Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

House Votes to Condemn Trump’s Racist Tweets

July 17, 2019

House Votes to Condemn Trump's Racist Tweets

On Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to condemn recent racist comments by President Donald J. Trump. Congressional rules prevented members from calling Mr. Trump a racist, but that shouldn’t stop you.

From H. RES. 489
Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.
July 15, 2019

Whereas President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.

Read the whole resolution here.

Related:

“Trump’s Tweets So Clearly Racist It’s Spelled Out In Discrimination Law,” Matt Shuham, TalkingPointsMemo

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Police: No Scooters at the Capitol

June 26, 2019

Police: No Scooters at the Capitol

Bird, Lyft, Skip, Spin and Jump. No that’s not a new Olympic field event, those are the companies inflicting dockless electric scooters on pedestrians in the District of Columbia. But not at the Capitol, says US Capitol Police spokesperson Eva Malecki:

“The proliferation of electric scooters and other motorized devices for rent has become a safety and security concern for the Department. They should not be parked and/or left unattended on Capitol Grounds.”

“We have been working to better educate users of the restrictions for using and/or parking scooters on Capitol Grounds as well as the various companies that make them available to the public.”

“Scooter commuters of Capitol Hill, take note,” Katherine Tully-McManus, Roll Call

Updates:

“Eleanor Holmes Norton says let them scoot!” Clyde McGrady, The Hill

“Transportation lawmakers race scooters in House office building,” Rachel Frazin, The Hill

Related:

“Overnight e-scooter ban and complaint line proposed in DC,” Zeke Hartner, WTOP

Paris clamps down on electric scooters as law of the jungle rules,” Forrest Crellin, Reuters

“River patrol pulls e-scooters from bottom of Willamette River,” KATU

“US cities are joining forces to figure out what the hell to do with all these scooters,” Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

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Image (“Wayward Scooter, Pennsylvania Avenue SE”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Matt Whitaker: 5 Minute Man

February 11, 2019

Matt Whitaker: 5 Minute Man

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, the temp employee Donald Trump installed as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee last week. He had agreed to answer five minutes of questions from each committee member, but what he did was run out the clock. Instead of answering a question from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D, NY-10), Mr. Whitaker replied “Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up.”

Running out the clock is really Acting AG Whitaker’s only job right now. William Barr is expected to be confirmed as a real Attorney General this week. If not, Mr. Whitaker may be subpoenaed to a second House Judiciary Committee meeting.

After the hearing Matt Whitaker celebrated by heading straight to Disney Land the new Department of Justice headquarters, the Trump Hotel.

More:

“Matthew Whitaker’s five minutes are up,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post

“The most powerful moment of the Whitaker hearing had nothing to do with Mueller,” Aaron Rupar, Vox

“Matthew Whitaker Apparently Only Owns One Tie,” Joe Patrice, Above the Law

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated

May 7, 2018

Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated
If you missed it, last week Jesus trumped Ayn Rand at the U.S. House of Representatives. House Chaplain Fr. Patrick Conroy was forced to resign for his prayer suggesting that Congress remember the least among us when crafting a tax bill. Not only didn’t Congress take his advice, but House Speaker Paul Ryan was personally affronted and forced Father Conroy, a former lawyer turned Jesuit priest, to resign or be fired. While Mr.Ryan is an ostensibly-devout Catholic, his devotion to Ayn Rand overwhelmed Christian compassion in his screw-the-poor Tax Bill, now law.  The tax law is the only real accomplishment of Mr. Ryan’s tenure as Speaker, other than the huge federal deficit resulting from it.

Paul Ryan’s only problem: Congress really likes Father Pat, even most of the extreme-right Freedom Caucus members, except for the casually anti-Catholic ones. There’s also a question as to whether a House Chaplain, approved by a vote of the full chamber, can be peremptorily fired by the Speaker. Buoyed by overwhelming support, Father Conroy rescinded his forced resignation letter.

What’s a good Irish-American boy to do? Paul Ryan is leaving Congress anyway, so why should he care? He’s letting Father Pat continue serving as House Chaplain.

