Republicans Angry Over Pelosi Oversight Committee

by Daveda Gruber:

It appears that Republicans are, once again, not happy with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and her move to create a new House committee in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

As I explained yesterday, there is already oversight measures built into the stimulus bill that was passed last week.

Pelosi insisted that the committee was unbiased but Republicans are not buying what she’s selling.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has expressed his opinion on the bill in detail.

While on “Fox & Friends” Friday, McCarthy said, “This isn’t about oversight, it sounds like pure politics. Let’s take care of the crisis at hand right now. We have five different oversights already looking at this and this is what she comes up with?”

McCarthy also stated, “That’s why in the CARES act we implemented three new oversight entities within there that [Pelosi] has an appointment to, but we already have the Oversight Committee only to focus on this, and we also have…every single committee has an oversight subcommittee.”

He went on to say, “It seems to me that this is just politics as usual instead of focusing on the crisis we need to be today, focusing on the American public and getting the resources to them.”

McCarthy brought to light that the $2 trillion CARES Act that passed Congress last week already has oversight in it.

Measures consist of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, made up of inspectors general to locate and investigate waste and abuse of spending under the bill, and in response to the crisis. It also sets up a Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to conduct oversight over stimulus spending by the Treasury.

On top of all that, is a Congressional Oversight Commission set to oversee spending by the Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve that is required to send reports to Congress every 30 days.

On Thursday Pelosi announced that she is creating a House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. She also stated that the committee will appoint both Democrats and Republicans and that it would have subpoena power to seek information from the Trump administration.

She went on to say that Democrats would hope that there would be cooperation because this was not a kind of an investigation of the administration but that it was about the whole response.

On Thursday President Trump said, “I want to remind everyone here in our nation’s capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics, endless partisan investigations. Here we go again. They’ve already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years.”

Trump also said, “It’s witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt. And in the end it’s people doing the witch hunt who are losing  ̶̶ ̶  and they’ve been losing by a lot. And it’s not any time for witch hunts.”

The President also sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. I do love a well written letter!

You can see it here in this tweet by a friend of mine:

I guess Trump is getting upset with the wasteful spending and the actions of the Democrats. I know I’m upset with all the nonsense that is actually going on.

Do the job that you were paid to do Democrats!

Do Lawmakers Want Another COVID-19 Bill?

by Daveda Gruber:

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are already considering another stimulus package for the COVID-19 outbreak.

The largest piece of legislation in U.S. history for $2.2 trillion was passed last week. That legislation Which is set in place to provide economic relief has $350 billion in funding for small businesses.

Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for up to $10 million in loans. The loans can be used for payroll,  insurance premiums, mortgages, rent or utilities.

On Monday Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would be willing to ask Congress for more money to help during the coronavirus outbreak.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats had indicated that there could be a fourth coronavirus response bill.

Mnuchin told Fox Business, “This is a very popular program with Republicans and Democrats, and the president likes it a lot. If we run out of money, and this is a huge success, we will absolutely go back to Congress and ask for more money.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told The Hill, “I think the odds are we’ll need more legislation. First, we don’t know the extent of the crisis in terms of the magnitude, so that could rise. But there are going to be problems that we don’t realize now that we’re going to have to grapple with. So I think the odds are high there will be a COVID-4.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told CNN that Democrats “had bigger direct payments in our bill, and we think we’ll get more direct payments in another bill.”

Pelosi added that she planned to push for pension protections which did not make it into phase three of the stimulus package. Last week Pelosi said that pension protections were supported by President Trump, but that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would save it for another piece of legislation.

In a fourth stimulus package, Democrats are allegedly seeking additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is also known as food stamps. Also being reported, is including emissions restrictions on airlines. That inclusion was blocked last week.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has stressed that phase three of coronavirus legislation that was approved last week, was critical, but he wasn’t certain that another bill would be necessary.

McCartthy was on Fox News and said, “I’m not sure we need a fourth package. And before we go to start drafting a fourth package, I’d like these three packages just put out…to take care and get this economy moving.”

Last week New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo said, “The congressional action in my opinion simply failed to address the governmental need. I’m disappointed, I said I was disappointed. I find it irresponsible, I find it reckless.”

He also said that the money New York does receive from the stimulus package was “earmarked only for COVID virus expenses, which means it does absolutely nothing for us in terms of lost revenue.”

The 880-page coronavirus stimulus package helps many people but the amount of money that have nothing to do with the COVID-19 outbreak is very high.

Here is a list of the money and where it goes:

The entire bill can be seen here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/453273118/Cares-Act-Final-Text

If there is more money given in a fourth bill, more pork will be added. We are in big debt now. I agree that the third bill was needed but there’s also a lot of pork in it. To get money from Democratic lawmakers is tricky. They always want something that has nothing to do with the issues at hand.

