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    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defied calls to resign in a feisty performance Wednesday in Parliament – but it may be too little to prevent a push by his Conservative Party's lawmakers to oust him over a series of lockdown-flouting government parties.  Pressure on the prime minister grew as one Conservative lawmaker defected to the opposition Labour Party and a former Conservative Cabinet minister told him: "In the name of God, go!"  The demand from former Brexit Secretary David Davis came during a combative Prime Minister's Questions session in the House of Commons, where Johnson defended his government's record in running the economy, fighting crime and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.  BORIS JOHNSON DENIES LYING ABOUT LOCKDOWN PARTIES AMID COVID PANDEMIC   In this screenshot taken from video, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (House of Commons/PA via AP) The allegations that Johnson and his staff broke restrictions the government imposed on the country have helped the Labour Party open up a double-digit opinion poll lead...
    House Democrats want law enforcement officials to consider banning lawmakers from bringing guns into the Capitol and neighboring office buildings, a move that seems aimed specifically at GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. On Wednesday, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland wrote to the Capitol Police Board, urging it to extend the long-standing firearm ban to lawmakers, who are typically exempt from any security screening when entering buildings within the complex. Hoyer asked the board, which meets as early as this week, to assess current rules allowing members of Congress to keep guns in their personal offices, which are located in buildings adjacent to the Capitol, and to “assess whether a complete ban on firearms in the Capitol Complex should be instituted.” Lawmakers are prohibited from taking guns into the House chamber, committee rooms, or adjoining committee suites, but they are only subject to a security screening outside the chamber and nowhere else in the complex. WHITE HOUSE SIGNALS ANOTHER SHOWDOWN WITH GOP GOVERNORS OVER MASKS IN SCHOOLS Members of Congress can carry guns...
    When Second District Rep. Angie Craig took office in 2018, she sold off all of the stock she held in St. Jude Medical, the company where she had worked for over a decade before taking office. “I didn’t believe that I should come in as a sitting member of Congress owning individual stock because I didn’t want anyone to perceive that I was doing anything but looking out for their best interests,” Craig said. Craig does not currently own any individual stocks. Now, Craig wants to expand this caution to the rest of Congress. She’s starting with the House by introducing the No Option for Stock Trading and Ownership as a Check to Keep Congress Clean Resolution. That’s a mouthful, so it’s colloquially referred to as the NO STOCK Resolution. Craig’s resolution would prohibit members of the House of Representatives from owning common stock of any individual public corporation. Article continues after advertisement An already existing law, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2012, was designed to combat...
    House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerClyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' GOP's McCarthy has little incentive to work with Jan. 6 panel Lobbying world MORE (D-Md.) called for “clear and prudent firearms guidelines” from the Capitol Police Board in a letter to all four of its members. “I understand that the CPB intends to meet as soon as this week, and it is my hope that you will use this opportunity to discuss necessary revisions to your current firearms regulations,” Hoyer wrote in a letter dated Tuesday. “I respectfully request serious consideration of the following proposed changes to Police Board Regulations Pertaining to Firearms, Explosives, Incendiary Devices, and Other Dangerous Weapons.” The House majority leader proposed changes to the firearms guidance including language that prohibits lawmakers and Capitol Hill personnel from carrying firearms in the Capitol Complex. The rules would not apply to Capitol Hill law enforcement and there would be several exceptions. In addition, Hoyer proposed assessing current rules to see if a ban on bringing firearms inside the Capitol Complex for lawmakers should be...
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. Lawmakers grilled Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles on the Maryland Department of the Environment’s enforcement and understaffing issues Tuesday, following a sewage spill in Southern Maryland, a report about inadequate state inspections at poultry farms and concerns about the state’s drinking water systems. “Our work always recognizes the important role of proactive regulation and enforcement,” Grumbles told the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. “Over the last few years, we have been keeping track of penalties and referrals — we know that that’s an area where we need to continue to step up.” State Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) presented the committee a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that revealed understaffing at MDE’s water supply program, which oversees the state’s drinking water systems. The report concluded that MDE needs 187% more full-time employees and 93% more funding to ensure safe drinking water for the public, Frosh said. MDE’s drinking water program has 71 full-time positions, but nearly 40%...
    LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a grilling from opponents in Parliament on Wednesday — and a more worrying threat from his own party’s restive lawmakers, dozens of whom are plotting to oust him over a string of lockdown-flouting government parties. Conservative legislators are judging whether to trigger a no-confidence vote in Johnson amid public anger over the “partygate” scandal. It’s a stunning reversal of fortune for a politician who just over two years ago led the Conservatives to their biggest election victory in almost 40 years. Johnson and loyal ministers were using a mix of pressure and promises in an effort to bring rebels back into line before they submit letters to a party committee calling for a vote of no confidence. Under Conservative Party rules, a no-confidence vote in the party’s leader can be triggered if 54 party lawmakers write letters to a party official demanding it. So far only a handful of Conservative members of Parliament have openly called for Johnson to quit, though several dozen are believed to have submitted letters, including...
