The DC: Barr named in whistleblower complaint, and... ⛽ Should oil & gas companies need permits for stormwater runoff from fracking?
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by Countable | 9.30.19
Welcome to Monday, September 30, chickens and eggs...
224 House members - a majority - have now said they support an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Friday that she believes Attorney General William Barr has "gone rogue" with how he handled President Donald Trump's now-infamous call with Ukranian President Vladomyr Zelensky.
In the partially-redacted whistleblower complaint, the whistleblower wrote that "the president’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.”
"This is my wheelhouse, as I said to the president. 25 years of experience in intelligence. ... I was there when we wrote the whistleblower laws. I was there when we wrote the law establishing the office of the director of national intelligence. That's only since 2004."
A White House official has also confirmed that "[National Security Council] lawyers directed that the classified document be handled appropriately" by filling it in a highly-classified system.
The above statement appears to confirm one of key claims in the nine-page whistleblower report: That senior White House officials intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call - including the official word-for-word transcript that’s customarily produced by the White House Situation Room - by placing it in a system used to store and handle classified information of a sensitive nature.
Read the latest news in the Trump impeachment investigation here, then tell your reps:
On the Radar
Late Friday, President Trump signed the stopgap bill to fund the government and extend expiring programs through November 21st into law, ending the threat of a shutdown at midnight Monday. The bill’s enactment came as Congress departed the Capitol for a two week recess.
When lawmakers return on October 15th, they’ll have a tight window in which to find bipartisan consensus on how to spend the $1.371 trillion in fiscal year 2020 appropriations they agreed to at a high level in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019.
Once Congress returns, the Senate is scheduled to be in session during each of the six weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving recess when the next funding deadline looms, but the House only has 20 legislative days in which to process the funding bills and manage a formal impeachment inquiry. Democratic leaders are reportedly considering holding a vote on at least some impeachment articles prior to Thanksgiving.
Under the Radar
House Passes Bills to Make Travel Easier for Certain Groups
While the controversial bills that usually pass along party-lines get most of the headlines, the majority of the bills that pass the House and Senate do so with unanimous support.
Such was the case with a pair of bills recently passed in the House that aim to make travel more accessible for pregnant women, people with impaired hearing or vision, and non-English speakers:
- The Helping Families Fly Act would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide pregnant women with an alternative screening process that excludes the use of Advanced Imaging Technology. TSA would also develop guidelines to assist pregnant women and families traveling with young children efficiently and with respect.
- The TRANSLATE Act would require the TSA to make security information more accessible to non-English speaking passengers and those with vision or hearing impairments, including signage, video, audio, and online content. An implementation plan would be developed within one year and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would be required to report on its implementation.
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in D.C. & VA
- At 10:00am EDT, the president will participate in an armed forces welcome ceremony honoring the 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.
- At 12:45pm EDT, the president will have lunch with the vice president.
- At 2:00pm EDT, the president will participate in the ceremonial swearing-in of the secretary of labor.
- At 4:00pm EDT, the president will meet with the secretary of state.
The House of Representatives: Out
- The House will return Tuesday, October 15th.
The Senate: Out
- The Senate will return Tuesday, October 15th.
What You're Saying
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Also Worth a Click
- Senate Finance Democrats Say NRA Acted As Russian Asset in 2016 Lead-Up
- Should Homeland Security Establish a Joint Task Force to Stop Opioid Smuggling?
And, in the End…
On this date in 1777, the Continental Congress had to move to York, PA, due to advancing British forces.
Happy Rosh Hashanah,
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