Is Schumer Threatening Supreme Court Justices?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Wednesday Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., went on a rant at a pro-abortion rally that was hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights and in effect seemed to be threatening two Supreme Court Justices.

Schumer was all hyped up as the Supreme Court heard arguments in a high-profile abortion case and stood at a podium yelling a warning to Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

The Minority Leader cited the case of June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, and said that this is the first “major” abortion case since President Trump’s court picks have been on the bench.

The clash in the case deals with restrictions over who can perform abortions. It involves  Louisiana law similar to one in Texas that the court ruled unconstitutional in 2016.

This came about before either of President Trump’s justice picks was sitting on the bench.

This case that is before the court is part of a larger effort by pro life efforts by red states to pass laws regulating abortion. This would test how supportive the new justices will be of precedents already set, for instance, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which formed the basis for abortion being legal.

The law that is in question requires abortion doctors in Louisiana to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital for reasons that protect the woman in case a woman experiences complications during or after an abortion.  Restrictions on abortions because of facilities available close to a hospital would significantly reduce the number of available convenient  facilities the state.

Those who back the law dispute that it regulates abortion providers in the same manner that other medical providers are regulated by the state. It also makes certain that doctors are competent. Those who are opposed to the law say that it targets abortion providers with the ultimate goal of shutting them down.

In a 2016 case that was out of Texas the Supreme Court invalidated a very similar law.

Wednesday’s oral arguments revealed that Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts questioned whether Lousiana might be different from Texas in terms of the practical effect the law would have.

Kavanaugh asked “Assume all the doctors who currently perform abortions can obtain admitting privileges, could you say that the law still imposes an undue burden, even if there were no effect?”

Today Schumer shouted, “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

You can imagine that the video of Schumer went viral on social media.

You can see the video here:

In the heat of the moment, Schumer had accused Republican legislatures of “waging a war on women,” and he said reproductive rights are “under attack in a way we haven’t seen in modern history.”

Schumer went on to say, “We will tell President Trump and Senate Republicans who have stacked the court with right-wing ideologues that you’re gonna be gone in November, and you will never be able to do what you’re trying to do now ever, ever again!”

At this time, conservatives hold a 5 to 4 majority. That, in itself, could tilt the scales against the abortion centers and with good cause.

Any ruling against abortion clinics, whether it be for medical assistance to women or for assisting a baby who survives the abortion, would be a win in my opinion. Somehow, I don’t think that pro-abortion activists care about the baby, if he or she survives, is an issue.

There are too many people who seem to think that abortion is a way of avoiding a pregnancy. All women who do not want children have other options. There are many forms of contraceptives that are easily available. Abstaining is also an alternative.

Too many women and men too, for that matter, who don’t understand that abortion is murdering a living baby. Yes, the baby is alive in the womb with a beating heart and killing him or her is MURDER!

Who Said Trump Admin Broke the Law?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Thursday a legal opinion by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that President Trump’s administration broke the law when defense aid was withheld to Ukraine.

The Ukraine aid, which is the meat of the president’s impeachment trial, was allegedly withheld, according to the GAO, without the right to hold it back.

There was $214 million allocated to the Department of Defense for security assistance. It was appropriated by Congress and for that reason the administration, according to the GAO, did not have the right to hold it back because it happened to disagree with its allocation.

The opinion was in writing and said, “Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. [The Office of Management and Budget] OMB withheld funds for a policy reason … not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that the OMB violated the ICA [Impoundment Control Act].”

On Thursday the OMB made it clear that it disagreed with the GAO report.

OMB spokesperson Rachel Semmel said, “We disagree with GAO’s opinion. OMB uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the President’s priorities and with the law.”

Now it becomes more clear as to why Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was demanding that the Senate consider additional documents as evidence in the upcoming impeachment trial.

Schumer said, “The GAO opinion makes clear that the documents we requested in our letter last month are even more needed now because GAO confirmed the president broke the law. All senators will get a chance to vote to obtain these documents next week.”

The Trump administration, through the OMB, withheld a total of about $400 million of security assistance from Ukraine last summer.

The opinion also raised constitutional concerns about the lack of cooperation from the Trump and his executive branch officials in conjunction with the GAO’s investigation.

In the opinion’s conclusion a reluctance to provide a fulsome response, on the part of the OMB and the State Department. The opinion’s author, GAO General Counsel Thomas H. Armstrong, inferred that there was interference with the GAO’s oversight role on behalf of Congress.

This is at the core of the impeachment trial that has become the focus of lawmakers. It started after Trump asked Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelensky to allegedly investigate the family of his 2020 rival, Joe Biden while the White House allegedly was withholding an Oval Office visit from Zelensky in exchange for that investigation.

That situation originally started the whispers about a “Quid Pro Quo” that soon was changed to bribery and then to abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

I believe that the OMB has got this right. What say you? I’d love to hear your opinion.

