposals to attract the team to the Commonwealth.

House gives final approval to FAA bill; increases flights at Reagan National

Biden Oil Exports
FILE – Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to the media during a press conference on the border, Sept. 27, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

The House gave final approval to the FAA reauthorization bill on Wednesday, which will increase the number of flights at Reagan National Airport — a measure opposed by D.C.-area lawmakers.

The vote was 387-26 for the legislation, which had faced a Friday deadline.

The $105 billion measure was approved last week by the Senate and now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature.

Ten flights in and out of Reagan National Airport will be added under the legislation.

Lawmakers from Virginia, Maryland and D.C. had fought against the bill, arguing that adding more flights would undermine safety and add to delays for air travelers.

“The passage of a provision to increase congestion and delays at DCA is Congress at its worst,” lawmakers said in a statement.

The latest statement was signed by Virginia Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger, Bobby Scott, Jennifer McClellan and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland had joined U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia in voting against the legislation when it was voted on in the upper chamber last week.

Supporters of the legislation said it will bring direct flights to D.C. from other parts of the country, providing more convenience and choices for flyers.

Flights are expected to start from San Antonio, Texas.

The amendment was backed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who helped get the overall legislation approved.

Read more from The Associated Press.

Montgomery Co. school board president tells Congress antisemitism not tolerated

Karla Silvestre, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education, arrives for a hearing with subcommittee members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on May 08, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

School officials, including the president of the Montgomery County School Board, were pressed Wednesday at a congressional hearing on how they deal with the issue of antisemitism.

The House hearing covering K-12 schools was held as Republicans step up investigations related to antisemitism more broadly, which have been spurred by campus unrest over the war in Gaza.

“This is the moment for all of us to take a stand against hate, against the indoctrination and radicalization of the next generation of leaders,” said. Rep. Aaron Bean, R-Fl., chair of  the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee.

Bean asked three witnesses directly, “Is terrorism ever justified?”

Montgomery County School Board President Karla Silvestre, David Banks, the Chancellor of New York City Public Schools, and Enikia Ford Morthel, Superintendent of the Berkeley, Ca., Unified School District, all replied that it would never be justified.

Silvestre outlined in extensive detail Montgomery County’s efforts to address antisemitism and hate speech.

“Let me be clear — we do not shy away from imposing consequences for hateful behavior, including antisemitism,” Silvestre said, noting that the county school system is one of the most diverse in the country.

She told lawmakers that the school system investigates each case when it receives a complaint, or someone witnesses a particular antisemitic, hateful or racist action.

“If our investigation finds a staff member cannot uphold the employee code of conduct and support a safe learning environment for all students, they will not remain in Montgomery County Public Schools,” she said.

Silvestre said that in the past year, the school system has revised policies and procedures to strengthen the response to antisemitism and racist behavior.

She also pointed out that there is a “clear reporting process” for school leaders and staff.

Other efforts include working with community organizations to form a hate bias advisory group and taking part in listening sessions at synagogues.

Starting this summer, the school system will have mandatory, hate-based training for all staff members.

“I want to do everything in my power to make sure all students can pursue their education without worrying about antisemitic, racist or hateful threats,” she said.

While the hearing focused on K-12, it was held with the backdrop of the demonstrations that have disrupted classes and graduation ceremonies at universities across the country.

More than 30 protesters were arrested early Wednesday at George Washington University, after D.C. police were sent in and warned that arrests would take place if demonstrators didn’t leave a tent city that had been in place for two weeks.

A congressional hearing last year ultimately, after they were widely criticized for what many considered too much equivocation related to issues of threats to Jewish students and free speech.

GOP lawmaker: University presidents ‘are just wimps’

Congressional Republicans have been unified in their criticism of university administrators, charging that many have been weak and inconsistent in their response to protests on college campuses.

“We’ve got university presidents and university faculty that are just wimps — just wimps,” said U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.

Scott is among the GOP lawmakers who have seized on what they believe is a lack of decisiveness in the response to pro-Palestinian protests, which have led to campus unrest across the country.

Read the full story.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene presents plan to call a vote to oust House Speaker Johnson

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said Wednesday she would call a vote next week on ousting House Speaker Mike Johnson, forcing her colleagues to choose sides in a difficult showdown after Democratic leaders announced they would provide the votes to save the Republican speaker’s job.

Speaking outside the Capitol, Greene ranted against Republican Party leaders at the highest levels and pushed back against their public entreaties, including from Donald Trump, to avoid another messy political fight so close to the November election. With her was Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., one of the few lawmakers who have joined her effort.

“We need leaders in the House of Representatives that are going to get this done,” said Greene, R-Ga., holding up a red “MAGA” hat from Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign movement.

Read more by The Associated Press here.

Congress just passed sweeping foreign aid legislation. Now what?

Lawmakers return this week after passing a historic $95 billion foreign aid package that was in doubt for months, even as many of its members worried that “the world is on fire.”

Despite a U.S. House of Representatives that has one the narrowest majorities in history, a threat to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson if he moved forward on aid to Ukraine and growing GOP isolationism, the legislation sailed through both chambers on bipartisan votes.

After final passage from the U.S. Senate, its fight against Russia.

Passage of the sweeping measure will likely be the last major accomplishment of the 118th Congress during this election year.

Read the full story.

Senate passage of aid to Israel, Ukraine expected this week

Congress is now poised to approve $95 billion in foreign aid that has been the focus of fierce debate for months and which could still potentially jeopardize the job of House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The U.S. Senate this week will take up legislation that was finally passed by the House over the weekend, after Johnson decided he could no longer continue trying to appease a few dozen GOP hard-liners.

Read the full story.

House votes to open debate on foreign aid bills

The House has taken a key procedural step, opening the way for debate this weekend for votes on bills to provide aid to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and deal with TikTok.

The House voted 316-94 on Friday to approve a rule allowing for the bills to be taken up individually on Saturday.

The floor action took place after an unusual vote in the on Thursday night, when Democrats joined Republicans to advance the foreign aid bills.

Three Republicans on the panel voted against the legislation, even though House Speaker Mike Johnson wanted it moved forward.

It is rare for members of a party to rebel against their leader in what is known as “The Speaker’s Committee.”

Conservatives have railed against Johnson for deciding to take up aid for Ukraine, which they strongly oppose.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has threatened to make a motion to vacate the chair, which could force Johnson out of the speakership.

But Friday’s bipartisan vote is a boost for Johnson, who is trying to navigate issues that have divided the GOP conference.

“Because we did this process, we got a better outcome here,” Johnson told reporters after the vote.

He noted that lawmakers on Saturday can now vote on how they want on the four separate bills.

The legislation totals $95 billion in foreign aid and the fourth bill would require TikTok to divest from its Chinese parent company within a year, or face a U.S. ban.

If the legislation is approved by the House this weekend, it will move on to the Senate.

Political pressure builds on House Speaker Johnson as Congress returns

Congress returns Monday after a two-week break and the list of major issues facing lawmakers has only grown while they were away from D.C.

Most immediately, Congress will need to consider an emergency aid package related to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which has effectively closed the port.

The economic impact from a cargo ship crashing into the bridge and taking it down is being felt well beyond Baltimore, which handles more “roll on, roll off” cargo than any port in the United States.

Read the full story.

Growing concern from House Republicans about crime near US Capitol

House Republicans said Thursday that D.C.’s crime problem is undermining public safety near the U.S. Capitol, due to an increase in robberies and carjackings that have affected lawmakers and congressional staff members.

“D.C. crime is out of control,” Rep. Bryan Steil, GOP chair of the House Administration Committee said during a hearing to examine criminal activity on Capitol Hill.