    D.C.-area Democrats on Capitol Hill hope again to remove the name of a segregationist from Chevy Chase Circle: Francis Newlands. The developer — and longtime member of Congress — is memorialized with a fountain in the roundabout because of his role in founding the village in the late 19th Century. But Newlands’ vision of that village was a white one, and he worked to ensure it was not accessible to Black or Jewish families, among others. And while Confederate statues have come down and local roads have been renamed in the months since George Floyd’s murder, Newlands’ name remains in the circle despite a public outcry. That’s because the roundabout straddles the D.C.-Maryland border, making it a federal matter, so U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland have introduced a bill in the Senate. Meanwhile in the House, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a similar bill (and not for the first time). “We should not be memorializing [Newlands] and the deeply harmful policies he stood for — the legacies of which...
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers weighing impeachment charges for the state’s attorney general on Tuesday drilled into the investigation of his fatal car crash in 2020, spending hours questioning the law enforcement officers and a specialist who analyzed the crash. Nearly all of the House investigative committee’s work has so far happened behind closed doors, but the committee of seven Republicans and two Democrats met in public Tuesday to question the law enforcement officers who investigated Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg after he struck and killed a man walking along a rural stretch of highway in September of 2020. The committee has pledged to release much of the crash investigation files, but it was not clear when they would. The committee has been tasked with sifting through the crash investigation and recommending whether Ravnsborg, the state’s top law enforcement officer, should face impeachment charges in the House. Ravnsborg, a Republican elected to his first term in 2018, first reported the crash as a collision with an animal and has insisted that he did not realize he had killed the...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks — a proposal nearly identical to the Mississippi law currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. As the nation waits for the court to make a decision later this year in the abortion case that could overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, at least two states — West Virginia and Florida — have introduced bills mirroring Mississippi’s. Both the Florida and West Virginia bills would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality. Neither would provide exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Republican Del. Ruth Rowan, lead sponsor of the West Virginia bill, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that West Virginia has an obligation to protect the unborn as “a Christian state where people care about their families and their children.” Rowan carries two wallet-sized photos around with her in the Capitol: One is of her 17-year-old grandson, a junior at the West Virginia Schools for the...
    Two Georgia Republicans — Reps. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE and Andrew Clyde — have been fined a combined nearly $150,000 for defying the requirement that everyone wear a mask in the House chamber during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to documents that Greene's office shared with The Hill, she has been fined at least 36 times for a total of $88,000 as of Jan. 11. The House Ethics Committee also disclosed Tuesday that Clyde has been fined at least 25 times since September, meaning he has been issued fines totaling at least $60,500. That means the two lawmakers have accrued at least $148,500 in combined fines. The fines start at $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses. House Democrats enacted the fines to enforce the chamber's mask mandate a year ago after several Republicans, including Greene, declined to wear facial coverings while lawmakers were crowded in a secure space during...
    Sixty-seven percent of Americans are in support of banning lawmakers from trading stocks, according to a new poll from progressive firm Data for Progress.  The poll, released on Tuesday, said that figure increased to 74 percent when respondents were given arguments in favor of and against a ban.  After the arguments, 19 percent of those surveyed said they would oppose a proposed ban, according to the poll.  Forty-three percent of respondents are in favor of a proposed bill that would ban lawmakers and their congressional staff members from buying and selling individual stocks, and 24 percent said they somewhat agree with the idea.  Seventy-five percent of respondents who identified as Democrats said they strongly or somewhat support a ban on lawmaker stock trading, while 76 percent of independent/third party survey takers and 70 percent of Republican respondents agreed.  The new poll comes after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat GOP senator knocks Biden for 'spreading things that are untrue' in voting rights speech MORE (D-Calif.) last week asked the House Administration Committee to consider harsher...
    The father of slain UCLA student Brianna Kupfer has revealed that his 24-yearold daughter was not supposed to be working on the day she was stabbed in cold-blood inside a high-end furniture store - and he laid some of the blame for the killing on politicians and their skewed priorities.  'I blame what's endemic in our society right now, is that everybody seems to be oriented on giving back rights and bestowing favor on people that rob others of their rights,' Todd Kupfer told Fox News.  Kupfer said he is not blaming any politicians by name, but he argued that their job is 'to make communities better, to make people care more, not to tear down communities by exposing them to people that are falling out the bottom, that really don't care about other human beings and just think they can do whatever they like in our society.' Scroll down for videos  Todd Kupfer (right) went on Fox News on Tuesday to talk about the cold-blooded murder of his daughter, 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, who was stabbed to death in LA...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida lawmakers moved forward Tuesday with a plan that would connect playing the national anthem at sports events to state and local dollars. The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee backed a proposal (SB 1298) that would require Florida professional sports teams receiving government money to play the national anthem before every home game. READ MORE: 'Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity,' Judge Accepts Opera Singer's Plea In Mar-a-Lago Breach From 2 Years AgoWhen asked by Sen. Victor Torres, D-Kissimmee, if any teams don’t play the anthem, bill sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, acknowledged he didn’t know of cases in Florida where “The Star-Spangled Banner” wasn’t played before games and other events. “This is just to make sure, as a proactive approach, that people continue to play it,” Gruters, who doubles as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said. In voting against the bill, Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, called the proposal an overreach into private enterprise that appears to have little to do with the anthem. “We’re pushing ourselves out there as a free state. All...
