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fines house Intelwars Metal Detectors Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi proposes steep fines for House members who evade new metal detectors

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday that the House will be considering a new rule that would impose hefty fines on lawmakers who refuse to comply with the added security measures put in place yesterday, after several Republican members dodged new metal detectors placed outside the chamber.

What are the details?

A number of GOP members were reportedly “furious” on Tuesday when they approached the House chamber and discovered they would need to pass through metal detectors manned by U.S. Capitol police officers in order to gain entry.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), made headlines earlier this month about bringing her own firearm into work, was the first to make waves with her refusal to comply with officers searching her bag before entry.

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) reacted to the new security checkpoints by tweeting, “For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in [Nancy] Pelosi’s communist America!”

The Hill reported that “ultimately, roughly 10 lawmakers were seen bypassing the detectors and walking into the chamber, raising questions as to the devices’ efficacy, particularly given officers’ hesitancy to restrain House members.”

Following Wednesday’s session where the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, Pelosi revealed her plan to remedy GOP resistance to the metal detectors: a new rule to be considered by the Democrat-controlled chamber that would make noncompliance a costly protest.

The speaker said in a statement, “On behalf of the House, I express my deepest gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police for the valor that they showed during the deadly insurrection on the Capitol, as they protected the lives of the staff and the Congress.”

“Sadly, just days later, many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe,” she continued. “The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections. The fine for the first offense will be $5,000 and $10,000 for the second offense. The fines will be deducted directly from Members’ salaries by the Chief Administrative Officer.”

She concluded, “It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.”

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Gender inclusive Gender language house House rules Intelwars James mcgovern Nancy Pelosi

Democrats propose major change to House rules, eliminating family language for ‘gender-inclusive’ alternatives

House Democrats unveiled proposed changes to the House rules on Friday, including the elimination of all “gendered” language and to make permanent the recently established House “Office of Diversity and Inclusion.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-Mass.) claimed that “changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral” are necessary changes meant to “honor all gender identities.”

The
proposed changes would establish “gender-inclusive” language in the House rules by eliminating “gendered” language.

Instead of words like “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or granddaughter,” the proposed rules say the House should use language like “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild.”

The proposed rules also demand the following changes:

  • “Seafarers” instead of “seamen”
  • “Chair” instead of “chairman”
  • “Resign” instead of “submit his or her resignation”
  • “Such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner serves” instead of “he or she serves”
  • “Such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner holds” instead of “he or she holds”
  • “Themselves” instead of “himself” or “herself”

“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The rules will be voted on after the 117th Congress is sworn in on Sunday.

In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) mocked the proposed changes.

“This is stupid. Signed, – A father, son, and brother,” McCarthy tweeted.

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Coronavirus covid COVID-19 house house democrats Intelwars Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi speaker

Democrats panic that COVID could prevent Pelosi’s return to speaker — and even result in a GOP speaker

Democrats are reportedly panicked over the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic could hinder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected re-election as House speaker, possibly even resulting in the top House Republican being elected speaker despite the Democratic majority.

What are the details?

To protect lawmakers vulnerable to COVID-19, the House adopted emergency rules in May that allowed House members to vote by proxy, which meant they were not required to be on the House floor to cast votes.

However, the emergency rules expire at the end of the 116th Congress, which could complicate Pelosi’s expected re-election as speaker.

The Hill explains:

[T]he proxy-voting rule expires with the new Congress, requiring lawmakers to be in the Capitol in person if they want to participate in the Jan. 3 floor vote for Speaker. The House will adopt a new rules package governing the 117th Congress just after the Speaker vote. That makes physical attendance tantamount to Pelosi’s success, since Democrats are on track to have a razor-thin majority of 222 seats, and at least three moderate members of the caucus are already on record saying they don’t intend to vote for Pelosi on Jan. 3: Reps. Conor Lamb (Pa.), Jared Golden (Maine) and Elissa Slotkin (Mich.).

In fact, House rules dictate that a speaker candidate must receive an absolute majority of votes cast during the speaker election to become speaker of the House.

This means the combination of a slim Democratic majority and Democrats opposing Pelosi could give the speakership to the Republican Party if several Democratic members are unable to attend the speaker vote because they are sick with COVID-19.

What are Democrats saying?

If more Republicans than Democrats are present at the vote, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) explained that Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, could be elected speaker.

“Let’s say, just theoretically, we had six or eight people out with COVID and the Republicans have none. They probably could elect McCarthy,” Yarmuth told the Hill.

Other House Democrats anonymously told the Hill:

  • “We’re in a health care crisis, right? No one can get sick. That’s the X-factor here. We need everyone to be healthy. … That’s the big fear.”
  • “Obviously, the concern is that with 435 people going all over the country, it’s hard to imagine that not one of us will have the virus on Jan. 3.”

Despite pledges from some moderate Democrats to oppose Pelosi’s speaker re-election, the Democratic Party has internally communicated that this year is not the time for advancing personal political prerogatives.

“There’s the usual suspects who make it part of their brand to vote against her. But I think there’s an awareness — and there’s certainly a message coming from within the caucus — that this may not be a year for the usual branding,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) told the Hill.

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America Farewell GREED house Intelwars Joe kennedy

Outgoing Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy says America is plagued by greed in farewell speech to House

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III delivered what the Hill called “bittersweet remarks” in his final address to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, telling the lower chamber that while he was “proud and hopeful” of what could be accomplished after his departure, America is a nation plagued by greed.

What are the details?

Kennedy, 40, served four terms in Congress, and instead of running for re-election to the House in 2020, he made a failed attempt to challenge fellow Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Ed Markey for his seat. Markey, 74, beat Kennedy by 10 points.

In his farewell speech, Kennedy began by calling his service to his district “an honor” before extending his gratitude to his wife, several fellow members, constituents, and aides.

The Democrat said that he leaves the House “proud and hopeful,” while calling the U.S. a “complicated and messy country.”

“We violated our founding promises before the ink was dry,” Kennedy asserted, saying, “We boldly declared ‘we the people’ and promptly defined ‘we’ as rich, white, Protestant male.” He continued, “We staked out moral high ground of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and paid for it with human bondage, abuse, and suffering that we carry to this day.”