Read the full story.

Senate intel chair to TikTok users: ‘We don’t want to take away the experience’

Senate Worldwide Threats
Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to examine worldwide threats at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said that he’s encouraged by new efforts from U.S. investors to purchase social media platform TikTok.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company linked to the Chinese government.

The Senate is  considering a bill passed by the House this week, which if it is ultimately approved and signed by President Joe Biden, calls for ByteDance to either divest from TikTok or be banned in the United States.

Warner, like other lawmakers, is concerned that Chinese control of TikTok’s parent company presents a significant national security risk. However, he stressed that he and other lawmakers who support the latest legislation aren’t trying to deny access to the estimated 170 million Americans who use the app.

Read the full story.

House passes bill that would ban TikTok in US

The TikTok Inc. logo is seen on their building in Culver City, Calif., Monday, March 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Legislation that would ban TikTok in the U.S. if the Chinese company that owns the popular social media app fails to sell it passed in the House on Wednesday in a 352-65 vote, with one lawmaker voting present.

The measure would require TikTok to be sold by its parent company, ByteDance, which is linked to the Chinese government.

The legislation will still need to be approved by the Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden to become law.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and ranking Republican Sen. Marco Rubio released a joint statement following the bill’s passage in the House.

“We were encouraged by today’s strong bipartisan vote in the House…and look forward to working together to get this bill passed through the Senate and signed into law,” the senators wrote in the joint statement on Wednesday.

has bipartisan support and had previously moved to the House floor quickly, unlike much of the legislation lawmakers have been considering this session. It was approved Thursday on a rare, unanimous vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Supporters of the legislation say it’s long overdue, owing to concerns that the Communist Party in China could use data to spy on Americans or influence public opinion.

It would give ByteDance 165 days to sell TikTok. If that didn’t happen, it would become illegal for app stores, such as those operated by Google or Apple, to make it available to download.

“We will not allow for the continued targeting, surveilling and manipulation of Americans through foreign adversary-controlled apps,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Ore., who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee.

But opponents argue that the ban would infringe on First Amendment rights and take away a popular video app that’s used by an estimated 170 million Americans.

Most of its users are younger and TikTok’s supporters say that a ban will cripple many fledgling businesses that have been promoted through the app.

Former President Trump recently said he opposed a ban — a reversal of his earlier position when he was in the White House.

But unlike on other issues, many House Republicans decided they would break with the former president on the ban.

Read more by the Associated Press.

Congressional Democrats on Biden’s 2024 prospects: ‘I don’t think we’re bed-wetting at all’

President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address was one of the most partisan many in Congress can remember.

That’s not surprising, given the fact that the 2024 presidential ballot is set for a rematch between Biden and former President Donald Trump.

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High-stakes 2024 campaign now in full swing

Election 2024 Michigan
FILE – This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, Jan. 19, 2024. (AP Photo, File)

This year’s presidential campaign is now fully underway following Nikki Haley’s decision to suspend her campaign. Her exit sets up another battle between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, who will give his State of the Union address on Thursday night.

“The race is set now,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson, flanked by GOP leaders on Wednesday. “It will be a rematch and we like that rematch.”

Polls, however, indicate most voters are .

But the race between Trump, 77, and Biden, 81, is now on.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has not spoken to Trump in more than three years since the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, announced on Wednesday that he is endorsing him for the GOP nomination.

“It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for President of the United States,” McConnell said in a statement.

McConnell has rarely mentioned the former president, unless asked a direct question by Capitol Hill reporters. Trump has often criticized him, calling him “old crow.”

But McConnell had consistently said that he would support the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

The chair of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Elise Stefanik, is more enthusiastic about the results of Super Tuesday.

“The American people have spoken,” Stefanik said. “They made clear what we have known for months. President Donald J. Trump is our Republican nominee.”

His nomination is now all but a formality, after winning 14 of the 15 state contests on Super Tuesday.

President Biden will be the Democrats’ nominee.

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., who has been running against Biden in a campaign that attracted little attention, announced on Wednesday that he was suspending his campaign.

State of the Union

Members of both parties are gearing up for Thursday night’s State of the Union address, which will likely be the largest television audience President Biden will attract before the November election.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said the president has a lot of accomplishments he can point to, which include encouraging bipartisan legislation.

But he also alluded to the need to counter concerns about his age.

“I think it’s critically important for President Biden to show energy,” Warner said. “(And) to counter some of the concerns about the economy, because there’s a lot of good news to talk about.”

Warner acknowledges that inflation remains too high, but he also points to record highs on Wall Street, low unemployment and steady job growth.

The Democratic lawmaker said he also believes the president should not shy away from issues involving the southern border, which have been the focus of frequent attacks from Republicans.

“I do think he should make clear … the border’s a mess,” Warner said.

He believes the president should point out that the recent bipartisan Senate border deal died because former President Trump didn’t like it, suggesting he wants to run on the border issue to “bash” Biden.

“We live in a town that’s pretty full of hypocrisy, but that kind of hypocrisy was breathtaking,” Warner said.

House Republicans make no apologies for opposing the border deal and are criticizing suggestions that President Biden is seeking a “reset” with voters in this election year.

“The problem with their strategy is that the American people are going to see right through whatever scripted rhetoric Biden ends up reading off the teleprompter tomorrow night,” said House Majority Whip Tom Emmer. “Joe Biden has failed on every single issue.”

Election outlook for Congress

The battle for control of the House and Senate is again going to be fierce in 2024.

Democrats are on defense in Senate races, with nearly two dozen incumbents trying to hold onto their seats. By comparison, only 10 Republicans are defending their seats.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., took a major step toward getting elected to one of California’s U.S. Senate seats on Super Tuesday. He received the most votes, followed by Republican former Major League baseball star Steve Garvey.

Schiff focused most of his attention during the primary on Garvey, rather than his two Democratic rivals, Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee.

That’s because in the so-called “jungle primary” only the two top vote-getting candidates are left on the fall ballot.

Since California is largely blue, Schiff is favored to beat Garvey, who formerly played for the Dodgers and Padres.

In Texas, Rep. Colin Allred won his Democratic primary, avoiding a runoff. The former NFL player will face U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who defeated then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke in 2018.
Control of the House could turn on just a few races, since Republicans currently hold only a 219-213 majority.

In California, the 22nd District race will be getting a lot of attention.

Votes are still being counted, with Republican Rep. David Valadao leading Democrat Rudy Salas and two other candidates. Only the top two vote-getters will be on the ballot in the fall.

Democrats are hoping Salas will be able to flip the swing district seat. Valadao beat Salas in 2022, in what was one of the most expensive House races in the country.

Congressional Gold Medal proposed to honor abolitionist Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
This undated file image shows African-American social reformer, abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass. Douglass was the country’s most famous black man of the Civil War era, a conscience of the abolitionist movement and beyond and a popular choice for summing up American ideals, failings and challenges. (AP Photo, File)

The legacy of abolitionist Frederick Douglass played a significant role in the creation of Black History Month, which takes place each February, the month that he was born.

Now, 129 years after his death, a Maryland congressman is seeking to honor Douglass , which is the legislative body’s highest national expression for distinguished achievement.

Douglass died on this day — Feb. 20, 1895 — , in D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood.

Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., has introduced the bill to posthumously give the medal to Douglass.

Read full story here.

Worries grow about ‘reckless’ government shutdown amid House GOP dysfunction

Congress Mayorkas Impeachment
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., stands outside his office during a meeting with the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Amir Ohana, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The next deadline for a government shutdown is less than two weeks away, but Congress will be gone until nearly the end of the month, causing some lawmakers to send warning flares about another pending spending crisis.

