Emily Kopp

First House Republican backs renewed assault weapons ban
Rep. Peter King has broken with party leadership on gun violence prevention measures before

New York Rep. Peter King is the first Republican in Congress to back a renewed federal ban on assault rifles.

The development reflects calls for action on Capitol Hill after gunmen armed with assault weapons killed scores of people in California, Texas and Ohio in the span of a few days. 

FEC chairwoman: Penalty ‘slashed’ for ex-congressman who used leftover campaign money to lobby
The law forbids former members of Congress from using old donations like ‘an illegal pension fund’

An ex-congressman who diverted leftover campaign money towards dinners and dues at a private club outside of the Capitol just as he began to lobby his former congressional colleagues will only have to pay back a fraction of the campaign funds he misused. 

The Federal Election Commission stalemated in a 2-2 vote over whether to issue a more severe fine to Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns, one that would hold him personally liable, an FEC memo shows. 

Rep. Rashida Tlaib rejects Netanyahu’s terms and forgoes trip to visit grandmother
A day after rejecting Muslim Democrats’ visit, Israel said it would allow Tlaib entry on ‘humanitarian’ grounds

Rep. Rashida Tlaib will forgo a trip to see her aging grandmother in the West Bank after the Israeli government said it would allow a visit on “humanitarian” grounds.

In a reversal, Tlaib rejected the conditions laid out by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the humanitarian visit, namely, that she not broadcast her support for boycotting Israel over its actions against Palestinians during her stay. 

Israel bars entry to Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar
Trump said Netanyahu would ‘show weakness’ by allowing House members to visit

A planned trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories by Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been halted by Israeli officials.

“The state of Israel respects the U.S. Congress, as part of the close alliance, but it is inconceivable that anyone who wishes to harm the state of Israel will be allowed, even during the visit,” a media statement from the government read.

New calls for Rep. Steve King to resign in wake of graphic comment about rape and incest
Liz Cheney, No. 3 House Republican, joins Democrats in calling on Iowa congressman to stand down

Iowa Rep. Steve King is facing new calls to resign in the wake of his latest inflammatory remarks — this time for saying humanity might not exist were it not for rape and incest.

Speaking before the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, the Republican congressman made the comment while defending his opposition to exceptions for rape and incest in anti-abortion legislation, The Des Moines Register reported

Katko challenger Dana Balter accepted campaign salary too early, FEC says
Democrat pledges to repay the $6,720 she improperly withdrew

A two-time Democratic challenger to New York Rep. John Katko has been dinged for a campaign finance error early on in her campaign.

Dana Balter improperly accepted a salary paid out by her campaign before campaign finance rules permit that sort of arrangement, federal regulators wrote in a letter. 

Crenshaw got $250,000 advance for book about ‘outrage culture,’ new filing shows
Freshman rep has been a social media fixture since a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, but critics say he has used his platform to incite hatred

Rep. Dan Crenshaw has signed a $250,000 deal to publish a book. 

Crenshaw inked a contract with Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, according to the freshman Texas congressman’s most recent financial disclosure form, which was filed Monday. 

Duncan Hunter said person making ‘OK’ sign in photo was a ‘stranger.’ The man calls Hunter a friend
California Republican backtracks, but episode could foreshadow his 2020 strategy

When a constituent who posed for a photo with Rep. Duncan Hunter was later found to have white supremacist ties, a Hunter staffer dismissed him as “a stranger in a parade who wanted to be in a picture” with the Republican congressman.

The photo showed Hunter at a July Fourth parade in his Southern California district, standing beside Kris Wyrick, who flashes an “OK” gesture — a sign appropriated by extremists in recent years to mean “WP” or “white power.”

Champion of US agriculture, former Illinois Rep. Paul Findley dies at 98
Republican congressman drew attention for his criticism of U.S. policy on Palestine

Former Rep. Paul Findley, who represented his Springfield-based district for 22 years, died Friday at the age of 98. 

The Illinois Republican was commemorated by the man who succeeded him — Democrat Richard J. Durbin, now the state’s senior senator — as an “exceptional public servant” and friend.

Rep. Devin Nunes accuses retired farmer of conspiring against him in legal complaint
Even Republicans are scratching their heads

A farmer, a newspaper and a fictional cow are all defendants in lawsuits filed by Rep. Devin Nunes in the last year. 