Kennedy went on to voice encouragement that progress has been made, before pointing to “the great lie of our times: that the American pie is finite. That for my family to survive, yours must suffer. That the richest nation on Earth is somehow plagued by scarcity, rather than greed.”


Rep. Joe Kennedy gives bittersweet farewell speech on House floor

www.youtube.com

The New York Times reported that with Kennedy’s departure, “2021 will be the rare year since 1946” that a member of his famous family will not have a seat in Congress.

The Associated Press noted:

Kennedy is the grandson of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., who was assassinated in 1968. A member of that Kennedy family has been in Congress with little interruption since Robert Kennedy’s brother, the future President John F. Kennedy, entered the House from Massachusetts in 1947.

The Democrat did not hint at what his plans are for the future during his farewell address, besides promising his children that he has “breakfast, bath, school drop-off duty for the next 15 years or so.”

According to the Boston Herald, Kennedy said he has been in talks for a possible post in the Biden administration.

The outlet further reported:

Kennedy’s also been floated as a top contender for a special Senate election in the increasingly unlikely chance U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren gets tapped for a position in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. But his spokeswoman, Emily Kaufman, recently told the Herald, “Joe does not plan to run for Senate next year if a seat opens up.”

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house Intelwars Kevin McCarthy Ousters trolls

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy trolls Democrats over their party’s losses

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) did a “quality” job of trolling Democrats on Tuesday for their 2020 losses in the lower chamber, to the extent that he even received a nod from a seasoned journalist who unintentionally prompted the GOP leader’s display.

What are the details?

Politico’s John Bresnahan, who has covered Congress for more than 20 years, tweeted a picture Tuesday showing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) taking “a picture with Democrats not coming back next year after losing on Election Day.”

Bresnahan reported that Hoyer was “telling (a) story about elections lost,” and encouraging the ousted Democrats to “not lose heart.”

In reaction, McCarthy posted a picture of himself beaming while strolling through the Capitol Building’s Statuary Hall with no one else around, tweeting, “Here’s a group photo of me with all the House Republicans who lost races this year.”

McCarthy took both praise and heat for the post, but Bresnahan replied, “Quality trolling.”

What else?

Democrats maintained control of the House under Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after Election Day on Nov. 3, but their majority was winnowed down.

USA Today reported earlier this week:

At least 10 Democratic incumbents fell to Republicans in the House, though the party clung on to control of the chamber. Aspirations to take the Senate majority seemed to wither as race after race was called for Republicans – even in states where Democrats polled significantly higher than incumbents.

While Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been roundly declared the projected winner in the race for the White House by mainstream media, President Donald Trump continues to contest the election results and the GOP is expressing optimism after performing well against Democrats in down ballot races.

Control of the Senate also remains up in the air, as the nation awaits the results of the two remaining seats in play that will be decided in Jan. 5 runoffs in Georgia between sitting GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are facing challenges from Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.

Republicans currently carry the Senate 50-48, but if both Democrats win in Georgia and Biden is inaugurated, Democrats would control both chambers of Congress along with the presidency.

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house house democrats Intelwars Kevin McCarthy

Democrat-run House will be ‘laziest Congress in modern history’ next year, top Republican explains

According to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the upcoming year in the House of Representatives will be the “laziest Congress is modern history.”

That’s because House Democrats — who hold a majority in the House and therefore manage the legislative calendar — have scheduled only 101 days of work for the upcoming year, a significant reduction compared to previous years.

“House Democrats have scheduled 101 days of work for next year — a 25% reduction. Let me say it again: 101 working days. For the whole year. Laziest Congress in modern history,” McCarthy tweeted over the weekend.

What did McCarthy say?

Speaking at his weekly press conference last Thursday, McCarthy expressed urgency over the coronavirus pandemic and providing Americans with relief — but said Democrats are not really interested in working.

“We have to get to work on this, we have to get it done, but working is something that this majority has not a good record on doing. Just look at the floor schedule this week, Democrats have focused on cats and cannabis, but not on COVID,” McCarthy explained.

“You’d think after a humiliating defeat at the ballot box this year, that Democrats didn’t defeat one Republican incumbent,” he added. “Of the 27 most vulnerable races, Republicans won them all. That Democrats would get to the picture that the Americans are demanding some action on these issues.”

“It certainly doesn’t appear that in the next Congress anything will change. Yesterday the Democrats released next year’s House schedule. The average number of days working in the first session of the past four Congresses have been 134 days. You would think with all the challenges that this country has, that we’d probably maybe even work, at least more, or at the very least that same amount of time. Nope,” McCarthy said.

As McCarthy explained, House Democrats last week passed measures to decriminalize recreational marijuana use and to ban private ownership of big cats, paying homage to the Netflix documentary “Tiger King.”

They did not, however, address the COVID crisis.

At his press conference, McCarthy went on to explain that next year’s House calendar represents a larger problem within the Democratic Party: They like to get paid for not working.

“Democrats think Congress needs a 25% reduction. Yes, you don’t even have to show up for work,” McCarthy said. “Sixty Democrats yesterday, one third of them, didn’t show up for work — just voted by proxy and still got paid. And now they found out they don’t even have to work as much as they did … Congresses before. A 25% reduction, with only scheduled 101 days.”

“They’ll probably become the laziest Congress we have ever had,” McCarthy declared.

What about COVID relief?

Lawmakers have infamously been unable to compromise on additional COVID relief. House Democrats passed a bill in May that would cost taxpayers more than $3 trillion; it was the largest bill the House had ever approved.

However, Republicans have rejected the massive spending, instead seeking to spend just around $1 trillion in the next bill, narrowing which Americans should receive economic benefits. Democrats have framed Republican efforts as refusing to help struggling Americans.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted last week that she’s now happy to negotiate and compromise on COVID-19 relief because Joe Biden appears to have won the White House.

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defense spending house Intelwars National Defense Authorization Act NDAA President Donald Trump Section 230 reform Senate

Tulsi Gabbard backs Trump veto threat on defense bill over Section 230’s Big Tech protections

President Donald Trump on Wednesday gained unexpected support from a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate after he criticized Section 230’s protections for Big Tech companies.