The U.S. House ended its session on Thursday — a day early — after Republicans were unable to secure votes within their own party to address issues including government surveillance and tax cuts.

House members don’t return into session until Feb. 28 — just three days before the next partial government shutdown deadline on March 1.

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Senate passes $95B foreign aid bill. Will it die in the House?

It took several months and a marathon session that ended in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, but the Senate finally approved a $95 billion national security package, including aid for Ukraine and Israel.

But House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated he won’t bring up the sweeping legislation for a vote.

So, what happens now?

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How former Gov. Hogan’s entry shakes up Maryland Senate race

Election 2024 Maryland Senate Hogan
FILE – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan addresses supporters at the Maryland statehouse, Jan. 10, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. The former Maryland Governor announced Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, he will run for U.S. Senate, giving Republicans a prominent candidate who is well-positioned to run a competitive campaign for the GOP in a state that hasn’t had a Republican U.S. senator in 37 years. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to run for the U.S. Senate creates the potential for a high-stakes race the state hasn’t experienced in decades.

It was 50 years ago that Democrat Barbara Mikulski lost to the last Republican U.S. Senator to serve in Maryland, Charles Mathias.

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Flight fight — will Congress allow expansion at Reagan National?

United Airlines Window Seats
File – A United Airlines plane sits at a gate at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Members of the Virginia and Maryland congressional delegations are vowing to fight a new effort to expand the number of flights in and out of Reagan National Airport.

The Senate Commerce Committee has decided to allow an additional five slots at the airport for long-distance flights.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia and U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said they are “deeply disappointed” in the decision, which they said threatened to “overburden” the airport.

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Bill that could open way to new DC football stadium advances in Congress

The old structure of RFK Stadium (Ƶapp/John Domen)

Legislation has moved ahead in Congress that would allow the redevelopment of the old RFK Stadium site and potentially clear the way for a new football stadium for the Washington Commanders.

The House Natural Resources Committee voted this week  to allow D.C. to enter a 99-year lease with the National Park Service.

Read the full story here.

House GOP leaders: Senate border deal ‘waste of time’

Mayorkas Impeachment

The bipartisan U.S. Senate agreement on the southern border took months to reach, but it was only a matter of hours after its release that it was blasted by House GOP leadership and former President Trump.

The border deal would make some of the most significant changes to U.S. immigration policy in years.

Read the full story here.

Will Congress force Big Tech to do more to protect children online?

Social Media CEOs Testify
With people holding photos of their loved ones in the audience, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, to discuss child safety. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Members of Congress are growing increasingly frustrated with Big Tech and what many lawmakers believe is lip service to concerns about how social media sites are impacting the mental health of children.

That was clear at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the leaders of five major tech firms were pounded with questions from lawmakers this week.

Executives from Meta, TikTok, the platform ‘X,’ Snap and Discord testified.

These types of hearings have taken place several times in recent years — the CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, had previously testified eight times.

But the latest hearing had a sharper tone, suggesting lawmakers are ready to do more this time around.

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Senate intelligence chair ‘gravely concerned’ about election interference

Senate Worldwide Threats
Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to examine worldwide threats at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said he worries the U.S. is now less prepared than it was in 2020 for foreign adversaries sowing disinformation in the presidential election.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has closely monitored foreign efforts to meddle in U.S. elections since 2016, when it became clear Russia was using social media to spread disinformation designed to confuse American voters.

Read the full story here.

Congress approves temporary spending measure to avoid government shutdown

Congress Budget

Congress voted to approve a short-term spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown Thursday, ahead of a Friday night deadline.

The House voted 314-108 to approve the continuing resolution. The House action came after the Senate voted earlier to approve the measure, 77-18 and now goes to President Biden for his signature.

The House moved up a vote to Thursday, due to concern about the forecast for snow in the Washington area, as lawmakers prepared to leave town.

House Speaker Mike Johnson needed help from Democrats to get the bill to final passage, since it required a two-thirds majority. A total of 107 Republicans voted for it, while 106 GOP lawmakers voted against it.

In the last vote for a continuing resolution in November, 93 Republicans opposed it. The previous spending measure was a so-called “laddered” continuing resolution, which extended funding to Jan. 19, as well as Feb. 2.

The current legislation is similar, with an initial deadline for four spending bills expiring March 1 and a second deadline for eight other spending bills on March 8.

Johnson initially indicated he wouldn’t support another short-term spending plan, given the opposition within his GOP conference. But he agreed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to an overall top-line spending figure of close to $1.6 trillion and decided to stick with that agreement, despite sharp criticism from conservatives.

Congressional leaders hope to move on from the shutdown showdown to make progress on a separate, $110 billion supplemental, which includes aid for Ukraine and Israel.

President Biden on Wednesday to discuss the foreign aid package, which would also include new reforms for the southern border.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s encouraged by progress in the border talks and support for foreign aid.

“I am more optimistic than ever before that we come to an agreement,” Schumer said after the meeting. “I put the chances at a little bit greater than half now, and that’s the first time I can say that.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes the aid package could be taken up as early as next week by the Senate. Many House Republicans remain opposed to more aid for Ukraine and are pressing Johnson to hold firm on policy changes for the border.

He reiterated after the White House meeting that his top priority is border reform.

“The House is ready to act but the legislation has to solve the problem,” Johnson said.

Senate approves stopgap spending bill to avoid shutdown; House vote next

Congress Year End
FILE – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., gives two thumbs up as the Senate votes to approve a 45-day funding bill to keep federal agencies open, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a continuing resolution, the first critical step to avoid a partial government shutdown ahead of a Friday night deadline.

The vote was 77-18.

The deadline for current spending expires at 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

With approval in the Senate, the continuing resolution will need to be voted on in the House.

The House plans to take it up the legislation on Thursday as well, ahead of another winter storm expected to bring more snow to the Washington area.

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus oppose the stopgap spending measure and plan to vote against it, arguing deeper cuts need to be made.

House Speaker Mike Johnson will need help from Democrats to get the bill to final passage, since it will require a two-thirds majority. In the last vote for a continuing resolution in November, 93 Republicans opposed it.

The previous spending measure was a so-called “laddered” continuing resolution, which extended funding to Jan. 19, as well as Feb. 2.

The current legislation is similar, with an initial deadline for four spending bills expiring March 1 and a second deadline for eight other spending bills on March 8.

Johnson initially indicated he wouldn’t support another short-term spending plan, given the opposition within his GOP conference.

But he agreed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to an overall topline spending figure of close to $1.6 trillion and decided to stick with that agreement, despite sharp criticism from conservatives.

Congressional leaders hope to move on from the shutdown showdown to make progress on a separate, $110 billion supplemental, which includes aid for Ukraine and Israel.

President Biden to discuss the foreign aid package, which would also include new reforms for the southern border.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s encouraged by progress in the border talks and support for foreign aid.

“I am more optimistic than ever before that we come to an agreement,” Schumer said after the meeting. “I put the chances at a little bit greater than half now, and that’s the first time I can say that.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes the aid package could be taken up as early as next week by the Senate.

Many House Republicans remain opposed to more aid for Ukraine and are pressing Johnson to hold firm on policy changes for the border.

He reiterated after the White House meeting that his top priority is border reform.

“The House is ready to act but the legislation has to solve the problem,” Johnson said.

Virginia senator’s bill would ban legacy college admissions

Election 2024 Virginia Senate
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill on July 21, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is hoping to advance bipartisan legislation in Congress this year that would make major changes in the college admissions process.

