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The Mueller report gets a 9:30 Club kind of debut
Key questions as the hype around the Russian interference probe gets release

Attorney General William Barr will command the spotlight as the man who releases the heavily anticipated Mueller report. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Coming to a Justice Department near you: The most highly anticipated investigative report in at least a generation, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, gets some pre-release hype at 9:30 EDT on Thursday in Washington before its wide release later in the day. 

Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be on hand at the Justice Department to deliver the (perhaps heavily redacted) goods. So as one of the few events that could preempt “Today” and “Good Morning America” gets underway, here are some of the key questions surrounding the report. 

Ethics Committee still reviewing Schweikert allegations, releases initial OCE referral
Arizona Republican and former chief of staff allegedly misused office resources and broke campaign committee rules

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is still under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegations that he misused office resources and violated campaign committee rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee is continuing an investigation into allegations that Rep. David Schweikert and his former chief of staff misused office resources and violated campaign committee rules, as the panel on Wednesday released the initial report from the Office of Congressional Ethics board unanimously recommending it review the matter.

OCE’s six-member board voted unanimously on April 5, 2018 to refer the allegations involving the Arizona Republican to the House Ethics Committee, which opened an investigation in May.

Lawmakers spar big-time on behalf of rocket companies
Billions of dollars in business, and the future of national security, are at stake in fight over developing a new generation of rockets

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on February 6, 2018 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket is the most powerful rocket in the world and is carrying a Tesla Roadster into orbit. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

More than two-dozen House members have thrown the latest punch in a bare-knuckled fight that pits competing U.S. rocket manufacturers and their allies on Capitol Hill against one another.

A bipartisan group of 28 House members urged Air Force Secretary Heather A. Wilson in an April 12 letter not to alter the service’s blueprint for developing a new generation of rockets to lift U.S. military and spy satellites into orbit. But plenty of other lawmakers have pushed for several changes.

A blockchain bill, backed by industry, may tie SEC’s hands
The bill would provide a safe harbor from federal securities regulations for digital currencies and other blockchain-based products

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Wednesday morning, June 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as the nation’s infant blockchain industry lines up in support of a new bipartisan bill to exempt digital tokens from Securities and Exchange Commission oversight, others warn about the dangers of Congress making the situation worse.

The bill from Reps. Warren Davidson, an Ohio Republican, and Darren Soto, a Florida Democrat, would provide a safe harbor from federal securities regulations for digital currencies and other blockchain-based products. But outside of the young sector’s backers, some worry that the bill goes too far in its current form.

GOP Rep. Spano got just $1 in grassroots donations
Freshman Rep. Ross Spano has been beleaguered by ethical questions since before his swearing-in

Reps. Ross Spano, R-Fla., raised almost nothing from small dollar donors in the first quarter of the year. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ross Spano collected just one dollar in grassroots donations in the first quarter of the year.

The Florida Republican received just one unitemized contribution of less than $200 — a single donation of $1 — his latest filing to the Federal Election Commission shows. 

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.

White House braces for Mueller report as obstruction questions linger
Only a ‘bombshell’ would dramatically change public opinion, expert says

President Donald Trump talks with journalists before departing the White House on March 20. He is expected to depart the White House via Marine One on Thursday just hours after a redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report is released — and possibly take reporters’ questions about it. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

The White House is bracing for the public’s first glimpse at some of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings, but it likely would take a bombshell to alter President Donald Trump’s approach to campaigning for a second term.

Attorney General William Barr is set to release on Thursday morning a version of the former FBI director’s report — though a substantial portion is expected to be blacked out, redacted that is, for legal and security reasons. White House aides have long echoed Trump’s contention that his 2016 campaign did not conspire with Russians to influence the race, besides mirroring his denials about obstructing justice since taking office.

Capitol Ink | A Visit from the Easter Barr-ney

White House gives Herman Cain an out on Fed amid GOP opposition
Kudlow: ‘It would probably be up to Herman Cain if he wants to stay in’

Presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington on Oct. 7, 2011. The White House is giving him an out on a Federal Reserve seat amid mounting GOP concerns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House appears to be giving Herman Cain, who was forced from the 2012 presidential race amid sexual misconduct allegations, an out in his candidacy for a seat on the Federal Reserve board of governors amid Republican senators’ mounting opposition.

President Donald Trump said earlier this month he is considering Cain for the central bank’s leadership. The president has voiced his anger with the Fed’s decisions on key interest rates, claiming it has slowed economic growth that will be key to his 2020 reelection fight. Cain is a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, but exited the race amid a slew of sexual harassment charges.

‘Anti-semitic rhetoric’ at Duke-UNC event prompts Rep. Holding to ask for federal probe
Holding argued in his letter to the DOE that the event program contained a list of speakers with a clear “anti-Israel bias.”

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., asked the Department of Education to probe “anti-Semitic rhetoric” at a joint Duke-UNC conference on the conflict in Gaza. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. George Holding has asked the Department of Education to investigate whether a joint conference on Middle East studies by Duke University and the University of North Carolina that allegedly contained “anti-semitic rhetoric” should be the basis for pulling federal funding from a consortium of university foreign language and studies programs.

In a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Holding criticized the “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities” conference in March in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he says he saw “reports of severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric at a taxpayer-funded conference.”