Trump on Tuesday threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill to authorize defense spending, demanding that Congress first reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law protects web publishers from being sued for content posted on their platforms by third parties.

“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it — corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity. Our Country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand,” Trump tweeted.

“Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!”

Retiring Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a frequent critic of the president, expressed her full support for Trump’s veto threat.

“Please don’t back down. The freedom and future of our country is at stake,” Gabbard tweeted.

The rest of Congress, for the most part, is intent on brushing aside Trump’s veto threat.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said that while he agrees with the president on the need to reform Section 230, it “has nothing to do with the military” or appropriations for the armed forces.

“You can’t do it in this bill. That’s not a part of the bill,” Inhofe said, according to Politico.

“I would hope that he would not actually follow through with that because the NDAA is critical,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said of Trump’s veto threat.

“At this last minute, this sudden threat on an item that’s not even part of a defense bill. … I don’t think we could do it in a thoughtful, logical way at all,” said Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.

He suggested the president’s veto threat “seems to be more out of spite than anything else.”

Politico reported that the House of Representatives will soon advance a compromise defense bill that resolves differences between the House and Senate versions of the NDAA, known as a conference report. The conference report leaves Section 230 unaltered.

President Trump does have some Republican support for vetoing the NDAA. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will not support the bill because of legislative language about U.S. military bases named for Confederate soldiers. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he supports Trump “using all the leverage he can” to reform Section 230.

But Republican leadership remains opposed to tying Big Tech legislation to defense spending.

“I don’t think the defense bill is the place to litigate that,” said Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican. “There will be enormous support for getting the defense authorization bill passed and hopefully signed into law.”

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defense spending house Intelwars National Defense Authorization Act NDAA President Donald Trump Section 230 reform Senate

Tulsi Gabbard backs Trump veto threat on defense bill over Section 230’s Big Tech protections

President Donald Trump on Wednesday gained unexpected support from a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate after he criticized Section 230’s protections for Big Tech companies.

Trump on Tuesday threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill to authorize defense spending, demanding that Congress first reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law protects web publishers from being sued for content posted on their platforms by third parties.

“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it — corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity. Our Country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand,” Trump tweeted.

“Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!”

Retiring Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a frequent critic of the president, expressed her full support for Trump’s veto threat.

“Please don’t back down. The freedom and future of our country is at stake,” Gabbard tweeted.

The rest of Congress, for the most part, is intent on brushing aside Trump’s veto threat.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said that while he agrees with the president on the need to reform Section 230, it “has nothing to do with the military” or appropriations for the armed forces.

“You can’t do it in this bill. That’s not a part of the bill,” Inhofe said, according to Politico.

“I would hope that he would not actually follow through with that because the NDAA is critical,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said of Trump’s veto threat.

“At this last minute, this sudden threat on an item that’s not even part of a defense bill. … I don’t think we could do it in a thoughtful, logical way at all,” said Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.

He suggested the president’s veto threat “seems to be more out of spite than anything else.”

Politico reported that the House of Representatives will soon advance a compromise defense bill that resolves differences between the House and Senate versions of the NDAA, known as a conference report. The conference report leaves Section 230 unaltered.

President Trump does have some Republican support for vetoing the NDAA. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will not support the bill because of legislative language about U.S. military bases named for Confederate soldiers. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he supports Trump “using all the leverage he can” to reform Section 230.

But Republican leadership remains opposed to tying Big Tech legislation to defense spending.

“I don’t think the defense bill is the place to litigate that,” said Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican. “There will be enormous support for getting the defense authorization bill passed and hopefully signed into law.”

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Banquet dinner Holiday house Intelwars Nancy Pelosi new members

House slammed over new member banquets as Americans are told to skip holiday gatherings with family

Leadership in the House of Representatives was lambasted Friday for moving forward with traditional banquets welcoming newly elected members of the lower chamber to Washington, D.C., while Americans are being warned against large holiday gatherings outside their immediate households due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

What are the details?

NBC News congressional correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell set off a firestorm across the political spectrum when she tweeted out a picture showing the Capitol building’s National Statuary Hall filled with dining tables.

“House Dem and GOP leaders are holding respective dinners for new members,” Caldwell wrote, noting, “@SpeakerPelosi told me it’s safe. ‘It’s very spaced,’ she said and there is enhanced ventilation and the Capitol physician signed off.”

The Twittersphere reacted with fury, with many pointing to the hypocrisy of such a move.

“This is setting such a bad example,” the Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich replied. “Doctors are asking Americans to skip family gatherings for Thanksgiving to slow the spread but sure, enjoy the golden tables in a Stat Hall, a room without working windows.”

Conservative writer and politico Rachel Bovard reacted, “AHAHAHA I tried to have a normal wedding reception this year and every venue told me to get bent.”

Food Network judge and chef Andrew Gruel pointed out, “We just had to close dining at our New Mexico locations due to a state lockdown.”

“Rules are for thee, not for Pelosee,” chided former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, in a dig at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Following heat after news broke about the dinners, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said that the event had been “modified.”

“Our office strictly follows the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, including for this dinner,” he wrote. “To be a further model for the nation, this event has been modified to allow Members-elect to pick up their meals to go in a socially-distanced manner.”

Later in the evening, Hammill tweeted out, “Members-elect are now picking up their boxed meals and departing the Capitol. There is no group dinner. Members-elect are in DC already for orientation.”

It is unclear how many people—including incoming members and invited guests—were present at the Democrats’ “dinner” on Friday evening, or how many are expected at the Republicans’ planned engagement.

Some House races remain undecided across the country, but UPI reported Friday that “about 50 new members of Congress gathered to start the process of hiring staff and setting up offices as they transition to Washington” during “orientation in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center Congressional Auditorium.”

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Decide election house Intelwars Nancy Pelosi Ready

Nancy Pelosi says House is ‘ready’ to decide who will be president if election ends up in Congress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the lower chamber is “ready” if the election between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ends up disputed and in the hands of Congress.

What are the details?