    Over two-dozen Republican lawmakers are pressed the Biden administration on its efforts to recover U.S. weapons and supplies left behind after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last year. In a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinMilley tests positive for COVID-19 Charles McGee, member of Tuskeegee Airmen and 'American hero', dies at 102 Biden defense chief voices support for Ukraine in call MORE dated Jan. 14, the lawmakers blasted the administration for missing a deadline to submit a report on the equipment, which was required under a government funding bill. “It is with gravest concern that even after a three-month window to produce the required information, the DOD still has not given Congress an accurate accounting of United States equipment still in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where terrorist groups are reconstituting,” the letter, led by Rep. Andy BarrAndy BarrGOP Rep. Andy Barr reports M in cash ahead of 2022 election House passes bill to fight valvular heart disease, honor GOP lawmaker's late wife The IMF has lost its way MORE (R-K.Y.), read.  “This lack of information prevents Congress from being able to accurately and...
    Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar El Paso Rep. Veronica Escobar leads a dozen members of Texas’ Congressional delegation in calling on the state’s military department inspector general to open a probe into right-wing Gov. Greg Abbott’s border scheme. Operation Lone Star, which has swept up thousands of asylum-seekers since early last year, has in recent months been plagued by a number of tragic military deaths. “The letter comes as another service member, based in the city of Pharr, survived a suicide attempt Sunday, according to an incident report obtained by Army Times and The Texas Tribune,” the two outlets reported last week. “It is clear there are many reasons to be concerned for servicemembers supporting this mission, including the growing number of confirmed deaths by suicide that have occurred to troops on orders supporting OLS,” lawmakers wrote to the Texas Military Department (TMD) inspector general (click here for a full list of signatories). Lawmakers note that one soldier who expressed suicidal ideations had his arms taken away—only to be rearmed and sent back out less than a day later. Lawmakers say the “brewing mental health crisis” is...
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli lawmakers on Tuesday called for a parliamentary inquiry into the police’s alleged use of sophisticated spyware on Israeli citizens, including protesters opposed to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following a newspaper report on the surveillance. Hebrew-language business newspaper Calcalist reported that in 2020, police used the NSO spyware Pegasus to surveil leaders of protests against Netanyahu, who was then prime minister. It said police also hacked the phones of two sitting mayors suspected of corruption and numerous other Israeli citizens, all without a court order or a judge’s oversight. The Israeli police denied the allegations, saying they operate according to the law, and the NSO Group said it does not identify its clients. Sophisticated spyware made by the Israeli company has been linked to eavesdropping on human rights activists, journalists and politicians, from Saudi Arabia to Mexico. The U.S. has barred the group from American technology, saying its products have been used by repressive regimes. The company says its products are intended to be used against criminals and terrorists, and that it does not control...
    The Senate will begin debate Tuesday on voting rights legislation with no clear path forward on how to pass it into law. With its failure all but assured, President Joe Biden is preparing to pivot his attention back to his Build Back Better legisation with a plan to pare down his social safety net bill to make it more appealing to moderate Democrats. First up this week though is the voting rights legislation that would make Election Day a federal holiday, reform the redistricting process and tighten campaign finance laws.  Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer will begin debate on it Tuesday where senators will have a chance to come to the floor and speak.  The action is expected to start on Wednesday when Schumer makes a motion to end debate. That is when he'll need 60 votes in the 50-50 evenly split Senate to move the legislation forward. Given the united Republican opposition to it, that will fail. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will begin debate Tuesday on federal voting rights legislation with no clear path forward on how to...
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. Maryland policymakers and transit advocates are contemplating a bigger and better future for the state’s MARC commuter rail service. And with billions of dollars eventually heading the state’s way in new federal infrastructure funding, they hope some of their ambitions can be realized in the not-too-distant future. But it’s also apparent, as lawmakers heard Monday during a virtual briefing on MARC, that several obstacles remain to fully realizing goals for the railroad’s expansion. And some transit advocates in the General Assembly believe the Hogan administration hasn’t outlined an expansive enough vision for improving commuter rail service. They look grudgingly to Virginia, which is in the early stages of a multibillion-dollar years-long buildup of its commuter rail system, as a model. “It’s a little concerning that we have so few concrete [rail expansion] projects that are ready to take advantage of these [federal funding] opportunities,” Del. Marc Korman (D-Montgomery), chair of the House Appropriations Transportation & the Environment subcommittee, said Monday....
              by Benjamin Yount   Colby cheese is up for another day of debate in Wisconsin on Tuesday. The state Senate’s Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection is scheduled to hear the arguments for and against making Colby cheese Wisconsin’s official state cheese yet again. The plan, SB 371, from Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) is not new. It is also not popular. Lawmakers have turned down the proposal several times. Not because they don’t like Colby cheese, but because in Wisconsin there are so many cheeses to recognize. “There’s like 100 cheese factories in the state of Wisconsin, and 25 of them sit in my Assembly district. So I consider myself the cheese-guru,” Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) said during a July hearing on the Colby cheese plan. “I like Colby, but I also like a lot of other cheeses.” Supporters want to recognize Colby cheese because it originated in Colby, Wisconsin. Tuesday’s hearing is scheduled for 10:15 am.  – – – Benjamin Yount os a regular contributor to The Center Square. Photo “Glorious Cheese” is by George Ruiz...
