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News: Senior House Republican leaders are deeply skeptical about putting a resolution on the floor to expunge the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump, according to several sources close to the matter.
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) introduced a symbolic resolution last week that would expunge the January 2021 impeachment “as if such Article had never passed the full House of Representatives.”
This comes despite the fact that Trump remains under criminal investigation by special counsel Jack Smith over his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy has expressed some support for the expungement idea. Yet several sources in the Republican leadership told us that they don’t know whether there are the votes to pass the measure.
To start with, Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.) both voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection. Taking up this resolution would put them in a very difficult political predicament, to say the least.
Then there are a host of Republican lawmakers in districts that President Joe Biden won in 2020. To these vulnerable GOP lawmakers, such theatrics open them up to a no-win scenario. If they vote to expunge, the Republicans will look like they’re involved in some Trump-centric score settling. If they oppose the measure, they risk coming under heavy criticism by Trump loyalists.
Some Republican moderates have already voiced displeasure publicly with the expungement push, dismissing it as a waste of time.
Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told CNN’s Manu Raju last week that he wouldn’t vote for the resolution. “Not at this point, no,” Bacon said. “It sounds a little bit weird to me.”
“It is what it is, it happened,” Bacon added, meaning the Jan. 13, 2021, House impeachment vote.
Yet this episode neatly encapsulates the House Republican Conference in 2023. It’s a constant tug-of-war between moderates looking to govern and hardline conservatives looking to score political points or settle grievances — especially those involving Trump.
Stefanik and Greene’s resolution includes a number of misleading claims about the 2020 election and glides over Trump’s role in inciting the insurrection, which was covered in extraordinary detail by the Jan. 6 select committee.
But the resolution also notes there were no hearings held as part of the impeachment process, with only a Democratic staff report on hand as members voted. The floor vote took place only two days after the impeachment resolution was introduced. Then Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats wanted to hold the vote before Trump left office due to the unprecedented nature of the insurrection.
The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump, although seven GOP senators voted for his conviction and exclusion from federal office.
Greene and Stefanik also have another non-binding resolution that would expunge Trump’s 2019 impeachment as well.
As we reported on Monday, McCarthy is moving toward impeaching Attorney General Merrick Garland or Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, or maybe even both. Those efforts seem to have more support across a broad spectrum of House Republicans than expunging Trump’s impeachments.
Yet a new problem for pro-Trump House Republicans emerged on Monday after CNN’s Jeremy Herb obtained a copy of the Trump audio recording from the classified documents scandal.
Trump also said he hadn’t declassified the document in question, undermining his public claims to the contrary. “See, as president I could have declassified it. Now I can’t … Isn’t that interesting? It’s so cool,” Trump said.
The recording is a key piece of evidence in the criminal case against Trump by the Justice Department. It is prominently mentioned in the 37-count indictment of the former president.
— Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
New! Join us on Thursday, July 27 at 8:45 a.m. ET for Investing in Small Business: Conversation with Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas). This conversation is the first in a two-part series presented by the American Investment Council and will focus on the role of private capital and private credit in supporting small businesses, jobs and the economy. RSVP now.
PRESENTED BY META
With the metaverse, you will be able to visit grandma’s past.
Grandchildren will be able to walk through grandma’s 1950s childhood alongside her. Using the metaverse will help new generations better understand their family’s history.
The metaverse may be virtual, but the impact will be real.
THE MAJORITY MAKERS
The vulnerable Republican who isn’t keen to bash the Freedom Caucus
Recently, chaos has been the name of the game in the House of Representatives.
Hardline GOP conservatives brought the House floor to a standstill over their displeasure with the debt-limit compromise between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden. They’ve also introduced a privileged motion to impeach Biden and have pressed party leaders to ramp up investigations into an array of senior administration officials while seeking to remove them from office.
So what does a vulnerable Republican like freshman Rep. John Duarte (Calif.), who won in 2022 by just under 600 votes, make of all this?
In Duarte’s eyes, the partisan rancor may actually serve as an impetus for bipartisanship.
“These aren’t giant distractions. To me, they’re silly. But it’s not a big deal,” Duarte said when we asked about the events of recent weeks. “As one group of members starts to create a bit of chaos over here, it creates an incentive over here to do more bipartisan bills.”
We wondered how Duarte — whose San Joaquin Valley-area seat voted for Biden by 11 points in 2020 — viewed the huge amount of attention given to impeachment, investigations and censures. Is this helpful for his reelection?
Duarte insisted the recent events haven’t shaken his focus on his district. And Duarte added he doesn’t “want to blow up the Freedom Caucus” because “one individual over there jumps the gun on wanting to impeach Biden, for her own personal issues, when that kind of thing — if it does need to be done — needs to be done more carefully.”
And interestingly for a member in a district Biden won handily in 2020, Duarte is willing to acknowledge he shares a political philosophy with the party’s far-right members.
In a fiscal sense, “I’m not that far from a lot of these Freedom Caucus guys,” Duarte told us.
“I do believe the government is too big and is taking too much power. It has too much arbitrary control over us as individuals,” Duarte added, while saying he views himself as a moderate on social issues.
Duarte, a farmer-turned-businessman who sells trees and vines, has had an eventful first six months in Congress. The California Republican — who never held public office before winning a House seat — was one of just two GOP members to vote against the party’s sweeping border security package this spring. Duarte strongly disagreed with the expansion of E-Verify in the bill that he claimed would have “pushed many of the working families in my district further into the shadows.”
But while some freshmen may have been uneasy about saying no to leadership, Duarte told us “that was actually an easy vote for me.”
“I want to stand up for my district and show them — and then surely show the other side of the aisle — there’s somebody over here that wants to do a comprehensive border bill,” Duarte said.
After that vote, Duarte said he received outreach from several members on both sides looking to work on an immigration reform and border security compromise.
Duarte said his background as a farmer is relevant to his agriculture-heavy constituency, who care deeply about water access and immigration reform.
For Democrats, their path to the majority next year runs straight through Duarte’s district and the 17 other GOP seats that Biden won in 2020.
DCCC spokesperson Viet Shelton blasted Duarte as a self-serving businessman with “a long and notorious record of lining his own pockets at the expense of the workers who helped build his business.”
Duarte said he’s used to the political jabs and tries to tune out the attack ads. That will be no easy feat in what may prove to be one of the country’s most expensive House races next fall.
“I’m in a freshman class with five Navy SEALs, one Green Beret and a nuclear submarine engineer, plus four military aviators. Those are real heroes,” Duarte said. “If I’m going to take a few negative radio ads, or television commercials or silly billboards, I don’t really care. It’s not a big deal.”
— Max Cohen
Kelly, Kim partner on maternal health issues
A bipartisan consensus on improving maternal health care is emerging on Capitol Hill at a time when the issue of women’s reproductive rights has deeply divided the nation.
Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Young Kim (R-Calif.), the co-chairs of the Maternity Care Caucus, are championing two new bipartisan bills as they seek to show that Congress is united in the need to address the nation’s maternal mortality crisis.
“We want to make sure that there is enough quality health care that is available for mothers, moms to-be, the babies and the families that take care of them,” Kim told us. “These are all resources that we know we can work on and make it available for them.”
Kelly, along with Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), recently introduced legislation to authorize federal funding to “sustain the health of mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.”
This month, Kim partnered with Democratic Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (Wash.) to sponsor a bill that would provide funding for pregnant and postpartum women suffering from substance abuse disorders.
It’s not clear when the bills will be marked up but the proposals — and a plethora of similar measures — show Congress recognizes the urgency in addressing a problem that sets the United States apart from other high-income countries.
About 1,205 women died of maternal causes in the United States in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a startling 40% increase from the 861 deaths in 2020. In 2019, 754 women died of maternal causes.
The death of U.S. track and field star Tori Bowie in May highlighted the country’s dismal record for pregnant and postpartum women, especially African American women.
“The United States ranks very poorly in maternal mortality,” Kelly said. “For Black women, it doesn’t matter if you’re educated, if you have money or anything, they still die more. So I think, in the system, there’s racism. We have to do better.”
And this is an area where Republicans and Democrats have been able to find some consensus, even as the fight over abortion access on Capitol Hill and across the country intensifies.
Both Kelly and Kim bring unique perspectives on maternity health. Kim said her experience as a South Korean immigrant allows her to understand how the healthcare system can fail people from different backgrounds.
“As an Asian American, I know that there are resources available,” Kim said. “But they are not getting it to the right people that need it because of the difficulty of understanding what the needs are.”
Maternal health issues personally affected Kim’s family when her daughter lost a child due to miscarriage. “The only answer she got from the doctors is, ‘It’s so common in your generation,’” Kim recounted. “So what is making it so common? We want to get to the bottom of it.”
As chairs of the caucus, Kelly and Kim have sought answers on the implementation and effectiveness of a national maternal care hotline. “I want to make sure that those are available in the languages that our maternal moms can access,” Kim said.
A major aspect of the caucus’ work is improving awareness of the high rates of maternal mortality in the United States.
“I didn’t know before I came to Congress that it was such an issue,” Kelly said. “I even know other doctors and other fields didn’t realize that it was as much of a problem.”
“My son just turned 39 and it was safer for me to have my child than it is for them to have their children,” Kelly said. “There’s something wrong with that when you think about that.”
— Max Cohen
PRESENTED BY META
Former Navy SEAL Officer Tim Sheehy is running for Senate in Montana, he announced this morning. Sheehy, of course, will challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in the deep-red state. Former President Donald Trump won the state by 16 percentage points in 2020.
Sheehy is a big get for establishment Republicans, who have been encouraging him to run in a bid to fend off hardline candidates that could dim Republicans’ chances of taking back the Senate next year. NRSC Chair Steve Daines has already endorsed Sheehy, per the Wall Street Journal.
Still, conservative Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) is signaling he plans to run again for the Senate seat despite losing to Tester in 2018.
— Heather Caygle
Advanced Micro Devices, the chip giant, has signed up Mehlman Consulting to lobby on “[i]ssues involving the technology industry, including the design of semiconductors.”
PRE LLC, which does business as Pangiam, has registered to lobby. Pangiam has, among other things, facial recognition technology. Andrew Meehan, DHS’ former assistant secretary in charge of public affairs, will lobby on “[i]ssues affecting the facilitation of international and domestic travel, including the Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration. Issues related to homeland security and border security.”
— Jake Sherman
PRESENTED BY META
10 a.m.: President Joe Biden will get his daily intelligence briefing.
1 p.m.: Olivia Dalton will brief.
4:10 p.m.: Biden will leave the White House for Chevy Chase, Md., where he will attend a fundraiser.
7:30 p.m.: Biden will leave Chevy Chase for the White House.
“Banks Face Growing Capital Scrutiny With Stress Tests Up First,” by Jennifer Surane and Hannah Levitt
“Sequoia Made a Fortune Investing in the U.S. and China. Then It Had to Pick One,” by Kate O’Keeffe, Berber Jin and Aruna Viswanatha
“No more sleepy Senate: Schumer seeks to jump-start agenda,” by Burgess Everett
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.
PRESENTED BY META
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People will be able to use augmented reality to explore Viking era settlements–helping them see, feel and fully experience what life was like.
The metaverse may be virtual, but the impact will be real.
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