Katherine Tully-McManus

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 Republicans’ 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.

House Republicans aim to force vote on Schiff censure
Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs is leading the effort, with GOP leadership backing

Rep. Andy Biggs will attempt to force a vote on his resolution to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff on the House floor this week, having initiated the process Wednesday.

Biggs’ censure effort has the backing of House Republican leaders — an uncommon alliance between the party’s establishment and the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

Road Ahead: Turkey sanctions unite chambers; impeachment ramps up with Congress’ return
After a two-week recess, lawmakers return to a full plate

Congress is returning from its two-week recess and although both chambers were expected to take up bipartisan proposals against President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, a Monday night executive order may change the calculation.

Opposition to the president’s move had united lawmakers despite the ongoing impeachment inquiry that has ratcheted up partisan divisions. Key congressional Republicans have slammed Trump’s decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria, where the troops have been a shield for U.S.-allied Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group. But the announcement Monday night of an executive order slapping new sanctions on Turkey over its military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria has the support of South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

McCarthy will donate indictment-tainted money to charity
Minority leader was among recipients of contributions from indicted Giuliani associates last cycle

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he will donate to charity campaign contributions received from two indicted associates of Rudy Giuliani. 

McCarthy, along with the National Republican Congressional Committee and other groups, were the beneficiaries of campaign cash from Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born businessmen who are also subjects of the House impeachment inquiry. The pair have been working with Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, on his investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who served on the board of an energy company in Ukraine.

Impeachment committees subpoena Perry for records
Democrats want Energy secretary to turn over files about interactions with Ukrainian officials

The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday, demanding records about his interactions with Ukrainian officials, including the president, a central figure in their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

In a letter, Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot L. Engel requested Perry turn over files about his knowledge of a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy and his activities in and business connections to Ukraine, including with a state-run natural gas company, Naftogaz.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions met with indicted Giuliani associates, accepted donations
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested on campaign finance violations

Former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who just last week announced a new bid for the House, appears to play a role in the indictment Thursday of two Soviet-born businessmen who are also subjects of the House impeachment inquiry.

While the indictment does not mention Sessions by name or charge him of any crime, he told a Texas radio show on Sunday that he met with them and Federal Election Commission documents show he accepted campaign donations from them last cycle. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney hospitalized after nearly fainting at New York vigil
New York Democrat says she is recovering from bronchitis

New York Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney was hospitalized Monday after she came close to fainting during a public event in Manhattan. 

The longtime Democratic congresswoman had joined homeless advocates at a vigil for four men beaten to death in Chinatown over the weekend. The 73-year-old was speaking to reporters in Chinatown when she began to faint.

Members’ Dining Room embraces 21st century — sort of
Recess time will be open to the public, via OpenTable

Quite some time has passed since the Capitol’s Petinaud and Bennett rooms opened their doors as the Members’ Dining Room in 1858, but walking into the House-side restaurant, with its red carpet and 20th century chandeliers, you’d hardly notice — unless you booked a reservation on OpenTable.

And when Heard on the Hill found out the dining room was opening to the public this recess, that is exactly what we did. Once a haven of exclusivity, the eatery can now enjoy a global presence outside Congress with the reservation-booking app.

Why is a Chinese propaganda newspaper delivered to Congress? Rep. Jim Banks wants to know
China Daily is delivered to congressional offices alongside independent papers

Rep. Jim Banks want to know why China Daily, a newspaper owned and paid for by the Chinese Communist Party, is delivered routinely to House and Senate offices alongside independent papers like Roll Call, Politico and The Washington Post.

The Indiana Republican wrote a letter to the House Chief Administrative Officer, Philip Kiko, requesting information on the process for how publications are distributed on Capitol Hill and for the CAO to take action.

McCarthy push for House to vote against impeachment is tabled again
Minority Leader used procedural tool to try to get members on the record before recess

The House tabled a resolution from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday disapproving of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to move forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It’s the second time this week.

The resolution says that the House “disapproves of the actions of the Speaker of the House, Mrs. Pelosi of CA, to initiate an impeachment inquiry against the duly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell talks about loss and friendships at memorial service
Michigan Democrat’s late husband and 22 other former lawmakers remembered

Current and former lawmakers and members of their families gathered Thursday to honor senators and members of the House who died over the past year. They left the tensions of impeachment and a divided Congress at the door, coming together to honor 23 former lawmakers.

Former Texas Rep. Martin Frost, the current president of the Association of Former Members of Congress, led the memorial service in Statuary Hall.

Senate Intelligence goes slow, seeks meeting with whistleblower
Panel met behind closed doors with acting intelligence director, inspector general

The Senate Intelligence Committee is just getting started on a review and inquiry into the whistleblower complaint that has rocked Capitol Hill this week.

“We’ve had a very productive first day. There’s a lot that we have to learn to proceed forward, but it’s our intention to go through that process,” Chairman Richard M. Burr told reporters after a closed hearing with Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson.

Whistleblower complaint delivered to Intel committees, House still votes for its release
Language revised to address Republicans' complaint

Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees were already streaming into secure rooms to view a divisive whistleblower complaint by the time House voted on a resolution urging the administration to hand over details of that same document.

The House voted 421-0 Wednesday evening to adopt a nonbinding resolution that stated it was the sense of the House that the whistleblower complaint received on Aug. 12 by the inspector general of the intelligence community should be transmitted immediately to the Intelligence Committee. Two members voted "present." The complaint was delivered to the House and Senate intelligence panels before the vote began.

Senate Democrats prepare marathon floor session on gun violence
Late night is expected as 22 senators are prepared to call for legislation

Nearly two dozen Senate Democrats plan to make it a late night on Tuesday, speaking out on the Senate floor about the impact of gun violence and legislative proposals Congress could explore.

The speeches are expected to begin around 5:30 p.m. and run late. Connecticut Democrat Christopher S. Murphy is leading the effort, spurred by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio during the August recess and the lack of clear response from the White House on what, if any, gun control measures they could agree to.

House Republicans’ 2020 strategy is all about Trump
At retreat, GOP hypes up president as key to their effort to win back the majority

BALTIMORE — House Republicans are embracing President Donald Trump as a critical asset in their effort to win back the majority in 2020 and are building their policy agenda and campaign strategy around him.

During a 48-hour retreat here Thursday through Saturday, GOP lawmakers lauded Trump for helping them win a North Carolina special election and said they looked forward to riding his coattails in districts across the country next year.

Trump, House Republicans met by protests in Baltimore
McCarthy defends president, saying his visit symbolizes that Trump cares for the city

As House Republicans gathered in Baltimore on Thursday night to hear from President Donald Trump, protesters outside the retreat venue made clear the president’s disparaging remarks about their city were still on their minds. 

Trump in July called the Baltimore-based 7th District of Maryland “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” on Twitter while slamming its longtime congressman, Maryland Democrat Elijah E. Cummings, who is African American.

McCarthy: Addressing debt would be Republicans’ top priority if they take back House
Environment, technology and privacy rights would also top agenda, McCarthy says

BALTIMORE — As House Republicans kicked off a 48-hour retreat here Thursday afternoon to plot their path back to the majority, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters the GOP’s top priority if it retakes the chamber in 2020 would be to address the national debt.

“First thing we would do is make sure our debt is taken care of,” the California Republican said. “This is continuing to grow.”

House Republicans to discuss path back to majority at Baltimore retreat
GOP members to talk politics and policy Thursday through Saturday at their delayed annual retreat

Fresh off two crucial special election wins in North Carolina, House Republicans head to Baltimore on Thursday for their delayed annual retreat, prepared to spend some quality time discussing how they plan to win back the majority in 2020.

Some of that planning will most certainly involve policy discussions about contrasting their proposals on jobs and the economy, health care, technology, energy and the environment, and other issues with what they often refer to as the Democrats’ “socialist” ideas. But a good chunk of the gathering, which will run from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning, will be about assessing the political landscape. 

Trump closes in on background check decision, key senators say

President Donald Trump may soon announce whether he will support a yet-to-be-written Senate bill expanding background checks for commercial gun sales, a bipartisan group of senators said Wednesday.

Trump spoke for about 45 minutes by phone with the trio of members at the center of background check talks. Sens. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., and Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters the president discussed options for securing a potential deal.

Tammy Baldwin’s latest bill is especially for Green Bay Packers fans
Wisconsin Democrat says 13 counties in the state get out-of-state broadcasts, including sports

Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin is taking a stand to try to ensure that all football fans in her state can watch their beloved Green Bay Packers play, even if they’re in a separate media market for the NFL.

Baldwin’s proposal would fix a dilemma faced by sports fans in 13 border counties in Wisconsin. The approximately 400,000 Wisconsinites in these counties are assigned to the Minnesota TV market, meaning that Minnesota Vikings games are broadcast rather than Packers games when the teams play at the same time.