The Democratic lawmaker and U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., are co-sponsors of a bill that would prohibit accredited colleges and universities from giving preferential treatment in admissions to children of alumni or those with ties to donors.

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Is a January government shutdown on the way?

Congress Budget
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., arrives at the Capitol as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the former House Majority Leader, has seen a lot of government shutdowns during his long congressional career.

“I think there’s more than a potential,” he said in a recent interview with Ƶapp. “I think it may be more likely than less likely that we would shut down the government.”

Hoyer believes House Speaker Mike Johnson and Republicans have set the table for a shutdown, in part because there will be so little time to resolve major spending issues when the House returns on Jan. 9.

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Senate not ready to give up on border deal, including Ukraine and Israel aid

Congress US Ukraine Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, walks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, during a visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House members are now home for the holidays, but Senators are continuing to hammer away at an agreement on the Southern border, which would put an end to the impasse that’s holding up billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine and Israel.

A small group of lawmakers and staff members are working this weekend, trying to get to a deal on immigration issues that have vexed Congress for well over a decade.

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House votes to expel NY Rep. George Santos

Congress Santos
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the Capitol after being expelled from the House of Representatives, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington. The House has voted to expel Santos following a critical ethics report on his conduct that included converting campaign donations for his own use, making him just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be ousted by his colleagues. Expulsion requires support from two-third of the House. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

The House voted Friday to expel Republican Rep. George Santos of New York following the release of a blistering ethics report, making him just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be kicked out by his colleagues.

The vote to oust him was 311-114, with two voting present. A two-thirds majority was required to expel him.

Two Democrats, along with 112 Republicans, voted against expulsion. One of them was Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott. The other was Rep. Nikema Williams of Georgia.

House Speaker Mike Johnson was among the Republicans who voted against expelling Santos.

Those who opposed expulsion pointed to the fact that he has not been convicted of any crimes. Santos has been indicted on 23 charges linked to campaign fraud. He has pleaded not guilty.

But many Republicans decided to vote to expel Santos, after the release of the House Ethics Committee’s report, which said Santos used campaign funds to pay for vacations, designer clothes and even Botox treatments.

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito was one of several New York Republicans who pressed for Santos to be removed from office.

“George Santos is a liar,” he said. “In fact, he’s admitted to many of them, who has used his position of public trust to benefit himself from day one.”

Despite encouragement from GOP leadership to resign, Santos refused, leading to the Friday’s vote.

Santos quickly left the Capitol and has said he will not return to Washington.

His ouster leaves Republicans with a slim 221-213 majority, meaning the defection of just four lawmakers on any GOP bill could prevent it from passing.

The governor of New York will need to set a date for a special election to replace Santos. Several people have already indicated interest in his seat.

Rep. George Santos poised to be expelled from Congress

Congress Santos
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., faces reporters at the Capitol in Washington, early Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. After a scathing report by the House Ethics Committee citing egregious violations, Santos could be expelled from Congress this week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., said he would not step down ahead of a House vote on Friday that’s likely to lead him to become the first lawmaker to be kicked out of Congress in more than two decades.

Santos held a news conference Thursday outside of the Capitol, where he railed against a House ethics investigation that appears to have secured his fate. But aside from denying that he didn’t cooperate with the probe, he didn’t address the wide-ranging allegations against him.

The ethics probe, released before the Thanksgiving break, states that Santos used campaign funds to lavish himself on vacations, designer clothing and Botox.

Santos has complained that the investigation into his conduct has been a distraction from more important matters before Congress. Given that view, he was asked why he wouldn’t resign.

“Because if I leave, they win,” he said of his critics, who include fellow New York Republican lawmakers. “This is bullying.”

Santos has survived previous expulsion votes, but those came before the scathing ethics report that has changed the minds of many Republicans.

Still, the fact that Santos has not been convicted of a crime has given some lawmakers pause, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, who said this week he has “real reservations” about ousting him before he goes to trial.

Before the ethics report came out Santos was separately charged with 23 counts linked to campaign fraud, in a federal indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.

No Democrats are expected to vote against expelling Santos on Friday. A two-thirds majority of the House is required for his expulsion.

“The question that we should all be asking, is why is George Santos still around?” the House’s top Democrat Hakeem Jeffries said on Thursday.

Jeffries accused Republicans of trying to “coddle” Santos, even though he lied about virtually his entire background before getting elected to Congress.

Jeffries said the GOP was “playing footsie” with Santos because the House leadership needed his vote. If Santos is kicked out, Republicans will be down to a 221-213 majority, meaning just a handful of GOP defections on any bill could sink it.

House Republicans have had trouble getting even some of their own spending measures to the floor because of internal divisions.

After the release of the ethics report, Santos said he would not seek reelection, but he remained defiant on Thursday, arguing the House should not set a precedent with his expulsion.

He could become just the sixth lawmaker ever to be kicked out of Congress and the first who had not been convicted of a crime.

Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, was the last lawmaker to be expelled, in 2002. He had been convicted on federal charges including bribery, obstruction of justice and racketeering

House approves two-step spending bill to avert government shutdown

House Democrats joined Republicans to approve a short-term spending plan on Tuesday, the first step toward avoiding a government shutdown.

The vote was 336-95, with a large number of conservative GOP lawmakers opposing the “laddered” continuing resolution, which maintains current funding levels into next year.

The legislation includes two steps to keep federal funds flowing into the next year. It extends funding for several federal agencies through Jan. 19 and a second group would be funded through Feb. 2.

“It’s going to change the way we’ve done this,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “We have broken the fever. We are not going to have a massive omnibus spending bill right before Christmas. That is a gift for the American people.”

The Senate will need to approve the bill as well, ahead of a Friday midnight shutdown deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated that the Senate will approve it.

A vote to avert a shutdown at the end of September caused conservative House Republicans to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP lawmakers couldn’t decide on a new leader for more than three weeks.

Tensions flared at various points across Capitol Hill on Tuesday over various issues.

Rep. Tim Burchett, of Tennessee, accused McCarthy of hitting him in the back as he went by him in the Capitol. Burchett was one of eight Republicans who voted to force McCarthy out of the speakership. McCarthy denied he tried to do anything to Burchett.

“If I were to hit somebody, they would know I hit them,” McCarthy told reporters.

Separately during a Senate hearing, Sen. Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican, got into it with Teamsters President Sean O’Brien.

Both men threatened to fight after Mullin read a comment the labor leader made about him on “X,” the social media platform. Mullin at one point got up from his seat, before Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders implored the two men to calm down.

The House hasn’t taken its normal legislative breaks over the past couple months, due in part to the impasse over the speakership, which led the lower chamber to shut down for almost all of October.

“I’ve been drinking from Niagara Falls for the last three weeks,” Johnson said, referring to his recent ascension to the speakership.

He expressed hope that the congressional passage of his short-term spending bill will allow lawmakers to go home to their districts over the Thanksgiving holiday and “cool off.”

“This place is a pressure cooker,” Johnson said.

House passes bill to avert government shutdown



JUST IN: Ƶapp’s Mitchell Miller reports from Capitol Hill on House passing bill to avoid shutdown



BREAKING: House passes bill to avert government shutdown as GOP Speaker Johnson relies on Democratic support for temporary funding.

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House could take key step toward averting government shutdown

Congress Budget
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., meets with reporters ahead of a crucial vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded at its current levels, a measure not heartily supported by the hard right wing of his party, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

The House will vote Tuesday on a unique, short-term spending plan backed by House Speaker Mike Johnson that seeks to avoid a government shutdown this week.

