Club Q shooting survivors press Congress to act on guns
Survivors of last month’s deadly mass shooting at a Colorado gay nightclub have testified to Congress about the onslaught of threats and violence against members of the LGBTQ community as they urged lawmakers to pass a law banning some semiautomatic weapons.
Florida Democrats choose Rep. Crist to challenge DeSantis
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist has won the Democratic nomination for governor in Florida, putting him in position to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis this fall in a campaign the Republican incumbent is eyeing as the first step toward a potential White House run.
Bill attempts to prevent political meddling in US head count
A U.S. Census Bureau director couldn’t be fired without cause and new questions to a census form would have to be vetted by Congress under proposed legislation that attempts to prevent in the future the type of political interference into the nation’s head count that took place during the Trump administration.
Snyder camp says he’ll testify voluntary, not subpoenaed
The attorney for Dan Snyder told the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform there is no reason for the owner of the Washington Commanders to testify under subpoena for the congressional investigation into the NFL team’s workplace culture.
Congress urges Washington Football Team to lift NDAs
Two members of the House of Representatives are urging the NFL and the Washington Football Team to release individuals from non-disclosure agreements that would prevent them from discussing sexual harassment and workplace issues at owner Daniel Snyder’s club.
Democratic chair issues subpoenas to oil executives
The chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee has issued subpoenas to top executives of ExxonMobil, Chevron and other oil giants, charging that the companies have not turned over documents needed by the committee to investigate allegations that the oil industry concealed evidence about the dangers of global warming.
Oil giants deny spreading disinformation on climate change
Top executives of ExxonMobil and other oil giants have denied spreading disinformation about climate change while sparring with congressional Democrats over allegations that the industry concealed evidence about the dangers of global warming.
Democrats call oil giants to testify on climate campaign
Congressional Democrats are calling top executives at ExxonMobil and other oil giants to testify about what lawmakers say is a long-running, industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming.
New law cracks down on shell companies to combat corruption
FILE - This Thursday, June 6, 2019 file photo shows the U.S. Treasury Department building at dusk in Washington. “It required all kinds of shoe-leather investigating to identify who was really behind these shell companies,” recalled Alonso. For the first time, shell companies will be required to provide the names of their owners or face stiff penalties and jail sentences. The information will be stored in a confidential database accessible to federal law enforcement and shared with banks who are often unwitting accomplices to international corruption. Box and a registered agent who is frequently a law firm dedicated to churning out companies in bulk.
Family behind Purdue Pharma to face congressional scrutiny
FILE - This Oct. 21, 2020 file photo shows Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Conn. Two members of the Sackler family have agreed to make a rare public appearance to take questions from a congressional committee that is investigating the role of the company they own, Purdue Pharma, in fueling the nation's opioid epidemic. The company agreed to pay more than $8 billion in forfeitures and penalties, while members of the Sackler family would have to pay $225 million to the government. No family member would be criminally prosecuted under the Justice Department settlement, although the deal leaves open that possibility. A third branch of the family sold their stake in the company before the blockbuster painkiller was developed in the 1990s. In a letter to the Oversight Committee this week, Temple University law professor Jonathan Lipson said the committee should push for family members to contribute more though the bankruptcy process.
Family members who own Purdue to appear before Congress
Two members of the Sackler family who own OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma agreed to appear this week before a congressional committee investigating the family and the company's role in the national opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. The committee scheduled and then canceled a hearing earlier this month after family members would not commit to appearing. Under the deal, family members would also pay at least $3 billion in cash over time. Most Democratic state attorneys general oppose the settlement, saying they want more accountability for Sackler family members. The agreement did not result in criminal claims against Sackler family members, but left open the possibility that some could be brought.
Census numbers-crunching documents at center of latest fight
Government attorneys had asked Koh over the weekend to reconsider her order to release the documents or put it on hold. Last week, Koh ordered the government attorneys to produce documents that show details of the Census Bureau ’s plans, procedures and schedules for the numbers-crunching phase of the 2020 census. Democratic U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the committee's chair, has alleged that the Republican Trump administration is blocking the release of full, unredacted documents she requested about data anomalies. The Census Bureau has admitted discovering data irregularities in recent weeks that put the Dec. 31 deadline in jeopardy. Besides being used for apportionment and redistricting, the 2020 census numbers will help determine the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending.
House committee issues subpoena for Census documents
The congressional committee that oversees the Census Bureau issued a subpoena Thursday to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, seeking documents related to data irregularities that threaten to upend a yearend deadline for submitting numbers used for divvying up congressional seats. The anomalies will likely force a delay of several weeks past a Dec. 31 deadline for the Census Bureau to turn in the congressional apportionment numbers. In a letter last week, Maloney wrote that the Commerce Department — which oversees the Census Bureau — missed a Nov. 24 deadline to give the documents to the committee. The Census Bureau said last week that the data irregularities affect only a tiny percentage of the records and are being resolved as quickly as possible. The House committee has obtained three new internal agency documents showing the Census Bureau plans to deliver the apportionment numbers to the president no earlier than Jan. 23, which would be shortly after Trump leaves office and President-elect Joe Biden takes over.