I can always be reached on Twitter: @DavedaGruber

Who Had the Meltdown?

by Daveda Gruber:

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday accused President Trump of having a “meltdown” as Pelosi accused Trump of having the “meltdown” as the Speaker stormed out of the Syria meeting in the White House.

Tensions have been growing between Pelosi and Trump and it appears that those who witnessed the explosive behavior unfold are wondering if Trump and Pelosi have reached a point of no return in their relationship.

After Pelosi stormed out of the meeting along with a couple of her Democratic cohorts, Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer held an spontaneous news conference outside the White House.

The threesome told reporters that they walked out of the meeting on Syria policy after Trump allegedly called Pelosi either a “third-rate politician” or “third-grade politician.” They added that Trump was angry and suggested the Democrats probably appreciated communist Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East.

Pelosi said, “What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say.”

The Speaker later added , “I pray for the president all the time, and I tell him that ˗˗ I pray for his safety and that of his family. Now, we have to pray for his health ˗˗ because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”

It is alleged by a top Democrat that Trump began the meeting by making a remark that “someone wanted this meeting so I agreed to it.”

Trump allegedly then said, “I hate ISIS more than you do.”

Pelosi allegedly responded, “You don’t know that.”

Trump allegedly then said, “President Obama drew a red line in the sand [in Syria].  In my opinion, you are a third-grade politician.”

Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., later told reporters he heard Trump use the term “third-rate politician.”

After those remarks, it is alleged that the Democrats walked out of the meeting and Trump had a final comment and said, “I’ll see you at the polls.”

After the meeting came to a close, Trump tweeted:

Woman to Woman: Conway and Pelosi at Odds

by Daveda Gruber:

On Wednesday, after a rather brief meeting in the White House,

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi didn’t seem to see eye to eye.

The meeting between President Trump and Pelosi, along with Senator Chuck Schumer, had been scheduled as an opportunity to discuss the country’s infrastructure. The night before the meeting, the White House had gotten word that Pelosi also had plans to discuss the “I” word or impeachment with her Democratic cohorts before she met with Trump.

After a meeting with her caucus, Pelosi spoke in front of reporters and cameras and made a statement that the president “engaged in a cover-up”.

As you can well imagine, Trump was not pleased and Pelosi’s angry words became the reason for the meeting with Trump to be scrapped after a brief encounter.

Trump left the room and then Conway asked Pelosi if she had a “direct response to the president,”

Fair question, right? Actually, Pelosi was not pleased and retorted, “I’m responding to the president, not staff.”

Conway did not seem to take that well. It is alleged that Conway came back with, “Really great. That’s really pro-woman of you.”

Trump reiterated his stance when he spoke to reporters in the Rose Garden and told reporters, “I don’t do cover-ups.”

Trump spoke about negotiating with Democrats, “You can’t do it under these circumstances. Get these phony investigations over with.”

Pelosi wasn’t done either. On Wednesday afternoon, at a Center for American Progress 2019 Ideas Conference Pelosi said, “The fact is, in plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up. And that could be an impeachable offense,”

Pelosi spoke to reporters on Thursday and she is sticking to her talking points. Yes, she mentioned the president being involved in a “cover-up” again. She also added that Trump stormed out of the meeting.

We know what Trump had to say because Trump is transparent through his tweets. Trump tweeted this today:

House Minority Leader R-CA., Kevin McCarthy spoke up for the GOP side of the issue. Check out this tweet by CSPAN:

In my humble opinion, Trump is never going to sit and have discussions with a woman who claims that he is involved in a criminal activity such as, a “cover-up”. Pelosi has a stubborn character and that will not fly well with our president. Besides, who would want to talk with someone who is plotting a call for a presidential impeachment?

Trump Walks Out of Talks with Schumer and Pelosi

by Daveda Gruber:

While President Trump continues to speak out against the mainstream media and their reporting of the “WITCH HUNT’ during an impromptu press conference on Wednesday morning when he declared the need to get the phony investigations over with.

Trump also said that infrastructure and getting prices down on prescription drugs had to be dealt with but that first of all, the “HOAX” that is the Russian probe had to come to an end.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer met with Trump but only after Pelosi had a meeting with other Democrats, including  Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Joe Neguse of Colorado who are all members of Democratic leadership.

The discussion  that the Democrats had dealt with, as Trump has now labeled it, the “I” word or as we know it, impeachment.

Here is Trump speaking outside the White House in the Rose Garden that he tweeted:

Pelosi D-Calif., had no clue that things would not go well with Trump after she went and announced, in front of press and cameras, and said that Trump was engaged in a “cover-up”.

The Democrats had pushed to begin impeachment proceedings during a leadership meeting in Pelosi’s office. Pelosi and Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Cheri Bustos of Illinois who are all allies of Pelosi, rejected their calls, saying Democrats’ message is being drowned out by the fight over possibly impeaching Trump.