The House will consider a “laddered” continuing resolution that includes two steps to keep federal funds flowing into the next year.

The continuing resolution extends funding for several federal agencies through Jan. 19 and a second group would be funded through Feb. 2.

“It’s going to change the way we’ve done this,” Johnson said. “We have broken the fever. We are not going to have a massive omnibus spending bill right before Christmas. That is a gift for the American people.”

But Johnson is going to need the help of Democrats to get the legislation passed — just as former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did.

A vote to avert a shutdown at the end of September caused conservative Republicans and GOP lawmakers couldn’t decide on a new leader for more than three weeks.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus said Tuesday that they will vote against the new legislation, arguing it’s more of the same and doesn’t cut spending.

Under what’s known as suspension of the rules, the legislation will require a two-thirds majority of House lawmakers to pass.

Democratic leaders are not whipping against the bill and are expected to help provide the votes needed.

Congress needs to approve spending legislation to avoid a shutdown before a Friday midnight deadline.

House Speaker Johnson describes first few weeks of new position

Congress Foreign Aid
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks with reporters ahead of the debate and vote on supplemental aid to Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Speaker Mike Johnson hasn’t had much time to adjust to the demands of his new leadership post, amid war in the Middle East, a fast-approaching government shutdown deadline and unabating feuds within his Republican conference.

But he’s had a relatively solid start, notching a legislative victory this week with approval of nearly $14.5 billion in aid for Israel, even if the legislation will hit a wall in the Senate.

During his first news conference, he was asked what it’s been like to quickly ascend to one of the most politically challenging jobs in Washington.

Read the full story here.

House approves $14.3 billion in aid for Israel

The House has approved $14.3 billion in aid for Israel that seeks to help the U.S. ally in the intensifying war with Hamas.

The vote on Thursday was 226-196, with a dozen Democrats joining Republicans in voting for the GOP-backed measure. The legislation is not expected to be taken up in the Senate, where it faces strong opposition from Democrats.

The vote followed a debate in which Republicans and Democrats strongly agreed on the need to provide assistance to Israel during the war with Hamas. But Democrats sharply criticized Republicans for offering up legislation that included $14.3 billion in cuts to the IRS.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., argued House Speaker Mike Johnson had proposed partisan legislation at a time when Israel is in need of immediate help.

“He has constructed a political ‘gotcha bill,’” Hoyer said. “The majority tries to score political points at the expense of Jewish lives and the confidence of both our allies and enemies in our resolve and reliability.”

But Republicans said there was nothing politically cynical about the legislation, only a recognition that the U.S. needs to be more responsible in its spending.

“This supplemental aid to Israel is a necessary step,” said Rep. Max Miller, R-Oh. “Such aid will provide Israel with the critical resources it needs to defend itself and mount a response that will allow for the elimination of the threat of Hamas.”

Speaker Mike Johnson say Israel aid must stand alone

Congress Speaker
Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., walks to the senate side for lunch with Senate GOP members at the Capitol Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House Speaker Mike Johnson is defending Republicans’ $14.3 billion stand-alone bill for aid to Israel and says he has no plans to alter the legislation’s corresponding cuts to the IRS.

“If Democrats in the Senate or the House or anywhere else want to argue that hiring more IRS agents is more important than standing with Israel in this moment, I’m ready to have that debate,” he said Thursday at his first news conference since becoming speaker.

The legislation calls for a cut of $14.3 billion in funding for the IRS.

But Democrats point out that indicates that reducing funding for the IRS would add $12.5 billion to the federal deficit, due to a reduction in taxpayer revenue.

The House plans to vote on the Israel aid package on Thursday.

Senate Democrats and many Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are also concerned about Johnson’s insistence that funding for Israel and Ukraine remain separate.

Johnson said Thursday that he wants to pair funding for Ukraine with border security.

While most Republicans want added resources to address issues at the southern border, McConnell has repeatedly said that the flow of military assistance to Ukraine must continue.

In the Senate, meanwhile, tension is rising over the hold on hundreds of military promotions by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

Fellow Republican Senators were visibly angry with Tuberville on the floor Wednesday night, telling Tuberville he’s endangering national security.

Tuberville has maintained a hold on nearly 400 military promotions, as a protest against the Pentagon’s policy that pays for the travel of military personnel if they go to another state to get an abortion.

At one point during the heated debate, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said Tuberville’s actions amounted to a “national security suicide mission.”

Sullivan and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, both unsuccessfully called up more than 60 military nominees for unanimous consent votes.

But each time, Tuberville objected.

Republicans have begun to publicly press Tuberville, in part because of concerns related to a new proposal from Democrats.

The proposal, which would need to be approved with Republicans’ support, would allow military promotions to be approved together — “en bloc” on a single vote.

Congratulations — or should it be condolences, Mr. Speaker?

Congress Maine Shooting

Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson has gone from being a relatively unknown congressman from Shreveport, Louisiana, to the person who’s now second in line to the presidency.

Republicans shut down the House of Representatives for more than three weeks, amid infighting over who should become their new leader, choosing several more well-known GOP lawmakers as nominees — only to have them drop out or fail to get enough floor votes.

But just when it appeared they couldn’t agree on anyone, Rep. Mike Johnson quickly became their choice to get the gavel.

Read the full story.

Rep. Mike Johnson elected as House Speaker

Congress Speaker
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks after he was chosen as the Republicans latest nominee for House speaker at a Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Republicans have ended a self-inflicted political crisis that lasted more than three weeks, electing Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., as the new House Speaker.

“Today is the day we get this done,” Rep. Elise Stefanik said Wednesday as she nominated Johnson on the House floor.

Unlike the previous ballots, in which Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, failed three times to get the votes he needed, Johnson was elected on the first ballot.

The vote was 220-209.

Johnson, 51, is the vice chair of the Republican conference and is serving his fourth term in Congress.

In terms of congressional leadership, he is one of the least experienced lawmakers in decades to rise to House Speaker.

Johnson has pledged to bring Republicans together, after weeks of infighting that left many GOP lawmakers angry and embarrassed over how their party looked as the war between Israel and Hamas has raged.

Learn more about the new House Speaker.

Voting underway to elect House Speaker

Can GOP finally end the House Speaker chaos?

Congress Speaker
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., vice chair of the House GOP Conference talks to reporters as he arrives to the Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

After weeks of infighting, Republicans may be on the verge of ending an embarrassing and unprecedented struggle to elect a House Speaker.

Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana is the fourth nominee to be chosen by Republican lawmakers. But unlike the three others who failed to get the gavel before him, Johnson doesn’t appear to have a core of opponents ready to block him during a House floor vote.

The House is scheduled to convene at noon Wednesday to vote on the speakership.

Johnson, 51, is a conservative who helped support when former President Donald Trump claimed he won in 2020. He has served in the House since 2016 and is the vice chair of the Republican conference.

Johnson is known for focusing more on policy issues than other, more high-profile candidates who preceded him.

Appearing with fellow Republicans after he was nominated Tuesday night, he pledged to unify a GOP conference that’s been in disarray since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy more than three weeks ago.

“Democracy is messy sometimes, but it is our system,” Johnson said.

When a reporter asked Johnson about whether he stands by his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, she was shouted down and booed by Republican lawmakers.

Republicans are exhausted after choosing three previous nominees for Speaker and failing to unify behind any of them. Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Majority Whip Tom Emmer were all unable to get the backing needed to be elected.

Republicans are hoping to finally end a self-inflicted political crisis, created when GOP hardliners filed a motion for McCarthy to vacate the chair on Oct. 3.