Census Bureau says data irregularities being fixed quickly
The U.S. Census Bureau says the data irregularities that are putting in jeopardy a year-end deadline for turning in numbers used for divvying up congressional seats affect only a tiny percentage of the records and are being resolved as quickly as possible. The timeline remains in flux for turning in the apportionment numbers used for deciding how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets in future elections, the Census Bureau said in a statement late Wednesday. “These kinds of anomalies and issues are expected and are similar to the Census Bureau’s experience in prior decennial censuses," the bureau said. “What is certain is that the Census Bureau is working to thoroughly correct and address all issues and anomalies as a part of its mission to deliver accurate 2020 Census data products as close to the statutory deadline as possible." The data anomalies represent less than seven-tenths of 1% of records, according to the Census Bureau.
House committee chair presses Census on delays to count
Maloney wrote that the Commerce Department — which oversees the Census Bureau — missed a Nov. 24 deadline to give the documents to the committee. Maloney threatened a subpoena if “a full and unredacted set” of the requested documents are not given to the committee by Dec. 9. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Census Bureau switched its deadline for wrapping up the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from the end of July to the end of October. The Census Bureau already was facing a shortened schedule of two and a half months for processing the data collected during the 2020 census — about half the time originally planned. The bureau has not officially said what the anomalies were or publicly stated if there would be a new deadline for the apportionment numbers.
Health contractors vetted stars' politics for US virus ad
This photo combination shows from left: musician Christina Aguilera in Los Angeles, March 29, 2012, comedian George Lopez in Los Angeles, Dec. 25, 2012, and actor Jack Black in Las Vegas, April 25, 2012. Public relations firms hired by the Department of Health and Human Services vetted the political views of hundreds of celebrities, including Aguilera, Lopez, and Black, for a health education advertising campaign on the coronavirus outbreak. That's according to documents released Thursday by a House committee.
US vetted stars' politics to showcase Trump virus response
Director Judd Apatow believes Trump “does not have the intellectual capacity to run as president,” according to a list of more than 200 celebrities compiled by one of the firms. “I have ordered a strategic review of this public health education campaign that will be led by our top public health and communications experts to determine whether the campaign serves important public health purposes,” Azar told the subcommittee, which is investigating the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Because public health policy around the coronavirus pandemic has become so politically polarized, it’s unclear how well a confidence-building campaign from the government would play. And Trump has alienated much of the medical establishment with his dismissive comments about basic public health measures, such as wearing masks. Antony and Quaid were among just a few celebrities who were approved for the campaign, according to the documents.
US official: 2020 census to end Oct. 5 despite court order
The tweet said the ability for people to self-respond to the census questionnaire and the door-knocking phase when census takers go to homes that haven't yet responded are targeted to end Oct. 5. Monday's statement was noteworthy in that it was solely attributed to the commerce secretary, while previous announcements about census schedule changes had been made either by Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham or both men jointly. In upstate New York, a census supervisor told her census takers Friday that the Buffalo office was operating with Sept. 30 as the end date, according to a text obtained by AP. In response to the pandemic, the Census Bureau last April pushed back the deadline for ending the 2020 census from the end of July to the end of October. The bureau also asked Congress to let it turn in numbers used for apportionment from the end of December to the end of April.
Order forces Census to do more visits, rely less on records
That likely increased the workload of the door-knocking census takers, causing slight decreases in completion rates for the moment. The Census Bureau said in an email Thursday that the footnote applied only to the date it was posted, Sept. 14, and that's why it was removed in future posts. The temporary restraining order was requested by a coalition of cities, counties and civil rights groups whose lawsuit demanded the Census Bureau restore its previous plan for finishing the census at the end of October. Two states asked Wednesday to join the lawsuit in opposition of the temporary restraining order. The script says that among the questions census takers would ask shelter residents during visits was their citizenship status.
Democrats propose sweeping bill to curb presidential abuses
WASHINGTON – House Democrats on Wednesday proposed a bill to curb presidential abuses, a pitch to voters weeks ahead of Election Day as they try to defeat President Donald Trump, capture the Senate from Republicans and keep their House majority. Each of the bill’s provisions is a response to actions by Trump or his administration that Democrats see as abuses of presidential power. It builds on an elections and ethics reform package the House passed soon after Democrats reclaimed the majority in 2019. Congress has yet to send to the president any legislation to try to curb foreign election interference after Russia meddled on several fronts in the 2016 presidential contest. “The degradation of our democracy over the past 3 1/2 years is not the work of the president alone,'' Schiff said.
House to investigate DeJoy possible campaign law violations
WASHINGTON House Democrats said Tuesday they will investigate whether Postmaster General Louis DeJoy encouraged employees at his business to contribute to Republican candidates and then reimbursed them in the guise of bonuses, a violation of campaign finance laws. Two former employees told the newspaper that DeJoy would later give bigger bonuses to reimburse for the contributions. Postal Service to immediately suspend DeJoy, whom they never should have selected in the first place.Monty Hagler, a spokesperson for DeJoy, told the Post that DeJoy was unaware that any workers felt pressure to make donations. Postal Service changes that some fear will slow delivery of mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 elections. The House Oversight Committee recently subpoenaed DeJoy for records about widespread mail delivery delays that have pushed the Postal Service into the political spotlight.