NPR‘s Ari Shapiro asked Pelosi on Monday, “Let’s talk about what might happen in the election tomorrow because there are a lot of dire scenarios if the vote does not produce a decisive result. Some of those scenarios involve you as the speaker of the House. Are you confident in the resilience of American democratic systems to handle a contested election if it comes to that?”

“Our country is a great country,” the speaker replied. “We’re even great enough to survive one term of Donald Trump. Two terms would be such a serious setback that I worry for our country.”

“But what if the outcome is disputed?” Shapiro pressed. “What if this is being fought in the courts or there is a constitutional crisis? I mean, there are all kinds of scenarios, and in some of them, the speaker of the House plays a prominent role.”

“And the speaker of the House is ready for that prominent role,” Pelosi responded. “But let’s not worry about that right now.

“We’re ready. We’re prepared,” she continued. “We’ve been ready for a while because we see this irresponsibility of the president, his disrespect for the Constitution, for our democracy, and for the integrity of our elections. So we’re ready for him.”

Pelosi added, “What we want to be ready for is a big vote tomorrow to dispel any thought other than that, on January 20, Joe Biden will be inaugurated president of the United States, that we will have a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate.”

Anything else?

The Hill reported that “should the presidential election not present a clear winner by electoral vote, then it is up to the House to choose the next president.”

An article by 270towin.com explains that if neither Trump nor Biden is able to secure 270 electoral votes, “the election for President is decided in the House of Representatives, with each state delegation having one vote. A majority of states (26) is needed to win. Senators would elect the Vice-President, with each Senator having a vote. A majority of Senators (51) is needed to win.”

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deal house Intelwars Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Shutdown spending

House passes bipartisan spending deal by a landslide, averting government shutdown

The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan spending bill by a landslide late Tuesday night, which, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Donald Trump, will continue funding the federal government through Dec. 11.

What are the details?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced in a statement ahead of the vote that she had reached a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Republicans for a continuing resolution that would “add nearly $8 billion in desperately needed nutrition assistance for hungry schoolchildren and families.”

“We also increase accountability in the Commodity Credit Corporation, preventing funds for farmers from being misused for a Big Oil bailout,” she said.

The Washington Post reported that the stopgap measure passed “overwhelmingly” in a 358-to-57 vote, noting that Republicans had rejected an earlier “partisan bill” put forward by Democrats the day before.

Not one Democrat voted against the legislation, but 56 Republicans did along with former GOP member Libertarian Justin Amash (Mich.).

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Tuesday night, “Pelosi got caught trying to jam through a bill that ignored kids & hurt farmers. Republicans stopped her, & we just won a vote to keep the government operating for ALL Americans. It’s not perfect. But it’s a heck of a lot better than what Democrats tried to pull.”

According to The Hill, the Senate is expected to take up the CR as early as next week. The outlet noted, “Both parties are strongly incentivized to avoid a government shutdown, given the proximity to the November elections and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

CBS News reported that “The resolution funds the government until December 11, avoiding a possible shutdown at the end of September.”

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Baltimore black GOP Haters house Intelwars Kimberly klacik trump

GOP House candidate Kimberly Klacik fires back at critics who claim she only got Trump nod because she’s black

Maryland Republican congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik delivered a scorching response Thursday to the abuse she has received online since President Donald Trump endorsed her last month, and she did not hold back.

What are the details?

“My favorite part about getting Trump’s endorsement is reading the comments claiming Trump only did it because I am black..” Klacik tweeted, adding, “…as if we didn’t spend 3 weeks watching modern day overseer @JoeBiden play Duck Duck Goose w/three black women to pick a VP solely based on complexion.”

On Aug. 31, President Trump tweeted, “Kimberly Klacik is really working hard to help the people of Baltimore. She is running for Congress as a Republican, & if she wins she will be an inspiration to all. She is strong on inner city rebuilding, healthcare, our Military & Vets. She has my Complete & Total Endorsement!”

Twitchy.com compiled examples of some of the racist messages Klacik received in the aftermath.

One person wrote in reaction to one of Klacik’s tweets, “stop being used as the black pawn for this weak little man. You’re ruining your chances at having any kind of life of dignity and respect by enabling this fat ass moron. Well, perhaps you deserve that, eh?!”

Another wrote, “Lol your a joke Tap dancing for the Republicans Turn in your black card,” while yet another added, “She is a black person that thinks she’s white that can only find the time to put other black people down. @kimKBaltimore will always present as #black cause she is black and that’s what people see first. Many proud black people died so she can have her freedom to stand on them.”

Somebody tweeted of Klacik, “‘She is running for Congress as a Republican.’ How Trump describes a black congressional candidate. He can’t believe a black person would be a Republican because he knows what being a Republican means, i.e. being white. He just can’t hide his racism and bias.”

One sicko reacted, “coons 4 trump.”

Anything else?

Klacik has seen her profile rise nationally after receiving millions of views for her campaign ad calling out decades of failed Democratic leadership in the city of Baltimore, which she would represent if she wins in November. She also spoke at the Republican National Convention last month.

But she has, sadly, received plenty of abuse long before even launching her campaign. In July of last year, she was attacked online, in the media, and targeted by hackers after she dared to appear on Fox News to expose footage exposing the dilapidated conditions in many parts of Baltimore.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 house Intelwars Robert redfield

CDC director admits hospitals have monetary ‘incentive’ to inflate coronavirus death count

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield admitted last week that American hospitals may have monetary incentive to inflate coronavirus death counts.

During a hearing by the House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Friday, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) asked whether hospitals have “perverse incentive” to inflate COVID-19 fatality numbers.

Shockingly, Redfield admitted that they do.

“I think you’re correct in that we’ve seen this in other disease processes, too,” Redfield said.

“Really, in the HIV epidemic, somebody may have a heart attack but also have HIV — the hospital would prefer the [classification] for HIV because there’s greater reimbursement,” he explained. “So, I do think there’s some reality to that.”

“When it comes to death reporting, though, ultimately, it’s how the physician defines it in the death certificate, and … we review all of those death certificates. So I think, probably it is less operable in the cause of death, although I won’t say there are not some cases,” he continued. “I do think though [that] when it comes to hospital reimbursement issues or individuals that get discharged, there could be some play in that for sure.”