Louisiana’s Johnson wins the nomination

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks to reporters after Republicans met to try and decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson has been nominated as House Speaker. Johnson, vice chair of the Republican Conference, had finished second to Majority Whip Tom Emmer in the first closed-door vote on Tuesday.

He won the next vote Tuesday night, after Emmer withdrew. Emmer was the nominee for four hours, before pulling out of the race after it became clear he couldn’t get the votes he needed on the House floor.

Republicans have been unable to elect a House Speaker for three weeks, which many of them have publicly acknowledged is an embarrassment.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy lost the top GOP post after agreeing to a vote on a short-term spending bill that avoided a government shutdown. Eight Republicans voted to oust him and were joined by Democrats.

Lawmakers will need to pass spending legislation in the coming weeks, before the next shutdown deadline on Friday, Nov. 17.

Republicans put up 5 new candidates for House Speaker after Emmer drops out

APTOPIX Congress Speaker

A new candidate forum for House Speaker was being held Tuesday evening, after Majority Whip Tom Emmer dropped out of the race, only hours after he had been nominated.

The five candidates seeking the speakership are:

  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-FL
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-LA
  • Rep. Mark Green, R-TN
  • Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-TN
  • Rep. Roger Williams, R-TX

Johnson finished second to Emmer in Tuesday’s earlier voting.

Emmer decided not to continue to seek the gavel after it became clear he wouldn’t get the votes on the House floor.

It has now been three weeks since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was forced out of the post, after a motion to vacate that was supported by eight Republicans as well as Democrats.

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer out as House Speaker nominee

APTOPIX Congress Speaker
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., arrives as Republicans meet to decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer is out as House Speaker nominee, Ƶapp Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller reports



The latest Republican nominee for House Speaker, Majority Whip Tom Emmer, has withdrawn in the race for the speakership.

His decision to pull out of the race comes only hours after he was elected over other candidates.

It had become apparent Tuesday afternoon that Emmer was opposed by enough GOP lawmakers to thwart his approval on the House floor.

He becomes the third Republican nominee to withdraw. The first was Majority Leader Steve Scalise. The second was Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who lost a closed-door confidence vote, after being defeated on three straight floor votes.

Emmer was criticized by former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, only days after the two spoke over the phone. Trump called him a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) on his Truth Social site.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Emmer — Republicans choose Minnesota congressman in third attempt at picking House speaker

Congress Speaker
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., arrives for a Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Ƶapp’s Mitchell Miller reports from Capitol Hill on the latest nominee for House Speaker



Two candidates left in House Speaker race as candidates dwindle

Two Republican candidates remain for the nomination of House Speaker — Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson.

Rep. Kevin Hern, of Oklahoma, was eliminated on the latest ballot. Rep. Byron Donalds, of Florida, voluntarily dropped out.

During a series of votes behind closed doors, members of the Republican conference have been steadily reducing the number of candidates for the speakership.

Once a nominee is chosen, he must still get enough votes on the House floor to be elected.

Scott eliminated from House Speaker race

The number of Republican candidates for House Speaker has been cut to four. Rep. Austin Scott, of Georgia, was eliminated on the latest ballot.

Scott had previously run for Speaker against Rep. Jim Jordan, of Ohio.

The four candidates left are:

  • House Majority Whip Tom Emmer
  • Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.

Sessions, Bergman eliminated from House Speaker race

Congress Speaker
Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, arrives as Republicans meet to decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As Republican lawmakers meet in a closed-door vote to pick their nominee for House Speaker, two representatives have already been eliminated.

The first lawmaker to be eliminated was Texas Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas. Of the candidates in the race, Sessions had the longest tenure in Congress.

Rep. Jack Bergman, of Michigan is the latest candidate for House Speaker to be eliminated.

There are now five remaining candidates, including:

  • House Majority Whip Tom Emmer
  • Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.
  • Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.

Palmer drops out as House Republicans meet again to nominate a new House speaker

Rep. Mark Alford, R-Mo., left, and Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., arrive as Republicans meet to decide who to nominate to be the new House speaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republicans returned behind closed doors on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to select from seven candidates who are seeking to become the next House Speaker.

Ƶapp learned Tuesday morning that dropped his bid, after he was one of eight candidates who made their pitches to the GOP conference Monday night as Republicans try once again to choose their leader.

The election comes exactly three weeks since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted, after eight conservatives voted for a motion to vacate the chair, along with Democrats.

McCarthy has endorsed House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, who is considered the frontrunner for the speakership.

Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., chair of the Republican Study Committee, is also considered a top candidate.

The field was trimmed more, when Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., dropped out of the race Monday night.

Other candidates include: Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.; Mike Johnson, R-La.; Austin Scott, R-Ga.; Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and Jack Bergman, R-Mich.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is no longer a candidate, after losing three straight House floor votes last week.

Republicans try again to choose House speaker

Congress Speaker
FILE—House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., center, is flanked by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the temporary leader of the House of Representatives, left, and Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, right, as lawmakers convene to hold a third ballot to elect a speaker of the House, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Republicans will try again to choose a new House Speaker, nearly three weeks since the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Nine GOP lawmakers are seeking the speakership and will each make their case to the Republican conference during a candidate forum Monday, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

Republicans plan to vote on a nominee on Tuesday morning.

The leading candidate is widely considered to be House Minority Whip Tom Emmer, who is well-respected and has the supporter of McCarthy.

But Emmer is reportedly not the favorite of former President Donald Trump, who had backed Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Jordan is no longer seeking the speakership, after losing three straight floor votes last week.

In addition to Emmer, these are the GOP candidates:

  • Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Ohio, chair of the Republican Study Committee. Hern built a large group of McDonald’s franchises before getting elected to Congress. Along with a letter to lawmakers urging their support on Monday, he sent burgers from McDonald’s.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla. The youngest candidate at 44, he’s received some votes in previous Speaker ballots. Donalds is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
  • Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga. A surprise candidate who ran against Jordan for the GOP nomination last week.
  • Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La. Johnson is a former chair of the Republican Study Committee.
  • Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala. Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and played football at Alabama, after making the team as a walk-on.
  • Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. Has served in the House for more than two decades. After losing his seat in 2018, he ran again in a different district and won in 2020.
  • Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa. A former businessman and served as Pennsylvania’s secretary of revenue.
  • Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich. Retired Marine Corps lieutenant general, who has presented himself someone who could help Republicans get back on course.

Analysis: House Republicans are a House divided

Republicans this weekend are no closer than they were at the start of the week to electing a House Speaker.

In fact, they are actually farther away — they don’t even have a nominee.

At least on Tuesday they were holding their first floor vote on Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Read more of this story.

Rep. Jim Jordan no longer running for House Speaker

Republicans decided Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan should no longer run for House Speaker Friday, after he lost his third-straight floor vote.

Lawmakers in the GOP conference voted by secret ballot behind closed doors. The vote was 112 to 86 for Jordan not to move forward as the nominee.

Jordan had indicated a willingness to keep fighting for the speakership with votes this weekend. But he had steadily lost more support with each succeeding vote this week.

Some lawmakers coming out of the meeting were frustrated and angry, while others said it’s time to find someone else who can become House Speaker.

New York Rep. Mike Lawler had been a vocal opponent of Jordan. And like many others, he said it’s time to start over.

“We obviously need to get 217 members to agree on who the next Speaker is going to be,” Republican Lawler said as he walked out of the closed-door meeting. “I would like this to be resolved, so we can get back to the work of the American people.”

Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Meuser said he is considering running for the speakership. He had been a supporter of Jordan.

Several others are also now thinking about running, but it remains unclear whether the GOP can coalesce around anyone.

