House Democrats

Capitol Ink | Balancing Act

Pelosi suggests floor vote on Barr contempt not imminent
‘There might be some other contempt of Congress issues that we’ll deal with at the same time,’ Pelosi says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the House might wait a while before voting on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Thursday the House might wait on a floor vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress until seeing how a similar situation plays out with former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

“When we’re ready, we’ll come to the floor,” the California Democrat said during her weekly press conference. “And we’ll just see because there might be some other contempt of Congress issues that we’ll deal with at the same time.”

Capitol Ink | Open and Shut

Are Democrats using quest for unredacted Mueller report as shield against impeachment?
Court fight to obtain full report could drag beyond 2020 election, allowing Democrats to avoid impeachment decision

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., conducts a markup on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to a committee subpoena for the unredacted special counsel report and investigatory materials. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders have unequivocally accused President Donald Trump of ongoing obstruction of justice, but they say they won’t decide whether to begin impeachment proceedings against him without seeing the full report and evidence from the special counsel’s investigation.

The result is a single-track process that will likely involve a lengthy court battle for the unredacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report and his underlying investigatory materials. Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over those documents, before the Judiciary  Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for ignoring the panel’s subpoena to turn them over.

Capitol Ink | Trumpty Dumpty Stonewall

Road ahead: Both chambers tackle disaster relief but conclusion still iffy
House goes after administration’s ‘junk’ plan rule, Senate nomination votes could result in Export-Import Bank quorum

From left, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., House Appropriations ranking member Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. The top four appropriators are key to reaching a bipartisan deal on disaster relief. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate appropriators hope to wrap up negotiations this week on a bipartisan disaster relief package that can get President Donald Trump’s support, while House Democrats plan to forge ahead with a vote on their own preferred proposal.

The House bill would provide $17.2 billion in aid to areas affected by recent natural disasters. The measure is similar to one the chamber passed in January, but it includes an additional $3 billion to address subsequent floods in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South.

Capitol Ink | Snitty Words

Democrats may hold Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to deliver unredacted Mueller report
Judiciary Democrats also expected to subpoena AG for his testimony after he decided to skip Thursday hearing

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., says he’s considering holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General William Barr escalated tensions with House Democrats on Wednesday by ignoring their subpoena for the unredacted version of special counsel Robert S. Meuller III’s report and declining to testify before the Judiciary Committee as scheduled Thursday.

The attorney general’s defiance has Judiciary Democrats considering holding him in contempt of Congress. 

Fines? Jail time? Democrats leave all options on the table for enforcing subpoenas
As administration stonewalls Congress, Democrats consider using historical ‘inherent contempt’ power

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings says Democrats should consider all tools available them to force administration compliance with congressional subpoenas and oversight requests, including fines or jail time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Administration officials could face fines or jail time for ignoring congressional subpoenas, as House Democrats say they’re seriously considering reviving a congressional power that has not been used since the 1930s.

President Donald Trump has publicly urged administration officials not to comply with congressional subpoenas, and some have started heeding the advice. House Democrats have made no formal decisions about how to respond to the Trump administration’s stonewalling of their oversight investigations, but one option on the table is the historical process of “inherent contempt.”