House of Representatives

Schiff Says Nunes Gave Trump Edited Memo

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claimed late Wednesday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) shared with President Trump an edited version of the Republican-crafted memo alleging abuse of United States surveillance powers by the Justice Department, The Hill reports.

Said Schiff: “Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release.”

Brady Will Not Run Again

Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA) will not run for re-election, WPVI-TV reports.

“His attorney tells us the decision is not related to the corruption charges filed against two of his aides last year.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “Brady’s announcement is guaranteed to shake up the city: It could reduce the political clout of Philadelphia’s delegation, which besides Brady includes two congressmen with little to no seniority, in an election year in which many observers think Democrats could take back control of the U.S. House.”

Train Carrying Lawmakers Hit a Truck

“A train carrying members of Congress to their legislative retreat in West Virginia, hit a truck Wednesday,” CNN reports.

“One GOP source was unsure how many members of Congress were on the train or how many people were injured, but said there were injuries.”

Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times tweets: “Fortunately there is on the scene an entire trainload of experts in administering ‘thoughts and prayers.'”

Gosar Calls for Arrest of Undocumented SOTU Guests

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) announced on Twitter that he has asked the U.S. Capitol Police to check the identification of all State of the Union attendees and arrest any “illegal” immigrants.

Said Gosar: “Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.”

Ryan Calls for ‘Cleanse’ of the FBI

Speaker Paul Ryan called to “cleanse” the FBI as he openly backed the release of a controversial memo that purportedly details alleged surveillance abuses by the U.S. government, Fox News reports.

Said Ryan: “Let it all out, get it all out there. Cleanse the organization.”

He added: “I think we should disclose all this stuff. It’s the best disinfectant. Accountability, transparency — for the sake of the reputation of our institutions.”

House GOP Votes to Release Secret Memo on Russia Probe

“Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, disregarding Justice Department warnings that their actions would be ‘extraordinarily reckless,’ voted Monday evening to release a contentious secret memorandum said to accuse the department and the F.B.I. of misusing their authority to obtain a secret surveillance order on a former Trump campaign associate,” the New York Times reports.

“The vote, made along party lines, threw fuel on an already fiery partisan conflict over the investigations into Russia’s brazen meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans invoked a power never before used by the secretive committee to effectively declassify the memo that they had compiled.”

Washington Post: “The committee also voted along party lines against releasing a rebuttal memo from Democrats, who denounced both moves upon leaving the closed-door hearing.”

BuzzFeed News: Here’s what the memo is all about.

Frelinghuysen Won’t Run Again

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced that he will not seek reelection, The Hill reports.

President Trump won the district in 2016 by just one percentage point, 49% to 48%.

Cook Political Report: “The burden of proof will be on Republicans to unite around a new nominee and catch up with Democrats in a very challenging political environment. For now, we’re keeping this open seat in the Toss Up column, but Democrats may now be ever-so-slight favorites.”

Meehan Ignored Advice Against Interviews

Rep. Patrick Meehan’s (R-PA) “decision to do wrenching interviews with nine news outlets Tuesday bucked the advice of congressional and campaign aides who argued against it,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Usually cautious in his public comments and often clumsy in his syntax, the Delaware County Republican also declined offers to help prepare for the high-pressure interviews… By the end of it, Meehan’s own words — especially his use of the phrase soul mate to describe the younger aide who had accused him of harassment — turned the story from another Washington scandal into a viral moment ridiculed on cable news and late-night talk shows.”

Gridlock Worsens Under Trump

“As lawmakers recover from a dispiriting government shutdown and prepare for President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Capitol Hill is absorbed with concern that Mr. Trump’s presidency has pushed an already dysfunctional Congress into a near-permanent state of gridlock that threatens to diminish American democracy itself,” the New York Times reports.

“The sense of gloom is bipartisan. A group of Republicans in the House and the Senate are warning of a secret plot in the F.B.I. to overthrow the Trump government. Democrats speak of corruption and creeping authoritarianism, unchecked by a Congress that has turned into an adjunct of the executive.”

“And few lawmakers can muster a word of pride in their institution.“

Trump’s Stooge

The Fresno Bee, the largest newspaper in Rep. Devin Nunes’s (R-CA) district, ripped the GOP lawmaker in a scathing editorial:

What, pray tell, does Rep. Devin Nunes think he’s doing by waving around a secret memo attacking the FBI, the nation’s premier law enforcement agency?

He certainly isn’t representing his Central Valley constituents or Californians, who care much more about health care, jobs and, yes, protecting Dreamers than about the latest conspiracy theory.

Instead, he’s doing dirty work for House Republican leaders trying to protect President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation.

Kennedy Will Deliver State of the Union Response

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), a rising star in the Democratic Party, will deliver the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union on Tuesday, Politico reports.

“Kennedy is a closely watched member of the House Democratic Caucus, not only because of his famous last name, but for his future ambitions. Many Democrats expect Kennedy to follow in the footsteps of his elders and run for Senate when a seat opens in Massachusetts.”

Republicans Say Meehan Will Have to Step Aside

“Pennsylvania Republicans increasingly believe Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), the latest elected official to be tarnished by a sexual harassment claim, will not be able to run for reelection this fall — and it’s now a question of whether he resigns or declares this to be his last term,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“One, who has been in touch with Meehan’s congressional aides, said the Delaware County Republican is being walked through his dim political prospects and weighing his next step, but that a departure is all-but certain.”