House of Representatives

GOP May Cancel August Recess

“Alarmed by the stalemate on healthcare reform, lack of progress on tax reform and appropriations bills that are far behind schedule, Republican lawmakers across Congress are increasingly willing to consider cancelling the month-long August recess,” The Hill reports.

“Senate Republican negotiators reported that they are not close to a deal on healthcare reform and that scheduling a vote by July 4, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has pushed, is likely unrealistic. That impasse has held up work on a budget resolution, which is necessary to move tax reform and the annual appropriations bills.”

“Once Republicans vote on a budget resolution for 2018, it will wipe out the special vehicle they plan to use to pass healthcare reform with a simple majority vote — a vehicle that was set up by the budget resolution for 2017.”

Ryan Insists GOP Agenda Is On Track

Playbook: “Speaker Paul Ryan spent the weekend at the Homestead in Virginia for his annual ‘Team Ryan’ summer outing. His message to K Streeters and donors: the Republican agenda is on track. The Wisconsin Republican laid out his preferred timeline for Obamacare repeal bill, saying that it will be done by mid-summer and tax reform will be completed by the end of the year. Ryan said that he expected the Senate to pass their health care bill before the July 4 recess and that would give House Republicans the rest of July to take action.”

“Ryan said he has been talking to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell daily. Ryan also was bullish on infrastructure, telling the group that a series of infrastructure bills will be passed by the end of the year.”

Scalise Nearly Died Because of Gunshot

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was at “imminent risk of death” when he arrived at a hospital Wednesday after sustaining a gunshot to his hip during baseball practice, CBS News reports.

Said Dr. Jack Sava: “When he arrived, he was in critical condition with an imminent risk of death. He will certainly be in the hospital for a considerable period of time, presumably weeks.”

Politico: Five terrifying minutes on a baseball field.

GOP Lawmaker Shot at Baseball Game

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot at a practice for a congressional baseball game, CNN reports.

“Scalise appears to have been shot in the hip and it appears two Capitol Hill police agents were shot.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told the AP that Scalise “crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood.”

The New York Times reports that about 50 shots were fired.

Pelosi Predicts Trump Will ‘Self-Impeach’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) believes President Trump will “self-impeach” and that Democrats should wait for the Russia investigations — especially special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe — to play out before pushing to remove him from the Oval Office, Politico reports.

“Pelosi’s views are important because while she has publicly dismissed discussions on impeaching Trump, her remarks show she thinks the president will ultimately take some action that will be egregious enough to make it easy for Congress to act.”

Gianforte Sentenced for ‘Body Slamming’ Reporter

Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte (R-MT) admitted a charge of misdemeanor assault for “body slamming” a reporter on the eve of his election, the Billings Gazette reports.

Judge Rick West “ordered Gianforte to complete 20 hours of anger management counseling and 40 hours of community service. He was given a deferred 6-month jail sentence. If he does not violate the conditions of his sentence, the charge will be dismissed.”

August Recess In Jeopardy?

Playbook: “There is a chance Congress will stay in session for part of August. There has been political pressure from some members of the House and Senate to stay in town and try to get some things done instead of take a five-week recess. The pressure will only increase if the Obamacare repeal and replace isn’t done in the next few weeks. Congress has just 27 days in session until the summer break. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise: many lawmakers have had to face angry constituents on trips home.”

Freedom Caucus Wants to Cancel August Recess

Politico: “The House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday night called on Republican leadership to cancel the August recess to continue work on tax reform and other GOP priorities. The group of several dozen conservative hardliners during their weekly meeting took the official position to work through the break, which is quickly drawing near as Republicans scramble to pass President Donald Trump’s agenda.”

Said Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC): “We need to work through August recess to get everything done. We believe that we need to stay through August to get through tax reform… and get our appropriations done.”

Nunes Committee Asked for ‘Unmasking’ of Americans

“The Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee asked U.S. spy agencies late last year to reveal the names of U.S. individuals or organizations contained in classified intelligence on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, engaging in the same practice that President Trump has accused the Obama administration of abusing,” the Washington Post reports.

“The chairman of the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), has since cast the practice of ‘unmasking’ of U.S. individuals and organizations mentioned in classified reports as an abuse of surveillance powers by the outgoing Obama administration.”

House Intelligence Committee Puts Interviews on Hold

“The embattled House investigation into Russia’s election meddling is once again beset by sniping and strategy disagreements, with Democrats now blocking key witness interviews,” Politico reports.

“The House Intelligence Committee, which is exploring allegations of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, was set to interview 10 witnesses this month. But the committee has put the interviews on hold after the panel’s top Democrat objected, the two sources said. A third source said the panel wasn’t yet ready to conduct the interviews, since some of the witnesses have not fully complied with the committee’s requests for documents.”

House Panel Issues Seven Subpoenas in Russia Probe

“The House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas in a sign that its investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election is ramping up in scope and intensity,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Republican-led committee issued four subpoenas related to the Russia investigation. Three others are related to questions about how and why the names of associates of President Trump were unredacted and distributed within classified reports by Obama administration officials during the transition between administrations.”

GOP Leaders Concerned About More Leaks

“House GOP leaders have launched an internal review into how someone secretly recorded and leaked audio of a private 2016 leadership meeting in which Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) jokes about how Russia is paying off Donald Trump,” The Hill reports.

“GOP leadership is currently researching what federal statutes or House rules could be applied to hold the leaker accountable. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has voiced concerns that more audio recordings of sensitive leadership discussions could be leaked.”