    A little over a year after the violent attack on the Capitol, threats targeting lawmakers have only increased alongside a surge of violent speech shared online and even inside the building. Threats against lawmakers have reached an all-time high of 9,600, according to U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) data shared in a hearing last week, outpacing 2020 figures. The risk was brought to the forefront just Thursday, when USCP officers arrested a Michigan woman who they said showed up outside the department's headquarters with multiple guns seeking to talk about the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. On the anniversary of that attack, a memo from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by The Hill warned that calls for violent action against lawmakers were picking up steam online. That includes a video calling for lawmakers to be hung in front of the White House that has now been viewed more than 60,000 times.  Some of the violent rhetoric is coming from within Congress’s own walls. Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarMcCarthy says he'll strip Dems of committee slots if GOP wins House Should...
    New York (CNN Business)"Change is going to come. No question." "We are serious about taking action." "Here's my message for Mark Zuckerberg: Your time of invading our privacy, promoting toxic content, and preying on children and teens is over. Congress will be taking action."Facebook, now known as Meta (FB), has faced scrutiny on Capitol Hill for years, with executives — including Zuckerberg — repeatedly grilled in Congressional hearings. But if these and other comments from lawmakers during hearings in recent months are any indication, 2022 could shape up to be a make-or-break year in the long-running effort to regulate Facebook. Congress is currently considering around a dozen proposed bills targeting Big Tech, some of which could force Meta to change how it handles algorithmic recommendations and collecting user data, as well as its ability to make acquisitions. A bipartisan group of 10 state attorneys general launched an investigation late last year into Meta, focused on the potential harms of its Instagram platform on young users. Read MoreAnd last week, a federal judge said the Federal Trade Commission could move forward...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the nation honors Martin Luther King Jr., the push for voting rights continues in Washington D.C. and in Chicago.President Biden is urging lawmakers to provide more access to voters like Martin Luther King Jr. did, But they are facing tough opposition from Republicans and here at home leaders plan to make their voices heard on the matter:Since the 2020 election, 19 states have passed 34 bills tightening voting rules, including shortening the window for mail-in voting and imposing tougher ID requirements.Now, there is mounting pressure on President Biden to ensure voter access to ballots before the November mid-term elections.SEE ALSO: Martin Luther King Jr. seen up close in rare color photos during Chicago visitDemocrats are still struggling to advance the Freedom to Vote Act, which if passed, would create a national standard for voting access, like enabling early voting, two weeks prior to Election Day and allow voters to return mail-in ballots in-person to a polling place or dropbox and more.The president is imploring congressional lawmakers to pass voting legislation on this day, honoring the legacy...
              by Fred Lucas   More than 40 House Republicans are calling for the ouster of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona after a report of his apparent role in a national schools group’s calling some concerned parents “domestic terrorists,” while 24 GOP senators are asking the nation’s top education official for answers. The push comes after Fox News reported earlier this week on emails indicating that Cardona solicited a highly publicized letter to President Joe Biden from the National School Boards Association asking that officials apply the Patriot Act and other counterterror tools to dissenting parents. An NSBA email said the letter to Biden was a “request from the secretary.” Cardona denied having anything to do with the group’s letter. Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., led a letter dated Thursday in which she and 40 other House Republicans ask Biden to fire Cardona. “Your pledge to help bring unity will ring even more hollow if Secretary Cardona continues in his current  position,” the letter from McClain and the others says. “As such, in order to uphold your promise to help bring unity and healing to a divided nation, you...
              by J.D. Davidson   Vendors wanting to do business with the state of Ohio would be banned if they are caught committing fraud under proposed legislation in the General Assembly. What sponsoring lawmakers are calling anti-corruption legislation also is aimed at stopping influence and collusion. Ohio is one of a few states that does not have a law modeled after similar federal legislation. “Ohio is potentially letting criminals get away with millions of dollars of ill-gotten taxpayer dollars by failing to adopt these long-needed and commonsense reforms,” Rep. Jeffrey Crossman, D-Parma, said. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t pass these bills to catch and punish fraud.” The Ohio False Claim Act, based on the federal law, creates civil penalties for violators and allows for a person to bring civil action against violators on behalf of the state and the individual. It also sets out compensation for employees subject to retribution by their employer for participating in the civil action. The legislation includes a list of items that would bar a vendor from consideration for winning a state contract based...