More:

“Paul Ryan vs. the House Chaplain Is Really Ayn Rand vs. Pope Francis,” Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast

“In a reversal, Speaker Ryan says the House chaplain will remain in his post,” Paul Kane, Washington Post

“Read: House Chaplain’s letter rescinding resignation,” The Hill

“Firing Fr. Conroy fits Paul Ryan’s pattern when it comes to the poor,” Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

“3 Ways In Which the House Chaplain Controversy May Continue,” Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call

Updates:

“Ryan swears chaplain back in after controversy over resignation,” Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

“Paul Ryan Had A ‘Good Cup Of Coffee’ With Reinstated House Chaplain,” Kate Riga, TPM Livewire

Related:

“7 Ways Paul Ryan Revealed His Love for Ayn Rand,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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U.S. Senate Will Extend Its Hours

October 20, 2017

U.S. Senate Will Extend Its Hours

For a paltry $174,000 per annum, U.S. senators slave through a grueling 3-day work week, sometimes for almost 140 days a year. Now cruel Kentucky Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants senators to work Fridays and weekends, and even during the first 2 weeks of August, the optimal time for inspecting those critical NATO bases on the French Riviera. Is no one concerned about our nation’s defense?

This country is going straight to hell.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Sessions Stonewalls Senate. Again.

October 19, 2017

Sessions Stonewalls Senate

In an encore to his empty Intelligence Committee testimony back in June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to answer questions put to him by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Clearly, Mr. Sessions believes he is Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, not the U.S. Attorney General.

More:

“What Jeff Sessions wouldn’t say was more revealing than what he did,” James Hohmann, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Exhausted By Epic Inaction, Congress Takes a Vacation

August 8, 2017

Exhausted By Epic Inaction, Congress Takes a Vacation
The U.S. Congress is on vacation until after Labor Day, but given its lack of accomplishments, it could have been in recess for the preceding year. Of course, Congress typically spends three days a week in DC even when it’s in session, spending the other four back home collecting campaign funds for the next election, a practice euphemistically called “meeting with constituents.”

But summer recess isn’t all stump speeches and visits to examine vital NATO defenses on the Riviera. Congress will still be hard at work tweeting about the highlights of rubber chicken luncheons at the Rotary Club. We hope our legislators don’t over-exert their Twitter fingers this month. They’ll have just a few days in September to decide on the nation budget, the debt limit, and tax reform, and to keep the White House from crashing the health care system or stumbling into trade war or a military crisis.

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Senate Health Bill in Medically Induced Coma

June 29, 2017

Senate Health Bill in Medically Induced Coma

In an emergency procedure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put his Republican health care bill in a medically induced coma until after the July 4th congressional recess. The GOP geniuses who created this monster, a bill that would take health care away from 22 million Americans in order to give massive tax cuts to the rich, will commit more meatball surgery on the languishing legislation until Friday, June 30th. What could possibly go wrong?

More:

“Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill,” Margot Sanger-Katz, New York Times

“Cost Estimate: Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” CBO

Update:

“CBO projects 35-percent drop in Medicaid spending by 2036 under Senate GOP health bill,” Adam Kelsey and Arlette Saenz, ABC News

“Longer-Term Effects of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 on Medicaid Spending,’ CBO
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Jeff Sessions Stonewalls the Senate

June 15, 2017

Jeff Sessions Stonewalls the Senate

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and defended his sacred honor by testifying to nothing. He did not exactly invoke executive privilege; he invoked the president’s right to invoke executive privilege at some unspecified later date. Mr. Sessions did this on the authority of the “historic policies of the Department of Justice” for which he could not cite written records, saying unnamed Justice Department career employees had told him there were such traditions. To be fair, during his long career Mr. Sessions has consistently championed historic policies, notably segregation.

For some reason, Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee were not keen on having a sworn witness in a congressional proceeding who refused to testify on unnamed grounds.

More:

“Sessions to Wyden in testy exchange: ‘I am not stonewalling,’” Devlin Barrett, Washington Post

“Sen. Kamala Harris leaves Sessions ‘nervous’ in interrogation over his refusal to disclose conversations with Trump,” Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times

“Dem Senator to Sessions: You’re ‘Impeding the Investigation,’” Daily Beast

“Explaining Executive Privilege and Sessions’s Refusal to Answer Questions,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

“Did Sessions and Trump conspire to obstruct justice?” Clark D. Cunningham, The Conversation

“Sessions could earn a ticket to the grand jury,” Mike Allen, Axios

 

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Comey Testifies

June 8, 2017

Comey Testifies
Former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee  at 10:00 AM Eastern Time today, Thursday, June 8th. The Intelligence Committee is investigating links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Mr. Trump told Lester Holt of NBC News that he fired Mr. Comey to end the FBI’s criminal investigation of the same matter

Yesterday the committee released Mr. Comey’s prepared introductory remarks (highlights here). Today’s Q & A will be streamed live on PBS and many other platforms.

More:

“The Back Story on the 15 Senators Questioning Comey,” David Hawkings, Roll Call

“West Wing aides fearful of directly attacking Comey,”  Matthew Nussbaum, Josh Dawsey, Darren Samuelsohn, and Tara Palmeri, Politico

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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