“We had a very productive meeting,” Pelosi told reporters. “It was a respectful sharing of ideas. We do believe it is important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States. And we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up—a cover-up. And that was the nature of the meeting.”

Pelosi and Schumer spoke to reporters after they met with Trump.

Here’s a tweet that shows what was said:

Needless to say, Trump is not happy with Democrats continuing their push to impeach. In fact, the Democrats are not happy with Trump not wanting to talk about issues that will help Americans until the Democrats clear up their mess and the investigations from Congress are through.
Trump tweeted today:

Our president seems tired and fed up with the “WITCH HUNT” and he’d like to see an investigation on issues of who and what started the investigation on him, his family, friends and campaign members.

The Robert Mueller report is out. It’s a done deed; it’s over. There was no collusion and no obstruction found. We the American people are tired of our tax dollars going down the drain. Case closed.

Is Christopher Wray Splitting Hairs with William Barr?

by Daveda Gruber:

On Tuesday FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress. Wray disagreed with Attorney General William Barr and applied a different term than Barr who used the word “spying.”

When asked if FBI agents engage in “spying” when they follow FBI policies and procedures, Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee “That’s not the term I would use. Lots of people have different colloquial phrases. I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”

In a hearing last month Barr stated, “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. …Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”

The statement was later clarified during the hearing by Barr when he said, “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred; I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”

Even President Trump has alleged that the bureau engaged in spying against Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Barr’s remarks were broadly criticized by Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Barr of “peddling conspiracy theories.”

Trump allies have noted that there is documented evidence that the FBI obtained surveillance warrants to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page. There have been numerous reports disclosed that reveal the use of an informant and others to gather information during the early days of the probe.

A source has brought to light that in his remarks, Barr was not trying to fuel conspiracy theories or play to the conservative base.

The source said, “When he used the word spying, he means intelligence collecting.” He also noted Barr’s history as a CIA analyst in the 1970s. “He wasn’t using it in a pejorative sense, he was using it in the classic sense.”

On Tuesday when he was asked directly by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., whether he believes the FBI spied on the 2016 Trump campaign, Wray deferred his response to the ongoing investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Wray said, “I want to be careful about how I answer this question here because there is an ongoing inspector general investigation. I have my own thoughts based on the limited information I’ve seen so far but I don’t think it would be right or appropriate to share those at this stage because I really do think it is important for everybody to respect the independent inspector general’s investigation, which I think this line of questioning starts to implicate, and I think it’s very important for everybody to be able to have full confidence in his review.”

Later on he added, “I don’t think I personally have any evidence” of illegal surveillance into the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, but he said that he has been in “close contact” with Barr about helping him get to bottom of how the Russia investigation began.

You can see/hear Wray speak here:

In my humble opinion, the investigation should lead right to the Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign via the Steele Dossier.

Schumer Insults Trump in this Letter: See What it Says

by: Daveda Gruber:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter referencing President Trump and it wasn’t very polite.

Trump had been tweeting and in a tweet said that the nation’s intelligence chiefs were “naive” about Iran and perhaps should “go back to school and Schumer came back with a nasty reply in a letter to director of national intelligence Dan Coats.

Schumer D-N.Y., suggested that it was the president who needed tutoring.

On Tuesday during a Senate Intelligence Community hearing Coats spoke about ISIS’ strength, North Korea nuclear weapons program and the Iran nuclear deal in extremely different terms than Trump does.

Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel, became the target of Trump’s anger on Wednesday morning for their statements.

Schumer wrote to Coats and later said, “I believe it is incumbent on you, Director Wray and Director Haspel … to impress upon him how critically important it is for him to join you and the leadership of our Intelligence Community in speaking with a unified and accurate voice about national security threats.”

Schumer tweeted:

The intelligence chiefs had told the Senate panel that North Korea was unlikely to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and that the Iran nuclear deal was working.  It was this verbiage that drew responses from the president via Twitter:

Trump was adamant that U.S. relationship with North Korea “is the best it has ever been.” He also pointed to a halt in nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, the return of some U.S. service members’ remains and the release of detained Americans as signs of progress.

A second Trump-Kim meeting or summit is expected in February.

The U.S. intelligence agencies also said that Iran continues to work with other parties to the nuclear deal it reached with the U.S. and other world powers. They said it has at least temporarily lessened the nuclear threat.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from that Obama-era accord in May 2018, which he called a terrible deal that would not stop Iran from going nuclear.
Schumer’s letter to Coats brought to light what many Democrats said about Trump’s tweets.

Sen. Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the Senate’s intelligence panel, said in a tweet:

What did you expect a nice tweet? No, the Dems don’t play that way.

Keep in mind that Democrats will keep up their bashing of Republicans especially our President. Trump is under attack every day.