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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has dismissed another letter by three House Republican chairmen seeking more information related to the hush money probe that could lead to an indictment of former President Donald Trump. "Contrary to the central argument set forth in your letter, this matter does not simply involve local or state interests," the lawmakers wrote. It is not appropriate for Congress to interfere with pending local investigations," Bragg wrote. Their request came after Trump falsely predicted last weekend in a post to his social media platform Truth Social that he would be arrested Tuesday. The Manhattan DA's office then slammed the Republicans on Thursday, arguing they had overstepped with their request.
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, on Sunday called for "extensive public hearings" if the U.S. intelligence community conclusively determines that Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory. The committee is "reviewing the classified information provided," the spokesperson said. "There is a variety of views in the intelligence community. Some elements of the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, some on the other. "But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question."
Senators of both parties voiced frustration after they left a closed-door briefing last week with National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, who declined to show them copies of the classified documents discovered at Trump’s Florida resort and Biden’s office and Delaware home. Haines also declined to discuss the sensitive material, citing ongoing special counsel investigations, according to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who attended the classified briefing. In a joint appearance Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Warner and Rubio called for immediate document oversight. That means we need these documents,” Warner said. Jordan this month announced the committee had opened an investigation into the Obama-era classified documents found in Biden's possession.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday, a White House official confirmed to NBC News, amid Republicans’ debt-ceiling showdown with Democrats. McCarthy first announced that he'll meet Biden this week to discuss the debt ceiling in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” earlier Sunday. The House speaker said Republicans would not allow the U.S. to default and expressed an interest in reaching an agreement with the president. House Republicans have been demanding spending cuts in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling and averting a default on U.S. debt. The White House previously said there won’t be any negotiations, and Congress must allow the government to pay its bills.
WASHINGTON — One way to get Congress to support regulating artificial intelligence is by using it to write a resolution calling for just that. Write a comprehensive congressional resolution generally expressing support for Congress to focus on AI.”The resolution doesn’t specify that it was written using artificial intelligence. And as a member of Congress, I am freaked out by A.I., specifically A.I. Lieu isn’t the first member of Congress to bring artificial intelligence to the House chamber. 34-year-old Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., delivered a speech Wednesday on the House floor written by Chat GPT.
This year, women will hold all four of the top positions on the House and Senate Appropriations committees for the first time in history. “Oftentimes people say, you know, ‘We need to have women at the table.’ Well, women are the table.”Spending and debt fights loomOver the decades, these women have seen their share of spending fights. But I’m absolutely convinced that we have to stand together,” said Granger, who last week became the first female Republican to chair the House Appropriations Committee. Women, Murray said, are good communicators, and she and her colleagues can translate a big, complicated appropriations bill for everyday Americans. But as a 14-year House Appropriations staffer, she also intimately knows each of the top appropriators and recognizes the significance of this glass-ceiling-shattering moment.
WASHINGTON — House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., on Sunday asked for the release of visitors logs from President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware in a letter to White House chief of staff Ron Klain. “Given the serious national security implications, the White House must provide the Wilmington residence’s visitor log,” Comer wrote in the letter to Klain. The former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was searched by the FBI last year after multiple attempts to obtain classified documents. The president is cooperating with the Justice Department and National Archives amid the discovery of the classified documents, she said. "He showed no interest in investigating the far more serious situation with about 100 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago with evidence in the public domain of obstruction.
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., was briefly hospitalized Friday night after she and her husband were hit by a car in Portland, according to her spokesperson. Natalie Crofts, Bonamici's communications director, said in a statement shared to Twitter that the incident occurred as the lawmaker and her husband, Michael Simon, were walking across a street after leaving an event. A woman turned into Bonamici and her husband "at low speed and knocked them down," according to Portland police. Bonamici was treated at a hospital for a concussion and laceration to her head while Simon was treated for minor injuries, Crofts said. The lawmaker is a leader on the Education and Labor Committee and chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human services.
Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Mike Rogers, R-Ala., on Sunday publicly resolved their differences after tensions boiled over on the House floor late Friday night during the votes for House speaker. Rogers was physically restrained after he charged towards Gaetz. After Gaetz voted present in the 14th ballot, McCarthy approached Gaetz in the back of the chamber, where a tense exchange occurred, a number of Republican lawmakers crowding them. Rogers, the incoming chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee, then walked over and appeared to lunge in the direction of Gaetz, but was physically restrained by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., before storming away. McCarthy ultimately gained the votes to secure the speakership in the 15th ballot, when Gaetz and several other McCarthy opponents switched their votes to “present.”