Lawmakers plan to return on Monday to regroup. By that time, it will have been nearly three weeks since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted by eight Republicans, with help from Democrats.

McCarthy nominated Jordan on Friday, but his support didn’t help the Ohio lawmaker get any additional votes.

Republicans drop Jim Jordan as House speaker nominee

Republicans dropped Rep. Jim Jordan on Friday as their nominee for House speaker, making the decision during a closed-door session after the hard-edged ally of Donald Trump failed badly on a third ballot for the gavel.

Read the full story.

House Republicans reject Jim Jordan a third time for the speaker’s gavel as opposition deepens

Rep. Jim Jordan failed badly Friday on a third ballot for the House speaker’s gavel, rejected by even more Republicans from the conservative mainstream who warned the hard-edged ally of Donald Trump that no threats or promises could win their support.

Read the full story.

Jim Jordan’s vote count to become House Speaker worsens

Read more by the Associated Press here.

Jim Jordan appears to fall short in House Speaker bid — again

Jordan faces third try for House Speaker, but does he have the votes?

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, House Judiciary chairman and staunch ally of Donald Trump, meets with reporters about his struggle to become speaker of the House, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is vowing to keep fighting to become House Speaker, though there is still no indication he’s close to getting the votes he needs.

“Our plan this weekend is to get a Speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible, so we can help the American people,” Jordan said at a news conference Friday.

A third vote on Jordan for the speakership is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Twenty Republicans voted against Jordan on the first vote and 22 voted against him on the second.

Jordan can’t lose more than four votes on a ballot to get elected.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said President Joe Biden’s supplemental request to Congress, which includes aid for Israel, is another reason the House needs to get back to work.

“We can’t vote on that, can’t pass anything on that, until we get the House open,” Jordan said.

President Biden, who gave a national address Thursday night to discuss the need for assistance to Israel and Ukraine, is expected to request a package of more than $100 billion.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said despite the turmoil in the House, he believes Congress will eventually approve the assistance.

“The votes are there for Israel aid. The votes are there for more Ukraine aid. The votes are there for more border security,” he said. “The votes are there for all of it.”

But Kaine said it’s important that the Senate tackles the legislation ahead of the House, given the leadership vacuum in the House.

“I do think the right way for this to happen is for the Senate to act first, and show by a strong bipartisan vote, that we support this,” Kaine said.

GOP’s Jordan says he’s still running for House gavel, but plan for a temporary speaker falls flat

Refusing to give up, Rep. Jim Jordan told GOP colleagues Thursday he was still running for the House gavel — leaving Republicans few viable options after his hardline backers resisted a plan to expand the temporary speaker’s powers to re-open the House.

Read the story from The Associated Press.

Gearing up for a third vote after all?

No third House Speaker vote for Rep. Jim Jordan

APTOPIX Congress Speaker
Temporary House leader Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., talks with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, as Republicans try to elect Jordan in a second ballot to be the new House speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

More twists and turns are underway in the political drama over Republicans’ efforts to choose a new House Speaker.

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, has reportedly decided not to seek a third vote to become Speaker, after losing to previous votes this week. Republicans met Wednesday to discuss their next steps.

A plan is still evolving, but it calls for House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry to be empowered as the acting Speaker, so that the House can begin taking up legislation again.

McHenry would temporarily oversee the House, possibly for a few months. That would allow lawmakers to again consider aid involving Israel and Ukraine, as well as spending issues that need to be resolved before a Nov. 17 government shutdown deadline.

Jordan would not withdraw from efforts to become Speaker. But this would provide Republicans more time to figure out who they want to be the party’s leader in the House.

Democrats would likely need to go along with the plan involving McHenry since some conservative Republicans oppose it.

The House has been paralyzed for 16 days, since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Speaker GOP frustration

Republicans are scrambling to determine their next step, after Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, lost a second vote to become House Speaker.

He told reporters that no more votes were planned for Wednesday evening, but indicated it’s still possible another vote could come on Thursday.

Frustration is growing among GOP lawmakers, who have been unable to choose a new leader for 15 days, since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Longtime Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who nominated Jordan on Wednesday, noted that he had predicted bad things would happen, when a small group of Republicans supported pushing McCarthy out.

“Those who did this, whether intentionally or unintentionally, were going to put the Congress in a state of chaos and the country into a state of uncertainty,” he said, referring to remarks he made earlier this month.

“I think the last two weeks have vindicated that observation,” he said.

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., said Republicans’ closed-door meetings have become an unproductive “therapy session,” in which lawmakers vent but nothing gets accomplished.

He suggested that Republicans gather somewhere away from Capitol Hill and its distractions to focus on the important matter of choosing a new House Speaker.

Garcia noted that going to a historic site like Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, might provide a fresh start.

“Let’s dispense with all rules, dispense with all the protocols and all the B.S. that’s gotten us to this point,” he said. “Have big adult conversations in one room and figure out how we’re going to navigate this.”

Will 3rd time be the charm? Jim Jordan loses second vote to become House Speaker

Read the story from The Associated Press.

Heading for defeat: House poised for third round of voting for new Speaker

A losing 2nd round? More than a dozen GOP lawmakers vote against Jim Jordan

Jim Jordan to try again Wednesday in House Speaker election

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan will try again Wednesday to get elected House Speaker after his first attempt was thwarted by 20 fellow Republicans who voted against him.

The House vote is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Jordan had originally hoped to be elected as Speaker Tuesday night, but a second vote was postponed amid few signs he had picked up the necessary support.

The hard-charging chair of the House Judiciary Committee will need to greatly reduce the number of GOP lawmakers who opposed him on Tuesday if he’s to get elected.

Jordan can only afford to lose the support of four Republicans in order to get the 217 votes he needs.

Jim Jordan to fight another day: House delays Speaker vote to Wednesday

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is followed by reporters as he walks to his office at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)


Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller on what Jim Jordan is doing going into the second vote on Wednesday



The second vote for House Speaker has been delayed to Wednesday at 11 a.m. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan started the day optimistic that he would be able get the votes to become House Speaker. New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, chair of House Republican Conference, described him as an “America first warrior who wins the toughest of fights” in her nomination. But Jordan fell short, with 20 from his own party voting against him in the first round of balloting.

Jordan has been meeting with Republican lawmakers Tuesday afternoon, including Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who was first nominated to the speakership last week before withdrawing his name when it became clear he would come up short.

Speaker turmoil: After Jordan fails in first vote, when will House take up voting again?

Jim Jordan fails to win House speakership on first ballot

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, stands and talks with Republican House Whip Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., as they discuss the tally of the first round of voting, as the House votes for a new speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


Capitol Hill correspondent Mitchell Miller joins Ƶapp after the first vote for House Speaker, where Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan fails to garner enough support



Republicans have rejected congressman Jim Jordan for House speaker on the first ballot. More voting is expected as the staunch ally of Donald Trump works to shore up support and seize the speaker’s gavel. Not all Republicans are ready to elevate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jordan to the center seat of U.S. power, second in line to the presidency. About 20 Republicans voted against Jordan. Some are still upset over Kevin McCarthy’s sudden ouster as speaker two weeks ago. But with Trump’s backing, a win for the Ohio congressman would show just how far the GOP’s once far-right flank has moved into the party’s mainstream.

Read more from The Associated Press.

Not enough votes: More than a dozen Republicans vote against Jordan

‘No’ votes so far

NY Rep. Elise Stefanik formally nominates Jim Jordan for House Speaker

House in session; voting to begin

The House has been gaveled into session and voting will soon begin to determine whether Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan will be elected the new House Speaker.

The House began with a quorum call to determine the number of votes Jordan will need.

