Congress

Dems' ambitions narrow as political reality sets in

Sen. Angus King is still undecided on whether to support D.C. statehood, an important goal for many of the Democrats he aligns with. And the independent Mainer is in no rush. “I’m still kind of pondering it,” King said on Wednesday. “There are just other issues I’m engaged in at this point.” King is one of five Democratic caucus members…

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Congress

Clyburn facing potential $5,000 metal detector fine

House Majority Whip James Clyburn is facing a possible $5,000 fine for evading the metal detectors off the House floor, which are part of the security protocols House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enacted after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The South Carolina Democrat was caught going around the detectors after he used the bathroom during a vote on Tuesday. If found…

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Congress

Senate Republicans expected to keep earmark ban

Senate Republicans are on track to affirm their decade-long earmarks ban on Wednesday, an effective rebuke of their House counterparts that upholds a central tenet of the fiscal conservatism the GOP abandoned under Donald Trump. Multiple senators said the GOP conference is expected to maintain the ban, and it’s unclear if Republicans will even hold a closed-door vote on the…

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Congress

Lofgren: Capitol Police official being investigated for directions to pursue only 'anti-Trump' protesters Jan. 6

A Capitol Police official radioed units outside of the building on the morning of Jan. 6 and told them only to scout for anti-Trump troublemakers — not pro-Trump protesters, according to the findings of an internal investigation revealed at a public hearing by Rep. Zoe Lofgren. Lofgren (D-Calif.) revealed the finding while she questioned Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton,…

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Congress

Murkowski bucks her party to back Biden's pick for DOJ No. 3

Sen. Lisa Murkowski will vote on Wednesday to confirm Vanita Gupta to the No. 3 position at the Justice Department, blowing up her party’s effort to make Democrats solely own the confirmation. Senate Republicans have spent weeks speaking out against Gupta, describing her as a “radical” who would defund the police. They’ve also criticized her past statements on decriminalizing drugs…

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Congress

Senate Democrats reject Republican infrastructure bid

Republicans haven’t even introduced their infrastructure proposal yet, but the Democratic reviews are already in. And they aren’t pretty. Democrats are roundly rejecting a still unfinished counteroffer to President Joe Biden’s $2.5 trillion spending package, potentially moving the slim Senate majority ever-closer to abandoning talks with Republicans on a bipartisan bill. Democrats argue that the GOP plan to spend fewer…

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Congress

Lawmakers reveal — and dispute – FBI conclusion about 2017 baseball field shooting

A congressman who was on the baseball field during the 2017 shooting that nearly killed GOP Whip Steve Scalise says the FBI privately informed lawmakers it ruled the attack a "suicide by cop," a designation he said downplayed the shooter’s apparently political motivation. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) revealed the previously undisclosed determination during a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee…

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Congress

Lawmakers push PPP revamp as funding lapse looms

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday unveiled plans to offer more emergency pandemic relief to the country’s tiniest employers, a last-minute revamp of Washington’s nearly $1 trillion small business rescue that is close to exhausting its funding. The bill introduced by Senate Small Business Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) would allow thousands of self-employed Americans to qualify for more aid…

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Congress

Chauvin conviction squeezes Congress on police reform

Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd is heaping more pressure than ever on the Senate to finally enact nationwide police reform, senators in both parties said Tuesday in the wake of the verdict. And progress toward a bipartisan deal — touching the fraught issue of police bias — is currently at a standstill. Though the House has…

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Congress

GOP fails to censure Waters with nation on edge over Chauvin verdict

A GOP push to punish Rep. Maxine Waters for encouraging protests against police bias fizzled on Tuesday. But its collapse laid bare a massive problem facing congressional leaders in both parties as they struggle to rein in members’ inflammatory rhetoric. House Republicans, who have wrestled with incendiary remarks among their own, rallied around a resolution to censure Waters (D-Calif.) for…

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Congress

GOP senators float $600-800 billion infrastructure counteroffer

Republican senators Tuesday discussed a counterproposal to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, likely coming in at $600 billion to $800 billion and paid for with user fees and unspent Covid relief money. The plan: Two people who attended Tuesday’s GOP lunch said the plan, spearheaded by Environment and Public Works ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) on behalf of a…

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Congress

Capitol outer fence set to return as D.C. girds for crowds, protests

Congressional security officials are in discussions about rebuilding fencing around the Capitol — just weeks after a previous perimeter came down — to help secure the building ahead of President Joe Biden’s upcoming address to lawmakers and possible protests expected in the capital, according to multiple sources. The anticipated security measures come as Washington, D.C. braces for likely protests following…

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Congress

Matt Gaetz sparked William Barr to drop the f-bomb in a legal spat over Florida voting

Months before news broke that the feds were investigating him for sex trafficking, Rep. Matt Gaetz was at the center of a separate internal fight at the Justice Department. The sparring match involved an Oval Office meeting, a foul-mouthed threat from the attorney general and voting in Florida. It has not been previously reported. In Aug. 2018, President Donald Trump…

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Congress

Progressives formally reintroduce the Green New Deal

Progressive lawmakers, led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), on Tuesday formally revived their push for a Green New Deal, leaning into the framework to swiftly transition off fossil fuels that’s become a prominent foil for conservatives. Little more than two years after the Green New Deal landed with a massive splash on Capitol Hill, progressives…

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Democratic leaders find a way to defuse conservatives' House floor sabotage

House Democratic leaders believe they’ve found a workaround to defuse weeks of delay tactics used by hard-line Republicans that have irked lawmakers in both parties and brought much of the chamber’s floor action to a halt. The conservative firebrands have sought to make life difficult for Democrats in protest against what they say are efforts to shut out the minority…

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Congress

Chris Murphy reckons with risk of 'failure' in his career-long gun control push

The worst day of Chris Murphy’s career, as he tells it, came eight years ago this week. That’s when the Senate defeated a gun control bill forged after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his state. The mass shootings haven’t stopped plaguing America ever since. Nor has Congress ceased its perpetual stalemate on universal background checks for gun…

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Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at 93

Walter Mondale, the former vice president whose accomplished career was marred by one of the worst electoral shellackings in American history, died Monday. Mondale, who was also the first presidential candidate to select a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, to be his running mate, was 93. The Associated Press reported his death, citing his family. “You can divide every vice president in…

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Liberals warn Biden against lengthy talks with GOP

Joe Biden’s entreaties to Republicans on his infrastructure bill are picking up steam. But progressives are warning the president not to get too attached to his GOP friends. “I personally don’t think the Republicans are serious about addressing the major crises facing this country. Maybe I’m wrong, but we’re certainly not going to wait for an indefinite period of time,”…

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Congress

Jan. 6 defendants win unlikely Dem champions as they face harsh detainment

Sen. Elizabeth Warren fled the Capitol on Jan. 6 from a mob she later called domestic terrorists. Now she and another Senate Democratic leader are standing up for their attackers’ rights as criminal defendants. Most of the 300-plus people charged with participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have been released while they await trial, but dozens of those deemed…

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Congress

Officer Brian Sicknick died of strokes after the insurrection, D.C. medical examiner rules

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from strokes a day after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office ruled on Monday. His death was the result of natural causes, not a homicide, and was not hastened by an injury, according to the report. Two men were charged last month with assaulting Sicknick with bear spray, although no…

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