    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is considered one of the most powerful governors to ever hold office in the state of Florida, according to a new report. Per Politico, the Republican governor exerted even more power over top state officials and lawmakers by "cracking down on election crimes, spending $8 million to transport 'unauthorized aliens' out of state and targeting 'wokeness' in schools." "Democrats, who are in the minority, are unable to stop him," Politico reports. "And Republicans in the Florida Legislature are enthusiastically carrying out his wishes or are unwilling to buck him." “He’s become the 1,100-pound gorilla in state government,” said Tom Lee, a member of the Republican Party and former president of the Senate who worked with four different governors over the course of his 18 years with the Legislature. “Gov. DeSantis is extremely popular relative to most of his predecessors. With that goes a tremendous amount of power.” Lee also noted how Republicans have enabled the governor. “Republicans are doing very well and hanging together on a lot of these issues. If it’s not broke,...
              by Ailan Evans   Two former Democratic congressmen contracted with a lobbying firm to advocate on behalf of South Korean businesses operating factories in North Korea, according to recent filings. Former Democratic Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay joined law firm and lobby shop Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman on Wednesday to lobby on behalf of the Corporate Association of the Gaesong Industrial Complex (CAGIC) at the direction of South Korean consultancy HC & Sons, according to a foreign agent filing with the Justice Department. Former Democratic Texas Rep. Greg Laughlin, who has been with Pillsbury since 2004 and served in Congress for 6 years before switching parties, began lobbying on behalf of CAGIC in December 2021, filings show. Pillsbury began working with CAGIC in July 2021, filings show, signing a $675,000 contract to provide services including “general advocacy, including meetings with U.S. Executive and Legislative Branches.” The firm will also “provide information to CAGIC and advocate on its behalf,” filings show. CAGIC is a group of South Korean companies operating business facilities in Gaesong Industrial Complex, a special administrative zone located in North Korea in which South...
              by Eric Lendrum   In Pennsylvania, Republican members of the state legislature are drafting a bill that would forcibly relocate illegal aliens brought into the state by Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and instead move them to Biden’s home state of Delaware. Fox News reports that the legislation was first mentioned in a memo by State Senator Mario Scavello (R-Penn.), who informed his colleagues of his intentions to introduce the bill. “In the very near future, I intend to introduce legislation to address the influx of illegal immigrants being relocated into Pennsylvania,” Scavello stated. “How many illegal immigrants has the president relocated to his own home state of Delaware? If it is good enough for Pennsylvania, then why not redirect the relocation to Delaware?” Scavello’s plans mirror recent remarks by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who said in November that he considered sending any illegal aliens brought into his state up to Biden’s home state using buses. Another State Senator, Doug Mastriano (R-Penn.), announced that he co-sponsor Scavello’s bill, adding that “we need to further examine the total number...
    As is the case every year, Maryland lawmakers have limited time to get a lot of legislation passed. The session that started Wednesday will wrap up 90 days from when the gavels first fell, and in that time they’ll be approving new legislative districts and passing a budget, actions that will provide no shortage of partisan bickering and squabbles over spending. More Maryland News This also appears to be the year that lawmakers will pass some sort of legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana. To this point, the governor hasn’t given much indication what he would do with such a bill, but there doesn’t seem to be much consensus yet on how Democrats in the legislature will come together on legalization either. “Maryland is so far behind the curve on this issue,” said Todd Eberly, a political-science professor and coordinator of Public Policy Studies at St. Mary’s College. “It’s just strange how far behind the curve” the state is. It’s likely that lawmakers will mostly be haggling over what the bill is going to look like. Some,...
    A group of over two dozen lawmakers is urging NBC to put a spotlight on human rights protests as the network airs the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.  Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo. spearheaded a letter co-signed by 29 of her colleagues sent to NBC CEO Jeff Shell and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel over its coverage of the upcoming Olympic Games being hosted next month in Beijing and the likely efforts of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to silence dissidents as the world tunes in to the network.  OLYMPIC CORPORATE PARTNER ‘PROUD’ OF SPONSORSHIP DESPITE CHINA'S TREATMENT OF UYGHURS "We remain gravely concerned that the PRC will use the event as a platform to disseminate propaganda and distract from its egregious human rights abuses, including its ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims," the lawmakers wrote. "While we still believe that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should revoke the PRC's hosting privileges, in the event that the Olympics proceed as planned, honest and transparent coverage will help the international community defend persecuted groups like Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kong residents, Falun Gong...
    More than two dozen House Republicans are asking the Biden Pentagon where its report is on the status of American taxpayer-funded military equipment the Biden administration left behind in Afghanistan after the agency missed its deadline two weeks ago, Breitbart News has exclusively learned. In a letter led by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and sent to the Department of Defense on Friday, the 28 House lawmakers wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: We write to you with deep concern regarding the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) non-compliance with Congressionally mandated reporting of United States property, equipment, and supplies left behind after the disastrous August withdrawal from Afghanistan. The DOD is over two-weeks late on its reporting deadline, totally disregarding Congressional accounting of taxpayer funded equipment abandoned by this Administration and left in possession of the Taliban. During the Biden administration’s chaotic and disastrous U.S.-led withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, the military was forced to leave or destroy billions of U.S. military equipment it was using in the country or had tried to hand over to the Afghanistan government before the Taliban...
    Colorado lawmakers have asked the Department of Justice's (DOJ) inspector general to investigate local law enforcement’s knowledge of a man accused of killing five people and wounding others in a shooting spree in Denver last month. Reps. Ed PerlmutterEdwin (Ed) George PerlmutterThe Hill's 12:30 Report: 2021 ends with 40-year inflation high On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta MORE (D), Jason CrowJason CrowDemocrats look back on Jan. 6 with emotion Jan. 6 brings Democrats, Cheneys together — with GOP mostly absent The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Marking the Jan. 6 'chaos and carnage' MORE (D), Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteCO lawmakers ask DOJ to investigate police's knowledge about alleged shooter Hillicon Valley — Biden's misinformation warning Lawmakers call on tech firms to take threat of suicide site seriously, limit its visibility MORE (D) and Joe NeguseJoseph (Joe) NeguseBiden addresses Coloradans after wildfires: 'Incredible courage and resolve' Overnight Energy & Environment — Virginia gears up for fight on Trump-era official Equilibrium/Sustainability —...