From his perch as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has cast doubt on the findings of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III by alleging, without evidence, a conspiracy by the president’s perceived enemies.

Republicans cast about on guns, Trump’s rhetoric at town halls
August recess is typically a low-profile time for members of Congress, but tensions running high this week

An agonizing national conversation about gun violence and race reverberated in members of Congress’ town halls across the country this week. 

“I totally disagree with the characterization that Trump is racist,” said Republican Rep. Don Bacon to a smattering of applause from a small audience in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska. “When you call the president a racist ... you're turning away half the population.”

House Democrats to visit cities roiled by white supremacist violence
The ‘action plan’ could be aimed at quieting concerns that lawmakers will lose momentum over the August recess

Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee will visit cities roiled by violence in the coming month “to address the threat of domestic terrorism” by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Chairman Bennie Thompson laid out the plan in a media release sent Tuesday night. The release comes amid a push from some Democrats to cut the August recess short and convene a session of Congress on the matter.

Protesters rally outside Sen. McConnell’s home in Kentucky
Two bills to tighten background checks for firearm purchases have stalled in the Republican-led Senate

A group of protesters made some noise outside the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday night.

Demonstrators chanted, rang cowbells, banged pots and pans, and scraped a plastic shovel across the concrete sidewalk as they called for an end to white supremacy and gun violence in the Kentucky Republican’s Louisville district, WLKY reported

‘Come back ... immediately’: Democrats call for special session in aftermath of mass shootings
There has be no sign that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to change the schedule.

Democrats in the Senate have steadily called for a special session to address gun violence after a spate of deaths by assailants armed with assault weapons.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for an end to the Senate's August recess after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio claimed more than two dozen lives. 

Sen. Rand Paul has part of lung removed, injury stems from 2017 assault
Paul suffered an injured lung after a neighbor tackled him to the ground

Both senators from Kentucky are on the mend.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul announced Monday that he is recovering from a surgery to treat injuries from his 2017 assault.

Woman could get year behind bars for ‘milkshaking’ Rep. Matt Gaetz
Amanda L. Kondrat’yev pleaded guilty to one charge of assaulting a government official

A protester faces up to one year in prison for “milkshaking” Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Amanda L. Kondrat’yev pleaded guilty Thursday to one charge of assaulting a government official after hurling a clear cup filled with red liquid at the Florida Republican as he left a town hall in June.

House Democrats thread the needle on impeachment in hometown town halls
The impeachment caucus now includes half of the Democratic members of the House

Democrats back in their districts for a six-week-long congressional recess have walked a tightrope on whether to impeach the president, according to local reports. 

The impeachment caucus now includes half of the Democratic members of the House.

Rep. Scott Perry held a town hall in a 200-person capacity firehouse. Only 60 were allowed in
Perry faces two challengers from the area

Protesters held signs with their zip codes on them as they picketed outside Republican Rep. Scott Perry’s town hall in his Pennsylvania district Tuesday — proof, they said, that he unfairly barred his constituents from his first town hall in more than two years. 

About sixty people sat in folding chairs in the 200-person capacity Hummelstown Fire Station after being granted access to the town hall through a two-step RSVP process. Others never made it off the waiting list, leading some to believe they were intentionally excluded. 

Exodus at the DCCC: Top aides quit House Democrats' campaign arm
Allison Jaslow, a close ally of Bustos, had started at the committee this cycle

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos announced the appointment of a new interim executive director Monday as she seeks to quell internal jousting between lawmakers and the committee about diversity representation in its upper ranks.

“Today has been a sobering day filled with tough conversations that too often we avoid, but I can say confidently that we are taking the first steps toward putting the DCCC back on path to protect and expand our majority, with a staff that truly reflects the diversity of our Democratic caucus and our party,” Bustos said in a statement.

‘He’s a television character’: Democrats worry about Trump’s U.S. intelligence pick
Devin Nunes, another skeptic of U.S. intelligence, called the appointment a ‘great choice’

Updated: 5:12 p.m.

Rep. John Ratcliffe, first appointed to the House Intelligence Committee just seven months ago, could soon be delivering the president’s daily intelligence briefings.