Progressive challengers' year: 3 wins and some close calls
But some challengers lost, and their overall wins were a modest number compared with the 535 House and Senate members. Kessler wasn't impressed with the three progressive challengers who defeated Democratic incumbents, either. Other high-profile progressive hopefuls lost Senate Democratic primaries in Colorado, Maine and Texas, and House contests in states including Georgia, New York and Ohio. Jamaal Bowman, a Black educator raised by a single mom, defeated House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel of the Bronx and Westchester, New York. They're an effective and well-funded operation now," said Sean McElwee, who does polling and research for progressive Democrats.
Census document says cutting steps risks errors in count
ORLANDO, Fla. To meet an end-of-the-year deadline, some steps in the numbers-crunching phase of the 2020 census will need to be cut and that could increase the risk for errors, according to an internal U.S. Census Bureau document made public Wednesday by House Democrats. Because of the pandemic, the Census Bureau revised its deadlines so the 2020 census would finish at the end of October. The letter included partial transcripts from briefings last week that top Census Bureau officials gave to the House committee. At several points during the briefings, officials at the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, stopped the officials from the statistical agency from answering the questions, the letter noted. During the door-knocking phase, census takers go to homes that haven't yet responded to the census questionnaire either online, by phone or by mail.
House subpoenas embattled Postal Service leader over delays
Democrats have been pushing for increased oversight of the Postal Service following DeJoy's operational changes and Trump's baseless claims that mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud. A spokesman for the Postal Service said the agency will comply with its legal obligations. Separately, an audit from the inspector general of the Postal Service found that more than a million mail-in ballots were sent to voters late during the primary elections. Also, an analysis of political and election mail in seven Postal Service processing centers between April and June identified around 1.6 million mailpieces that were not delivered on time. We can, and will, handle the volume of election mail we receive," DeJoy told the House Oversight committee last week.
Brother of impeachment figure claims White House retaliation
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)WASHINGTON The twin brother of a key witness in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump has filed a federal complaint alleging retaliation by the White House and possible ethical violations and sexist behavior by top officials, including Robert OBrien, now national security adviser. In the August complaint, Lt. Col Yevgeny Vindman alleges he faced retaliation from Trump and White House officials after raising concerns about the presidents pressure on Ukrainian officials to investigate Democrat Joe Bidens family the heart of the Democrats impeachment inquiry. Both Vindmans worked for the National Security Council in the White House and were reassigned to the Army after the Senate voted to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial. If the White House refuses to cooperate fully including by denying requests for documents or for interviews with White House officials we will have no other choice but to infer that any such actions were retaliatory, the Democrats wrote. Mark Zaid, a lawyer for Yevgeny Vindman, confirmed the existence of the complaint and said it states that that senior White House officials, to include the president, retaliated against him for performing his duty as an attorney and soldier. The White House did not immediately comment on the allegations.
Central Park monument honors women's rights pioneers
Jaya Shri, 13, , right stands with friends at the unveiling of a new statue honoring suffragettes in Central Park on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. bronze statue depicting womens rights pioneers Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony was unveiled in Central Park on Wednesday. It's the 167-year-old parks first monument honoring real historical women as opposed to fictional heroines like Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeares Juliet. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)NEW YORK A bronze statue depicting womens rights pioneers Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony was unveiled in Central Park on Wednesday, becoming the 167-year-old parks first monument honoring historical heroines, as opposed to fictional female characters like Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeares Juliet. The commission from Monumental Women, a nonprofit that formed in 2014 to raise funds for a suffragist statue in Central Park, originally included just Stanton and Anthony, two white leaders of the fight for women's equality. Truth, a Black woman who escaped slavery and went on to campaign for abolition as well as women's rights, was a late addition.
Postal chief urges voters to request, return ballots early
Acknowledging an expected surge in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic, DeJoy says voters should mail back their ballots at least seven days prior to the election. Trump urged a no vote, railing on Twitter against mail-in ballots expected to surge in the COVID-19 crisis. He has said he wants to block extra funds to the Postal Service. Still, there were signs of bipartisan support for the Postal Service, one of the most popular government agencies with an approval rating above 90%. Twenty-six House Republicans broke with Trump and GOP leaders to back the House bill, which passed 257-150.
Pelosi to call House back into session to vote on USPS bill
WASHINGTON Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is calling the House back into session over the crisis at the U.S. In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Central," Pelosi wrote Sunday in a letter to colleagues, who had been expected to be out of session until September. The House Oversight and Reform Committee said it wants to hear from DeJoy and from the chair of the Postal Service board of governors, Robert Mike Duncan. With heightened scrutiny of its operations, the Postal Service is now requesting a temporary preelection rate increase, from mid-October through Christmas, although not for first-class letters. "Given the recent customer concerns the Postal Service will postpone removing boxes for a period of 90 days while we evaluate our customers concerns,'' Postal Service spokeswoman Kimberly Frum said.