oversight

Fines? Jail time? Democrats leave all options on the table for enforcing subpoenas
As administration stonewalls Congress, Democrats consider using historical ‘inherent contempt’ power

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings says Democrats should consider all tools available them to force administration compliance with congressional subpoenas and oversight requests, including fines or jail time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Administration officials could face fines or jail time for ignoring congressional subpoenas, as House Democrats say they’re seriously considering reviving a congressional power that has not been used since the 1930s.

President Donald Trump has publicly urged administration officials not to comply with congressional subpoenas, and some have started heeding the advice. House Democrats have made no formal decisions about how to respond to the Trump administration’s stonewalling of their oversight investigations, but one option on the table is the historical process of “inherent contempt.”

Road ahead: More on the Mueller report; floor action on Paris bill, nominations
Oversight matters will get most attention post-Mueller but House and Senate proceeding with normal business too

Attorney General William Barr appears on a television in the Capitol subway on April 18, 2019. He is testifying before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Two days of testimony from Attorney General William Barr on the 448-page report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will largely define Congress’ return from its two-week recess, with the House and Senate heading in different directions. 

Senate Republicans, who will hear from Barr first on Wednesday, feel Mueller’s report is the appropriate conclusion to years of investigations into allegations that President Donald Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election and that the president himself attempted to obstruct those investigations.

House Democrats start following Mueller’s leads as they investigate Trump
Immediate strategy is continuing their probes, but calls for impeachment growing in caucus

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged caution on talk about impeaching President Donald Trump, but many in her caucus feel differently. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are starting to follow leads laid out in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report as their own investigations into President Donald Trump continue. 

The caucus held a conference call Monday evening in which the six committee chairs who are investigating various matters involving Trump updated members on their next steps now that Mueller has concluded his investigation. Details shared with Roll Call were provided by people on the call who were not authorized to publicly disclose contents of the private caucus discussion.

Why Democrats aren’t rushing to change immigration laws
They don’t agree with Trump and public sentiment doesn’t provide a mandate toward a solution

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked from left by Assistant Democratic Leader Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos, D- Ill., and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks to the press during the House Democrats' 2019 Issues Conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are treading carefully on immigration as they attempt to show they can lead on the divisive issue heading into the 2020 elections.

President Donald Trump, who won election in 2016 on a campaign to crack down on immigration and what he often refers to as “open borders,” is planning to repeat the strategy heading into 2020. In recent weeks, he’s launched near daily attacks on Democrats for their refusal to change immigration laws — an accusation that, as with many things Trump says, is not entirely true.

Pelosi Not Willing to Trade Over Border Wall, Calls It Trump ‘Manhood Issue’
‘It’s probably the worst way to protect the border,’ House minority leader says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says she will not trade with President Donald Trump for his border wall, calling it a "manhood issue" for him. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday there is nothing she would trade for President Donald Trump’s border wall, setting a hard negotiating stance in advance of an expected December showdown over the issue.

“It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall, and I’m not interested in that,” the California Democrat said during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. 

Martin Shkreli Subpoenaed to Testify Next Week

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will welcome Shkreli next week (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Former pharmaceuticals executive and hedge fund honcho Martin Shkreli has been ordered to testify on Capitol Hill next week.  

The 32-year-old notoriously flamboyant tweeter shared a subpoena requesting his testimony on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.