Debate has raged over whether coronavirus deaths are being counted accurately, and various studies have found conflicting conclusions.

More from the Washington Examiner:

A Yale study concluded that the overall coronavirus death toll in the United States is a “substantial undercount” of the actual number; White House coronavirus response team member Dr. Deborah Birx suggested in May that deaths are being overcounted by 25%.

There appear to be cases where the opposite has happened. An investigation in Florida found that several deaths were wrongly attributed to the virus, including the case of a man who died from a gunshot wound to the head.

The CDC’s website lists over 3,700 coronavirus deaths characterized as “intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events.” In Texas, more than 3,000 people were recently removed from the overall coronavirus count because they were never actually tested but considered “probable” cases.

Still, it may never be possible to get an accurate count of deaths or cases, considering not everyone who contracts the disease is tested.

Indeed, antibody tests continually show that a significant portion of the population has likely contracted COVID-19, yet never knew they had the virus.

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floor house Intelwars Masks Nancy Pelosi Removal rule

Pelosi mandates masks on House floor, threatens members with removal for noncompliance

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a new rule that lawmakers and staff will be required to wear a mask while in the hall of the lower chamber, warning that anyone who refuses to do so could be booted out by the Sergeant at Arms.

What are the details?

Speaking from the chair on Wednesday, Pelosi declared that starting Thursday, “Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the Hall of the House except that members may remove their masks temporarily when recognized,” CSPAN reported.

Pelosi said she “expects all members and staff to adhere to this requirement as a sign of respect to the health, safety, and wellbeing of others present” before adding:

The chair would also like to remind members that the Speaker has the authority to direct the Sergeants At Arms to remove a member from the floor as a matter of decorum. To reiterate, the chair views the failure to wear a mask as a serious breach of decorum.

Politico posted text of the new rule online, which showed the mandate is open-ended, and “will remain in effect until a determination is made that such a requirement is no longer necessary.”

The speaker’s decision came the same day Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) revealed he tested positive for COVID-19. The Republican told KETK-TV following his diagnosis that he has gotten a lot of heat for not wearing a mask in the past, but he has increased his mask-wearing in recent weeks.

He told the outlet, “I can’t help but wonder if my keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, that if I might have put some germs or some of the virus onto the mask and breathed in it…I don’t know.” Gohmert says he has not experienced any symptoms of the disease.

Gohmert said his views on facial coverings is, “If somebody feels strongly about everybody should wear a mask, then they shouldn’t be around people that don’t wear masks.”

The Hill noted that Pelosi implement a mask requirement for committee meetings a month ago, “shortly after another GOP lawmaker, Rep. Tom Rice (S.C.) — who was spotted without a mask on the House floor — tested positive for the coronavirus.”

Masks have become a partisan issue since the committee mask requirement was put in place, adding further tension in an already-divided House of Representatives.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has scolded GOP members of his committee numerous times, even threatening to not recognize members who were not wearing masks—leading to battles with ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

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GOP house Intelwars Tedros adhanom ghebreyesu Testifys WHO

House GOP members call on WHO chief to testify for providing false info on China’s COVID response

A group of House Republicans sent a letter to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday, demanding answers on the WHO’s contradictory reporting on its discovery of the coronavirus — and calling on Dr. Tedros to clear things up under oath.

What are the details?

Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking member James Comer (R-Ky.) joined every GOP member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in signing the letter, including Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), Jackie Walorski (Ind.), and Mark Green (Tenn.).

The letter recalls how the Oversight Committee reached out to the WHO back in early April regarding the organization’s “failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its reported improper relationship with the Chinese Communist Party,” and the response that came more than two months later “was wholly incomplete and contained at least one false statement.”

The Republicans pointed out that the WHO initially claimed that China had first reported on the COVID-19 outbreak, but the international organization backtracked last week and admitted that China had not, in fact, notified them about the onset of the virus.

“This revelation demands your complete and forthright response to the Committee’s previous request and sworn testimony before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis,” the members wrote to Tedros. “Until you appear under oath, America and the world will not know the origins of this crisis.”

In a statement to TheBlaze, Ranking Member Comer explained further, “From the very start, the WHO and Secretary-General Tedros have proven that their priority has been to assist the Chinese government at the expense of the American people and the rest of the world. While China spread misinformation so it could hoard medical supplies, Tedros was praising them for their transparency.”

He added, “Now we also know that the WHO even lied to the world and this Committee about what China told them about the virus. Until the WHO undergoes some serious reforms, it doesn’t deserve our money or our membership.”

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house Intelwars jerry nadler Jim Jordan Masks

Jim Jordan fights back after Jerry Nadler tries to silence a GOP member for refusing to wear a mask

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday attempted to enforce a new rule pushed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), requiring committee chairs to “exclude members who fail to comply” with wearing a mask during proceedings.

But when Nadler tried to skip over a mask-free Republican’s speaking time during a meeting, Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) pushed back.

What are the details?

The Hill reported that the Capitol physician — at the request of Pelosi — issued guidance Tuesday night requiring lawmakers to wear facial coverings for all meetings “in a limited space, such as a committee hearing room, for greater than 15 minutes.”

A senior Democratic aide told the outlet that the speaker had asked committee chairs to “enforce rules of decorum and exclude members who fail to comply.”

While overseeing a Judiciary Committee meeting the next day, Nadler reminded his colleagues of the new rule — saying he had been “lenient” for most of the day — but warned that moving forward “anyone who is not wearing a mask will not be recognized to speak. Period.”

Immediately thereafter, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who was not wearing a mask, sought to speak to argue his case for not covering his face. Nadler ignored him, and attempted to skip over the congressman to allow a Democrat to take the allotted time.

“McClintock has tried repeatedly to make his point,” Jordan interjected. After Nadler made another effort to move on to the Democrat, Jordan said, “No, no, it’s our side. You just had a Democrat speak, it’s our turn.”

After a back-and-forth, Nadler eventually relented, allowing McClintock to express his opposition to the mask rule and its enforcement. The California Republican argued, “I consider masks much more effective at spreading panic and much less effective at stopping a virus.”

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Coronavirus house Intelwars Nancy Pelosi

House passes $3 trillion coronavirus bill despite it likely being ‘dead on arrival’ in Senate

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has passed the most expensive legislation ever approved in history—a $3 trillion behemoth of a bill aimed at providing coronavirus relief—despite the fact that the Republican-run Senate is unlikely to even take it up.

What are the details?

The legislation, called the HEROES Act, was pushed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and passed by a vote of 208-199. A single Republican, Rep. Steve King (N.Y.) voted for the bill, and fourteen Democrats broke with their party in opposing it.

Fox News reported:

The legislation includes $915 billion in state and local aid that could prevent layoffs of public workers, like first responders and teachers; a new $200 billion ‘heroes’ fund for hazard pay for essential workers; $100 billion for K-12 and higher education and $85 billion for coronavirus testing.

The legislation aims to get more money into the pockets of American hard-hit by widespread business closures. Eligible individuals would receive $1,200 checks for each person in their household, up to $6,000.

The bill extends add-on unemployment benefits of $600 payments, in addition to state benefits, through January 2021, creates a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act exchanges for the uninsured and provides $175 billion for families to pay their mortgages and rent. The legislation includes student loan forgiveness, an employee retention tax credit and increases maximum SNAP benefits, which are currently $768 a month, by 15 percent.

“But,” the outlet noted, “tucked into the legislation are provisions that rankled the Republicans including expanding $1,200 checks to certain undocumented immigrants, restoring the full State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) that helps individuals in high-taxed blue states, a $25 billion rescue for the U.S. Postal Service, allowing legal marijuana businesses to access banking services and early voting and vote-by-mail provisions.”

According to The Hill, the HEROES Act was drafted by House Democrats without any consultation with Republicans. Speaker Pelosi said of the bill, ‘We’re putting our offer on the table. We’re open to negotiation.”

ABC News reported that earlier this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the bill would be “dead on arrival” in the upper chamber, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of the legislation, “This week, the Speaker published an 1,800-page seasonal catalog of left-wing oddities and called it a coronavirus relief bill.” He added, “Here we go again.”

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Congress Coronavirus house Intelwars Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Senate

McConnell cancels Senate recess as lawmakers work to reach agreement on coronavirus aid bill

The Senate will be in session next week despite a scheduled recess while lawmakers work on legislation to address the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on Thursday afternoon.

“Notwithstanding the scheduled state work period, the Senate will be in session next week,” McConnell wrote in a tweet. “I am glad talks are ongoing between the Administration and Speaker Pelosi. I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong.”

McConnell’s announcement came after multiple members of his own caucus called on Congress to cancel the next week’s break, which had been scheduled for both chambers of Congress, in response to unfinished coronavirus business.

“Nursing home operators in Nebraska are telling me they’re worried because they have patients who might have coronavirus, but they don’t have enough testing kits to find out,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) in a Thursday morning statement. “Instead of going into recess next week, the Senate ought to keep working on the people’s business — both addressing the obvious deficiencies in our diagnostic testing pipeline, and debating the President’s call last night for economic legislation.”

“Due to the need to work on additional efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate should cancel its recess and remain in session next week,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tweeted Thursday.

“Our nation’s leaders must cast aside partisan politics and put the health of our country first,” tweeted Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Congress needs to cancel its recess and stay in session so we can work together in a bipartisan fashion to address the coronavirus pandemic.”

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said it would be “unacceptable for us to leave Washington, D.C. and recess without further acting to support our constituents.”

The decision comes as lawmakers have yet to announce agreement on a large coronavirus economic aid bill being hashed out between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Pelosi put forward a version of the bill Wednesday night that drew criticisms from Republicans, citing the need for changes in order to make the effort bipartisan.

According to Fox News, the White House took issue with the bill’s increases to medicaid spending, as well as a lack of language barring the use of federal funds for abortion. Meanwhile, the story adds that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy found fault with the proposal’s paid sick leave provisions.

“This week brought a further opportunity to help communities and families face the economic effects of the virus spread,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “But unfortunately, it appears at this hour that the speaker and House Democrats instead chose to produce an ideological wish list that was not tailored closely to the circumstances.”

At her weekly press briefing on Thursday morning on Thursday, Pelosi said that she was still working to Republicans’ concerns, but dismissed the idea of staying in town longer than planned if a deal hadn’t been struck by the end of the week.

“I’m not sticking around because they don’t want to agree to language,” the speaker told reporters. She later added that “everybody could have a complaint about this or that; save it for another day.”

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Congress Coronavirus house Intelwars Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Senate

McConnell cancels Senate recess as lawmakers work to reach agreement on coronavirus aid bill

The Senate will be in session next week despite a scheduled recess while lawmakers work on legislation to address the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on Thursday afternoon.

“Notwithstanding the scheduled state work period, the Senate will be in session next week,” McConnell wrote in a tweet. “I am glad talks are ongoing between the Administration and Speaker Pelosi. I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong.”

McConnell’s announcement came after multiple members of his own caucus called on Congress to cancel the next week’s break, which had been scheduled for both chambers of Congress, in response to unfinished coronavirus business.

“Nursing home operators in Nebraska are telling me they’re worried because they have patients who might have coronavirus, but they don’t have enough testing kits to find out,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) in a Thursday morning statement. “Instead of going into recess next week, the Senate ought to keep working on the people’s business — both addressing the obvious deficiencies in our diagnostic testing pipeline, and debating the President’s call last night for economic legislation.”

“Due to the need to work on additional efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate should cancel its recess and remain in session next week,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) tweeted Thursday.

“Our nation’s leaders must cast aside partisan politics and put the health of our country first,” tweeted Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Congress needs to cancel its recess and stay in session so we can work together in a bipartisan fashion to address the coronavirus pandemic.”

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said it would be “unacceptable for us to leave Washington, D.C. and recess without further acting to support our constituents.”

The decision comes as lawmakers have yet to announce agreement on a large coronavirus economic aid bill being hashed out between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Pelosi put forward a version of the bill Wednesday night that drew criticisms from Republicans, citing the need for changes in order to make the effort bipartisan.

According to Fox News, the White House took issue with the bill’s increases to medicaid spending, as well as a lack of language barring the use of federal funds for abortion. Meanwhile, the story adds that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy found fault with the proposal’s paid sick leave provisions.

“This week brought a further opportunity to help communities and families face the economic effects of the virus spread,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “But unfortunately, it appears at this hour that the speaker and House Democrats instead chose to produce an ideological wish list that was not tailored closely to the circumstances.”

At her weekly press briefing on Thursday morning on Thursday, Pelosi said that she was still working to Republicans’ concerns, but dismissed the idea of staying in town longer than planned if a deal hadn’t been struck by the end of the week.

“I’m not sticking around because they don’t want to agree to language,” the speaker told reporters. She later added that “everybody could have a complaint about this or that; save it for another day.”

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Congress Coronavirus Coronavirus america Coronavirus outbreak Health house Intelwars Senate WHITE HOUSE

Congress and the White House cancel public tours amid coronavirus spread in nation’s capital

Due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, visitors to Washington, D.C., for the rest of the month of March will not be able to tour the U.S. Capitol, and tours of the White House have been suspended as well.

In a joint statement issued Thursday morning, the sergeants at arms for the House of Representatives and the Senate announced that the Capitol complex would be closed to the general public until the beginning of April, as well as the closure of the Capitol Visitor Center to all tours for the same amount of time.

The new policy will last from 5 p.m. on Thursday until 8 a.m. on April 1, during which time only members of Congress, congressional staff, credentialed press, and people on official business will be able to get into the House and Senate office buildings and the Capitol.

“We are taking this temporary action out of concern for the health and safety of congressional employees as well as the public,” the announcement said. “We appreciate the understanding of those with planned visits interrupted by this necessary, but prudent, decision.”

The announcement was made less than 24 hours after Capitol Hill’s first case of coronavirus was announced Wednesday night. The infected individual is a staffer for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), but did not have any “known contact with the senator or other members of Congress” and “has been in isolation since starting to show symptoms,” according to a statement from the senator’s office.

No members of Congress have been reported as testing positive for the coronavirus so far, though multiple congressmen have recently opted to isolate out of caution after being exposed to people who have. Those include Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

The White House has canceled its public tours as well, according to its 24-hour Visitors Office information line.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all White House tours have been temporarily suspended effective immediately,” an automated message on the line said when Blaze Media called Thursday morning.

“We truly appreciate your understanding,” the message tells callers, while asking that those affected “address all questions to the point of contact with whom you have booked your tour.”

The White House did not respond immediately to Blaze Media’s request for comment about the automated message.

To put a further damper on visitors’ upcoming plans, the National Cherry Blossom Festival announced Wednesday that it would cancel or postpone multiple festival events taking place before the end of the month in response to the viral outbreak.

“It is a difficult decision and one that we do not take lightly,” festival president and CEO Diana Mayhew said in a statement. “The health safety of the performers, guests, volunteers, and festival staff is our priority.”

The District of Columbia’s first coronavirus case was reported over the weekend after an Episcopal priest tested positive for the disease on Saturday; since then, local officials have taken their own steps to contain the spread, which includes Mayor Muriel Bowser’s state of emergency declaration on Wednesday after the number of confirmed cases had grown to 10.

Both the festival and the congressional announcements cite a Wednesday recommendation from the D.C. health department that all “non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, be postponed or cancelled” and that “any social, cultural, or entertainment events where large crowds are anticipated be reconsidered by the organizer” until the end of the month.

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Congress Gallup house IMPEACHMENT Intelwars Mitch McConnell poll Senate

Gallup polling shows congressional Republicans faring better with Americans than Democrats after impeachment

Recent polling from Gallup shows that Americans approved more of congressional Republicans’ job performance than that of congressional Democrats following the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial last month.

In the numbers released Tuesday, congressional Republicans’ job approval rating stood at 40%, compared with 35% for Democrats. Compared with Gallup results from October — a month after the start of the House’s impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump — Republicans saw an approval increase of six percentage points, while Democrats saw a decrease of three.

The telephone survey was conducted February 17-28 on a random sample of 1,020 Americans aged eighteen or over and has a 4% margin of error. It was the first such poll the company had conducted since Trump was impeached by the House in December and subsequently acquitted in the Senate, a post from Gallup’s Megan Brennan about the results explains.

The results also show that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) got a post-impeachment approval bump.

“McConnell’s favorability rating has increased by six points since October to 33% now, because of a 15-point jump to 62% among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents,” Brennan writes.

“Although, on a relative basis, McConnell’s favorability is not particularly high, it is his highest rating since Gallup’s first reading in 2010, and it is well above his personal low of 18% in 2015, the year he became the majority leader.”

In contrast, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saw her unfavorable numbers rise in the February poll.

The speaker’s favorability “is roughly the same as it was in October,” Brennan explains, but her unfavorability level among Americans increased five percentage points from 50% to 55% during the same time period — just one point below where it was just before the 2010 midterm elections when Republicans took control of the House.

The results follow Gallup results released just before the end of the impeachment trial early last month, which found that President Trump had the highest job approval rating of his presidency at 49%, while the Republican Party’s image polled at its highest level since 2005.

But while Gallup’s numbers show Republicans appear to have benefited in public opinion as a result of Congress’ impeachment efforts, things might change as the news cycle’s focus shifts to other matters going forward.

“In the coming months, as Americans’ memories of the impeachment fade, their opinions of political leaders may change,” Brennan concludes. “The coronavirus outbreak and the Democratic presidential nominating contests have already largely superseded Trump’s impeachment in the news.”

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Congress Department of Justice house House Judiciary Committee Intelwars jerry nadler Roger Stone Roger stone case William Barr

House Democrats launch probe into suspected ‘political interference’ in DOJ’s handling of the Roger Stone case

The House Judiciary Committee is requesting answers from the Department of Justice about suspected political interference in the Roger Stone case and other criminal cases ahead of a congressional hearing with Attorney General William Barr at the end of March.

Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who has played a large role in House Democrats’ previous investigative efforts against the president, sent Barr a letter Friday requesting that the DOJ give the committee information as well as interviews with current and former department officials.