“I’m not telling you we have an agreement,” McCarthy said at one point, according to two people. Share this -Link copiedReporters appear to be live tweeting the GOP conference call Members of the Capitol press corps were live-tweeting what was being said on the House GOP Conference call Friday morning. Share this -Link copied‘I’m not even a congressman’: House lawmakers and staffers can’t function while speaker fight drags on WASHINGTON — There is no speaker of the House. And because of the GOP’s new razor-thin majority, McCarthy can only afford four GOP defections on any speaker vote. If members are not present for votes, it would lower the threshold McCarthy, of California, needs to win a majority and become House speaker.
The House Ways and Means Committee plans to release Donald Trump’s tax returns on Friday, a spokesperson for the Committee said Tuesday. The assortment of six years of the former president's personal returns and some of his business returns are expected to be placed into the Congressional record on Friday as part of the House’s pro-forma session. The clock is ticking for the committee, which will turn over control to Republicans when the new Congress is sworn in next week. The committee obtained the returns in November, following a years-long court fight for the closely-held documents that other presidents have routinely made public for the last four decades. A 39-page report from the Joint Committee on Taxation released last week showed Trump had been paying relatively little in taxes, including paying only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and none in 2020.
Ali Alexander said he believed White House wanted him to lead rallygoers to Capitol "Stop The Steal" organizer Ali Alexander believed the White House wanted him to lead attendees of Trump's Jan. 6 rally to the Capitol, the report said. Alex Jones, who has claimed the White House told him to lead the march, texted Wren at 12:27 p.m. Finally one of the staffers told Trump they thought he should focus on his speech. Trump told Jan. 6 demonstrators at the Capitol in a Twitter video that he loved them but that they should go home. The information was expected to be available as soon as Thursday — the day the House Jan. 6 committee is set to issue its final report on the riot.
Share this -Link copied'It's too much for me': Zelenskyy begins speech by thanking U.S. Zelenskyy began his remarks before a joint meeting of Congress at 7:40 p.m. "I think we share the exact same vision, that of a free, independent and prosperous Ukraine," Biden said. The Ukrainian president added that the soldier told him that "many (of) his brothers, this system saved." President Joe Biden holds a medal presented to him by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Oval Office. Share this -Link copiedPhoto: Zelenskyy shakes hands with Biden as he arrives President Joe Biden welcomes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the White House.
Refugee advocates and veterans accused Congress of abandoning Afghans who fled to the U.S. after a bill designed to resolve the legal status of tens of thousands of Afghan refugees was left out of a year-end spending bill. The Afghan refugees were granted a two-year temporary “humanitarian parole,” which has left them in legal limbo and unable to work. The bill would have granted Afghan refugees a pathway to permanent legal residency before their parole expires. To address concerns raised by some Republican lawmakers, sponsors of the bill added language to ensure the Afghan refugees undergo thorough security vetting by U.S. authorities. But the proposal failed to win support from 10 Republican senators needed to add it to the omnibus spending package.
WASHINGTON — Officials in Washington are preparing for a possible visit from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday, according to five sources familiar with the planning. Zelenskyy could address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening, three sources said. A European official also familiar with the planning confirmed that preparations are underway for a potential visit Wednesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested members attend Wednesday's session in person in a letter to colleagues Tuesday. Weeks after the war got underway in March, Zelenskyy made an emotional virtual address to Congress asking for support with more aggressive measures to curb the conflict.
WASHINGTON — Democrats are grappling with how to handle a potential re-election bid by newly minted independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, fearing that a three-way battle could split their voters and throw the race to Republicans in Arizona. Asked how the DSCC should handle a possible Sinema 2024 run, Sinema's Arizona colleague, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, “I haven’t given that any thought." Schumer said he has granted Sinema’s request to preserve her committee assignments through the Democratic Party, meaning the 51-49 partisan organization of the chamber won’t change. She wouldn’t say if Democrats should back her but said her working relationship with Sinema won’t change. Prior to her party switch, Sinema had stronger relationships with Republican senators than just about any Democrat.
But first: The results from five counties will help tell us if Democrat Raphael Warnock is on track to win tonight’s Senate runoff in Georgia. Warnock got 56.9% of the vote in Cobb when he won the Jan. 2021 runoff, and he got just under that last November (56.8%). And in Gwinnett, Warnock got 60.6% of the vote in the 2021 runoff, compared with 58.9% last month against Walker. In rural Chattooga — one of NBC News’ “County to County” counties — Warnock got just 20.5% when he won the 2021 runoff, and he got less than that in the November general election (19.8%). Data Download: The number of the day is … $7.79 billionThat’s how much money was spent on political television, radio and digital ads this entire cycle (starting the day after the 2021 Georgia Senate runoff through today’s runoff), per AdImpact.