Why some lawmakers say they are not supporting Jordan

FILE – Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)

The House is about to vote on a new House Speaker and several Republicans said they will still not support Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.

If five or more GOP lawmakers don’t vote for Jordan, he can’t be elected.

Florida Republican Rep. John Rutherford is among those who have said they won’t back Jordan. He remains upset over how Jordan handled the original vote, when Majority Leader Steve Scalise was elected the GOP nominee behind closed doors.

“I’m not voting for Jordan because he got beat by Steve Scalise in a free and fair election. And now Scalise is out and he’s our nominee? That’s not fair,” Rutherford said.

On the Democratic side, former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is wary of Jordan becoming Speaker.

“We need to come to grips with the fact that moving right for the Republicans has not worked,” the Maryland lawmaker said, noting that conservatives have often been unwilling to compromise.

Jordan has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and was a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

House schedules vote to elect Rep. Jim Jordan as Speaker

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks with reporters following a closed-door meeting with House Republicans as he looks for decisive support to become speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House plans to convene at noon Tuesday to vote on whether Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan will become the next Speaker of the House.

Jordan and his supporters have been trying to flip dozens of Republican lawmakers who indicated they wouldn’t support him during a closed-door vote last Friday.

Jordan has picked up several significant endorsements in the past 24 hours ahead of the vote, but he can only afford to lose four GOP votes if he’s to secure the speakership.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted two weeks ago, when eight Republicans joined Democrats in forcing him out of the post.

Republicans choose Rep. Jim Jordan as their pick for House Speaker



Mitchell Miller on Capitol Hill



Try as they might, Republicans have been unable to meet the moment, repeatedly failing to elect a House Speaker. It is a crisis of their own making.

They did manage to choose a nominee for the speakership Friday — for the second time. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan won a closed-door vote against an opponent who told reporters he had no plans to run for Speaker when he woke up Friday.

Rep. Austin Scott, of Georgia, said he ran against Jordan, in part, because he was so disgusted with the disarray in the GOP. He told CNN the race for Speaker had made Republicans look like “a bunch of idiots.”

Scott only lost 124-81, even though his campaign for Speaker was all of one day.

It remains to be seen if Jordan can get the needed 217 votes to get the gavel. Republicans, after a very bad and embarrassing week, have left Washington for the weekend and will regroup Monday.

Jordan got a second chance because House Majority Leader Steve Scalise — the original nominee — pulled out of the race Thursday night, after it became clear he didn’t have the votes to get elected. Jordan may encounter the same challenge.

What some Republicans have themselves called a “clown show” began 10 days ago, when they kicked out former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — the first time that had happened in the history of Congress.

Since then, all legislative activity has been at a standstill. GOP energy has instead focused on debate and dysfunction within the Republican conference, unable to get everyone to agree on their own leader.

“The world’s on fire, our adversaries are watching what we do,” said Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Every day that goes by, it gets more dangerous.”

McCaul has been one of the most vocal critics of fellow Republicans for failing to choose a House Speaker at a time when the war between Israel and Hamas is raging.

“I see a lot of threats out there. One of the biggest threats I see out there is in that room,” he said, pointing to a room in the Capitol basement where fellow Republicans were meeting at the time.

Former Speaker McCarthy supports Jordan

Congress Speaker
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, arrives for a caucus meeting of Republican House members on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted from the post 10 days ago, says he’s supporting Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to be the next speaker.

“I think Jim’s better prepared in the process to be speaker,” he said.

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., is also seeking the speakership, though he’s indicated in comments to reporters that he’s running primarily to kick-start the process.

McCarthy lamented that the House has been at a standstill since he was kicked out of the top job in the lower chamber.

“This whole time we haven’t been able to follow through on our bills that we’re trying to get done. We haven’t been able to do investigations,” he said. “We’ve got 4% of the caucus that really wants to have chaos.”

Some GOP lawmakers have said they still support McCarthy for speaker, but he downplayed the possibility of him returning to his old job.

“Out of all of the folks that have thrown their hat into the ring, he is head and shoulders above the rest, in the majority that he’s able to put together,” said Rep. John Rutherford, R-Florida.

Rutherford is critical of fellow Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who triggered the motion to vacate, which led to McCarthy’s ouster.

Who is Rep. Austin Scott, the newest entrant in the race for House Speaker?

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 13: U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) speaks to reporters as House Republicans hold a caucus meeting at the Longworth House Office Building on October 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Georgia Republican was first elected to Congress in 2010 and is a conservative. He is not a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, helped to create.

Scott made it clear this week that he would not support Jordan, who’s again seeking the speakership.

Some view Scott’s candidacy as the potential for a protest vote against Jordan, which could include supporters of Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who dropped out of the race Thursday night.

Scott is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and the House Armed Services and has been active on military matters.

New speaker candidate enters the fray

After Scalise’s sudden exit from speaker race, Republicans again gather behind closed doors

Congress Speaker
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of La., talks to reporters as he announces he is ending his campaign to be the next House speaker after a Republican meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Republicans have again gathered behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to try to agree on a House Speaker, after Majority Leader Steve Scalise dropped out Thursday night, when it became clear he didn’t have the votes.

But it’s not clear anyone else can get the necessary 217 votes either.

Lawmakers returned Friday to the Longworth Building, to see if they can make any progress, in the midst of what many within the GOP admit has been an embarrassment for the party.

“If you look at where our conference is, there’s still work to be done,” Scalise said after ending his effort to become the next House Speaker. “There are still some people that have their own agendas and…and we have to have everyone put their agendas on the side.”

But that hasn’t happened yet.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan is going to try to become Speaker again, after narrowly losing the nomination to Scalise earlier this week.

But Jordan only received 99 votes in that closed-door contest — nowhere close to the votes he’ll need on the House floor.

The House has now been paralyzed, taking up no legislation for 10 days, since the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Meanwhile, issues including the war involving Israel and Hamas, aid for Ukraine and next month’s pending government shutdown deadline can’t be addressed while the House is at a standstill.

House Speaker drama continues

The U.S. House of Representatives has been paralyzed for more than a week, since the historic ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

While Republicans narrowly voted to make Majority Leader Steve Scalise their nominee this week, he still doesn’t have enough support to get approved as House Speaker on a floor vote.

Scalise can’t afford to have more than four GOP lawmakers vote for someone else, or he can’t get the 217 votes needed to get the House gavel. But at least a dozen Republicans have said they won’t vote for him and plan to support House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, who was defeated in the closed-door vote for the nomination.

The situation has frustrated many Republicans, who note the world is seeing a dysfunctional Congress, at a time when Israel — a key U.S. ally in the Middle East — is dealing with its most serious crisis in a half-century.

The situation is so unsettled that some Republicans have been exploring whether Rep. Patrick McHenry, who’s the Speaker Pro Tempore, could somehow preside over legislative activity.

McHenry, who’s an ally of McCarthy, is effectively the “acting” Speaker.

But there’s disagreement over what — if any — actual power he has in that role.

For now, the House remains at a standstill and is unable to take up a bipartisan resolution in support of Israel because the lower chamber is not functioning as a legislative body

When will the House vote on Steve Scalise as speaker?

ܲԲnominated Majority Leader Steve Scalise on Wednesday to become the next House Speaker, as GOP lawmakers seek to end a self-imposed paralysis of Congress amid the worst Middle East crisis in decades.

Scalise was narrowly elected 113-99 Wednesday during a closed-door vote, over House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, who had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

The full U.S. House of Representatives must still vote to approve Scalise as Speaker, before any legislative action can be taken.

Read more

Republicans nominate Scalise

 

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