Ocasio-Cortez Under Investigation, Ethics Committee Announces
WASHINGTON- The House Ethics Committee is investigating Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to a press release issued by the committee Wednesday.
“Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8)(A), and Committee Rules 17A(b)(1)(A), 17A(c)(1), and 17A(j), the Acting Chairwoman and Acting Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which was transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on June 23, 2022,” it said in a statement.
The committee did not reveal what Ocasio-Cortez is being investigated for, but conservative groups filed multiple complaints against her alleging that she had misused congressional resources. Ocasio-Cortez has also been called into question over her involvement with the Super PAC Justice Democrats.
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, have also faced similar scrutiny by the Ethics Committee. In a complaint the committee alleged that Omar hired her then-boyfriend and now-husband as a vendor during her 2018 campaign which, if proven true violates rules which prohibit members from using campaign funds for personal use. Tlaib is alleged to have paid herself a salary drawn from campaign funds after being elected to Congress, a violation of the same rule.
SHE’S OUT! Pelosi to Step Down as Speaker of the House
WASHINGTON —Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she will step down as Speaker of the House after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.
Pelosi announced her decision Thursday during a speech on the House floor.
“Now we must move boldly into the future,” the California Democrat said. “The hour has come for a new generation.”
Pelosi’s resignation comes amid revelations that Marjorie Taylor Greene has secured a promise from House leadership to investigate Nancy Pelosi and the Department of Justice regarding the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants, according to a report from the The New York Times.
“For me the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” Pelosi said Thursday. “And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”
Pelosi has led the House Democrats since 2003, marking the longest leadership run in either party since the tenure of Sam Rayburn, a Texas Democrat, who died in office in 1961. At 82, Pelosi has been a member of Congress for 35 years.
“I have enjoyed working with three presidents, achieving historic investments in clean energy with President George Bush; transformative health care reform with President Barack Obama, and forging the future — from infrastructure to health care to climate action — with President Joe Biden,” Pelosi stated.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is eyeing the speaker’s job after his party captured the majority, did not attend Pelosi’s resignation speech.
BREAKING: Republicans Win the HOUSE With 218 Majority
REPORT: Dems to Unveil ‘Transgender Bill of Rights’ in Response to Roe v Wade Reversal
WASHINGTON (The Hill)– A group of House Democrats on Tuesday announced they would move to codify federal protections for transgender people.
The proposal, dubbed the “Transgender Bill of Rights,” would codify the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock v. Clayton County decision that protects employees against discrimination for being gay or transgender.
The proposal would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly include protections for gender identity and sex characteristics, expand access to gender-affirming care and ban conversion therapy.
It would also require the attorney general to designate a liaison dedicated to overseeing enforcement of civil rights for transgender people and invest in community services to prevent anti-transgender violence.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and co-chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force, said in a statement that the resolution would ensure transgender people can lead “full, happy lives.”
“As we witness Republicans and an extremist Supreme Court attack and roll back the fundamental rights of trans people across our country, and as state legislatures across the country target our trans community with hateful, bigoted and transphobic attacks, we are standing up and saying enough is enough,” Jayapal said.
Jayapal introduced the proposal alongside Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Marie Newman (D-Ill.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.). The bill has 84 other co-sponsors.
The bill’s proponents cited Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that the court should also consider overturning some of its other precedents decided under the same substantive due process protections at the heart of Friday’s decision, like rights to same-sex marriage and contraception.
The Bostock decision was not mentioned in Thomas’s concurring opinion and involved a different legal question.
But Thomas’s opinion has caught the eye of many Democrats who believe the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is poised to roll back rights extended to LGBTQ people in past cases.
Democrats supporting the bill also pointed to research from the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, showing state legislatures have proposed more than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills in the past year.
The bill is supported by more than 30 organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Education Association.
“While some politicians are targeting our community with discriminatory legislation, we are grateful that the members House of Representatives are sending this message to us — and especially to transgender youth — that they affirm our lives and value the contributions we make to our country,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, the National Center for Transgender Equality’s executive director. “We deserve to live as who we are without sacrificing our safety, access to health care or enduring violence and discrimination.”
The Hill’s Zach Schonfeld contributed to the contents of this report.
RAND PAUL: ‘Our National Security is Threatened. Not By Ukraine, But By Congress’s War on the American Taxpayer’
RAND PAUL: ‘My Oath is to the American people. Not Ukraine.’
‘NOT ON MY WATCH’: Rand Paul Blocks $40 Billion Ukraine Aid Package
WASHINGTON (Washington Times) — Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday blocked the Senate’s attempt to fast-track President Biden’s $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine over concerns there is insufficient oversight and transparency into how the money is being spent.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, both hoped for a swift final passage of the bill, after the House overwhelmingly approved the aid 368-57 on Tuesday.
But Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, blocked Mr. McConnell’s request for unanimous consent on the measure Thursday afternoon without the addition of language into the bill that would create a special inspector general to oversee the disbursal of aid to Ukraine.
The move was met with vitriol from both the Democrat and Republican leaders anxious to get the aid out the door. Mr. Paul’s objection will push the Senate’s final vote on the measure into next week.
“He is simply saying my way or the highway,” Mr. Schumer said. “When you have a proposal to amend a bill, you can’t just come to the floor and demand it by fiat. You have to convince other members to back it first. That is how the Senate works.”
The Washington Times’ Haris Alic and Joseph Clark contributed to the contents of this report.
STRUCK DOWN: Senate Fails To Pass Democrat Abortion Bill
WASHINGTON (Breitbart)– Senate Democrats on Wednesday failed to pass legislation that would prohibit local, state, and federal governments from preventing abortions.
The Senate attempted to invoke cloture and end debate on S. 4132, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022. The motion failed 49-51, as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) opposed the motion, and it required 60 votes to invoke cloture. The legislation would prohibit government restrictions on access to abortions. Specifically, the legislation states that governments may not limit a healthcare provider’s ability to:
- Prescribe certain drugs
- Offer abortion services via telemedicine
- Immediately provide abortion services when the provider determines a delay risks the patient’s health
The legislation, according to Congress.gov, stipulates:
In addition, governments may not (1) require patients to make medically unnecessary in-person visits before receiving abortion services or disclose their reasons for obtaining such services, or (2) prohibit abortion services before fetal viability or after fetal viability when a provider determines the pregnancy risks the patient’s life or health.
The bill also prohibits other governmental measures that are similar to the bill’s specified restrictions or that otherwise single out and impede access to abortion services, unless a government demonstrates that the measure significantly advances the safety of abortion services or health of patients and cannot be achieved through less restrictive means.
The Department of Justice, individuals, or providers may bring a lawsuit to enforce this bill, and states are not immune from suits for violations.
The bill applies to restrictions imposed both prior and subsequent to the bill’s enactment.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sponsored the legislation after Politico leaked a draft Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade. The Senate Democrats proposed the legislation to attempt to enshrine many of the pro-abortion protections enabled by the landmark Supreme Court ruling.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said in a statement after the vote:
Today’s vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act is a continuation of the left’s mission to undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and prop up their abortion-on-demand agenda. This bill would force states to legalize late-term abortions, remove informed consent laws, and prevent restrictions on gruesome fetal dismemberment procedures. Today, I stood up to the woke mob and voted to protect women and their unborn children.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who voted against the bill, said that the bill “would disenfranchise every voter in Missouri, overturn our state laws – and give the power to DC Democrats.”
Sean Moran of Breitbart contributed to the contents of this report.