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The president of the University of North Dakota on Friday defended a proposal that would allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, saying the intent is to align the Grand Forks-based school with existing laws and to better protect LGBTQ students from harassment and discrimination. University President Andrew Armacost’s livestreamed presentation came after widespread criticism from state lawmakers, North Dakota’s two Roman Catholic bishops and Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski, who said in a Facebook post that the gender inclusion policy proposal “spits in the face of everything we believe in” and called it a “sad day for my alma mater.” The proposal would require, among other things, the use of a transgender person’s preferred pronouns and allow people to use facilities that align with their gender identity. “The draft policy is intended to state our support to our LGBTQ members and, in particular, to our transgender and nonbinary members, with that same guarantee of access to education and fair employment without fear of discrimination or harassment,” Armacost said. The...
    Experts say Republican rhetoric has fueled thousands of racist incidents against Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic. House Republicans are returning to the sort of rhetoric that experts say has fueled thousands of racist incidents against people of Asian descent in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The latest object of their ire is their receipt of free KN95 masks intended to protect them from the coronavirus. After the nonpartisan congressional Office of the Attending Physician urged lawmakers and their staffs this week to wear N95 or KN95 masks to curb the spread of the omicron variant, masks were distributed free of charge to congressional offices. Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs tweeted on Friday that he was outraged that the KN95s — a common face mask recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help curb the spread of COVID-19 — were made in China. "KN95 masks distributed to House members stamped with 'MADE IN CHINA'. Fitting for the Democrats to hand out masks that are...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – This weekend will mark the first time since July that 36 million U.S. families won’t receive a monthly check through the expanded Child Tax Credit. Eligible families were receiving the $300-per-child monthly checks from the IRS to help pay for groceries and other expenses. READ MORE: Man Charged After Shots Fired In Dispute Between NW Miami-Dade Warehouse EmployeesFlorida Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch and Darren Soto held a virtual news conference on Friday calling for the passage of the Build Back Better Act. President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which remains in limbo, would have ensured that families receive a payment on Friday. Florida lawmakers want the Build Back Better Act to pass in order to make the tax cut permanent to help reduce financial insecurity, food insecurity, and poverty on Florida families. The Build Back Better Act calls for around $1.75 trillion in new spending which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will be mostly paid for over 10 years. The bill includes $585 billion for family benefits, $570 billion for climate and infrastructure initiatives, $340 billion for healthcare...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Florida lawmakers appear to be speeding toward extending COVID-19 legal protections for hospitals, nursing homes and other health-care providers as the pandemic enters its third year. The House Health & Human Services Committee on Friday approved a bill (PCB HHS 22-01) that would extend the legal protections until June 1, 2023. That came a day after the Senate Rules Committee approved the Senate version of the bill (SB 7014), setting up the issue to go to the full Senate next week. The protections were approved during last year’s legislative session but are set to expire March 29 unless they are extended. They address lawsuits involving issues such as transmission of COVID-19 and treatment of people with COVID-19. “I think the health-care entities need this protection. It was asked even last year what the term would be, and unfortunately we do have to extend it. My prayer is we won’t have to extend it again,” said Rep. Ralph Massullo, a Lecanto Republican who is a dermatologist. “We have faced COVID for the last two years, but COVID is...
                 Two Tennessee lawmakers are targeting organized street racing. State Representative John Gillespie (R-Memphis-HD97)  and State Senator John Stevens (R-Huntingdon-SD24) have teamed up to introduce identical bills, HB1661 and SB1673. These bills create a new offense in the state code, aggravated reckless driving. They establish the new offense, aggravated reckless driving, as a Class A misdemeanor. In Tennessee, Class A misdemeanors carry a maximum of 11 months and 29 days in jail, fines up to $2,500, or both. Rep. Gillespie says organized street racing can be “deadly behavior.” He told WKRN: “One of the things we left out on that was the factor that there are still individuals that are going extremely fast over the speed limit, weaving in and out of traffic. Right now we have people that are going 40, 50, 60 miles per hour over the speed limit, not just on the interstate, but on secondary roads, cutting people off. And quite frankly, it can be deadly behavior.” Rep. Gillespie continued, discussing why he’s pushing these bills, “I’m hearing from moms and dads that are going...
    MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) — There’s a digital billboard with missing seven-year-old Harmony Montgomery’s picture up along I-93 in Methuen, heading to New Hampshire where she last lived with her father. On Thursday, the reward for information leading to her increased to $112,000. READ MORE: Light Snow And Windy Friday, Dangerous Cold Saturday And Strong Storm Forecast For MondayLawmakers and advocates are now taking a close look at what could have been done to prevent her from slipping under the radar when she was five years old in 2019.  She has not been seen since then. “I, more than anybody, want to see reforms where reforms are needed. But you can’t help somebody you can’t find,” said N.H. Rep. Mark Pearson, who chairs the joint committee in charge of oversight for the Department of Health and Human Services, an agency over the Department of Children Youth and Families. “We’re going to ask the question you asked. Could we have done something different?” Gov. Chris Sununu says the state is investigating DCYF, but he stands by the agency. “As soon as we...
