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House Judiciary Democrats eye campaign finance measures
FEC member points out need for more commissioners

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., continues to champion his Democracy for All Amendment to the Constitution that would essentially undo the 2010 Citizens United v FEC decision. “The deeply rooted problem of money in politics requires a constitutional amendment,” Deutch said Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal Election Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, in testimony to a House Judiciary subcommittee, tried to draw attention to her agency’s current predicament: It’s lacked enough commissioners for a quorum for more than five months.

“While I know this is not within the House’s purview, the FEC could really use some new commissioners to restore our quorum and let us do our job,” she said during a hearing of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. “So tell your friends.”

Texas Rep. Kay Granger grabs spotlight with tough primary ahead
Granger led effort condemning Pelosi for ripping up Trump's State of the Union text

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, is facing a competitive primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to rip up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on live television enraged House Republicans. But it was Rep. Kay Granger, who once said Trump doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as war veterans, who led the effort to defend the president.

The Texas Republican introduced the resolution condemning Pelosi on Wednesday after talking with Minority Whip Steve Scalise about how “appalled they were by the Speaker’s actions,” according to a person familiar with their thinking who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Interior moves to speed energy development on formerly protected Utah land
Plans pave way for areas removed from national monuments to be made available for logging, drilling, mining

White Canyon in Natural Bridges National Monument, which borders the Bears Ears National Monument outside Blanding, Utah, on June 15, 2019. (George Frey/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump drew the ire of tribes and environmentalists when he issued proclamations in December 2017 significantly reducing the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments, two sites designated by previous Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

[Obama declares Bears Ears national monument while Utah lawmakers pledge fight]

At the Races: Is Iowa over yet?

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

House Democrats shut down GOP attempt to admonish Pelosi over ripping SOTU
Party-line vote tables resolution disapproving of speaker's actions

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats on Thursday backed Speaker Nancy Pelosi in voting to kill a Republican resolution to disapprove of her ripping up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. 

Texas GOP Rep. Kay Granger, who’s facing a competitive primary this cycle, offered the resolution as a question of privilege, which forces the House to consider the measure. Rather than allow an up or down vote, Democratic leaders moved to table the resolution, which effectively kills it.

Watch: Suspicious substance investigated outside Schiff’s office

A Capitol Police officer walks by the Rayburn office of Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., after a suspicious substance was reported on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Trump reined in his style for this year’s State of the Union
Following impeachment, Trump improvised half as much as his previous two years

President Donald Trump prides himself on being extemporaneous.

Suspicious substance investigated outside of Schiff’s office
Capitol Police cleared the incident just before noon

Capitol Police officers block off a hallway as they investigate a reported suspicious substance in the Rayburn office of Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A suspicious substance was found outside lead House impeachment manager Adam B. Schiff’s congressional office Thursday morning but was ultimately deemed not hazardous and cleared by the Capitol Police, casting a cloud of grim reality over Schiff’s earlier comments expressing grave concern for his staffers.

The incident comes just a day after President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial on both charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Schiff, a California Democrat, spent days presenting the case for Trump’s removal from office.

Democrats pan, Republicans applaud Kraninger's tenure at CFPB
Director mum on agency's need to exist

Kraninger was unwilling to say her agency needs to exist. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At a hearing Thursday, Democrats castigated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger, who wasn't willing to say that her agency needs to exist. 

Pelosi has 'no plans right now' for fight over Bolton testimony
Schiff says he thinks former Trump national security adviser would be hostile to House subpoena

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she thought former national security adviser John Bolton would be hostile to any attempts by the House to get his testimony. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House has “no plans right now” to engage in a court fight for former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony.

Since Bolton had said he would testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed, it was thought he would respond to a subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee.