Lindsey McPherson

Road ahead: House to take up Turkey sanctions while Senate turns to appropriations
Election security bill also on House floor amid impeachment inquiry; Cummings’ services Thursday and Friday

This week the House will consider a package of sanctions against Turkey and an election security measure, while the Senate will finally bring some fiscal 2020 appropriations bills to the floor.

Meanwhile, the House’s impeachment inquiry marches on, with five witness depositions scheduled for this week. 

Cummings unites lawmakers, for the moment, as impeachment inquiry trudges forward
Probe that late Maryland Democrat helped lead continued with witness depositions Thursday

House lawmakers dialed down the partisan rancor, at least for a day, as they honored the life of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who died early Thursday at age 68. But the impeachment inquiry, of which the Maryland Democrat was a key leader, is forging ahead.

The investigation into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has stoked anger among Republicans who view the probe as illegitimate. Democrats’ frustrations with the president’s conduct and his supporters in Congress are only growing. The death of Cummings, held in deep respect on both sides of the aisle, didn’t put the partisan fighting completely to rest, but it did quell the most inflammatory elements for the moment.

Democrats in tears after first caucus gathering since Cummings’ death
Leaders, members share memories of Baltimore Democrat during weekly whip meeting

Several House Democrats on Thursday left their first caucus gathering since the death of their colleague, Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, weeping or holding back tears. 

The House Oversight and Reform chairman’s death left Virginia Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, one of the panel’s subcommittee chairs, inconsolable. He exited Democrats’ weekly whip meeting Thursday in a stream of tears, not stopping to talk to colleagues or reporters as he usually would. 

House Democrats sharpen counterattacks to Republican impeachment process complaints
Democrats say this part of the inquiry needs to be conducted behind closed doors but public portions coming

House Democrats in recent days have sharpened their counterattacks to Republican assertions that they’re running an illegitimate and nontransparent impeachment process. 

The rebukes represent a shift in messaging strategy as Democrats had largely been trying to avoid engaging in a back-and-forth about process, arguing the GOP was manufacturing concerns to avoid having to defend President Donald Trump on the substance of the impeachment inquiry.

Dems say Trump has meltdown at Syria meeting, calls Pelosi a ‘third-rate politician’
Amid impeachment inquiry, speaker says president appeared ‘very shaken’

Wednesday’s White House meeting on Syria deteriorated into a “meltdown” as Republican and Democratic leaders presented a unified front against President Donald Trump on his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria.

The two top House Democrats and the party’s top senator emerged from the West Wing following what they said was a substance-free and insult-filled few minutes with Trump. In a reverse of their last meeting with Trump on infrastructure in which he stormed out on the Democratic leaders, this time they walked out on him.

Hoyer: Democrats not using inherent contempt, hope to conclude impeachment inquiry this year
Inherent contempt could be seen as ‘arbitrary’ move to enforce subpoenas, which courts are already upholding, Hoyer says

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Wednesday ruled out Democrats using inherent contempt to enforce subpoenas and became the most senior Democrat to say the chamber should wrap up its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump by the end of 2019.

“We made a judgment that we want the American people to understand that we are pursuing not arbitrary action but considered and thoughtful action,” the Maryland Democrat said. “I don’t mean to say by that that inherent contempt is by definition arbitrary but it may be perceived as arbitrary.”

Cunningham, South Carolina fishermen see consensus on climate change
After talking to Charleston area fishermen Monday, Cunningham introduced a bill in Washington to require a GAO study

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Nationally, climate change is still not a universally accepted science. But here in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Rep. Joe Cunningham claims there’s bipartisan acknowledgement of global warming as a real and urgent issue.

The freshman Democrat spent Monday with a group of fishermen from his coastline district who have seen the impacts of climate change firsthand.

Democratic impeachment holdout touts legislative focus over inquiry he’s not backing
South Carolina’s Joe Cunningham spent recess discussing climate change, infrastructure, trade

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rep. Joe Cunningham spent his final day of a two-week district work period here Monday talking to local fishermen about adjusting to climate change and to a conservation group about banning offshore drilling — top issues for constituents of his coastline district.

Cunningham, the first Democrat to represent the 1st District in more than a quarter century, did not talk about the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, except to answer reporters’ questions about why he has not endorsed it. The constituents he interacted with Monday did not broach the topic with him, although some complimented him generally for how he’s navigating a political tightrope.

Virginia GOP representatives' town hall heavy on policy, light on impeachment
Cline, Riggleman said they oppose impeachment, were more at home fielding policy questions

BEDFORD, Va. — The House’s impeachment inquiry, which has engulfed Washington politics and dominated national news coverage, barely got a mention at a town hall here Wednesday night hosted by Republican Reps. Ben Cline and Denver Riggleman

The topics on constituents’ minds included an array of policy topics, such as President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, the trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, climate change, infrastructure and immigration.

McCarthy asks Pelosi to suspend impeachment inquiry until she defines procedures
Minority leader says Democrats are limiting Republican participation and not following precedent

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter Thursday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting she suspend Democrats’ impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump “until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry.”

“Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed,” the California Republican wrote. “In addition, the swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry.”

Pelosi, Trump engage in real-time messaging war on impeachment, legislating
Speaker says she ‘hopes’ president will work with Democrats, but Trump claims she’s ‘incapable’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump engaged in a real-time messaging war Wednesday as the president live-tweeted his responses to the California Democrat’s weekly press conference.

Pelosi, who announced last week the House was conducting an “official” impeachment inquiry into Trump, opened the press conference by talking about legislation Democrats are crafting to address prescription drug prices. She said she hoped Trump would want to work on that despite the White House threatening to shut down the legislative process because of the impeachment inquiry.

House Democrats divided on how much evidence they need to impeach Trump
After unifying around an inquiry, the caucus remains split on actual impeachment

House Democrats finally agreed last week that they are conducting an impeachment inquiry, but as that probe quickly unfolds there are new divisions in the caucus about how much evidence they need to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Several Democrats believe the readout of a July 25 phone call of Trump asking Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate a potential 2020 opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son; Trump’s public statements admitting to the request; and a whistleblower complaint alleging White House lawyers and officials tried to “lock down” the call transcript is all the evidence they need to impeach.

Liberal group’s poll: Impeachment supporters want multiple articles, within a month
Opponents are concerned Democrats will hurt themselves politically

A majority of impeachment supporters want Democrats to vote this month on multiple articles of impeachment, a poll commissioned by the pro-impeachment Progressive Change Institute found.

The national poll, conducted for the institute by YouGov Blue, surveyed 1,009 registered voters from Friday through Sunday. As other recent surveys have found, poll respondents were largely split on impeachment, with 49 percent supporting the House Democrats’ inquiry, 43 percent opposed and 8 percent undecided. 

Impeachment inquiry likely to move faster than House lawsuits, making some moot
Intelligence Committee may not go to court if administration stonewalls its subpoenas

House Democrats expect their impeachment inquiry to outpace ongoing court cases that were once seen as critical to their investigations into President Donald Trump.

That means some of those lawsuits — teed up as major separation-of-powers battles between the House and the Trump administration — could fizzle out or end up being dropped.

‘There is no rush to judgment’: Pelosi says no deadline for impeachment inquiry conclusion
That Trump thinks releasing transcript proves his innocence ‘only goes to further show he doesn’t understand right or wrong,’ speaker says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that she’s not set a time frame for six investigating committees to reach a conclusion on whether the House should move forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

“No, the facts will determine the timeline,” the California Democrats said when asked if she had set a deadline to conclude the impeachment inquiry she announced Tuesday. 

Democrats focusing impeachment inquiry on Trump pressuring Ukraine
With pivot from obstruction and corruption, Intelligence Committee steps into impeachment case spotlight

House Democrats are focusing their impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, shifting the investigatory spotlight from the Judiciary Committee to the Intelligence Committee and providing a singular focus on which they can make the case for impeachment to the public.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Tuesday announcement that she has directed the six House committees investigating Trump to proceed under the “umbrella” of an “official impeachment inquiry” led to some confusion about what had changed, given that the Judiciary Committee had been conducting an impeachment investigation for months.

Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry, but leaves some questions
Move comes as Senate passes resolution calling for whistleblower report to be turned over

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that the House will move forward with a formal impeachment inquiry, but Democrats said it was not clear what form that inquiry will take or how quickly it will lead to a decision on whether to vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

“I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” the California Democrat said in televised remarks Tuesday after a meeting of House Democrats.  

Pelosi on impeachment: ‘Now that we have the facts, we’re ready — for later today’
Speaker says she’ll have more to say at 5 p.m. Tuesday, after meeting with her caucus

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, scheduled to make a statement on impeachment at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, might have given away her view that Democrats are prepared to move toward impeaching President Donald Trump during an appearance at The Atlantic Festival. 

“As soon as we have the facts, we’re ready,” she said. “Now that we have the facts, we’re ready — for later today.”

Democrats move closer to impeachment, but still disagree on how to get there
Ukraine allegations shift the caucus, but not to the same page

ANALYSIS | Several House Democrats’ positions on impeachment have shifted in the past 24 hours, but some have moved farther than others, leaving confusion about the caucus’ next steps.

Allegations that President Donald Trump withheld U.S. aid to Ukraine to spur the country to investigate a potential 2020 rival, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, has given House Democrats’ flailing impeachment investigation new life. 

Road ahead: Senate set to pass stopgap spending, with House focus on Homeland Security and immigration
Continuing resolution should clear without a fight

The Senate needs to act this week to clear a stopgap spending bill before recessing through the end of the government’s fiscal year, but that is really the only must-pass business for either chamber.

The House passed the measure Thursday, 301-123, after resolving hangups that included a debate over assisting farmers who have seen demand for crops plummet thanks to the ongoing sparring over trade with China.