David Wasserman: “When President Trump took office in January 2017, there were 241 Republicans in the House. Since then, 115 (48%) have either retired, resigned, been defeated or are retiring in 2020.”
Politico: “Criticizing Trump is not new for Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican. But she has increasingly called out Trump over his foreign policy decisions and leadership during the coronavirus crisis — a risky move in today’s GOP, where any break with Trump can fuel a primary challenge or nasty Twitter tirade from the president.”
“But Cheney’s found a balancing act that few Republicans have been able to achieve. And as the prospect of a post-Trump GOP begins to come into view, her relative independence from the president could position her for another rapid rise in party leadership.”
“Democrats see a boycott motivated by partisan politics. Republicans argue they have legitimate security concerns,” Politico reports.
“Either way, GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee have skipped all but one of the panel’s proceedings, public and private, since before Congress went into its coronavirus-lockdown in early March. And that impasse shows no signs of ending, even as the panel takes up issues like China, Covid-19 and the annual intelligence policy bill.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), and five other members of the House Judiciary Committee, unveiled a rule change Monday to formalize and expand Congress’ power of “inherent contempt” — its authority to unilaterally punish anyone who defies a subpoena for testimony or documents, Politico reports.
“The House’s select committee on the coronavirus crisis will not recognize members who do not wear a mask while in session, Chair James Clyburn (D-SC) told his Republican colleagues in a letter sent Monday,” Axios reports.
“The move comes after every Republican in the committee did not wear a mask at last Friday’s hearing, despite being warned to do so prior to the meeting.”
“For the first time since the establishment of the District of Columbia 230 years ago, the House of Representatives voted to declare the city as the nation’s 51st state, a legislative milestone that supporters say begins to right historic wrongs,” the Washington Post reports.
Every House Republican voted against the bill, and one Democratic congressman — Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) — also voted “no.”
CNN: Why D.C. should (and should not) be a state.
“There’s not one single conversation between a Democratic member and a Republican member in order to achieve a bipartisan bill in the House. At this moment of a presidential election year, a divided America, an economy in chaos, the health crisis, and layer on top of that we can’t physically be with one another to work things out, it makes the outcome this screwed up and awful.”
— Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), quoted by Politico.
“The Trump administration is quietly discussing whether to end a process for congressional review that has allowed lawmakers from both parties to block weapons sales to foreign governments over humanitarian concerns, according to current and former administration officials and congressional aides. The move could quickly advance sales of bombs to Saudi Arabia, among other deals,” the New York Times reports.
“If adopted, the change would effectively end congressional oversight over the sale of American weapons and offers of training to countries engaged in wars with high civilian casualties or human rights abuses, and would certainly widen rifts between the administration and Congress.”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is preparing to subpoena Attorney General Bill Barr for his testimony on July 2, Axios reports.
The expected subpoena comes after the firing of Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who had been investigating President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton confirmed the central charge of the House impeachment case against President Trump, telling ABC News that Trump “directly linked” security assistance to Ukraine “with the investigation” of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN that he believes Attorney General William Barr deserves to be impeached, but that pursuing it would be a “waste of time” because of the Republican-controlled Senate.
Said Nader: “I don’t think calls for his impeachment are premature any more than calls for the President’s impeachment were premature, but they are a waste of time at this point.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed the Clerk of the House to remove portraits of four former speakers who served in the Confederacy, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Speakers: Robert Hunter (1839-1841), Howell Cobb (1849-1851), James Orr (1857-1859), and Charles Crisp (1891-1895).
They will be removed on Juneteenth.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked House committee chairs to enforce mask-wearing in all hearings in a move set to infuriate some Republican members of Congress who have defiantly refused to cover their faces, the Washington Post reports.
Pelosi also authorized the sergeant at arms to refuse entry to anyone who was not wearing a mask.
“House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has chosen June 26 to hold the first floor vote in a generation on D.C. statehood, hoping to harness a national reckoning on race and capitalize on widespread outrage over the federal response to street protests in the nation’s capital,” the Washington Post reports.
“Officials expect legislation making the District the 51st state to pass the House of Representatives with an overwhelming majority of Democrats, which would be a watershed moment for pro-statehood activists and the first time in U.S. history that either chamber of Congress has advanced a statehood bill.”
“However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) strongly opposes D.C. statehood and has said the legislation would not get a vote in the Senate as long as he’s in charge.”
“Federal watchdogs are asking lawmakers for help after Trump administration legal rulings appeared to sharply limit their ability to monitor more than $1 trillion in coronavirus relief programs — including huge payouts to protect businesses threatened by the pandemic,” Politico reports.
“In a two-page letter to several House and Senate committees last week, but disclosed for the first time on Monday, the inspectors general responsible for coronavirus relief oversight said an ‘ambiguity’ in the main coronavirus response law — the CARES Act — allowed administration officials to sharply limit how much of the law’s spending requirements they must collect and report.”
An investigation into whether Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) “had an improper relationship with one of his aides was dropped after it was disclosed that he has been married to the staffer since January 2019,” Politico reports.