    Doctors who are convicted of sexually abusing patients would be permanently banned from practicing medicine in California under a bill introduced this week by state legislators. The move comes a month after a Times investigation found that the Medical Board of California had reinstated 10 physicians since 2013 who lost their licenses for sexual misconduct. They included two doctors who abused teenage girls and one who beat two female patients when they reported him for sexually exploiting them. “I read that article and my stomach turned. This is the sort of stuff you see in horror movies,” said the bill’s lead author, Assemblywoman Akilah Weber (D-San Diego), who is an obstetrician/gynecologist. “I was shocked. I was very concerned for patients and very concerned for the medical profession itself.” The measure would be a major overhaul of current practice, which patients and healthcare advocates contend favors leniency for doctors and provides victims of sexual misconduct no voice in the disciplinary process. The change would take the decision to reinstate such doctors out of the hands of the Medical Board...
    Two Democratic senators on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would prevent congressional lawmakers and their immediate families from trading stocks while in office, as new polling shows that an overwhelming majority of voters across the political spectrum support such a reform—something that Republicans putting forward competing proposals are trying to capitalize on. The Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, introduced by Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), would amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to require members of Congress, their spouses, and dependent children to place certain investments into blind trusts or divest them—ensuring they don't profit from privileged information obtained on Capitol Hill. "Members of Congress should not be playing the stock market while we make federal policy," Ossoff said in a statement. Emphasizing that "elected leaders have access to valuable information that impacts policy, the economy, and entire industries," Kelly said that if passed, the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act "will put an end to corrupt insider trading and ensure that leaders in Congress focus on delivering results for their constituents, not their stock portfolios." Members...
    let's face it, we're one Joe Rogan podcast away from someone making a case that turds cure COVID-19 Different week, same old GOP statehouse garbage. Seriously, the sense of deja vu with these cats is real. Especially because they seem oblivious to the fact that WE’RE STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF A FREAKING PANDEMIC But Republican lawmakers object to the most basic of public safety measures, like masks, with a vehemence one might more suitably reserve for, say, drinking spoiled milk. … although if enough conservative anti-vaxxers get behind drinking spoiled as a COVID-19 cure, they might get into it. (I mean, if folks can be convinced that drinking their own urine cures coronavirus, this doesn’t seem like a heavy lift.) Anyway, everything is stupid, but GOP state legislators seem dedicated to elevating “stupid” to deadly levels. Because in state after state, Republicans, at best, are mostly sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling, “LALALALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU,” and at worst, they’re actively making it harder for kids, teachers, businesses, and, well, anyone to protect themselves. Campaign Action Take South...
    A bill pre-filed in the Georgia legislature is seeking to give student athletes “due process” rights, which they do not have under the current rules of the Georgia High School Association. The GHSA is a private organization that governs athletics and activities for member high schools in Georgia. GHSA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations. The association has 463 public and private high schools as members. “The GHSA has repeatedly failed our schools and student athletes, specifically our smaller schools. My office and the office of other senators have had a tremendous outreach from schools across the State expressing their concern with the GHSA,” Senator Jeff Mullis said.  “The GHSA’s unwillingness to listen to the concerns of the schools in question is extremely troubling and I believe they must be held accountable. This bill explores ways to improve the system for our schools and student athletes.” SB BILL 328: to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official...
    A bill filed in the Georgia legislature is seeking to give student athletes “due process” rights, which they do not have under the current rules of the Georgia High School Association. The GHSA is a private organization that governs athletics and activities for member high schools in Georgia. GHSA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations. The association has 463 public and private high schools as members. “The GHSA has repeatedly failed our schools and student athletes, specifically our smaller schools. My office and the office of other senators have had a tremendous outreach from schools across the State expressing their concern with the GHSA,” Senator Jeff Mullis said.  “The GHSA’s unwillingness to listen to the concerns of the schools in question is extremely troubling and I believe they must be held accountable. This bill explores ways to improve the system for our schools and student athletes.” SB BILL 328: to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official...
    By Nina dos Santos and Allegra Goodwin | CNN The United Kingdom’s domestic spy agency has warned British lawmakers that a woman connected to the Chinese Communist Party has been working to interfere in the UK political process. MI5 alleges in an alert that Christine Ching Kui Lee has “acted covertly in coordination” with the United Front Work Department (UFWD), of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and is “judged to be involved in political interference activities in the UK.” The MI5 “interference alert,” obtained by CNN on Thursday, said: “We judge that the UFWD is seeking to covertly interfere in UK politics through establishing links with established and aspiring Parliamentarians across the political spectrum.” The alert also added that Lee has been facilitating “financial donations to political parties, Parliamentarians, aspiring Parliamentarians and individuals seeking political office in the UK, including facilitating donations to political entities on behalf of foreign nationals.” The UK Company Register lists Lee as a British citizen. MI5 said that while Lee has said her UK-based activities are “to represent the UK Chinese community and increase diversity,”...
    Members of three legislative committees grilled Maryland Department of Health officials Thursday. (Screenshot via Zoom) This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. State lawmakers slammed officials in the Hogan administration Thursday as they were briefed about a succession of problems the Maryland Department of Health has confronted in recent weeks. Members of the three legislative panels — the House Health and Government Operations, the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs and the Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Biotechnology — posed questions to Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader and Dr. Jinlene Chan, the agency’s deputy director of public health services, about the mismanaged vaccines administered to 873 Marylanders by a state-contracted company. The same panels also interrogated top health and information security officials about ongoing agency service outages after a Dec. 4 cyberattack. Citing an ongoing criminal investigation, officials didn’t provide lawmakers with much information. On the mismanaged vaccines, legislators pushed for answers regarding timelines and oversight of the government contractor TrueCare24. A whistleblower...
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission on Thursday delayed a controversial vote that would’ve shortened sentences for offenders who commit crimes while on probation or parole, after fierce criticism from lawmakers, law enforcement and the public. More than 3,000 people submitted testimony to the commission, most of them urging the commission to reject changes they feared would further endanger the public as a rise in crime leaves the Twin Cities metro on edge. READ MORE: Former Viking Robert Blanton Helps Thwart Carjacking Outside Edina Day Care“There’s a perception that the criminal justice system has a revolving door and it doesn’t hold offenders accountable,” said Commissioner Michelle Larkin, who is a Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge. Sentencing in Minnesota is on a point system, which accounts for the crime committed and criminal history. More points yield a stronger penalty. The proposal before the commission, which is an 11-member body made up of largely governor appointees that work in the criminal justice system, looked to eliminate “custody status” points, or added penalties for those who commit offenses while on probation,...
    MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) — There’s a digital billboard with missing seven-year-old Harmony Montgomery’s picture up along I-93 in Methuen, heading to New Hampshire where she last lived with her father. On Thursday, the reward for information leading to her increased to $112,000. READ MORE: Betty White Challenge Leads To Big Donations For Animal Shelters Across MassachusettsLawmakers and advocates are now taking a close look at what could have been done to prevent her from slipping under the radar when she was five years old in 2019.  She has not been seen since then. “I, more than anybody, want to see reforms where reforms are needed. But you can’t help somebody you can’t find,” said N.H. Rep. Mark Pearson, who chairs the joint committee in charge of oversight for the Department of Health and Human Services, an agency over the Department of Children Youth and Families. “We’re going to ask the question you asked. Could we have done something different?” Gov. Chris Sununu says the state is investigating DCYF, but he stands by the agency. “As soon as we found out...
    LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Lawmakers are calling for an investigation into previous police encounters with Lyndon McCleod, the presumed gunman in a string of shooting in Denver and Lakewood in on Dec. 27. Five people were killed and two others were injured, including a Lakewood police officer. (credit: CBS) CBS Denver learned law enforcement was aware of McLeod and had investigated him twice in the past two years, but did not find reason to charge him. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) — along with Reps. Jason Crow (CO-06), Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Joe Neguse (CO-02) — sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting an investigation into the handling of prior law enforcement encounters with McLeod. The letter reads, in part: “In the days following this incident, multiple news outlets reported the gunman, Lyndon McLeod, foreshadowed his plan of violence in a series of books, often in shocking specificity such as using the locations and names of people he planned to target. It was also reported the gunman was on the radar of federal law enforcement...
    (CNN)Two senators from different sides of the aisle have both introduced similar bills that would ban lawmakers and their families from buying and selling stocks while in office.Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia introduced a bill this week with fellow Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona called the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act, which would require lawmakers, their spouses and dependent children to place their stock portfolios into blind trusts. If passed, the legislation would not allow lawmakers to use inside information to trade stocks and make money. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced a very similar bill Wednesday called the Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act, which would also ban lawmakers from trading stocks while in office. There are some key differences between the two proposals: Ossoff's legislation would apply the ban to any dependent children in addition to the spouses, while Hawley's bill would not. Also, Ossoff's legislation would have the congressional Ethics Committee oversee the issue, while Hawley's bill would have the Government Accountability Office audit. And probably the biggest difference: Ossoff's legislation would fine the...
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. Six Maryland environment professors penned a letter to the presiding officers of the General Assembly this week, imploring them to commit to reducing climate pollution in Maryland by 60% below 2006 levels by 2030. They cited recommendations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which released a major report last summer revealing that drastic reductions in emissions are urgent and necessary to prevent a climate catastrophe. “Just last year, Maryland experienced five separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, including hurricanes and tropical storms. Maryland’s 3,000 miles of tidal shoreline are vulnerable to sea level rise and retreating shores, threatening habitat, agriculture, and communities,” the scientists wrote in a letter, with the support of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN). “We need to do more and we need to do it now. Maryland is uniquely situated as a state that is both particularly vulnerable to climate change and well-positioned to mitigate it,” they continued. The letter was signed by Donald Boesch and Eric A. Davidson, who are professors at the University of Maryland...