Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Body-Slamming Congressman Made False Statements to Police

November 29, 2017

Body-Slamming Congressman Made False Statements to Police

Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte of Montana, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for slamming a reporter to the ground and punching him during his election campaign, made false statements to police during the investigation of the attack, newly-released documents show. The reporter, Ben Jacobs of the Guardian, questioned the candidate about the CBO analysis of a House healthcare bill, and got screaming and assault as an answer and, although the attack was witnessed by an astonished Fox News crew, Mr. Gianforte blamed the reporter, an account he gave to police but later contradicted in court.

The day after the attack, Greg Gianforte was elected to the House. After all, Montana voters had already elected a dangerously impulsive rich guy who hates the media and press freedom to the White House, so adding another one to Congress was a reflex.

More:

“Rep. Gianforte’s account to police on assault of reporter appears to contradict his later apology,” Ellie Silverman, Washington Post

“Greg Gianforte misled police after assault of Guardian journalist, incident report shows,” Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

“Montana Congressman Who Assaulted Reporter Lied to Police About It,” Benjamin Hart, New York Magazine

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Congress Puts Millions of Children at Risk

November 2, 2017

Congress Puts Millions of Children at Risk

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to poor children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The federal government provides matching funds to help almost 9 million poor children get medical care.

Until now. Congress let CHIP funding lapse over a month ago, and state governments are running out of money. Apparently the GOP is holding the health of millions of poor children hostage in an attempt to weasel out of more ACA requirements.

More:

“States prepare to shut down children’s health programs if Congress doesn’t act,” Colby Itkowitz and Sandhya Somashekhar, 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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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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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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Which Health Care Bill Will the Senate Vote On, Anyway?

July 24, 2017

Which Health Care Bill Will the Senate Vote On, Anyway?
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for a Senate vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), but it’s not clear just which GOP bill will be considered. Will it be:

One thing is clear: whether it’s Door #1, #2, or #3, the deal will cut taxes for the rich and increase premiums for anyone who still has health insurance.

More:

“Everyone is confused about the health care vote — including Republican senators,” Tara Golshan, Vox

“The Republicans Have Three Health Care Bills And No Clear Paths Forward,” Anna Maria Barry-Jester, FiveThirtyEight

“Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have,’  Joe Williams and Lauren Clason, Roll Call

“Ahead of key vote, details of GOP health bill still unknown,” Hope Yen, Associated Press

“Senate Republicans don’t know what’s in their health bill or what it would do. They’re voting anyway.” Dylan Scott, Vox

“Trump makes veiled threat to GOP on Obamacare,” Rebecca Morin, Politico

Related:

“Parts of Senate GOP Health Care Bill Break Rules, Parliamentarian Says,” Mary Ellen McIntire, Roll Call

“Mixed signals from Trump White House on health care strategy,” Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Ken Thomas, Associated Press

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McConnell: GOP Wants a Health Care Time Bomb

July 18, 2017

McConnell: GOP Wants a Health Care Time Bomb
The GOP’s murderous senate health bill flatlined on Monday, but there’s a Republican Plan B. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will introduce a measure that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) in two years.

That’s it. No alternative plan to replace it.

Your health insurance will self-destruct at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2019.

More:

“McConnell’s ‘nuclear option’ after health care failure,” Mike Allen Jonathan Swan, Axios

“Republican senator announces no vote on ObamaCare repeal: ‘I did not come to Washington to hurt people,'” The Week

“Dem senator: ObamaCare repeal without replacement would be ‘humanitarian disaster,’” Aida Chavez, The Hill

“McConnell Obamacare repeal plan already taking fire from Republicans,” Daniella Diaz and Ted Barrett, CNN

“’Repeal and delay’: McConnell’s new, risky health care plan, explained,” Sarah Kliff, Vox

UPDATE:

“GOP’s repeal-only plan quickly collapses in Senate,” Jessie Hellmann and Jordain Carney, The Hill

Related:

“House GOP Budget Plan Cuts Medicare and Social Security,” Priscilla Alvarez, The Atlantic

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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 obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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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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H.R. 2884: The COVFEFE Act

June 14, 2017

H.R.2884: The COVFEFE Act
Congressman Mike Quigley (D, IL-05) has introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or “COVFEFE” Act, H.R.2884. It would amend the Presidential Records Act ( Sec. 2201, Title 44 USC) to include social media, ensuring preservation of presidential tweets. It has been referred to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The bill’s short title was provided by Donald Trump in a well-known tweet, since deleted.  Since Mr. Trump’s is the first Twitter Presidency, that deletion illustrates the need for such legislation, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer has already observed that the president’s tweets are official White House statements.

More:

“Remember covfefe? It might become a law about presidential records.” Carly Sitrin, Vox

“COVFEFE Act would make social media a presidential record,” Joe Uchill, The Hill

“The Covfefe Act Has A Silly Name — But It Addresses A Real Quandary,” Laurel Wamsley, NPR

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

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The Senate’s Secret Medicine

June 13, 2017

Last month the House of Representatives sent a critically-ill healthcare bill to the Senate emergency room, where the men of the Senate GOP Group Medical Practice are still performing secret surgery on it. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is cautiously optimistic about the bill’s condition. If you want to know details about the senate version of the American Health Care Act, you’ll have to wait until it comes up for a vote on Senate floor.

Wait. Won’t senators be able to examine the proposed legislation and offer amendments during hearings?

We don’t need no stinkin’ hearings, says Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R – UT), That way the bill can pass the Senate with a simple majority, not the usual two-thirds vote.

In the video above, Senator Claire McCaskill (D- MO) responds to the GOP’s diagnosis with a second opinion.

More:

“The Senate’s three tools on health care: Sabotage, speed and secrecy,” Andy Slavitt, Washington Post

Update:

“Conservatives near revolt on Senate health care negotiations,” Burgess Everett, Politico

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