“The Judiciary Committee needs to examine a range of recent actions that smack of political interference, including the Department’s withdrawal of the Roger Stone sentencing recommendation; intervening in the handling of the Michael Flynn prosecution; overruling the decision to relocate Paul Manafort to Rikers Island; opening investigations into career officials involved in the Russia investigation; and a series of controversial interventions into sensitive antitrust matters,” Chairman Nadler said in a statement about the request. “Our democracy is founded on the notion that no one is above the law, and strict adherence to the rule of law has separated us from all other nations.”

Among the 15 current and former Department of Justice officials requested for interviews are the four career prosecutors who resigned from the Stone case during the sentencing controversy earlier this month. The letter also requested an interview with U.S. Attorney for the District Connecticut John Durham, who is leading the DOJ’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation.

In addition to the interviews, the letter also requested further “documents and communications between President Trump, White House officials or employees of the Executive Office of the President and the Department of Justice” related to Stone’s cases as well as the several others listed in its four pages, and other related documents.

It also called on the department to provide a “description of each instance in the last 10 years when senior officials of the Department intervened to alter sentencing recommendations by a U.S. Attorney’s office.”

Stone was sentenced to over three years in federal prison last week. His sentencing became a point of controversy when all four line prosecutors handling the case resigned after the Department of Justice put out an amended sentencing memo saying that the initial recommendation of seven to nine years “could be considered excessive and unwarranted.”

This was after President Donald Trump tweeted that the initial recommendation was a “miscarriage of justice,” thereby drawing allegations of political interference in the case.

In the letter, Nadler cited the more than 2,000 former DOJ officials who have called for Barr to step down as well as Barr’s recent comments about how President Trump’s tweeting about DOJ cases makes his job difficult.

“These circumstances are deeply troubling,” Nadler wrote. “Although you serve at the President’s pleasure, you are also charged with the impartial administration of our laws. In tum, the House JudiciaryCommittee is charged with holding you to that responsibility.”

However, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) — called Democrats’ request “yet another attempt to distract from the job they’ve failed to do, which is reform FISA and finally address the abuse that has plagued our nation over the last three years.”

In the interview where he discussed the president’s tweets, Barr also said that President Trump had “never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”

A DOJ spokesperson did not immediately respond to request for comment on the letter.

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Congress Health house Intelwars life Smoking

House passes bill banning menthol cigarettes, flavored vape liquid — but some lawmakers worry about racial implications

The House of Representatives passed a bill Friday to outlaw flavored vaping liquid as well as menthol cigarettes. But some lawmakers are concerned about how the bill’s provisions might affect minority smokers.

The final vote was 213-195. Seventeen Democrats voted against it, while five Republicans voted in favor of the measure. The House’s lone independent, Justin Amash (Mich.), also voted against the bill.

The bill, “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019,” is designed to reduce tobacco and nicotine use among young people. It would ban flavored tobacco products and flavored vaping liquids, ban online e-cigarette sales, and require graphic warnings showing the health consequences of smoking on cigarette packaging.

“For years now, our country’s kids have been experiencing a dramatic rise in nicotine addiction due to tobacco companies marketing flavored vaping and e-cigarettes products to teenagers and young children,” bill sponsor Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) said in a Friday press release. “By banning online sales, flavored tobacco products, and targeted advertising to young people, this bill will help improve the long-term health of the American public and reverse the youth tobacco epidemic.”

However, the bill was also the subject of some Democratic opposition earlier in the week, the Hill reported Thursday. Some Democrats saw the provisions regarding menthol cigarettes as having a disproportionate effect on black communities.

According to the anti-tobacco group Truth Initiative, “nearly 90 percent of all African-American smokers use menthol cigarettes.”

The government shouldn’t “tell full-grown adults, those over 21, what they can and cannot do with a legal product,” Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) told the Hill. “I’m not a smoker, so I would never smoke. But you know, for those who do, they ought to be able to smoke what they want to smoke.”

McEachin is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus who voted against passage of the bill on Friday. Other members of the caucus who voted against the measure were Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).

In a statement issued after the bill’s passage, Clarke said that while there are “clear health benefits” to the bill, “I have real concerns around this bill passing that would negatively impact the Black community and communities of color at a higher rate.”

Her statement said it’s “unjust” for the legislation to exempt flavored premium cigars, “which is the preferred flavor of elite white tobacco users — while banning the preferred ‘flavor’ of Black tobacco users, menthol.”

Additionally, a letter from from advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this week also voiced concerns that the bill could lead to over-policing, Politico reported.

But regardless of what support such a measure might garner in the Senate, the White House vowed to veto it in a statement of administration policy on Thursday.

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Debate house Intelwars Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg boasts that he ‘bought’ back the House for Democrats

New York billionaire and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg bragged during a primary debate Tuesday night that with the tens of millions he spent to get Democrats elected in 2018, he “bought” back the House of Representatives for the party.

What are the details?

“Let’s just go on the record,” Bloomberg said, speaking from the stage in Charleston, South Carolina. “They talk about 40 Democrats, 21 of those were people that I spent $100 million to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in, put [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi in charge, and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bought — I got them.”

Bloomberg appeared to try to correct his wording at the end of his comments, but his statement reinforced what The New York Times reported in 2018. The outlet noted, “Overall spending by Mr. Bloomberg and his organizations in the 2018 elections topped $122 million, an amount that also includes donations to help Senate candidates and progressive organizations.”

The former mayor of New York City has been accused by Republicans and Democrats alike for essentially “buying” his way into the presidential race. Indeed, the Democratic National Committee changed their rules by removing the individual donor requirement last month in order to allow Bloomberg — who entered the race late — onto the debate stage.

President Donald Trump has also accused Bloomberg of attempting to buy the Democratic nomination. Earlier this month, the president tweeted that Bloomberg “is illegally buying the Democrat Nomination,” adding, “What Mini Mike is doing is nothing less than a large scale illegal campaign contribution. He is ‘spreading’ money all over the place, only to have recipients of his cash payments, many former opponents, happily joining or supporting his campaign. Isn’t that called a payoff?”

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