Tea Party Patriots Action Weekly Report from Washington for 01/13/20
The House and Senate will both return Monday. The House will stay in session through Thursday, but the Senate may stay in session later, depending on whether or not an impeachment trial begins.
LAST WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:
The House came back on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the House passed a bill under Suspension of the Rules.
On Thursday, the House took up H. Con. Res. 83, directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran. The resolution passed by a vote of 224-194. We’ll talk about that more in a moment. Then the House passed a bill under Suspension of the Rules.
On Friday, the House took up H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act. After considering a number of amendments, the amended bill passed by a vote of 247-159.
And then they were done.
THIS WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:
The House will return Monday, with the first votes set for 6:30 PM. At that time, the House is scheduled to consider eight bills under Suspension of the Rules.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1230, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, and H.J. Res. 76, providing for congressional approval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to “Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability.”
And at some point either Tuesday or Wednesday, I expect the House will be voting on a measure that officially names the House Managers for the impeachment trial and transmits the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate.
LAST WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:
The Senate came back to work last Monday, and voted to invoke cloture on the nomination of Jovita Carranza to be Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
Over the next three days, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the nominations of, and then to confirm, the following people to the following positions:
- Jovita Carranza to be Administrator of the Small Business Administration
- Matthew H. Solomson to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- Eleni Maria Roumel to be a Judge for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- Michael George DeSombre to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Thailand
- Paul J. Ray to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget
In addition, on Thursday, by voice vote, the Senate also confirmed:
- Cynthia Atwood to be a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
- Amanda Wood Lathow to be a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
- Crosby Kemper III to be Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services
And the Majority Leader filed cloture on the nomination of Peter Gaynor to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
And then they were done.
THIS WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:
At 5:30 PM Monday, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote to invoke cloture on the nomination of Peter Gaynor to be Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
And then … at some point, a presidential impeachment trial will begin.
Another week, another waste of seven days waiting for Speaker Pelosi to transmit the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate. By week’s end, it was getting downright funny.
On Thursday morning, for instance, Congressman Adam Smith – a senior Democrat and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee – said on CNN that, “it is time” for Pelosi to forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Within hours, he walked those comments back, saying, “I misspoke this morning. I do believe we should do everything we can to force the Senate to have a fair trial. If the Speaker believes that holding on to the articles for a longer time will help force a fair trial in the Senate, then I wholeheartedly support that decision.” Left unspoken was the final sentence of his plea, “A thousand pardons, Speaker Pelosi, and please release my wife and children.”
On the Republican side of the aisle, Texas freshman Congressman Chip Roy filmed and then tweeted a short video clip of himself walking from the House chamber to the Senate chamber to remind Speaker Pelosi and show the rest of us just how short the walk is. From one side of the Capitol dome to the other took him less than two minutes.
By Friday, Speaker Pelosi was folding her cards, telling her caucus that she was getting ready to set up a vote on the House floor to name the House Managers and send the articles to the Senate. She said she would discuss that at a party caucus to take place on Tuesday, indicating a Tuesday afternoon or evening vote, which would allow her to transmit the articles to the Senate either Tuesday evening or Wednesday during the day.
Conveniently, that schedule works out nicely for the Democratic National Committee, which just happens to be hosting a presidential debate on Tuesday evening in Iowa. By holding on to the articles of impeachment until Tuesday or Wednesday, Pelosi allows the scheduled debate to go off as planned, and none of the five Democratic presidential wannabes who still hold seats in the United States Senate will have to miss that debate for an impeachment trial.
What made all of this so truly ridiculous was that as early as Tuesday of last week, Majority Leader McConnell had announced that he had the votes necessary to pass a rules package for the impeachment trial without need of any Democrat votes. That is, he had successfully worked to convince at least 50 of his fellow Republican Senators that they should pass essentially the same rules package that governed the 1999 impeachment trial of Bill Clinton – a rules package, I would point out, that won the vote of then-freshman Democrat Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer.
So much for the Speaker’s so-called “leverage.”
On Thursday, the House took up H. Con. Res. 83, a concurrent resolution citing the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to restrict the president’s use of military force in or against Iran. As a concurrent resolution, it does not require the president’s signature, and it has no force of law. It is the legislative equivalent of a burp. Yet Democrats behaved as if they were binding and gagging President Trump.
As discussed earlier, the bill passed by a vote of 224-194. Eight Democrats voted against it, while three Republicans crossed party lines to vote for it. The eight Democrats were Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Kendra Horn (OK-05), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Ben McAdams (UT-04), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), and Max Rose (NY-11), while the three Republicans were Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Thomas Massie (KY-04), and Francis Rooney (FL-19).
Rooney is leaving Congress and doesn’t like President Trump, so his vote is understandable. And Massie has long been a non-interventionist, so his vote wasn’t too much of a surprise, either.
But Gaetz’s vote surprised a lot of people. He justifies his vote by pointing out that he got the Rules Committee to adopt an amendment removing an offensive line of text. Speaking on the floor of the House during the debate, he said the resolution “doesn’t criticize the president’s attack on Soleimani. Matter of fact, this resolution doesn’t even say Soleimani’s name in it.” He’s half right. Section 1, paragraph (a), line (1) of the final version of the resolution reads as follows: “The Government of Iran is a leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in a range of destabilizing activities across the Middle East. Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was the lead architect of much of Iran’s destabilizing activities throughout the world.” There’s the use of the general’s name in a sentence right at the very top of the resolution.
JENNY BETH MARTIN/TEA PARTY PATRIOTS:
INVESTIGATING THE INVESTIGATORS: