Confirmation Or Carnival ?


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Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch Excels At Confirmation Hearing Despite Conservative Sideshow

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee completed its two-day hearing on Loretta Lynch, the nominee for attorney general. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, comes highly regarded from legal and law enforcement experts, as well as pundits on both sides of the aisle. But you wouldn’t know that from listening to the witnesses that Senate Republicans picked; instead, many of the witnesses they invited were straw-men offering Republicans the chance to sound off on opposing President Obama’s recent immigration executive action or his departing attorney general, Eric Holder.

Indeed, while some Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee may see this hearing as an opportunity to raise their objections to President Obama, the witnesses have nothing to do with US Attorney Lynch’s qualifications to be our top law enforcement officer. In fact, three of these four witnesses have lawsuits against the Obama administration:

  • Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, now a contributor to the Heritage Foundation’s news site, is suing the Obama administration, alleging that she was hacked for reporting on the administration. At the hearing, she accused the administration of treating her like they would “enemies of the state.”
  • Catherine Engelbrecht, a Tea Party activist who founded the voter suppression group True the Vote, is also suing the Obama administration, alleging that she was targeted by the IRS for her political views. Today she called President Obama’s recent immigration action “the most significant voter disenfranchisement threat currently facing our country.”
  • Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, is Speaker Boehner’s lawyer for his suit against the Affordable Care Act and is also critical of the President’s executive actions on immigration. At the hearing today, he claimed that the Justice Department is playing a “central and troubling role” in changing our constitutional system “in the very way our Framers wanted us to avoid.”
  • David A. Clarke is Sheriff of Milwaukee County and has been criticized for his inflammatory rhetoric, such as when he shared his belief that “Obama Marxist types want to start a civil war in this country” by seizing guns. Apparently forgetting that, today he accused Eric Holder of having the “incendiary rhetoric.” Why? Because, according to Clarke, our nation’s top law enforcement officer paved the way for “the rallying cry for cop-haters across America.”

What the Republicans did not count on was Lynch’s poise and grace under hostile questioning. She defended the independence of the Office of the Attorney General, saying it would be “totally inappropriate” to take politically motivated orders from the president. At the same time, she agreed with President Obama’s executive action, saying that setting priorities over who should be deported, rather than extending the threat of deportation to every person living in this country while undocumented, was a “reasonable way to marshal limited resources to deal with the problem.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) summarized Lynch’s performance at the hearing as “the best” she had witnessed: “I see the combination of steel and velvet.” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) admitted that he was “impressed” and plans to support her nomination. And when asked directly by Sen. Leahy, none of today’s witnesses expressed opposition to Lynch’s nomination.

BOTTOM LINE: Loretta Lynch is an excellent choice to replace Eric Holder after his successful tenure as attorney general. She would make history by being the first African American woman to hold the position and should be promptly confirmed. But while the attorney general handles serious issues, many of the Senate Republicans who will vote on her confirmation don’t appear to be taking her hearing very seriously. Instead, they are choosing to use the venue as a chance to invite right-wing pundits and anti-Obama crusaders in to talk about unrelated issues.

In the Newsroom with Gov.Inslee ~ Jan. 2015 ~


the Senate ~~~ CONGRESS 1/30 ~~~ the House


capitolsnowclosed

When #114thCongressionalReality sets in:

#MidtermsMatter and #WeThePeople continue to get sold out

The Senate stands adjourned until 10:30am on Friday, January 30, 2015.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

During Thursday’s session, an agreement was reached that at 4:30pm on Monday, February 2, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of Calendar #6, H.R.203, Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. The time until 5:30pm will be equally divided in the usual form. At 5:30pm, the Senate will proceed to vote on passage of the bill.

This morning Senator McConnell moved to proceed to Calendar #5, H.R.240, a bill making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and filed cloture on the motion.

 

By consent, the cloture vote will occur at 2:30pm on Tuesday, February 3. If cloture is invoked, all post-cloture time will be yielded back and the Senate would proceed to a vote on the motion to proceed to the bill.

 

As a reminder, at 5:30pm on Monday, February 2, the Senate will vote on passage of H.R.203, Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.

 

WRAP UP

Roll Call Votes

Legislative Business

Adopted S.Res.35, 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland

Adopted S.Res.59, National Stalking Awareness Month

Adopted S.Res.60, National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month

Executive Business

 

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Last Floor Action:
2:04:35 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on February 2, 2015.

Last Floor Action:1/28
12:08:14 P.M. – The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on January 30, 2015.

2:00:00 P.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
2:00:39 P.M. The Speaker designated the Honorable Thomas J. Rooney to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.
2:01:10 P.M. Today’s prayer was offered by Lt. Cmdr. James Dance, Chaplain, United States Navy, Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains, Washington, DC.
2:02:07 P.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
2:02:14 P.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2:02:33 P.M. The House received a message from the Senate. The Senate passed S. 1.
2:03:20 P.M. The House received a communication from Joe Barton, Member of Congress. Pursuant to Rule VIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, Mr. Barton notified the House that he had been served with a subpoena for documents issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in connection with a criminal case currently pending before that court, and that after consultation with the Office of General Counsel, he will determine whether compliance with the subpoena is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House.
2:03:50 P.M. The House received a communication from Fred Upton, Member of Congress. Pursuant to Rule VIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, Mr. Upton notified the House that he had been served with a third-party subpoena for documents issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in connection with United States v. Rainey, a matter currently pending before that court, and that after consultation with the Office of General Counsel, he will determine whether compliance with the subpoena is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House.
2:04:12 P.M. The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on January 28, 2015 at 12:22 p.m.: an appointment to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
2:04:23 P.M. TOM LANTOS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – Pursuant to section 4(c) of House Resolution 5, 114th Congress, and the order of the House of January 6, 2015, the Speaker appointed the following member of the House to serve as Co-Chair of the TOM LANTOS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: Mr. Pitts.
2:04:35 P.M. The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on February 2, 2015.

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