WASHINGTON — Congress could soon end the military's Covid-19 vaccine mandate. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Monday the administration is aware that Congress is considering repealing the mandate, noting that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin opposes such a move. Austin instituted the vaccine mandate, which applies to all service members on active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard, in August 2021. Republicans have been highly critical of the mandate and the repeal legislation has long been in the works by Republicans on both the House and Senate Armed Services Committee. The bill is unrelated to a separate pressure campaign by some Republican senators, who last week said they would drag out passage of the NDAA unless the vaccine mandate was repealed.
WASHINGTON — The Senate reached an agreement Thursday to hold votes aimed at avoiding an economically catastrophic rail strike, one day after the House approved such a measure. The Senate typically takes days of procedural votes to pass a bill, but lawmakers reached unanimous agreement in this case to vote within minutes. In the Senate, the first two votes are expected to fail, and the House deal is expected to pass. The president said he’ll continue to fight for paid leave after the agreement is approved by Congress and a rail strike is averted. “We’re going to avoid the rail strike, keep the rails running, keep things moving, and we’re gonna go back and we’re gonna get paid leave not just for rail workers, but for all workers.”
WASHINGTON — Several Republicans are warning they will drag out Senate consideration of a massive military policy bill unless they get a vote on ending a Covid vaccination mandate for service members. The senators’ threat could delay final passage of the annual bill, which Congress has consistently passed, but it would not prevent the Senate from eventually voting on the legislation. It is insane.”The other GOP senators calling for a vaccination vote are Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah and Mike Braun of Indiana. The Biden administration has had a mixed record on Covid vaccination mandates in court. The proposal put forth by the seven GOP senators is unlikely to get a vote without the support of Senate Republican leaders.
Sen. Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican, has formed a campaign to run for governor in 2024, according to paperwork filed Tuesday. The development, first reported by Politico, had been expected for months, with Braun hinting hard that he was interested in the race. The state's other GOP senator, Todd Young, was re-elected by a convincing margin this month. In a statement Wednesday morning, Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl greeted Braun's candidacy with derision. "As a so-called businessman, Mike Braun has done very little to improve Indiana as a U.S. senator and he surely won’t do it as governor," Schmuhl said.
WASHINGTON — House lawmakers are poised to pass legislation Wednesday to avert a catastrophic rail strike that President Joe Biden warned could threaten the U.S. economy just weeks before Christmas. “At a time of record profits in the rail industry, it’s unacceptable that rail workers have ZERO guaranteed paid sick days,” Sanders tweeted. “It’s my intention to block consideration of the rail legislation until a roll call vote occurs on guaranteeing 7 paid sick days to rail workers in America.”Other progressives also wouldn’t commit to back the rail proposal. But the House will also vote separately on a bill that would add seven days of paid sick leave to the deal. Biden "is confident that we will not have a rail strike.
Congress last month approved $12 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine, but the package being contemplated would be dramatically larger, the sources said. The amount would be enough “to make sure [Ukraine] can get through the year,” a Republican senator with knowledge of the matter told NBC News. Congress has allocated a total of $65 billion in funding to Ukraine since Russia attacked the country in February. “They don’t want to deal with it next year,” said Vajdich, a former Republican congressional staffer. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a staunch supporter of military aid to Ukraine, said last month that he had discussed the issue with McCarthy and that he agreed other countries need to do more to assist Ukraine.
“Collectively, we represent the backbone of an American economy facing tremendous workforce challenges as a result of the pandemic. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that DACA was illegal but allowed more than 600,000 current DACA recipients to keep their status while a lower court reviewed a new DACA rule the Biden administration put forward. He is predicted to rule against the new DACA rule ultimately, because he found its previous iteration illegal. “Tragically, the 5th Circuit and courts have made it clear that not only did they rule the current DACA rule is illegal, but the new DACA rule will be illegal, too,” said Todd Schulte, the president and executive director of FWD.US, a group that has advocated for DACA to continue. “Now, no one trusts Democrats of the Biden administration to actually enforce the law and crack down on illegal immigration.
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to move forward with funding the government through mid-December ahead of a Friday deadline to avert a shutdown. The short-term funding measure includes money for Ukraine aid, Afghan resettlement, parolees and security enhancements for U.S. courts, among other provisions. Republicans, still angry about Manchin's vote for the Democrats-only bill in August, credibly threatened to tank the government funding bill if his permitting measure was tacked on. During the Senate vote, Manchin reached out to Republicans to discuss restarting negotiations over a permitting package, including Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Cassidy said. "The fact that Joe traded his vote for permitting reform doesn’t make permitting reform any less of a noble venture," Cramer said.
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